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1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

The 1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska in the 1968 NCAA University Division football season. The team was coached by Bob Devaney and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
1968 record6–4 (3–4 Big 8)
Head coachBob Devaney (7th season)
Defensive coordinatorGeorge Kelly
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
Seasons
← 1967
1969 →
1968 Big 8 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 7 Kansas + 6 1 0     9 2 0
No. 11 Oklahoma + 6 1 0     7 4 0
No. 9 Missouri 5 2 0     8 3 0
Nebraska 3 4 0     6 4 0
Colorado 3 4 0     4 6 0
Kansas State 2 5 0     4 6 0
Oklahoma State 2 5 0     3 7 0
Iowa State 1 6 0     3 7 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The Huskers were 6–4, but had a losing record in conference at 3–4. They lost three Big 8 games at home and were shut out 47–0 at Oklahoma in the season finale. Nebraska did not play in a bowl game for the second consecutive year; the next season without a bowl was 36 years later in 2004. The home shut out against Kansas State was the last time they have been shut out at home as of 2017 season.

Following 1968, Tom Osborne was promoted to offensive coordinator and installed the I formation offense. This led to a 9–2 record in 1969 and consecutive undefeated national championship seasons in 1970 and 1971.

ScheduleEdit

[1]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 142:00 PMWyoming*No. 14W 13-1066,922
September 212:00 PMUtah*No. 14
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 31-066,198
September 281:30 PMat No. 17 Minnesota*No. 9W 17-1453,362
October 122:00 PMNo. 6 KansasNo. 9
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
L 13-2368,128
October 192:00 PMNo. 20 MissouriNo. 13
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
L 14-1666,818
October 261:30 PMat Oklahoma StateW 21-2035,000
November 22:00 PMat Iowa StateW 24-1330,463
November 92:00 PMKansas State 
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
L 0-1267,466
November 162:30 PMat ColoradoW 22-648,327
November 232:05 PMat No. 14 OklahomaABCL 0-4746,011
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

RosterEdit

[2]

Ahlmann, Harold #21 (So.) LB
Anderson, Jim #18 (So.) RCB
Armstrong, Joe #65 (Sr.) RG
Ashman, Carl #53 (Jr.) C
Avolio, Frank #40 (Jr.) DE
Beland, Ben #61 (So.) RG
Best, Bob #27 (Sr.) S
Bomberger, Bill #46 (Jr.) HB
Boyd, David #17 (So.) QB
Brichacek, Mel #69 (Sr.) LG
Brown, Bill #44 (So.) FB
Buda, Joe #52 (Jr.) C
Burdic, Mike #51 (So.) DT
Chandler, George #7 (So.) LB
Coppa, Rich #54 (So.) C
Davis, Dick #45 (Sr.) FB
Decker, John #1 (So.) S
Delaney, Dan #67 (Sr.) LG
DeOrio, Lonnie #78 (So.) DT
Drakulich, Ron #41 (Jr.) DT
Dvorsak, Tony #11 (So.) QB
Fiala, Adrian #32 (Jr.) LB
Ford, Dennis #66 (So.) RG
Frost, Larry #28 (Jr.) HB
Galbraith, Denis #63 (Jr.) MG
Geddes, Ken #37 (Jr.) LB
Green, Mike #34 (Jr.) HB
Grenfell, Bob #59 (So.) RT
Gutzman, Dennis #89 (So.) DE
Hacias, Greg #13 (So.) QB
Hansen, Ed #74 (Sr.) RT
Hardt, Bob #91 (So.) DE
Hartman, Dan #39 (Jr.) LB

 

Haskell, Charles #93 (So.) DE
Hawkins, James #26 (Sr.) RCB
Haynes, Ervin #9 (So.) LB
Heller, Tom #4 (So.) RCB
Hollstein, Gary #5 (So.) S
Hopkins, John #95 (So.) DT
Hornbacher, Bill #55 (Jr.) MG
Ingles, Guy #88 (So.) SE
Jansen, Jim #35 (Jr.) S
Jarmon, Sherwin #81 (Jr.) DE
Jennings, Henry #6 (So.) LCB
Kimmel, Miles #84 (Sr.) TE
Kobza, Dan #49 (Jr.) MG
Kontos, Ken #98 (So.) LB
Kusserow, Ken #73 (Jr.) DT
Lahey, Pat #47 (So.) DT
Larson, Al #20 (Jr.) LCB
Liggett, Bob #71 (Jr.) DT
Linstroth, Tom #62 (Sr.) DT
Logan, Bob #96 (So.) TE
Lowe, Rex #83 (So.) SE
Malone, Dan #79 (So.) DT
Mawhinney, Bob #50 (So.) C
McClelland, Tom #16 (So.) S
McFarland, Jim #80 (Jr.) TE
McGhee, Donnie #70 (So.) LT
Miller, Jim #92 (So.) DE
Minor, Mike #48 (Jr.) LB
Minor, Wilfred #14 (So.) LCB
Montgomery, Al #8 (So.) HB
Morock, David #43 (So.) LCB
Murtaugh, Jerry #42 (So.) LB
Newton, Clint #82 (So.) SE

