Game #3
The Matchup:
No. T4/6 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0) vs. Southern Miss (2-0)

Game Date:
Saturday, Sept. 18, 1999; Kickoff Time: 12:30 p.m.

Site:
Lincoln, Neb. Stadium/Capacity: Memorial Stadium (74,031),229th Consecutive Sellout

Field:
Tom Osborne Field

Surface:
FieldTurf

The Coaches:
NU–Frank Solich (Nebraska, ‘66), 11-4, 2nd year career/at Nebraska; Southern Mississippi--Jeff Bower (Southern Miss, ‘75), 52-40-1 in 9th year career/at Southern Miss

Radio:
Pinnacle Sports Productions (Play-by-Play–Warren Swain; Color–Adrian Fiala)

Live Internet Radio Broadcast:
http://huskerwebcast.com

No. T4/6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0), Host Southern Miss (2-0)
Lincoln -- The No. T4/6 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska Huskers are 2-0 on the season and will host the 2-0 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 12:30 p.m. The Huskers have outscored their first two opponents, 87-7, defeating Iowa, 42-7, on the road and shutting out California, 45-0, last week at home. Nebraska has won with strong defense allowing just 314 total yards in two games. Southern Miss is 2-0 after defeating Tulane, 48-14, and Northwestern State,40-6, outscoring its first two opponents 88-20. Southern Miss received enough votes to be No. 31 in the coaches poll and 36th in AP. It will be another sellout crowd in Memorial Stadium this week, extending Nebraska’s consecutive NCAA record to 229. At last week’s Cal game a stadium-record 77,617 fans attended, breaking the previous record of 76,663 set against Oklahoma in 1987. More than 77,000 are expected this week as well. A win for the Huskers would mark the third straight year the Huskers have gotten through the non-conference season undefeated. During pregame ceremonies, the Nebraska Chapter of the College Football Hall of Fame Inductees will be honored. In addition, Nebraska Director of Athletics Bill Byrne will be honored in pregame ceremonies by NACDA as a regional Athletic Director of the year honoree.

A Challenging 1999 Schedule
The Huskers drew all the Big 12 powers this year and will face Texas, Texas A&M and Kansas State before the season’s end. The 1999 Husker schedule features games against three opponents that are currently ranked including Texas A&M (7/7), Kansas State (16/16) and Texas (NR/22). Nebraska (T4/6) opens its fourth year of Big 12 Conference action at Missouri on Sept. 25. Oklahoma State and Iowa State play in Lincoln on Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, respectively, with Iowa State looking to avoid the Husker Homecoming jinx (NU has won 30 straight and shut out the last three). The Huskers will look for revenge at Texas on Oct. 23, as the Longhorns ended Nebraska's 47-game home winning streak in 1998. NU travels to Kansas on Oct. 30, continuing the third-longest NCAA Division I-A series (105 games). Then NU returns home for difficult back-to-back league contests against the Big 12’s defending division champions, as NU hosts Texas A&M on Nov. 6 and Kansas State on Nov. 13. The Huskers wrap up the regular season at Colorado on Nov. 26 in the fourth-annual post-Thanksgiving Friday matchup, then hope to make a return appearance in the Big 12 Conference Championship game on Dec. 4.

Head Coach Frank Solich
Coach Frank Solich (Nebraska, 1966) is 11-4 in his second season at the helm of the Huskers. Solich was named Nebraska’s 26th head coach on Dec. 10, 1997 after serving as an NU assistant for 19 years. Solich, who was born in Johnstown, Pa., spent most of his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and came to Nebraska in 1962. He played for Hall of Fame Coach–Bob Devaney–lettering in 1963-64-65, and was the first Husker running back to rush for 200 yards in a game. He also lettered for the Husker baseball team in 1965. After serving as a local high school football coach for 14 years, Solich took over the Nebraska freshman program and posted a 19-1 record from 1979 to 82. He was elevated to NU’s running backs coach after four seasons, a position he held for 15 years (1983-97). He was promoted to assistant head coach in 1991.

Solich is 11-4 at the helm of the Huskers (7-1 at home, 3-2 on the road, 1-1 at neutral sites); 2-3 vs. AP ranked teams (1-2 vs. AP top 10 teams); 9-1 vs. unranked teams (5-1 at home, 4-0 on road); 5-3 vs. Big 12 Conference opponents (3-1 at home, 1-2 away, 1-0 at neutral site); 1-0 in August, 5-0 in September, 3-2 in October, 2-1 in November and 0-1 in December.

Coach Solich became just the third first-year Nebraska head coach to record nine wins in his first season at the helm, joining a pair of Hall of Fame Coaches–Tom Osborne (9-2-1 in 1973) and Bob Devaney (9-2 in 1962). He led Nebraska to its 30th consecutive bowl game, 37th consecutive winning season and 30th consecutive nine-win season in 1998. Solich is 0-0 vs. Southern Miss (0-0 vs. Conference USA).

Last Week’s Game...Nebraska 45, California 0
* The Huskers shut out California, 45-0, in Nebraska’s home opener, before a Memorial Stadium record crowd of 77,617. It was dedication day in Lincoln. The new Stadium Skybox Complex was dedicated in pregame ceremonies and Level 6 was dedicated in honor of longtime SID Don Bryant during halftime festivites. The stadium improvements increased the official capacity from 72,700 to 74,031, and Saturday’s crowd of 77,617 bettered the stadium record of 76,663 set against Oklahoma in 1987.

