Game #2
The Matchup:
No. 5/6 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) vs. California (1-0)

Game Date:
Saturday, Sept. 11, 1999

Kickoff Time:
2:34 p.m.

Site:
Lincoln, Neb.

Stadium/Capacity:
Memorial Stadium (74,056),

Surface:
FieldTurf

Field:
Tom Osborne Field; 228th Consecutive Sellout

The Coaches:
NU–Frank Solich (Nebraska, ‘66), 10-4, 2nd year career/at Nebraska;
Cal–Tom Holmoe (BYU, ‘83), 9-14, third year career/at Cal

TV:
ABC Regional (PBP–Keith Jackson, Color–Bob Griese, SL–Todd Harris)

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

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

No. 5/6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) to Host California (1-0)
The No. 5/6 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska Huskers are 1-0 on the season and will host the California (Berkeley) Bears on Saturday, Sept. 11. It will be dedication day at the stadium, as the old press box was removed after the last home game in 1998 and a new $36.1 million, six-story facility was just completed. The Huskers opened the 1999 season on the road and dominated the Iowa Hawkeyes, winning 42-7. Except for a returned blocked punt with three minutes remaining, the Husker Blackshirts had a shutout in the works. California also won its first game, defeating Rutgers, 21-7, in Berkeley. 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, has won 13 straight home openers, and defeated Louisiana Tech in 1998, 56-27, in its season opener. This is game two of a home and home series with Cal. The Huskers won last year in Berkeley, 24-3.

For the second consecutive week, the Huskers’ game will be televised regionally on ABC. This week, Nebraska is fortunate to have Keith Jackson calling the play-by-play and Bob Griese providing color. Todd Harris will contribute sideline reports. 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. As approved by the board of regents, the University of Nebraska will name and dedicate Level 6 of the press box after Bryant. It will be officially christened The Don Bryant Media Facility during halftime ceremonies. Bryant was Nebraska’s second sports information director serving in that role for 31 years. He was also an assistant/associate A.D. and has worked for the athletic department for 36 years.

A Challenging 1999 Schedule
The 1999 Husker schedule 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). Nebraska has two home games the next two weeks hosting non-conference opponents California and Southern Mississippi. NU 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 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 on Dec. 4.

Head Coach Frank Solich
Coach Frank Solich (Nebraska, 1966) is 10-4 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 10-4 at the helm of the Huskers (6-1 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); 8-1 vs. unranked teams (4-1 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, 4-0 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 1-0 vs. Cal (NU won 24-3 last year) and 2-1 vs. the Pac 10.

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 200 writers can be accommodated in the media facility. The stadium will be officially dedicated in pregame ceremonies this week. The media level (floor six), will be officially named and dedicated The Don Bryant Media Facility during halftime festivities, while 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.

 

Last Week: 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.

* Bobby Newcombe started at quarterback for first time since the Missouri game in 1998 (Oct. 24). Newcombe rushed 15 times for 35 yards, including two TDs–on a 1-yard quarterback sneak and on a 5-yard TD run in the third and fourth quarter, respectively; and completed 7 of 10 pass attempts for 128 yards. Newcombe found split end Sean Applegate on a 47-yard TD pass which put NU up 14-0 to open third quarter action. He threw one interception, but led the Huskers to scores on each of the first three drives of the second half.

* Quarterback Eric Crouch saw action in both halves behind Newcombe. Crouch led Nebraska to its first score with 7:54 remaining in the second quarter when he faked a pitch to I-back Dan Alexander, then ran it in for 28 yards. On that four-play drive, Alexander had two carries for 17 yards, while Crouch had two carries for 30 yards. With Crouch’s TD, Nebraska took a 7-0 lead into the lockerroom at hafltime. In the game, Crouch carried five times for 92 yards, including three TDs–the 28-yard run; a 6-yard TD run to give NU a 35-0 edge; and a 21-yard TD run to put NU up 42-0 with 5:14 remaining. On that run, Crouch flattened Iowa cornerback Mikkel Brown at about the 7-yard line. Crouch was on the field the same time as Newcombe on two plays as a wideout, the second time I-back DeAngelo Evans gained 22 yards on a fake reverse. Crouch also completed 3 of 5 passes for 68 yards. He was the ABC/Chevrolet player of the game and $1,000 will be donated in his name to the NU’s general scholarship fund.

