THE 1998 CULLIGAN HOLIDAY BOWL
Arizona (11-1) vs. Nebraska (9-3)
The Holiday Bowl established all-time attendance and television ratings highs as two top-rated football powers slugged it out. Arizona capitalized on early Nebraska turnovers for three field goals and a 9-0 lead. Nebraska’s defense returned the favor, forcing a Wildcat turnover and a short punt that enabled the Cornhuskers to score a field goal. A 45-yard Eric Crouch to Shevin Wiggins touchdown pass gave Nebraska a 10-9 lead. An Arizona fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave Nebraska a field goal on the final play of the second quarter and extended the Cornhuskers’ lead to 13-9.
Arizona mounted a drive late in the third quarter and scored on a 15-yard pass from Keith Smith to Brian Brennan on the first play of the fourth quarter to take a 16-13 lead. On Nebraska’s first play from scrimmage, Wildcat defensive back Chris McAllister intercepted an Eric Crouch pass, but fumbled it back to the Cornhuskers at the 12-yard line. Given a second chance, Nebraska drove 88 yards in eight plays, including five Crouch pass completions, to retake the lead, 20-16.
The Wildcats were up to the challenge, driving 68 yards on their next possession. Smith scrambled for two key first downs, and Kelvin Eafon capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge to give Arizona a 23-20 lead with six minutes left.
Allister, Arizona’s All-American defensive back, blunted the last Nebraska opportunity with an interception in the game’s final minute.