* The Huskers scored in every quarter and for the second straight game, the Blackshirts (No. 1 Husker defensive unit), did not give up any points. The Huskers were a little slow out of the gates, but scored on their third possession led by starting quarterback Bobby Newcombe. In the second quarter, quarterback Eric Crouch led NU on three of four possessions to give Nebraska a 28-0 halftime edge. The Huskers added a field goal and two more touchdowns for the final 45-0 margin. For the second straight week, the Huskers put at least 42 points on the board.

* Quarterback/wide out Eric Crouch rushed nine times for 21 yards and two scores and completed two of two passes for 102 yards and one TD and caught one pass for a 60-yard TD. In the process, he became the first Husker in 26 years to score three ways on offense and he did it all in the second quarter. Crouch ran for a 1-yard TD (with 8:44 remaining in the quarter), passed for a career-long 70-yard TD to Tracey Wistrom (2:36) and caught a 60-yard pass from QB Bobby Newcombe (0:53). It marked the first time that Crouch had ever caught a pass in a game, his first passing TD of the year, and his fifth rushing TD. Both of his pass completions were to Wistrom (also a 32 yarder). The last player to catch, run and throw for a touchdown in the same game was Florida’s Jacquez Green vs. Auburn on Oct. 18, 1997. Wingback Johnny Rodgers was the last Husker to accomplish the feat, running for three touchdowns, passing for one and catching one in a 40-6 win over Notre Dame in the 1973 Orange Bowl. The NCAA record book does not indicate if a player has accomplished this in a single quarter, as Crouch did in the second quarter. For the second straight week, Crouch was named the ABC/Chevrolet player-of-the-game and was Nebraska’s nominee for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. With 36 points scored in the first two games, Crouch leads the nation in scoring average (18.0).

* Quarterback Bobby Newcombe rushed 12 times for 11 yards and scored on a 12-yard run for Nebraska’s first score. He also completed three of seven passes for 85 yards and threw a 60-yard TD pass to Crouch, marking the second straight game and the fourth play this year that the two have been on the field at the same time. In each case, Crouch was a wideout. On that drive, Newcombe was responsible for all of Nebraska’s 51 yards on the five-play drive, all via rushing. In two games, Newcombe has scored three TDs rushing and two by air.

* Sophomore tight end Tracey Wistrom caught two passes against California, both from Crouch. Wistrom caught a 32-yard pass in the second quarter and a career-best 70-yard TD to put NU up 21-0 with 2:36 remaining in the second quarter. That gave Wistrom 102 yards receiving on the day. Wistrom is the first Husker to have 100 yards receiving since Matt Davison had a school-record 167 vs. Texas A&M on Oct. 10 last year and the first tight end to have 100 receiving yards since Johnny Mitchell had 137 vs. Oklahoma in 1991 (on seven receptions). Wistrom leads all Husker receivers with 134 receiving yards in two games and averages 33.5 yards per catch. He had 2-32 against Iowa.

* The Kicking Game...Nebraska punter Dan Hadenfeldt hit on a career-best 73-yard punt in the first quarter. It actually went a distance of 83 yards in the air as he was punting from the back of the end zone late in the first quarter. It set Cal back to their own 23-yard line and the Bears punted on fourth down. Hadenfeldt also had a 57 yard punt, a 39-yard punt downed at the CU 12, a 51-yarder, a 33-yard punt downed at the Cal 8, and a 44-yard punt to the Cal 9 for a career-best 49.5 yards per punt average on six punts. In two games, Hadenfeldt has a 47.7 yards per punt average to rank second in the Big 12 and fourth in the NCAA. Hadenfeldt was NU’s nominee for Big 12 Specialty Player of the Week. Freshman place-kicker Josh Brown hit on his first career field goal, a 37-yarder and was perfect on 5-5 PATs. Junior Chase Long kicked his first PAT in the fourth quarter.

* The Husker Blackshirts were determined not to let up in second half action. And although California got the ball on the Nebraska 20 on their first drive in the third quarter thanks to a Husker fumble, the Blackshirts forced Cal to lose yardage on their first three possessions (minus 5, minus 6 and minus 10 yards) and forced the Bears to give up the ball on a missed field goal, a blocked punt on three and out, an interception and a fumble on its third-quarter drives. Senior linebacker Brian Shaw blocked Nick Harris’ punt on Cal’s second drive in the third quarter. NU took over at the Cal 13-yard line and scored four plays later. It was Shaw’s first career blocked punt and NU’s first since fellow linebacker Tony Ortiz blocked a punt vs. Missouri in 1998. On Cal’s next possession, Ralph Brown recorded an interception and NU scored one play later. On the Bear’s next and last possession of the third quarter, Shaw recovered a fumble caused by DeJuan Groce. Nebraska scored eight plays later on a 5-yard run by I-back Dan Alexander. The Huskers converted two of California’s three turnovers plus the blocked punt, while the Bears did not convert on NU’s lone turnover. Shaw, who boasts a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average, had one tackle and a pass breakup.

* The “Unrelated” Senior Brown Brothers...Rover Mike Brown recorded his first interception of the season and the fifth of his career when he picked off Samuel Clemons in the second quarter. He picked off a pass tipped up at the line by NT Steve Warren and had a 3-yard return, marking the second straight year that he picked off a Cal QB. (NU did not convert). Mike also had two tackles to increase his career total to 200 (ranks 22nd all-time at NU). California native Cornerback Ralph Brown recorded his ninth career interception and brought NU to the Cal 4-yard line with a 35-yard return when he intercepted Kyle Boller at the 3-minute mark in the third. (Crouch scored one play later to put NU up 38-0 late in the third quarter). Ralph is tied for eighth on the career interception list (record is 14 by Dana Stephensen, CB, 1967-68-69). In his 41st consecutive start, Ralph also had one breakup, extending his career school record to 37 and had one tackle.

