Game #1
The Matchup:
No. 5/6 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0) at Iowa Hawkeyes (0-0)

Game Date:
Saturday, Sept. 4, 1999

Iowa City, Iowa

Kinnick Stadium (70,397)

Surface: Natural Grass
Kickoff Time: 11:09.30 a.m.

The Coaches:
NU–Frank Solich (Nebraska, ‘66), 9-4, 2nd year career/at Nebraska; Iowa–Kirk Ferentz (Connecticut, ‘78), 12-21, 4th year career/first year at Iowa

ABC Regional (PBP–Roger Twibell, Color–Bob Griese, SL–Todd Harris)

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

Live Internet Radio Broadcast:

Huskers Open 109th Season on the Road
The No. 5/6 (AP/Coaches) Huskers will open the 1999 season on the road traveling to Iowa City, to play the University of Iowa, renewing a 39-game series for the first time since 1982. The last time the Huskers and the Hawkeyes met, now NU quarterbacks coach Turner Gill led NU to a 42-7 win over a team led by Iowa starting QB Chuck Long (now Iowa’s quarterback’s coach). The Huskers haven’t opened a season on the road since opening on a Thursday night ESPN game at Stillwater, Okla., against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 1995 (NU won 64-21). Head NU Coach Frank Solich won his first season opener last year against Louisiana Tech (56-27) and NU has won 13 straight since losing to Florida State in the 1985 season opener. The NU-Iowa contest will be televised live on ABC regional television with Roger Twibell and Bob Griese making the call in an 11:05 a.m. kickoff.

Looking ahead, Nebraska will open its home season against California on Sept. 11, a game that will also be televised by ABC with Keith Jackson and Griese coming to town. Although Jackson came out of retirement to do Pac 10 games only, he chose to be in Lincoln to help honor his longtime friend Don Bryant. NU will dedicate the $36 million Memorial Stadium Improvement Project in pregame ceremonies and will name Level 6 of the press box after Bryant. It will be officially christened The Don Bryant Media Facility during halftime ceremonies.

A Challenging 1999 Schedule
The 1999 Husker schedule features five of the seven Big 12 teams who went to bowl games last year (seven includes Nebraska), including Kansas State, Texas A&M, Texas, Missouri and Colorado. It also features games against four opponents that finished the season ranked among the AP top 25, including Kansas State (10), Texas A&M (11), Texas (15) and Missouri (21). The Huskers open the season on the road for the first time since 1995 against Big Ten school Iowa. The Huskers host two non-conference opponents at home the following two weeks when California completes a home-and-home series on Sept. 11 (NU won 24-3 in 1998 in Berkeley) and Southern Mississippi comes to town a week later. NU opens its fourth year of Big 12 Conference action at Missouri in a series that has been anything but dull the past two seasons. 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, when the two teams met for the first time in regular-season conference action. Texas also defeated the Huskers in the inaugural Big 12 Championship in St. Louis in 1996 and is one of just 21 Division I teams to hold a winning record over the Huskers. 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 two teams picked by several preseason publications to finish at the top of their respective divisions, 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 third-annual post-Thanksgiving Friday matchup, then hope to make a return appearance in the Big 12 Conference Championship game in San Antonio on Dec. 4. Nebraska played in the first two league title games, but deferred to Kansas State last season, as the Wildcats lost to Texas A&M in double overtime. As of this date, the first two Husker games in 1999 (Iowa, 11 a.m., and California, 2:30 pm.) and the last (Colorado, 1:30 p.m. central) are slated to be aired on ABC television. The remaining game times are subject to change, as ABC or Fox Sports Net are expected to scoop up several of the Huskers' other remaining games.

Head Coach Frank Solich
Coach Frank Solich (Nebraska, 1966) begins his second year at the helm of the Huskers. He posted a 9-4 record in his first season at the helm and led the Huskers to their 30th consecutive bowl game. Solich was named Nebraska’s 26th head coach on Dec. 10, 1997. Solich, who was born in Johnstown, Pa., spent most of his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and came to Nebraska in 1962. He played for another 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 to82. 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 and held that position for seven years.

Solich is 9-4 at the helm of the Huskers (6-1 at home, 2-2 on the road, 1-1 at neutral sites); 2-3 vs. AP ranked teams (1-2 vs. AP top 10 teams); 7-1 vs. unranked teams (4-1 at home, 3-0 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, 3-0 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 has not faced Iowa as a Head coach but was on the staff as Head freshman coach when NU defeated Iowa three of four games played in 1979-80-81-82.

