North Carolina Tar Heels: Ranking ALL the Bowl Games

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Nov 15, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; A Nebraska Cornhuskers helmet sits on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 59-24. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

17. 1977 Liberty Bowl

The final bowl game of the Bill Dooley era saw the North Carolina Tar Heels taking on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Memphis. It was the kind of matchup that Dooley must have preferred. Dooley’s teams liked to run and stop the run. Nebraska must have seemed ideal as an opponent.

The Tar Heels took advantage early as quarterback Matt Kupec punched in two drives with touchdown passes to gain a 14-7 lead. The Heels expanded the advantage with a third quarter field goal, but then the team’s luck with backup quarterbacks showed up.

Nebraska turned to new quarterback Randy Garcia to replace Tom Sorley. Garcia and Nebraska manufactured one fourth quarter touchdown to reduce the deficit. Then Garcia hit a big 34 yard touchdown pass to Tim Smith of the Huskers to win the game with little more than three minutes to go in the game.

The next time the Tar Heels would be in the bowls, the team would be under Dick Crum.

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