* Husker split end Matt Davison has now caught at least one pass in 19 straight games. Davison had one catch for 18 yards vs. Cal and leads the team with five receptions for 87 yards. He now has 48 career catches for 713 yards, to rank 19th and 21st, respectively, at NU.

* Husker Defense...In two games, the Huskers have not given up any points in the first, second or third quarter and the No. 1 defense has not given up a touchdown. The last time NU allowed only seven points through the first two games was 1982 when NU defeated Iowa 42-7 and New Mexico State 68-0. The only points scored against Nebraska in the first two games were seven by Iowa on a blocked punt. The 45-0 shutout of California, marks NU’s first shutout of an opponent since Oct. 17, 1998, in a 41-0 win over Kansas in Lincoln. Nebraska’s defense in two games has given up 7 points, 314 total-offense yards (145 vs. Cal), 97 yards rushing (40 vs. Cal), 16 first downs (nine vs. Cal) and has caused six turnovers (three vs. Cal). Opponents are 6 of 32 on third-down conversions (4-17 vs. Cal). The last time NU held back-to-back opponents to less than 200 total offense yards was Texas Tech (127), Kansas (48) and Oklahoma (154) in 1997 (NU shut out Texas Tech and Kansas and held OU to seven points). Cal has not scored a touchdown in Nebraska in the last two years as NU defeated Cal 24-3 in 1998 and 45-0 this year. Last week, Cal place-kicker Ignacio Brache missed on field-goal attempts of 35 and 42 yards, both of which hit the left upright of the South end zone goal post. The Huskers tacked on five sacks including 1-6 by Jeremy Slechta, 1-8 by Tony Ortiz, 1-9 by Carlos Polk who was the team’s leading tackler with seven stops including two for losses, 1-6 by Eric Johnson and 1-8 by Randy Stella, who was celebrating his 20th birthday. Polk was the leading tackler with seven stops (four solo), one sack and another tackle for loss and was Nebraska’s nominee for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

* While Iowa did not get called for a single penalty two weeks ago, Cal was tagged for 110 yards on 14 penalties. Nebraska has not had a 100-yard rushing game by an individual Husker since Crouch had 108 vs. Kansas State last year (four straight games). Nebraska’s leading rusher against Cal was No. 3 I-back Dahrran Diedrick who had 29 yards on five caries. That is the lowest total for a Husker leading rusher since Crouch led the team with 28 against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl last season. Nebraska had its lowest rushing total (114) since rushing for 73 yards in a 24-17 win against Oklahoma State last year (Oct. 3).

Team Game-by Game Recaps
* Iowa, Sept. 4 at Iowa City, Nebraska 42, Iowa 7...The Huskers held Iowa scoreless for three quarters. NU racked up 162 rushing yards and 206 total yards in the first half, but with two turnovers, was only able to score one TD. After taking a 7-0 lead into the lockerroom at intermission, Nebraska scored on its first three second-half possessions (and five of first six) to take a 28-0 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Iowa scored on a blocked punt in the last three minutes for a final 42-7 Nebraska victory. The defense shut down every aspect of Iowa’s offensive game, allowing just 83 yards rushing, 169 total offense yards and eight first downs. The Hawkeyes did not record their first down of the game until their seventh drive (last one before halftime). The Huskers rushed for 347 yards (the most since 359 vs. Iowa State last year) and had 543 total-offense yards (just two yards short of last season’s best of 545 vs. Kansas). Nebraska averaged 5.6 yards per carry to Iowa’s 2.2 and 7.1 on total offense to Iowa’s 3.0. Leading Rushers: Dan Alexander (15-95-0), Eric Crouch (5-92-3), DeAngelo Evans (13-69-0), Bobby Newcombe (15-35-2) Leading Passers: Newcombe (10-7-1-128-1), Crouch (5-3-0-68-0) Leading Receiver: Matt Davison (4-69-0) Leading Tacklers: Mike Brown 8 (Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week), Carlos Polk 7 (1-8 TFL).

Starting Well
Nebraska won its first two games by a combined score of 87-7. Nebraska has rushed for 461 net yards and nine TDs in the first two games, while the defense has allowed just 97 yards rushing. NU has passed for 383 yards and three TDs, completing 62.5 percent of its passes compared to its first two opponents’ 217 yards and 33.9 completion percentage. Nebraska has gone undefeated through its non-conference season in each of the last three years and has not been tripped up in the early season since Arizona State shut out NU in Tempe, 19-0, in the second game of the 1996 season. Coach Solich led the Huskers to five straight wins in 1998, before Texas A&M ended the 19-game winning streak in College Station, 28-21, on Oct. 10. But last year the Huskers gave up 27 points and 569 total offense yards to Louisiana Tech in the season opener. The Husker defense buckled down after that allowing UAB 210 total yards, Cal 236 and Washington 273, but didn’t hold an opponent to less than 200 total offense yards until Missouri had a season low 166 on Oct. 24. That was the only time last season the defense accomplished that feat. In last year’s four non-conference games, NU averaged 466.8 yards in total offense but allowed 322.0, this year through two games, NU averages 422.0 yards per game, and has allowed just 157.0.