* In his first start since the Texas A&M game in 1998 (Oct. 10), I-back DeAngelo Evans surpassed the 1,000 yard mark in his career, becoming the 48th Husker to do so. With 13 carries for 69 yards against Iowa, Evans now has 199 carries for 1,063 yards and 18 TDs in his career to rank 44th on the Husker career rushing chart. Evans gained 22 yards on a fake reverse to get NU to the 1-yard line on NU’s second drive of the third quarter. Newcombe scored one play later. On that play, Evans suffered a slight shoulder stinger. It is not serious, but he did not return to action after NU took a 21-0 lead on that drive.

* Split end Matt Davison earned Nebraska’s nomination for Big 12 offensive player of the game after catching four passes for a game-high 69 yards. He extended his streak of games in which he has caught at least one pass to 18 and now has 47 catches for 695 yards to rank in a tie for 19th on the Husker career receptions chart. Three of his four receptions went for first downs. Only nine former Huskers have 1,000 career receiving yards. Davison, a junior, needs just 14 more catches to move into the top 10 and 36 to take over second. The NU career record is held by 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers (143 catches, 2,479 yards, 26 TDs).

* I-back Dan Alexander showed he has successfully recovered from LCL knee surgery last November. He rushed 15 times for 95 yards vs. Iowa, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. On NU’s first score with 7:54 remaining, Alexander carried for 12 yards and five yards, then blocked when Crouch carried for two yards and scored on a 28-yard run.

* Special Teams Make a Difference...In the first punts of his career, senior walk-on Dan Hadenfeldt (Des Moines, Iowa native) punted 33 yards to the Iowa 3 (downed by Randy Stella); 54 yards to Iowa 4 (tackle by DeJuan Groce); 45 yards (1 yard return to the 20); but was blocked on his last attempt (by Doug Miller (Tim Dodge returned for Iowa’s only TD). Although he is a senior, this was the first time Hadenfeldt has punted in a game. All three of his kickoffs were touchbacks into the end zone. Redshirt freshman Josh Brown saw action for the first time, kicking all six PATs. Junior Chace Long also saw action kicking off for NU in the second half. Virtually everyone on special teams who touched the ball was handling their assigned responsibility for the first time. On punt returns, sophomore Keyuo Craver returned five punts for 63 yards with a long of 18. Senior Larry Henderson had one kickoff return for 20 yards and freshman Randy Stella had a 29-yard kickoff return to open the game. Stella also downed the first of Hadenfeldt’s punts at the Iowa 3 and was the first man down on his second punt trapping the return man inside the five. Freshman DeJuan Groce made the tackle on that play pinning Iowa on its own 4-yard line.

* True Frosh Who Played...Three true freshmen saw action vs. Iowa including snapper John Garrison, free safety Taylor Gehman, and left guard Toniu Fonoti. This isn’t necessarily the final list however as several others could still play. Nine true freshmen made the trip including CB Rob Blomeier, DT Ryon Bingham, QB Jammal Lord, FB Judd Davies and walk-ons CB Pat Ricketts and IB Chris Butler. Wingback Josh Davis did not make the trip to Iowa, but is expected to play against Cal.

* Other Firsts...Split end Sean Applegate put the Huskers up 14-0 as he recorded his second career reception and first TD on a 47-yard TD pass from Bobby Newcombe. It was his first reception since Aug. 30, 1997 and the longest of his career (previous was 9 yards vs. Akron). Tight end T.J. DeBates caught a career-long 18-yard reception. TE Tracey Wistrom had two catches for 32 yards. Tight ends Jake McKee (six yards) and Aaron Golliday (24 yards) each made their first career receptions. In all, tight ends madefive of the 10 receptions for a total of 80 yards.

* Husker Blackshirts Dominate...The Huskers pressured Iowa QBs all day and forced the Hawkeyes to punt the same number of times as they completed passes (11). Kyle McCann completed 11-27 passes for 112 yards. He was sacked three times and threw one interception. Scott Mullen was 0 for 3 as his late replacement. The Huskers had 17 quarterback hurries on the day and forced three and out situations on Iowa’s first five drives and nine times in the game.

