1920 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

The 1920 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was an American football team that represented the University of Nebraska as an independent during the 1920 college football season. In its second and final season under head coach Henry Schulte, the team compiled a 5–3–1 record and outscored opponents by a total of 151 to 84.[1] The team played its home games at Nebraska Field in Lincoln, Nebraska.

1920 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
1920 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.jpg
1920 record5–3–1
Head coachHenry Schulte (2nd season)
Home stadiumNebraska Field
← 1919
1921 →

Before the seasonEdit

Looking for stability after a rough couple of years prior, Nebraska had some vacancies to fill with the departure of several seniors to graduation over the summer. The season was easier than the unusually demanding slate of 1919, but contests with powerhouses Notre Dame and Penn State, and against high-profile Rutgers in New York, loomed ahead.[2]


October 22:30 p.m.WashburnW 14–0
October 92:30 p.m.Colorado Agricultural
  • Nebraska Field
  • Lincoln, NE
W 7–4
October 162:30 p.m.Notre Dame 
  • Nebraska Field
  • Lincoln, NE
L 7–1610,000
October 232:30 p.m.South Dakota
  • Nebraska Field
  • Lincoln, NE
W 20–0
November 21:30 p.m.at RutgersW 28–015,000
November 61:30 p.m.at Penn StateL 0–209,000
November 132:30 p.m.at KansasT 20–20
November 202:30 p.m.Michigan Agricultural
  • Nebraska Field
  • Lincoln, NE
W 35–7[3]
November 252:30 p.m.Washington State
  • Nebraska Field
  • Lincoln, NE
L 20–21
  •  Homecoming



Bassett, Henry (So.) T
Dale, Fred FB
Dana, Herbert (Jr.) E
Day, William (Sr.) C
Hartley, Harold (So.) FB
Henry, Stanley HB
Howarth, Harry (Jr.) QB
Hoy, George (So.) HB
Kellogg, Sam T
Moore, Vern (So.) H
Munn, Monte (Jr.) G
Munn, Wade (Jr.) G
Newman, Richard (Jr.) Q
Pucelik, John (Jr.) G
Russell, Robert QB


Schellenberg, Elmer HB
Scherer, Leo (So.) E
Schissler PLAYER
Schoeppel, Andrew (Jr.) E
Schulte PLAYER
Swanson, Clarence (Jr.) E
Thomsen, Fred (So.) E
Tripplett, Richard (So.) E
Weller, Raymond (So.) T
Wenke, Adolph (So.) G
Wilder, Harold T
Wright, Floyd (Jr.) HB
Young, Farley (Sr.) G

Coaching staffEdit

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Henry Schulte Head Coach 1919 1919–1924, 1931–1937 Michigan
Jack Best Trainer 1890 1890–1922
Paul Schissler Assistant Coach 1918 1918–1920


Game summariesEdit


Washburn at Nebraska
1 2Total
Washburn 0
Nebraska 14

The Cornhuskers tuned up on Washburn to open the season, only scoring 14 points in the process but still getting the season underway with a win. The margin of victory would probably have been greater if coach Schulte had not rested most of the starters while looking ahead at the Notre Dame game two weeks away. This was the last game between Nebraska and Washburn, the final record in the series all Nebraska wins at 4-0. [2][7][8]

Colorado AgEdit

Colorado Ag at Nebraska
1 2Total
Colorado Ag 4
Nebraska 7
  • Date: 1920-10-09
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

The first game between Nebraska and the Agricultural College of Colorado was not as easy a task as might have been expected, with starters again held back to stay healthy for Notre Dame in a week. The Aggies made quite a game of it, preventing the Cornhuskers from producing much on the scoreboard. Nebraska barely escaped with a 3-point win to go 1-0 in the series. [2][7][8]

Notre DameEdit

Notre Dame at Nebraska
1 234Total
Notre Dame 2 707 16
Nebraska 7 000 7
  • Date: October 16
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 10,000

Notre Dame arrived in Lincoln for the sixth meeting of these teams, with the series tied at 2-2-1. Knute Rockne's team that year included quarterback Joe Brandy and the legendary George Gipp (of "Win one for the Gipper" fame), and Nebraska clearly had their work cut out for them. While the Cornhuskers did not score first, they led by the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately, that was the end of Nebraska scoring, as Rockne modified his game plan to prevent Nebraska from scoring by controlling the time of possession with low-risk, low-gain plays that chewed up the clock while still managing to get ahead mainly due to the efforts of Gipp. Gipp at one point even defied Rockne's directives to play conservatively, and continued to try to score, managing in the process to score another touchdown and contribute 218 personal rushing yards to the team's net of only 174.