Injury Update
The Huskers lost two offensive linemen to season-ending knee injuries this fall, including fifth-year senior starting right tackle Jason Schwab (left ACL/MCL) and redshirt freshman Matt Shook (right ACL). Schwab was the only lineman to have started every game last year and will be sorely missed. He was replaced by sophomore Dave Volk. Rover Mike Demps was also lost for the season with an ACL injury. There were no new major injuries in the first two games. Rover Joe Walker, who tore his left ACL before the bowl game and had additional surgery in May, and cornerback Erwin Swiney, who had groin surgery this summer and was also held out of fall drills, have both returned to practice but not contact. Freshman DeAntae Grixby (torn right ACL in spring) had reconstructive surgery in April and has not returned to fall camp. None of the three have redshirted, and a decision could be forthcoming soon.

Secondary to None
George Darlington’s Husker secondary continues to prove itself to be one of the best in the nation, despite the fact that two of the top six stars from last year have yet to return from injury. Rover Joe Walker (knee) and cornerback Erwin Swiney (groin) have both returned to practice, but not game action. They both could redshirt if they are not cleared for contact soon. Swiney has 23 starts and 17 breakups to his credit and Walker has eight starts, and five interceptions under his belt.

Against California, right cornerback Ralph Brown had his first interception of the season and ninth of his career, while rover Mike Brown had his fifth career pickoff in the game. Both the Browns (unrelated) are Thorpe Award Candidates and All-America candidates. Ralph had a breakup in each of the first two games and has a streak of five games in which he has had at least one PBU and Mike has totaled 12 tackles.

Starting his first game as a true freshman and 41 straight games, right corner Ralph Brown owns the school records for pass breakups in a game (seven), season (14) and career (37). He earned third-team All-America honors last year and is looking for his third-straight All-Big 12 honor this season. Rover Mike Brown led the team in tackles last season with 102 and had four breakups and an interception. Because of Finley’s early season injury, Mike started the first seven games at free safety, then the last six at rover after Finley returned. He had 77 tackles his sophomore year and ranks 21st on the Husker all-time tackle chart with 203.

The experience and numbers among the top six is incredible. The sextet has 547 career tackles in 111 starts and 169 games and has 73 pass breakups, 25 interceptions and has put 42 points on the board. Craver and Swiney are the only two who haven't made it to the end zone.

Huskers Post Second Best Record in ‘90s
With three national championships, there's no doubt that the Nebraska Cornhuskers are the team of the ‘90s. NU ranks just one win behind Florida State, the leader of the decade. Nebraska boasts a 98-15-1 record in the '90s, while FSU is 99-13-1. NU's 60-3 five-year run from 1993-97 was not only impressive, but unprecedented in NCAA Division I-A. NU is 71-7 over the last seven years and its five-year record of 58-6 from 1994-98, led the nation. In 1993, the Huskers went 11-1 losing only to Florida State 18-16 in the Orange Bowl for the national championship. That began a run of wins, records and crystal collections. NU followed 1993 with three perfect seasons in four years, winning national titles in 1994 (13-0), 1995 (12-0) and 1997 (13-0). Nebraska had the best record in the ‘80s with a 103-20-0 (.837) mark, and ranked fifth in the ‘70s with a 98-20-4 record.

In the Past Seven Years, the Huskers Have...

  • Played in four national championship games (1993-94-95-97) and won three titles (1994-95-97)
  • Posted a 71-7 record
  • Won four conference crowns (three Big 8, one Big 12)
  • Posted a 42-3 conference record
  • Won 38 of 39 home games
  • Gone 19-6 vs. AP top 25 teams

Nebraska Tradition Established by Devaney
Retiring as the winningest active coach in the nation, Tom Osborne took over a program firmly entrenched in solid ground in 1973, when Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney named Osborne as his successor. Devaney posted a 101-20-2 record in his 11 years at Nebraska, won two national championships (1970 and 1971) and was the winningest active coach in the nation upon his retirement in 1972 (136-30-7, .806 career record including 35-10-5 at Wyoming). Devaney established more than just a football program at Nebraska. Under his leadership as Nebraska's Director of Athletics (1967-92), Nebraska won 11 national championships. The Huskers have gone on to win the conference all-sports championship in 19 of the past 20 years. Osborne followed suit and was selected to the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame shortly after he announced his retirement. He was inducted on Dec. 8, 1998. Osborne retired as the nation's winningest active coach, posting a 255-49-3 record (.836). Among all divisions of coaches with career winning percentages of .800 or better over a span of at least 10 years, Osborne finished as the fifth winningest coach in Division I-A history, while the late Devaney is not far behind at No. 11. Solich went 9-4 in his inaugural season, matching the wins of Devaney and Osborne in their first years. The three Husker coaches have a combined 367-73-5 record over the past 38 years (since 1962).

Husker Assistants Boast 145 Years of Experience
One very good reason Coach Solich was named as Osborne's replacement was to keep the current staff intact. Director of Athletics Bill Byrne saw that much of Nebraska's success should be attributed to its assistants, who post 135 years of combined experience at NU and have participated in 135 bowl games. Counting 1999, Head Coach Frank Solich has 21 years at NU; defensive backs coach George Darlington is the veteran assistant with 27 years; offensive line coach Milt Tenopir has 26 years; defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Charlie McBride has 23 years; offensive line and kickers coach Dan Young has 17 years; receivers coach Ron Brown has 13 years; quarterbacks coach Turner Gill has eight years; linebackers coach Craig Bohl has five years; rush ends coach Nelson Barnes has three; and running backs coach Dave Gillespie has two years as a position coach, but served as a recruiting coordinator for the Huskers from 1986-93.