* Individually On Defense...Thorpe Award candidate Mike Brown continued his team-tackle-leading ways with eight stops (five solo) in three quarters of action and for his efforts was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. Brown ranks 22nd on the NU career tackle list. Preseason All-American and Thorpe Award candidate right cornerback Ralph Brown had an easy day as Iowa went after first-time starting left cornerback, sophomore Keyuo Craver. Brown did have one tackle and extended his career-leading PBU total to 36. Craver had two tackles and a breakup and combined with his punt returns (5-63), Craver was Nebraska’s nominee for Big 12 specialty teams player of the week. Sacks were recorded by DT Loran Kaiser (1-5); NT Steve Warren (1-9); and LB Carlos Polk (1-8); Iowa native RE Kyle Vanden Bosch (Larchwood) recovered a fumble, had two QB hurries and a tackle for loss; RE Aaron Wills caused a fumble and had a tackle for loss; LB Julius Jackson caused a fumble (which Vanden Bosch recovered) that led to Newcombe’s 1-yard TD run in the third and intercepted a pass early in the fourth quarter which DT Jeremy Slechta batted up in the air. It was Jackson’s second career interception. NT Jason Lohr had three hurries and a tackle for loss; RE Chris Kelsay also had three hurries.

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.

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, but returned to practice on Aug. 30 and is upgraded to probable. 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.

This fall, the Huskers lost two offensive linemen to season-ending knee injuries, 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. There were no new injuries in the Iowa game. Rover Mike Demps was also lost for the season with an ACL injury.

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 from 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 535 career tackles in 107 starts and 165 games and has 69 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 40 straight games, right corner Ralph Brown owns the school records for pass breakups in a game (seven), season (14) and career (36). 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 22nd on the Husker all-time tackle chart with 199. Mike Brown led the team in tackles against Iowa with eight. Craver and Ralph Brown each had one breakup.

On ABC TV
The Huskers are 58-24 all time on ABC and have won 29 of their last 33 appearances on the network. Since Sept. 21, 1991, when NU lost 36-21 to Washington on ABC television, NU has posted a 29-4 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 Iowa in the 1999 season opener, 42-7.

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 one win behind Florida State, the leader of the decade. Nebraska boast a 97-15-1 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 70-7 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 70-7 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 366-73-5 record over the past 38 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 732-296-40 record in 1,068 games (.704). In the last 30 years, NU is tops, winning 298-55-5 for an .839 winning percentage (358 games), an average of nearly 10 wins per year. In terms of wins, the Huskers are third in NCAA Division I-A history with 732. 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 97-15-1 in the ‘90s (.863, second).

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). This week’s game against Cal is soldout and marks the 228th consecutive sellout. 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 294
Ranked sixth in the 1999 preseason top 25 AP Poll ranking, and fifth after the first two weeks of action, Nebraska extended its AP Poll record to 294 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 99 of the 105 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 468 of the last 471 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 217 games to unranked opponents since 1973 (7-1 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 202-13-2 (.936, 217 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 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 46 of the last 60 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 214 consecutive games when scoring 35 or more points and is 278-1 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 of games in which it has scored is 37 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. In 1999, NU began the season scoring 42 points against Iowa.

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. 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 Iowa’s offense scoreless, but special teams gave up seven points on a blocked punt in the ‘99 season opener. The 1998 Huskers held five of its 13 opponents to less than 10 points, including a shutout (41-0) of Kansas. When Nebraska holds its opponents to 10 or less points, the Huskers have posted 88 straight wins (since losing 10-7 to Iowa in 1981 season opener). In fact, NU is 196-5-1 since 1962 (Devaney’s first year) when holding opponents to 10 or less points (6-0 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.

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 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. 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 against Iowa, 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); 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); 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 the Iowa game 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.
  • 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). In 1999, with just one game and no new rankings as of this writing, the Huskers have allowed 112 yards passing, 26 yards rushing, 169 total, and seven points.
  • 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). Solich owns the distinction of being the first Husker to rush for 200 yards in a game, and is the only Husker fullback to reach the 200 mark when he rushed for 204 vs. Air Force in 1965 (17 attempts).
  • 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. 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). Ralph Brown leads all Huskers with 40 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