What’s New in Lincoln
• Memorial Stadium Improvement Project...Stretching across NU’s West Stadium is a new beautiful “press box “ complex. A magnificent $36.1 million Memorial Stadium Improvement Project was completed in August. Media, Husker players and fans alike will enjoy an all-encompassing improvement project that includes fan amenities throughout the stadium, improved concessions, triple the number of rest rooms, 42 state-of-the-art skybox suites and a beautiful two-level press, radio and TV facility. Stadium capacity increased slightly from 72,700 to 74,056 while approximately 100 more writers can be accommodated in the media facility. The stadium will be officially dedicated on Sept. 11, the day of the Huskers' first home game. The media level (floor six), will be officially named and dedicated The Don Bryant Media Facility during halftime festivities on the same day. The training room was remodeled in the last year and will be dedicated on Friday, Sept. 10 as The George Sullivan Athletic Medicine center. Don Bryant was Nebraska’s Sports Information Director for 31 years and has worked for the athletic department for 36 years. He is currently working on a Husker Hall of Fame and teaching at the J-School.

George Sullivan was the Huskers head football trainer for more than 45 years. Don officially retired in 1997 and George retired in 1995. Both still offer their guidance as consultants to the athletic department. A media gathering and dedication party will be held in their honor on Friday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Nebraska Club (top of USBank). All media are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to the SID office by Sept. 9.

• FieldTurf...Nebraska replaced its Astroturf-8 in Memorial Stadium and from the Cook Pavilion indoor workout facility this year with FieldTurf. NU first laid the surface in the Shulte Fieldhouse in May, 1999, replaced the Cook Pavilion Astroturf in July and completed the laying of FieldTurf in the stadium on Aug. 16. FieldTurf emulates the look and feel of blades of grass by blending polyethylene and polypropylene, which specially treats the surface to be soft, smooth and strong. The 2.50-inch blades are resistant to extremes in temperature and have an ultraviolet protectant to help resist fading. Each field was filled with 200,000 pounds of ground rubber, recycled from Nebraska tires, and silica sand. Nebraska is currently the only collegiate football program to use FieldTurf as a full-time playing surface. Funding for the project, estimated at $248,000, was made available by a donation from the Touchdown Club of Nebraska. Memorial Stadium featured a grass playing field from its opening in 1923 through the 1969 season. Astro-Turf was first installed in 1970 and replaced in 1977. Artificial All-Pro Turf was installed in 1984 and replaced with Astroturf-8 in 1992.

Captains Named on Aug. 27
Four team captains were chosen by team vote on Aug. 27. All four are seniors. On offense, tight end T.J. DeBates (Stewartville, Minn.) and offensive tackle Adam Julch (Omaha, Neb.) will represent the team and on defense cornerback Ralph Brown (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) and rover Mike Brown (Scottsdale, Ariz.) were chosen. Ralph and Mike are not related but became friends on a 1995 recruiting trip to USC. Fortunately for Nebraska, they both picked the Huskers. Both are four-year players, preseason All-Americans and Thorpe Award candidates.

Injury Update
In 1998, the injury bug really made its rounds as nine would-be starters from the preseason depth chart missed a total of 45 games. As a result of the rash of injuries to key players, Solich was forced to utilize five different starting I-back/quarterback combinations. NU had to rely on 10 different starters at four of the six offensive skill positions last season. Three different Huskers started games at I-back and three different starters got the nod at quarterback. In the last three previous years combined (1995-97), NU had seen just three starters miss a total of six games with injuries.

A few injuries have held over. Rover Joe Walker, who started seven games last year then tore his left ACL before the bowl game and had additional surgery in May, is able to run and rehab, but has not yet returned to contact drills. Cornerback Erwin Swiney, who started the last 21 games at left corner, had groin surgery this summer and was also held out of fall drills. 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, but a decision will not be made until mid-September on their status for the season. Starters who missed games with injuries who appear to have no lingering ill-effects for this season, include QB Bobby Newcombe (left PCL tear), I-back DeAngelo Evans (left knee scope/bruised tailbone/sore toe), FS Clint Finley (left knee strain), QB Eric Crouch (hamstring pull/hip pointer), I-back Dan Alexander (right LCL tear).