Changes in Game-Day Assignments
Beginning with the Iowa game, Turner Gill, the quarterbacks coach, moved from the press box to the field and Dave Gillespie, the running backs coach, moved from the field to the box. Like Coach Osborne, Solich is his own offensive coordinator.

Unprecedented Winning Tradition Continues
Nebraska, the nation's seventh winningest program all time, boasts a 733-296-40 record in 1,069 games (.704). In the last 30 years, NU is tops, winning 299-55-5 for an .840 winning percentage (359 games), an average of nearly 10 wins per year. In terms of wins, the Huskers are third in NCAA Division I-A history with 733. Coach Tom Osborne carried on where legendary Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney left off. Devaney and Osborne were the third Division I coaching duo to post back-to-back 100-win careers at the same institution (following Penn State's Rip Engle and Joe Paterno and Georgia Tech's John Heisman, Bill Alexander and Bobby Dodd), but were the first pair to do so in an unbelievable 21 years. Devaney and Osborne had a combined 356-69-5 record for an incredible .834 winning percentage (36 years, 430 games). NU won 10-or-more games 19 times in that span, went undefeated and untied through the regular season seven times, played in nine national title games and won the championship five times. Since the first Nebraska season in 1890, Husker teams have won 11 or more games 10 times (eight under Osborne), including 1970 (11-0-1), 1971 (13-0-0), 1982 (12-1-0), 1983 (12-1-0), 1988 (11-2-0),1993 (11-1-0), 1994 (13-0-0), 1995 (12-0-0), 1996 (11-2) and 1997 (13-0), and won 11 or more games in five of the last six years. NU has won 12 or more games six times (five under Osborne); and 13 or more three times (in 1971, 1994 and 1997). No one can match Nebraska's current 37-year winning season streak, or its 30-year nine-win streak, and by the same token, no other school has averaged 10 wins per season over the last 26 years. Nebraska's 37 years of winning records is third all time behind Notre Dame's 42 (1889-1932) and Alabama's 38 (1911-50). By decade, the Huskers were 75-30-1 in the ‘60s (.712); 98-20-4 in the ‘70s (.820, fifth nationally); 103-20-0 in the ‘80s (.837, first) and are 98-15-1 in the ‘90s (.864, second).

Happy at Home
Nebraska is 69-3 at home the last 11 years, losing to two teams who went on to win a share of the national championship (Colorado in 1990 and Washington in 1991), and to Texas in 1998. The Huskers are 437-122-20 (.772, 579 games) in Lincoln, 312-99-13 (.751, 424 games, 77 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923) and 7-1 at home under Coach Solich. Nebraska has not lost more than one home game in a season since a 5-2 home record in 1980. Since 1980, the Huskers are 113-10 at Memorial Stadium, with eight of those losses coming against teams that finished in the top six in the final AP poll. Included in that stretch are three of the six longest home winning streaks in school history, including a school-record 47-game streak (fifth longest in nation all time) from 1991 to 1998, a 19-game streak from 1988 to 1990 and 21 straight from 1981 to 1984. Nebraska also had a 33-game home winning streak from 1901-1906 (which is tied for the 11th-longest streak in Division I-A). Since 1986 (13 years), NU is 82-5 in Lincoln, with losses to Colorado, Washington, Oklahoma (twice) and Texas. Those five teams posted a combined mark of 53-6-1 in their respective seasons. Nebraska has not been shut out at home since a 12-0 loss to Kansas State in 1968 (189 games). NU has posted 37 unbeaten and untied home seasons. The Huskers set a new attendance record in Memorial Stadium vs. California when 77,617 fans saw a 45-0 shutout performance.

The 228-Game Consecutive Sellout Streak
Nebraska's Memorial Stadium boasts an NCAA-record 228 consecutive sellouts, dating back to Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney's first year in 1962 (vs. Missouri on Nov. 3). This week’s game against Southern Miss is sold out and marks the 229th consecutive sellout. NU is 202-26 during the 228 sellouts (50-9 under Devaney, 145-16 under Osborne, 7-1 under Solich). The mark includes a 33-18 record against ranked teams. NU is 4-0 in the four milestone sellouts during that period (50th, 100th, 150th and 200th sellouts), including a 24-7 win over No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29, 1994, for the 200th sellout. NU's 227 straight sellouts rank ahead of Notre Dame (143) and Penn State (48).

AP Poll Record Streak Hits 295
Ranked tied for fourth in this week’s Associated Press Poll, Nebraska extended its AP Poll record to 295 consecutive weeks (every weekly AP Poll since Oct. 17, 1981). Nebraska’s nation-leading streak of consecutive weeks in the AP top 10 ended at 96 with the 1998 loss to Texas, but NU has been ranked in the top 10 for 100 of the 106 weeks from the 1993 preseason poll to now. Nebraska was ranked No. 1 by AP eight weeks in 1994, seven in 1995, the first five weeks in 1996, three weeks in 1997 and a total of 61 times in the history of the poll, which began in 1936. The Huskers were last ranked No. 1 for 12 consecutive weeks spanning the 1995-96 seasons (Oct. 29, 1995 after a 44-21 win over No. 7 Colorado, until Sept. 22, 1996 after a 19-0 loss to Arizona State). After a 14-week hiatus, NU returned to No. 1 on Oct. 19, 1997, where it has been for at least a couple of weeks in four of the past seven seasons (1993-97). In 1993, NU was No. 1 by the coaches for three weeks, but never higher than No. 2 in AP, but from 1994 to 1997, Nebraska was No. 1 by AP for at least two weeks. Its two streaks of 15 consecutive weeks being ranked No. 1 (1970-72, and entire 1983 season) still rank in a tie for third. The Huskers have played in 47 games as the No. 1 AP team (40-6-1).