 

Orduna, Joe #31 (Jr.) HB
Patrick, Frank #10 (Jr.) QB
Patterson, Glenn #72 (Jr.) LT
Penney, Tom #85 (Sr.) SE
Periard, Ed #56 (So.) MG
Quinten, Karl #38 (Jr.) DE
Reeves, Randy #25 (Jr.) S
Rogers, Paul #30 (So.) HB
Sanders, Frank #2 (So.) RCB
Schenk, George #64 (So.) LT
Schneiss, Dan #22 (So.) FB
Sigler, Ernie #12 (Sr.) QB
Smith, Jim #23 (So.) HB
Stephenson, Dana #36 (Jr.) S
Stigge, Russ #57 (Jr.) RG
Terwilliger, Marlin #3 (So.) S
Tollefsen, Tay #86 (So.) TE
Topliff, Paul #87 (Jr.) TE
Vactor, Frank #19 (So.) HB
Vassar, Phil #33 (So.) FB
Volberding, Ron #97 (So.) RG
Walline, Dave #76 (So.) DT
Weber, Bruce #58 (So.) LG
Wenner, Rick #15 (So.) QB
Williams, Gale #77 (Jr.) RT
Winter, Wally #75 (So.) LT
Wittler, Don #94 (So.) RT
Wynn, Mike #90 (Jr.) DE
Yannon, Buster #24 (Jr.) FB
Young, Lynn #68 (Jr.) LG
Ziegler, Mick #29 (Sr.) HB

Coaching staffEdit

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Bob Devaney Head Coach 1962 1962–72 Alma
Tom Osborne Offensive assistant 1964–97 Hastings
George Kelly Defensive Coordinator 1960 1960–68 Notre Dame
Cletus Fischer Offensive Line 1960–85 Nebraska
Carl Selmer Offensive Line 1962–72
Jim Ross 1962–76
John Melton Tight Ends, Wingbacks 1973 1962–88 Wyoming
Mike Corgan Running Backs 1962 1962–82 Notre Dame
Monte Kiffin 1967–76 Nebraska

Game summariesEdit

WyomingEdit

Wyoming at #14 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Wyoming 10 000 10
#14 Nebraska 3 0010 13

At the end of the 1st quarter, Nebraska was trailing 3-10, and struggled to catch up for much of the game. Finally, five minutes into the 4th quarter, with the assistance of the Blackshirts who had held off any further scores from the Cowboys, the Cornhuskers managed to get another touchdown to tie the game. Then, as time was running out and the Nebraska offensive effort was stalling, Nebraska PK Paul Rogers launched a 51-yard field goal through the uprights and into the stands for the win, leading to an exuberant mob of fans rushing the field in celebration.

UtahEdit

Utah at #14 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Utah 0 000 0
#14 Nebraska 17 707 31

The Cornhuskers tallied 518 yards of total offense while holding the Utes to just 138, 46 of which were on the ground, and had little trouble with Utah, holding them scoreless in Memorial Stadium.

MinnesotaEdit

#9 Nebraska at #17 Minnesota [box score]
1 234Total
#9 Nebraska 0 7010 17
#17 Minnesota 7 700 14

It seemed like a repeat of the first game of the year, as once again Nebraska started out behind and wasn't able to catch up again until the 4th quarter, and once again Nebraska PK Paul Rogers booted the game-winning field goal at the end of the 4th quarter with just 1:32 remaining on the clock to secure the win against national co-champion Minnesota.

KansasEdit

#6 Kansas at #9 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
#6 Kansas 0 0914 23
#9 Nebraska 0 607 13

The highly regarded Kansas Jayhawks had been averaging 51 points per game, yet the Blackshirts managed to bottle them up to just 23 points, though Nebraska's 13 points were not enough to get the conference-opening win. Kansas managed to escape Lincoln with a victory only by scrambling to put up two touchdowns in the final 4 minutes.

MissouriEdit

#20 Missouri at #13 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
#20 Missouri 6 1000 16
#13 Nebraska 7 070 14

Nebraska was severely hampered by a day of mistakes, losing four fumbles, an interception, and suffering two punt receptions muffed and recovered by Missouri. Despite the tall odds presented by these burdens, the Cornhuskers dropped the game to the Tigers by only 2 points.

Oklahoma StateEdit

Nebraska at Oklahoma State [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 0714 21
Oklahoma State 0 0146 20

The first half was scoreless as both teams struggled unsuccessfully for an edge, but Oklahoma State found a way through and scored the first 14 in the 3rd. Nebraska fought back, and once again Cornhusker PK Paul Rogers scored the game-winner off his foot with PAT in the final minute to put Nebraska ahead by 1.