This fall, the Huskers lost two offensive linemen to knee injuries, including fifth-year senior starting right tackle Jason Schwab (left ACL/MCL) and redshirt freshman Matt Shook (right ACL). Both will miss the remainder of the season. Schwab was the only lineman to have started every game last year and will be sorely missed. He will be replaced by sophomore Dave Volk.

Lost and Returning
The Huskers' list of lost and returning starters is a little muddled this season. Because of the number of injuries last year, Husker coaches were forced to try a number of different starting combinations. With a prerequisite three starts made, the Huskers lose seven starters on offense and four on defense. Eight players from six positions return on offense and 10 players on defense return at seven positions.

Last year, the Huskers were replacing four starters on the offensive line and its quarterback and I-back. This year, four offensive linemen with starting experience return, including three regulars. Adam Julch and Dave Volk will start at left and right tacklerespectively, and Jon Rutherford and Kyle Kollmorgen will be their backups. James Sherman and Russ Hochstein will start at the guard spots, and true freshman Toniu Fonoti will relieve Sherman. Sherman is expected to be the swing guard to relieve Hochstein as needed. Dominic Raiola is expected to have an outstanding year at center. NU returns two quarterbacks with six starts each in Bobby Newcombe and Eric Crouch, and all three I-backs, including DeAngelo Evans (three starts), Dan Alexander (two) and Correll Buckhalter (eight). Coach Solich will name the QB/IB starters on Monday. NU lost starting split end Kenny Cheatham, but junior Matt Davision is an experienced replacement, and wingbacks Lance Brown and Shevin Wiggins. Wingback will be secured by Sean Applegate, John Gibson and Frankie London. Second-team All-American Sheldon Jackson is gone at tight end, but both T.J. DeBates and Tracey Wistrom have experience and have started games for NU.

Although the Husker defense lost both rush ends (Chad Kelsay and Mike Rucker), starting nose tackle Jason Wiltz and three-year starting linebacker Jay Foreman, loads of talent return, headlined by a great linebacking corps (led by preseason Butkus Watch List Eric Johnson, Tony Ortiz, Brian Shaw, Julius Jackson and Carlos Polk) and an outstanding secondary (led by preseason All-American Ralph Brown, All-America candidate Mike Brown, Clint Finley and Keyuo Craver. Cornerback Erwin Swiney and nickel back and return specialist Joe Walker hope to return to action soon). Steve Warren and Loran Kaiser both gained valuable starting experience last year at the tackle positions and Aaron Wills and Kyle Vanden Bosch are talented and experienced rush ends.

The Huskers need to replace both kickers and are looking for return men. Redshirt freshman Josh Brown is slated to be the place-kicker and senior former walk-on Dan Hadenfeldt is expected to be the NU punter. Hopefully, Walker (who tied an NCAA record last year with a return TD via punt, kickoff and interception) will be able to return by late September.

First-Time Starters
Projected first-time starters include RT Dave Volk, who replaces injured starter Jason Schwab, FB Willie Miller and either Sean Applegate, John Gibson or Frankie London at WB. On defense new starters include rush ends Aaron Wills and Kyle Vanden Bosch, MLB Carlos Polk, and LCB Keyuo Craver. Both kickers are also new, they are Josh Brown–place-kicker and Dan Hadenfeldt–punter. All other projected starters have at least two starts.

True Freshmen Who Could Play in ‘99
Head Coach Frank Solich said freshman offensive guard Toniu Fonoti is the only true freshman who will definitely not redshirt this season. Fonoti is listed as the No. 2 left guard behind James Sherman and is set to become 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 noted several other freshmen who could still find their way onto the field this fall. Included in that list are wingback Josh Davis, fullback Judd Davies, defensive backs Taylor Gehman and Rob Blomeier, defensive tackle Ryon Bingham and deep snapper/center John Garrison.