NU's No. 6 preseason AP ranking marked the 24th time in the last 27 years that NU has opened the season in the top 10. Nebraska was the preseason No. 1 team in 1965, 1972, 1976, 1983 and 1996. Nebraska has been in 469 of the last 472 AP polls since 1969 (30 consecutive years), missing one week in 1977 and two in 1981. NU is the nation's sixth most successful program based on AP rankings since the poll began, scoring 502 points, but is the only team to be ranked in every poll of the '90s.

Against Associated Press Ranked Teams
Nebraska is 82-87-3 (.486, 172 games) all time vs. ranked opponents. Over the last six seasons, the Huskers have gone 20-5 against ranked foes, losing to No. 1-ranked Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl, to No. 17 Arizona State in Tempe in 1996, to No. 18 Texas A&M on Oct. 10, 1998, to No. 2 Kansas State on Nov. 14, 1998, and to No. 4 Arizona in the 1998 Holiday Bowl. Nebraska has won 11 of its last 13 games against top 10 AP teams. Last year, Nebraska went 2-3 vs. AP ranked teams. Over the last 26 years, NU is 63-40-1 (.611) vs. ranked teams. In this decade, NU is 23-9-1. Solich is 2-3 vs. ranked teams (1-2 vs. top 10 AP teams) and has not lost at home to a ranked AP team (2-0 at home, 0-2 away, 0-1 at neutral site).

Huskers vs. the Unranked
The Huskers have lost just 13 of 218 games to unranked opponents since 1973 (8-1 under Solich). Nebraska’s most recent loss was to Texas at home on Oct. 31, 1998. Nebraska has lost just five games to unranked opponents at home in that time period. NU’s last road loss to an unranked opponent was to Texas in the 1996 Big 12 Championship game. In both losses to Texas, the Longhorns were not ranked in the top 25, but had enough votes to rank in the top 30. In a regular-season road game, the Huskers have not lost to an unranked opponent since Iowa State upset the Huskers, 19-10, in 1992. In fact, in the last 27 years, Nebraska has gone 203-13-2 (.936, 218 games, five losses in the ‘90s) against unranked opponents and suffered only one loss to a team that finished the season below .500 (Iowa State in 1992).

NU Posts Second-Best On-the-Road Record
Counting games at neutral sites, the Huskers are second to Florida State with a .779 “On-the-Road” record in the ‘90s (among Division I-A schools). Nebraska is 41-12-1 on the road for a .769 winning percentage, behind Florida State’s 48-12-0 (.800). Not counting neutral site games, the Huskers are tops in the ‘90s with a 33-7-1 record (.817), which includes a win and a loss to Miami in Orange Bowl games. Nebraska is 28-6 away from home since 1993 (10-4 vs. ranked teams--includes neutral sites), losing only to Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl, Arizona State in 1996, Texas in the 1996 Big 12 Championship game, and A&M, Kansas State and Arizona in the Holiday Bowl last year.

Adding up the Points
The Husker offense has averaged 35 or more points for 13 of the last 14 years. The Huskers have averaged 30 or more points for 21 straight years (since 1977) and have averaged 40 or more points seven times since 1983, including in three of the past four years. In 1999, NU averages 43.5 ppg to rank second in the Big 12 and ninth in the nation. NU has scored at least 35 points in 47 of the last 61 games. The Huskers have ranked among the nation's top 10 in scoring average for 20 of the last 21 years (since 1978) and finished first four times. NU has won 215 consecutive games when scoring 35 or more points and is 279-1 all time when scoring 35 or more points, losing only to Oklahoma, 49-35, in 1950. The last time the Huskers were shut out, was a 19-0 loss at Arizona State in 1996. Before that, NU had scored in 50 straight games since a 22-0 loss to Miami in the 1992 Orange Bowl. NU’s current streak of games in which it has scored is 38 games. Nebraska has not been shut out at home since KSU shut out the Huskers on Homecoming in 1968 (0-12). The Huskers have scored 40 or more points in three of their last four bowl games, including a school-record 62 vs. Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. NU has scored 35 or more points in its last two games. Offensively, the Huskers have been shut out just five times since 1962 (once at home, 12-0 to KSU in 1968).

It's a Rush
NU is 169-5 in the last 26 years when rushing for 300 or more yards in a game (since 1973) and has won 91 straight when rushing for 300-plus yards since a loss to Michigan in the 1986 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, when the Huskers rushed for 304 yards. Nebraska is 87-0 since 1973 when rushing for 400 or more yards (2-0 in 1998). NU's 524 yards vs. Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl set an NCAA bowl record for rushing yards. Nebraska has won the NCAA rushing title 13 times, most recently in 1997 averaging 392.6 yards per game. NU has won the rushing title five times in the last eight years and 11 of the last 18 titles. Since 1978, Nebraska has ranked in the top six in rushing average every year, including a sixth-place finish in 1998 with a 253.8 ypg average. NU has had 320, 100-yard rushing performances all time (seven under Coach Solich), including 37 games in which there were two or more 100-yard rushers. The Huskers have had 28, 200-yard rushing performances, most recently 209 by Ahman Green vs. Iowa State and 202 vs. Colorado on consecutive weeks in 1997, and an Orange Bowl and Husker bowl-record 206 vs. Tennessee. Three Huskers rushed for more than 100 yards in a game once, vs. ASU, 1988. Nebraska is 4-0 under Coach Solich when the team rushes for 300 or more yards; 2-0 when rushing for 400 or more. Nebraska rushed for a season-high 347 yards in the 42-7 win over Iowa in the 1999 season opener and averages 230.5 ypg rushing to rank fifth in the Big 12 and 20th nationally. Solich is 5-2 when a Husker rushes for at least 100 yards, and 2-3 when an opponent has a 100-yard rusher.

