Quarterback Randy Garcia, who played the final quarter, threw touchdown passes of 10 and 34 yards to lead. Nebraska to a 21-17 Liberty Bowl victory over North Carolina tonight.

Before the game, it was difficult to tell which star would win the most applause. The candidate included:

"Famous" Amos Lawrence, UNC's blazing freshman who had wiped Tony Dorsett's name off one record sheet by rushing for 286 yards in one game. He had gained 1,216 yards on the year.

The late Elvis Presley, Memphis resident and rock-'n'-roll king who adorned the cover of the program and was the subject of a stirring halftime tribute.

Lawrence took a seat with the score 7-7, spraining his right ankle in the middle of an 83-yard scoring drive that put UNC on top, 14-7, at the half.

There had been nothing but punts and third downs in the first quarter, but the Tar Heels broke the monntony in the second quarter with a 60-yard, 11-play scoring march.

The Tar Heels had to turn two straight third and threes into first downs, one on a halfback option pass from Lawrence to tight end Brooks Williams, and another on a five-yard run by Lawrence.

UNC then faced a fourth and inches, and quartcrback Katt Kupec leaned over his center for a first down at Nebraska's 12-yard line.

A play later, Kupec made a magician's fake to Lawrence, then threw to Williams open in the end zone. Tom Biddle's extra point made it 7-0.

The Cornhuskers, ranked 12th and 13th in the national wire service polls, tied the score the next time they had the ball with a series of big gains. Moving 64 yards in just six plays. Nebraska followed Curtis Craig's 22-yard pass from Tom Sorley to split end Tim Smith.

Fullback Dodie Donncil found a huge hole through the middle of UNC's top-ranked defense and gained 17 yards on a three and three. He scored two plays later on the same route from the 15-yard line, making it 7-7.

It was a case of double jeopardy for Carolina. After the play All-America tackle Dee Hardison limped off and sat out the rest of the half.

But Carolina retaliated on the next drive, which began out of sight at the Tar Heels' 17. Lawrence went down after making the prettiest cut of the ball game, having gained 35 yards in eight carries.

The Tar Heels had to survive six third downs before Kupec again got the ball to the end zone through the 15 mile per hour wind, passing 10 yards on a dead run to fullback Bob Loomis. It was Loomis' first TD catch of the year.

The key play came on third and six at Nebraska's 16, when right corner-back Rene Anderson was called for pass interference, giving Carolina a first down at the 11.

Nebraska came close to a tie, but Sorely, chased by a host of baby-blue shirts, fumbled while trying to pass from UNC's seven-yard line as the halftime gun went off.

Carolina's defense, which had given up an average of 7.4 points per game (best in the country), help Hipp to eight yards on seven carries in the half.

The Tar Heels, ranked two notches (11th) ahead of Nebraska in the coaches' poll and two spots (14th) behind Nebraska in the writers' poll, fattened their lead to 17-7 after 10 minutes of the second half on a Liberty Bowl-record 47-yard field goal by Biddle.