The Running Backs
If health prevails, Nebraska has talent and speed to get the team rushing total back to the 300 yards per game marker, where it has been in all but three of the last 22 years. DeAngelo Evans, who was the projected starter at I-back last fall appears to have no lingering problems from two surgeries on abdominal muscles or a bruised tailbone suffered last fall. Evans sat out all of 1997 with the abdominal injury after rushing for 776 yards and 14 TDs in 1996 as a true freshman. Dan Alexander had earned the starting nod against Iowa State and Kansas State, but on the second series vs. KSU suffered a torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. He missed all of spring ball, but is hoping for the same quick recovery he had after tearing his left ACL in the spring of 1997. Correll Buckhalter remained healthy and carried the load at I-back in 1998, finishing as NU’s leading rusher with 799 yards (5.6 per carry, 66.6 per game) and eight touchdowns in eight starts. Evans had 218 yards in three games with four TDs, including 146 and three TDs vs. Washington, and Alexander had 369 yards in nine games with four TDs. All three are juniors and enter fall listed as first team. Junior fullback Willie Miller missed spring with abdominal surgery, but is slated to take over for departed senior Joel Makovicka and be backed by senior Ben Kingston.

The Quarterbacks
Junior Bobby Newcombe and sophomore Eric Crouch return after each starting six games last season, and each suffered injuries which kept them out of seven and five games, respectively. Newcombe won the starting position a year ago in spring ball, started the first game, then suffered a tear in his PCL (left knee). He sat out the next two games, then returned in time to rush for 79 yards and three TDs against Washington. He started five games at midseason, then sat out the remainder of the year to rest the knee. Before the Huskers’ bowl game, Newcombe had surgery to repair the tear. He finished as the Huskers’ fifth leading rusher with 228 yards and tied with Buckhalter for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with eight. He passed for 712 yards and one TD completing 63 percent of his passes. In his place, Crouch played in eight games and started the second, third and last four contests. He was Nebraska’s second-leading rusher with 459 yards and five TDs (4.8 ypc) and passed for 601 yards, completing 49 percent of his passes. Crouch missed five games last season with a hamstring pull and a hip pointer. Newcombe and Crouch each had a healthy fall.

Secondary to None
Husker secondary coach George Darlington didn't lose a single letterman or reserve from last year and is thrilled to have two legitimate contenders for All-America honors returning–seniors Ralph Brown and Mike Brown (not related). Both made the initial Jim Thorpe Award list.

Assuming rover Joe Walker and CB Erwin Swiney are able to return summer surgeries, five Huskers with at least six starts in 1998 return. Ralph Brown will start for the fourth year at right corner, Keyuo Craver will start at left corner, Mike Brown will start for the third consecutive year at rover and Clint Finley will resume his starting role at free safety. Walker would back up Brown at rover and in addition to his return duties, would serve as the Huskers' nickel back in passing situations. Swiney would contend with Craver for starting duties at left corner.

The experience and numbers among the top six is incredible. The sextet has 523 career tackles in 103 starts and 161 games and has 67 pass breakups, 23 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.

Starting his first game as a true freshman and 39 straight games, right corner Ralph Brown owns the school records for pass breakups in a game (seven), season (14) and career (35). He is a preseason All-American after earning 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 24th on the Husker all-time tackle chart with 191.

Huskers in Season Openers
Nebraska has won 13 straight openers since a 17-13 loss to Florida State in Lincoln in 1985. Nebraska is 78-26-5 in SEASON openers, including last year's 56-27 win over Louisiana Tech in Lincoln. In the last 26 years, the Huskers are 21-4-1 in season openers, 17-2 at home, losing only to FSU in 1985 and Washington State in 1977 (10-19). In all-time HOME openers, NU is 87-17-5 including 59-14-3 at Memorial Stadium. NU is 24-2 in home openers over the last 26 years. When NU opens the season on the ROAD, NU is 11-13-2 and has lost to Iowa in season openers at Iowa City three times (1919, 1942, 1981). Season openers...NU is one of four Division I-A schools in the country who have won each of its season openers during the 1990s. Nebraska leads the pack with 13 straight season opening victories, followed by Florida State with 11, and Kansas State and Florida with 10 straight (Ohio State fell from the list with a 23-12 loss to Miami (FSU won its opener).

The Huskers are 57-24 all time on ABC and have won 28 of their last 32 appearances on the network. Since Sept. 21, 1991, when NU lost 36-21 to Washington on ABC television, NU has posted a 28-4 record on ABC (losing to Texas in 1996 Big 12 Championship game and to A&M in College Station, Texas in Lincoln, and K-State in Manhattan in 1998). Most recently, NU defeated Colorado on ABC in NU’s final regular-season game last year (16-14).