Defending the Score
The 1999 Huskers held Iowa to seven points and shut out Cal. When Nebraska holds its opponents to 10 or less points, the Huskers have posted 89 straight wins (since losing 10-7 to Iowa in 1981 season opener). In fact, NU is 197-5-1 since 1962 (Devaney’s first year) when holding opponents to 10 or less points (7-0 under Solich). Nebraska has recorded 60 shutouts since 1962 (four in season openers, last three consecutive Homecomings), most recently Cal in 1999 (two under Solich). Nebraska ranks third in the Big 12 and fourth nationally in scoring defense allowing 3.5 points per game.

Huskers Continue Academic Tradition
Nebraska continues to lead the nation in GTE/CoSIDA academic All-Americans for all sports, all teams (164) in first-team winners for all sports (94); and also leads the nation in football academic honor winners with 55 first-team certificates and 71 football all-teams certificates. The 164 is 50 better than second-place Notre Dame, while the 55 is 17 more than second-place Notre Dame's 38. Last year, Nebraska continued its streak of 13-straight years with at least one first-team GTE/CoSIDA All-American with three first-team honorees and one second-team selection, marking the fifth time NU has had three first-team selections (also in 1979, 1981, 1990 and 1993). In 1998, fullback Joel Makovicka was a repeat winner, and rush end Chad Kelsay and punter Bill Lafleur also earned first-team honors. Linebacker Brian Shaw, who posts a perfect 4.0, was named to the second team and headlines Nebraska’s list of candidates for 1999. NU had 18 Huskers qualify academically in 1998 (3.2 or better cumulative GPA) and athletically (starter or important reserve) and saw five named to the All-District VII team including Shaw. On the Big 12 academic first-team, the Huskers led all conference schools with 22 first-team members. Texas Tech was second with 14. Another six were named to the honorable-mention team, giving NU a conference-leading 28 team members. In addition, the Husker football program leads the nation with nine NCAA Today's Top Eight Award winners, 27 NCAA postgraduate scholarship winners and 16 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame postgraduate awards.

NU First in Graduation Rates
In numbers released on Aug. 30, 1999, the Huskers top the Big 12 in another category--graduation rates. For the fourth consecutive year, the Husker football team led the Big 12 Conference in the four-class (1988-1991) overall graduation rate (63 percent) as well as the African-American rate (60 percent). The NU football rate was higher than the national average for all football student-athletes (40 percent), for African-American football student-athletes (32), for all students (56 percent) and for all student-athletes (56 percent). Nebraska’s student-athlete graduation rate for all sports, which includes only those students who completed their eligibility at NU, is an outstanding 86 percent.

 

Big 12 Conference Schools, Top Six, Football 4-Year Grad Rates

School

Total

Af.Am.

White

1.

Nebraska

63

60

67

2.

Baylor

61

60

69

3.

Iowa State

57

39

73

4.

Texas

57

48

65

5.

Missouri

55

40

70

6.

Colorado

48

32

69

Husker Snippets...

  • When Nebraska Trails...The last time the Huskers have trailed in a game was the Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona. NU lost 23-20. That game marked the seventh time Nebraska trailed in a game in 1998 (also Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas, Kansas State and Colorado), going 3-4 on the year. The last time NU trailed, but won was in the regular-season finale against Colorado (Nov. 27). NU trailed 14-13 entering the fourth quarter, but won 16-14. NU’s three points in the first half vs. Texas (Oct. 31) were its fewest in the first half of a home game since trailing Oklahoma 14-3 at the half in 1991 (NU went on to win that game 19-14).

  • Positively Speaking...In the last 26 years, Nebraska has had just one season in which the Huskers had a negative turnover margin (minus five in 1984). Under Solich, NU has a cumulative turnover margin of plus 11 and is plus two in 1999.

  • The Husker Defense...Nebraska's defense has ranked among the nation's top 10 in all four statistical categories four times. Three of those were under Defensive Coordinator Charlie McBride, including 1996. The Huskers have ranked in the top 13 in all four categories in three of the past five years. In 1999, NU ranks 14th in rush defense (48.5), sixth in pass efficiency defense (55.8), fifth in total defense (157.0) and fourth in scoring defense (3.5).

  • O-Line active in NFL...Nebraska has six offensive linemen on NFL rosters in 1999. They are Aaron Graham (Arizona), Will Shields (Kansas City), Brenden Stai (Pittsburgh), Zach Wiegert (Jacksonville), Chris Dishman (Arizona) and Adam Treu (Oakland). The first five have all earned starts. Shields and Wiegert were Outland Trophy winners for the Huskers (in 1992 and 1994, respectively).

  • Huskers in the NFL...On opening day rosters for the 1999 NFL season, there were 32 former Huskers active on National Football League teams (tied for best in Big 12). The Huskers had two first-round selections in 1998 when Grant Wistrom was the sixth pick by St. Louis and Jason Peter was the 14th pick by Carolina, giving NU 30 first-round draft picks, including 11 in the last 13 drafts.