Iowa StateEdit

Nebraska at Iowa State [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 7 1403 24
Iowa State 0 706 13
  • Date: 1968-11-02
  • Location: Clyde Williams Field, Ames, Iowa
  • Game attendance: 29,000

Iowa State helped to spot Nebraska with an early 14-0 lead by losing an early fumble and never recovered from the setback. The Cyclones made a feeble late attempt, coming within 8 points before the Cornhuskers put up another field goal to finish them off.

Kansas StateEdit

Kansas State at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Kansas State 6 006 12
Nebraska 0 000 0

Nebraska was stunned at home, at their homecoming game, when Kansas State held the Cornhuskers to just 146 total yards, 78 on the ground, and slapped Nebraska with only their second shutout under Head Coach Bob Devaney.

ColoradoEdit

Nebraska at Colorado [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 12 370 22
Colorado 0 060 6

Nebraska flashed with some vengeance in response to the previous week's shutout, running out ahead of Colorado in Boulder 22-0 with help from a 62-yard punt return touchdown, finally letting the Buffaloes on the board with just 2 minutes remaining to play.

OklahomaEdit

Nebraska at #14 Oklahoma [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 000 0
#14 Oklahoma 7 21019 47

Oklahoma denied Nebraska's bid for a post-season bowl game, as the Sooners scored five touchdowns to set a new Big 8 record and handed NU its worst defeat of the Devaney era with a painful 47-0 shutout in Norman.

RankingsEdit

Ranking Movement
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Final
AP 14 14 2 7 9 13 NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR
Coaches NR

AwardsEdit

[3]

Award Name(s)
All America
1st team
Joe Armstrong
All-America
honorable mention
Mel Brichacek, Ken Geddes,
Dana Stephenson
All-Big Eight
1st team
Joe Armstrong, Ken Geddes,
Dana Stephenson
All-Big Eight
2nd team
Bob Best, Joe Orduna
All-Big Eight
honorable mention
Bob Best, Mel Brichacek, Dick Davis,
Adrian Fiala, Ed Hansen, Jim Hawkins,
Al Larson, Bob Liggett, Jerry Murtaugh,
Tom Penney, Paul Rogers, Mike Wynn

1968 Team Players in the NFL (& AFL)Edit

The 1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers seniors selected in the 1969 Common Draft (NFL-AFL): [4]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
James Hawkins DB 7 177 Los Angeles Rams
Dick Davis RB 12 306 Cleveland Browns

The 1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers juniors selected in the following year's 1970 NFL Draft: [5]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Jim McFarland TE 7 164 St. Louis Cardinals
Ken Geddes LB 7 175 Detroit Lions
Dana Stephenson DB 8 183 Chicago Bears
Mike Wynn DE 8 206 Oakland Raiders
Frank Patrick QB 10 251 Green Bay Packers
Bob Liggett DT 15 390 Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Green RB 16 406 San Diego Chargers
Glenn Patterson C 17 439 Dallas Cowboys

The 1968 Nebraska Cornhuskers sophomores selected in the 1971 NFL Draft: [6]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Joe Orduna RB 2 49 San Francisco 49ers
Bob Newton T 3 71 Chicago Bears
Paul Rogers KDB 8 190 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dan Schneiss TE 11 261 Boston Patriots

Members of the 1968 Nebraska freshman team selected in the 1972 NFL Draft:[7]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Jerry Tagge QB 1 11 Green Bay Packers
Jeff Kinney RB 1 23 Kansas City Chiefs
Larry Jacobson DT 1 24 New York Giants
Carl Johnson T 5 112 New Orleans Saints
Van Brownson QB 8 204 Baltimore Colts
Keith Wortman G 10 242 Green Bay Packers

NFL and Pro PlayersEdit

The following 1968 Nebraska players joined a professional team as draftees or free agents.[8]

Name Team
Dick Davis Cleveland Browns
Ken Geddes Los Angeles Rams
Sherwin Jarmon Chicago Fire
Bob Liggett Kansas City Chiefs
Jim McFarland St. Louis Cardinals
Joe Orduna New York Giants
Frank Patrick Green Bay Packers
Frank Vactor Washington Redskins

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Football - 1968 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
  2. ^ Nebraska 1968 Roster
  3. ^ 1968 Husker Honors
  4. ^ Pro Football Reference.com – 1969 NFL Draft
  5. ^ Pro Football Reference.com – 1970 NFL Draft
  6. ^ Pro Football Reference.com – 1971 NFL Draft
  7. ^ Pro Football Reference.com – 1972 NFL Draft
  8. ^ "All Time NFL Huskers". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-16.