Huskers Post Second Best Record in ‘90s
With three national championships, there's no doubt that the Nebraska Cornhuskers are a team of the ‘90s. NU ranks just two wins behind Florida State, the leader of the decade. Nebraska boast a 96-15-1 record in the '90s, while FSU is 98-13-1. NU's 60-3 five-year run from 1993-97 was not only impressive, but unprecedented in NCAA Division I-A. NU is 69-7 over the last six years. 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 Six Years, the Huskers Have...

  • Played in four (1993-94-95-97) and won three national championships (1994-95-97)
  • Posted a 69-7 record
  • Won four conference crowns (three Big 8, one Big 12)
  • Posted a 42-3 conference record
  • Won 37 of 38 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 365-73-5 record over the past 37 years (since 1962).

Husker Assistants Boast 135 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. Through 1998, Head Coach Frank Solich has 20 years at NU; defensive backs coach George Darlington is the veteran assistant with 26 years; offensive line coach Milt Tenopir has 25 years; defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Charlie McBride has 22 years; offensive line and kickers coach Dan Young has 16 years; receivers coach Ron Brown has 12 years; quarterbacks coach Turner Gill has seven years; linebackers coach Craig Bohl has four years; rush ends coach Nelson Barnes has two; and running backs coach Dave Gillespie has one year as a position coach, but served as a recruiting coordinator for the Huskers from 1986-93.

Unprecedented Winning Tradition Continues
Nebraska, the nation's seventh winningest program all time, boasts a 731-296-40 record in 1,067 games (.704). In the last 29 years, NU is tops, winning 297-55-5 for an .839 winning percentage (357 games), an average of 10 wins per year. In terms of wins, the Huskers are third in NCAA Division I-A history with 731. 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 96-15-1 in the ‘90s (.857, second). Last season's 9-4 record marked the first time NU had lost four games in the same season since 1968; the first time NU lost three regular-season games since 1977 and the first time NU lost three conference games since 1976.

Happy at Home
Nebraska opened its season at home in 1997 with a 59-14 win against Akron. That win was Nebraska's 300th home win in Memorial Stadium, dating back to when it was built in 1923. Since 1980, Nebraska has not lost more than one home game in a season since a 5-2 home record in 1980. The Huskers are 436-122-20 (.772, 578 games) in Lincoln, 311-99-13 (.751, 423 games, 76 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923) and 6-1 at home under Coach Solich. NU 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. 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, a 19-game streak from 1988 to 1990 and 21 straight from 1981 to 1984. Nebraska's 47-game home winning streak ended Oct. 31, 1998, with a 20-16 loss to Texas. That streak was the nation's longest and ranked fifth all time. 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 81-5 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 (188 games). NU has posted 37 unbeaten and untied home seasons.

The 227-Game Consecutive Sellout Streak
Nebraska's Memorial Stadium boasts an NCAA-record 227 consecutive sellouts, dating back to Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney's first year in 1962 (vs. Missouri on Nov. 3). NU is 201-26 during the 227 sellouts (50-9 under Devaney, 145-16 under Osborne, 6-1 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 293
Ranked sixth in the 1999 preseason top 25 AP Poll ranking, and fifth after the first weekend of action, Nebraska extended its AP Poll record to 293 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 98 of the 104 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 five of the past six 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 467 of the last 470 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 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 216 games to unranked opponents since 1973 (6-1 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 26 years, Nebraska has gone 201-13-2 (.935, 216 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 40-12-1 on the road for a .764 winning percentage, behind Florida State’s 48-12-0 (.800). Not counting neutral site games, the Huskers are tops in the ‘90s with a 32-7-1 record (.813), which includes a win and a loss to Miami in Orange Bowl games. Nebraska is 27-6 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 1998, NU averaged 31.9 to rank third in the Big 12 and 23rd in the nation. NU has scored at least 35 points in 45 of the last 59 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 213 consecutive games when scoring 35 or more points and is 277-1 all time when scoring 35 or more points, losing only to Oklahoma, 49-35, in 1950. Before the ASU shutout in 1996, NU had scored in 50 straight games since a 22-0 loss to Miami in the 1992 Orange Bowl. NU’s current streak is 36 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.