  • Nebraska Players on the 1999 Opening Day Rosters (Alphabetically)... Michael Booker (Atlanta), Kris Brown (Pittsburgh), Doug Colman (Tennessee), Chris Dishman (Arizona), Jay Foreman (Buffalo), Scott Frost (New York Jets), Irving Fryar (Redskins), Aaron Graham (Arizona), Ahman Green (Seattle), Sheldon Jackson (Buffalo), Vershan Jackson (Kansas City), Donta Jones (Carolina), Chad Kelsay (Pittsburgh), Joel Makovicka (Arizona), Mike Minter (Carolina), John Parrella (San Diego), Christian Peter (New York Giants), Jason Peter (Carolina), Lawrence Phillips (San Francisco), Mike Rucker (Carolina), Cory Schlesinger (Detroit), Will Shields (Kansas City), Neil Smith (Denver), Brenden Stai (Pittsburgh), Jared Tomich (New Orleans), Adam Treu (Oakland), Eric Warfield (Kansas City), Zach Wiegert (Jacksonville), Jamel Williams (Washington), Tyrone Williams (Green Bay), Jason Wiltz (New York Jets) and Grant Wistrom (St. Louis).

  • Assistants in the NFL...In addition to the 31 players active in 1999, two former Husker assistant coaches hold positions with NFL teams, including Gene Huey, running backs, Indianapolis; and Monte Kiffin, defensive coordinator, Tampa Bay.

1999 Team Tidbits...

  • Nebraska has two student-athletes on the team who earned their degrees this summer. Center Matt Baldwin and linebacker Tony Ortiz earned their degrees in communication studies and sociology, respectively, at the end of August 1999 summer sessions.

  • Walk-ons Remain Crucial to Success...On the preseason depth chart, 31 (15 offense, 15 defense, one kicker) of the 89 Huskers listed (35 percent) were walk-ons when they first came to Nebraska. Three are starters in 1999, including Sam linebacker Brian Shaw, who started four games in 1998 and is listed even with Tony Ortiz for 1999, wingback Sean Applegate, and senior punter Dan Hadenfeldt, who was a reserve in 1998. Shaw was named to Sports Illustrated's 1997 All-Walk-on team (Jason Schwab would have been a former walk-on named starter but is out for season with knee injury).

  • Nebraska Natives...Nine Huskers who hail from Nebraska started at least one of the first two games in 1999, including SE Matt Davison (Tecumseh), LT Adam Julch (Omaha), RG Russ Hochstein (Hartington), FB Willie Miller, (Omaha), RT Dave Volk (Battle Creek) and WB Sean Applegate (Lincoln). On defense, native Nebraskans include LRE Aaron Wills (Omaha), DT Loran Kaiser (Farwell), and SLB Brian Shaw (Deweese). In addition, tight end T.J. DeBates was born in O'Neill, Nebraska, but has called Stewartville, Minn., home since he was 2-years old.

  • Family Connections...While only two sets of brothers currently play for Nebraska (senior rush end Aaron Wills and freshman rush end Colin Wills; and sophomore OT Dave Volk and freshman OT Cody Volk), there are numerous other family connections on the 1999 team. Those who followed in their older brothers' footsteps to play for Nebraska include: Chad (1995-98) and Chris Kelsay (freshman rush end); Grant (1994-1997) and Tracey Wistrom (sophomore tight end); Michael (1994-96) and Dion Booker (sophomore free safety); Mike Vedral (1990-92), Jon Vedral (1994-96) and Mark Vedral (sophomore WLB); and Todd (1987-89), Troy (1994) and Tyrone Uhlir (freshman fullback). Second-generation Huskers include sophomore MLB Jamie Burrow (father Jim played in 1974-75); senior rover Gregg List (father was the late Jerry List, 1970-71-72); and IB Josh Davis (father Tony played in 1973-75). In addition, senior fullback Ben Kingston is the nephew of former All-American and current Husker orthopedist Dr. Tom Heiser (1974-75).

  • Frosh Players...Three true freshmen played for the Huskers in each of the first two games including left offensive guard Toniu Fonoti (who will not turn 18 until the Colorado game on Nov. 26); free safety Taylor Gehman; and snapper (center) John Garrison. Fonoti is the No. 2 left guard behind James Sherman and became only the third Nebraska offensive lineman in the modern era to play as a first-year freshman, joining center Jake Young (1986) and guard Will Shields (1989). Solich said a few other freshmen could still find their way onto the field this fall, including wingback Josh Davis and fullback Judd Davies.

  • Non-Redshirts...In addition to the above freshmen who are not redshirting this year, several other Huskers did not redshirt and played their first year including three in 1998–CB Keyuo Craver, DTs Jeremy Slechta and Jason Lohr; six in 1997–CB Erwin Swiney, Rover Joe Walker, QB Bobby Newcombe, IB Correll Buckhalter, SE Matt Davison and RE Kyle Vanden Bosch; and five in 1996–IB DeAngelo Evans (redshirted in 1997), CB Ralph Brown, Rover Mike Brown, LB Eric Johnson and NT Steve Warren.

  • Husker Starting Experience...In 1999, 12 Huskers on offense and 10 on defense return with at least some starting experience. Of all the Huskers with at least one start, seven on the offense hail from the state of Nebraska and four on defense are native Nebraskans (11 total). Eleven Huskers now have double-figure career starts to their credit, led by Ralph Brown, who leads all Huskers and is on school-record pace with 41 consecutive starts, starting every game since he arrived on campus. Nebraska had never played 13 games in three consecutive seasons before 1996-97-98 and if he continues starting every game this season, Ralph could tie place-kicker Kris Brown’s school record of 51 (from 1995-96-97-98) if NU plays in the Big 12 Championship game or bowl game.