South DakotaEdit

South Dakota at Nebraska
1 2Total
South Dakota 0
Nebraska 20
  • Date: 1920-10-23
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska rebounded from the disappointing loss to Notre Dame by blanking South Dakota in Lincoln, the team's sixth-straight home game victory stretching back into 1919. The Cornhuskers improved in the series to 6-1-2. [2][7]


Nebraska vs. Rutgers
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 14014 28
Rutgers 0 000 0

The Cornhuskers outclassed and dominated the Scarlet Knights in the only game ever played between these teams. This was Nebraska's farthest trip eastward to date, and the large New York City crowd presented a rare opportunity to shine in a locale unaccustomed to Nebraska football. Rutgers went on to finish the season just 2-7, thus the high-profile game ended up being less about a contest between strong teams, instead ultimately mainly providing more exposure for Nebraska in the east.

Penn StateEdit

Nebraska at Penn State
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 000 0
Penn State 0 7013 20

Nebraska was entirely shut down by the Nittany Lions, though the Cornhuskers held Penn State to a single touchdown and stayed in the game until the 4th quarter. It would be nearly 30 years before these teams would cross paths again, leaving Nebraska 0-1 in the series for a very long time. Penn State's Percy W. Griffiths, Charley Way and Glenn Killinger, coached by Hugo Bezdek, went on to finish their season unbeaten.


Nebraska at Kansas
1 2Total
Nebraska 20
Kansas 20

Nebraska ran ahead to a 20-0 lead by halftime in their drive to avenge the bitter loss to Penn State, and the game seemed to be decided early. However, Kansas stormed right back and matched the 20 in the second half, with the help of at least one controversial call in their favor. Ultimately the contest ended in a draw, with Nebraska still firmly in charge of the series at 17-9-1. [2][7][9]


MAC at Nebraska
1 2Total
Nebraska 35
  • Date: 1920-11-20
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Returning home after three straight games on the road, the Cornhuskers had little difficulty with the Aggies, dispatching them 35-7 despite the high regard held for the Michigan Ag squad before the game. This was only the second time these teams had met to date, with the last game from 1914 also a Nebraska win. [7][9]

Washington StateEdit

Washington State at Nebraska
1 2Total
Washington State 21
Nebraska 20
  • Date: 1920-11-25
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

In the first meeting between these teams, the Cougars of State College in Washington made the long journey to Lincoln. It was a season to end in disappointment for the Cornhuskers, as Nebraska failed to hold on to a 20-0 halftime lead, scoring no additional points afterward, and then ultimately losing the game by just 1 point. [7][9]

After the seasonEdit

Coach Schulte departed soon after the conclusion of the season, leaving the Cornhuskers looking for their fourth head coach in just six years. Schulte's career record with Nebraska ended at 8-6-3 (.559), the third lowest in program history up to that point, for coaches on at least a full year or more. Nebraska's overall record fell to 174-60-15 (.729). Nebraska subsequently rejoined the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association for the upcoming 1921 season, ending two years of playing as an independent.


  1. ^ "1920 Nebraska Cornhuskers Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "1921 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 229)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  3. ^ "Aggies Trounced By Husker Attack". The Nebraska State Journal. November 21, 1920. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Football - 1920 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  5. ^ "Nebraska Football 1920 Roster". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  6. ^ "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "the 1920s". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  8. ^ a b "1920: Notre Dame Stalls Their Way To 16-7 Win". Husker Press Box. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  9. ^ a b c "1921 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 231)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-03.