It's a Rush
NU is 168-5 in the last 26 years when rushing for 300 or more yards in a game (since 1973) and has won 90 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 3-0 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 466 yards in the 41-0 shutout vs. Kansas last season. 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 Huskers held five of its 13 opponents last season to less than 10 points, including a shutout (41-0) of Kansas. Only five teams scored 20 or more vs. NU in 1998, with Kansas State scoring a season-best 40. When Nebraska holds its opponents to 10 or less points, the Huskers have posted 87 straight wins (since losing 10-7 to Iowa in 1981 season opener). In fact, NU is 195-5-1 since 1962 (Devaney’s first year) when holding opponents to 10 or less points (5-0 under Solich). Nebraska has recorded 59 shutouts since 1962 (four in season openers, last three consecutive Homecomings), most recently Kansas in 1998 (one under Solich). Offensively, the Huskers have been shut out just five times since 1962 (once at home, 12-0 to KSU in 1968). The last time NU was shut out was at Arizona State (19-0) in 1996. The 1998 Huskers ranked 11th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 15.4 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. NU had 18 Huskers qualify academically (3.2 or better cumulative GPA) and athletically (starter or important reserve) and saw five named to the All-District VII team including Kelsay, Makovicka, Lafleur, Shaw and offensive lineman Ben Gessford. 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. For a complete listing of the academic All-Big 12 team, please see page 101 of the 1999 football guide. 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
















Iowa State



















Husker Grads
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.

Husker Snippets...
• Five Individuals Among 100 Honored by Lindy’s as “Most Important People of the Century”...NU was represented by Coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne; players Johnny Rodgers and Dave Rimington and Strength and Conditioning Coach Boyd Epley. Epley was the only strength coach and was listed among 10 innovators who have had an impact on the sport during its history.

• Osborne Enshrined into College Hall of Fame...After being inducted into the College Hall of Fame on Dec. 8, 1998, Coach Tom Osborne was enshrined in the Hall in South Bend on Aug. 13, 1999. Coach Osborne and former Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson are the only two coaches who were inducted into the Hall of Fame immediately after retiring without having to wait the prerequisite three years. Coach Osborne is the only Division I college coach to retire as reigning national champion, leading his final 1997 team to a perfect 13-0 record and the Sears’/coaches national championship trophy.

• 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. Two are possible starters in 1999, including Sam linebacker Brian Shaw, who started four games in 1998 and is listed even with Tony Ortiz for 1999, 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...Ten Huskers who hail from Nebraska are in position to be starters in 1999, including SE Matt Davison (Tecumseh), LT Adam Julch (Omaha), RG Russ Hochstein (Hartington), QB Eric Crouch (Omaha), FB Willie Miller, (Omaha), RT Dave Volk (Battle Creek) and either Sean Applegate (Lincoln) or John Gibson (Papillion) or Frankie London (not a Nebraska native) at wingback. 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 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); Mike (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); junior QB Jay Runty (father Steve played in 1972-73); 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 Nebraska in 1998, including defensive tackles Jason Lohr and Jeremy Slechta and cornerback Keyuo Craver. Craver had 25 tackles, three PBU and recorded his first interception vs. Kansas State, while Lohr had seven tackles and Slechta had nine tackles, 3-11 TFL, two breakups, was in on two sacks and had one quarterback hurry. Several Husker true freshmen could see action in 1999.

• Non-Redshirts...In addition to Craver, Slechta and Lohr, several other Huskers did not redshirt and played their first year including 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.

• When Nebraska Trails...The bowl game vs. Arizona 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 Huskers were 3-4 in games in which they trailed in 1998. 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 nine.

• 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 1998, NU ranked 11th in scoring defense (15.3 ppg), 16th against the rush (116.8 ypg), No. 22 in total defense (313.7 ypg) and 34th in pass efficiency defense (111.6).

• Orange Bowl Record...Head Coach Frank Solich holds the Orange Bowl record for most return yards in a game, with 130 in 1966. Solich became Nebraska's 26th head coach after the 1998 Orange Bowl. Solich was a member of Bob Devaney's first recruiting class in 1962 and was the first Husker to rush for more than 200 yards (204 vs. Air Force, 1965).

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

• Husker Starting Experience...In 1999, 12 Huskers on offense and 10 on defense return with at least some starting experience. On offense, returnees total 67 career starts while on defense, returnees total 160 starts (42 more than 1998). The defense has 10 Huskers who totaled 94 starts in 1998, an average of 9.4 starts per player. Of all the Huskers with at least one start, three on the offense hail from the state of Nebraska and three on defense are native Nebraskans (six total). Ralph Brown leads all Huskers with 39 consecutive starts, starting every game since he arrived on campus. He is on school-record pace, as Nebraska had never played 13 games in three consecutive seasons before 1996-97-98.