There was still one football game to play, but before kick-off the Patriotic crowd was in turmoil, and above all, united.
The ball was kicked and Nebraska quickly took control. Eric Crouch hit Tracey Wistrom for a 37-yard touchdown, Judd Davies scolded for a touchdown and Wilson made a diving TD grab to give the Huskers a 21-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game.
For Wilson, it was his first touchdown as a Husker. A memorable moment.
But there are other reasons why the Rice game stands out.
“It was just sincere,” he said of the night.
If the players weren’t aware of what they were playing for that night, then coach Frank Solich made sure to remind them.
“Coach Solich has done a great job just sending the message that we are going to play this game and that it is more important than football,” Adams said. “It’s for the fans, it’s for the country. Our fans, they needed it.”
At the end of the game, Nebraska won 48-3, with most of Husker and Rice’s players gathered in midfield and kneeling as assistant coach Ron Brown delivered a prayer.
Fans walked out of the stadium, many of them knowing they had to work the next day, with many still trying to process events a week earlier.