1979 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

The 1979 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

1979 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
CoachesNo. 7
APNo. 9
Record10–2 (6–1 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive schemeI formation
Defensive coordinatorLance Van Zandt (3rd season)
Base defense5–2
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
← 1978
1980 →
1979 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 3 Oklahoma $ 7 0 0 11 1 0
No. 9 Nebraska 6 1 0 10 2 0
Oklahoma State 5 2 0 7 4 0
Missouri 3 4 0 7 5 0
Colorado 2 5 0 3 8 0
Iowa State 2 5 0 3 8 0
Kansas 2 5 0 3 8 0
Kansas State 1 6 0 3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll


September 151:30 pmUtah State*No. 8W 35–1475,953
September 221:05 pmat Iowa*No. 7W 24–2160,005
September 2911:45 amNo. 18 Penn State*No. 6
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, NE
ABCW 42–1776,151
October 61:30 pmNew Mexico State*No. 5
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, NE
W 57–076,135
October 131:30 pmKansas No. 5
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, NE (rivalry)
W 42–076,011
October 201:30 pmat Oklahoma StateNo. 3W 36–051,000
October 271:30 pmColoradoNo. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, NE (rivalry)
W 38–1076,158
November 31:30 pmat MissouriNo. 2W 23–2074,575
November 101:30 pmat Kansas StateNo. 2W 21–1243,210
November 171:30 pmIowa StateNo. 3
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, NE
W 34–376,049
November 2411:30 amat No. 8 OklahomaNo. 3ABCL 14–1772,516
January 11:10 pmvs. No. 8 Houston*No. 7CBSL 14–1772,032
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time




Adams, Joe #64 (Jr.) OG
Baker, Kim #41 (Jr.) LB
Barnett, Bill #97 (Sr.) DT
Bates, Phil (So.) FB
Beach, Jim (So.) DB
Bergkamp, Tim #36 (Jr.) PK
Bess, Donnie (So.) DE
Bloom, Jeff #50 (Sr.) C
Boll, Peter (So.) OT
Branch, Anthony #4 (So.) WB
Brandl, Matt (So.) OG
Brown, Kenny #22 (Sr.) WB
Brown, Todd #29 (Fr.) SE
Bruce, Mike #76 (Jr.) OT
Bush, Anthony (So.) SE
Carlstrom, Tom #78 (So.) OG
Clark, David #63 (Jr.) DT
Cole, Lawrence #81 L. C. Cole(Sr.) DE
Conneally, Jerry (So.) LB
Damkroger, Steve #35 (Fr.) LB
Davies, Steve #82 (Jr.) TE
DeLoach, Trey #52 (Jr.) C
England, Gary #70 (Jr.) OT
Evans, Brent (So.) FB
Finn, Jeff #87 (Jr.) TE
Fischer, Dan #26 (So.) DB
Franklin, Andra #39 (Jr.) FB
Gary, Russell #9 (Jr.) DB
Gdowski, Tom (So.) DT
Gebert, Chris #14 (So.) QB
Gemar, Scott #1 (Jr.) PK
Gerlach, Dan (So.) DB
Glathar, Kurt (So.) OG
Goodspeed, Mark #72 (Sr.) OT
Hager, Tim #10 (Sr.) QB
Havekost, John #69 (Sr.) OG
Hedrick, Brian #43 (Jr.) DT
Hill, Dan (So.) TE
Hineline, Curt #59 (So.) MG
Hipp, I.M. #32 (Sr.) IB
Holbrook, Tim (So.) DB
Holmes, Daryl #94 (Jr.) DE


Horn, Rod #55 (Sr.) DT
Huebert, Randy (So.) WB
Hunt, Al #49 (So.) FB
Hurley, Dan #73 (So.) OT
Iodence, Brian (So.) DB
Johnson, Brad (So.) C
Johnson, Craig #30 (Jr.) IB
Keith, Percy #21 (Jr.) IB
Keuten, John #62 (Jr.) OG
Kirk, Donnie #13 (So.) PK
Knoll, Eric (So.) QB
Kotera, Jim #44 (Jr.) FB
Krejci, Jeff #2 (So.) DB
Kwapick, Jeff (So.) OT
Landwehr, Randy #27 (So.) IB
Larsen, Pat (So.) DB
Lee, Oudious #65 (Sr.) MG
LeRoy, Mark #23 (Sr.) DB
Letcher, Paul #8 (Sr.) DB
Lewis, Rodney #5 (So.) DB
Liegl, David #28 (Jr.) DB
Lindquist, Ric #15 (So.) DB
Lindstrom, Dan #98 (Jr.) DE
Lingenfelter, Bruce (So.) OT
Lynch, Greg (So.) OG
Mandelko, Mike #68 (So.) OG
Mathison, Bruce #19 (So.) QB
Mauer, Mark #17 (So.) QB
McCloney, Maurice #31 (So.) WB
McCrady, Tim #24 (Jr.) WB
McElroy, Mike (So.) C
McWhirter, Steve #45 (Fr.) LB
Means, Andy #34 (Jr.) DB
Michaelson, Steve #18 (So.) QB
Miles, Darwin #91 (So.) DE
Miller, Junior #89 (Sr.) TE
Minor, John #86 (Sr.) MG
Moravec, Mark (So.) FB
Nelson, Derrie #92 (Jr.) DE
Noonan, John (So.) SE
Nyden, Richard (Jr.) SE
Pensick, Dan #93 (Sr.) DT


Peterson, Dick #83 (So.) TE
Phillips, Patrick #94 (So.) DE
Poppe, Scott (So.) LB
Potadle, Paul #61 (Sr.) OG
Quinn, Jeff #11 (Jr.) QB
Rabas, Greg #85 (So.) TE
Redwine, Jarvis #12 (Jr.) IB
Reiners, Dan (So.) DE
Rice, Dan #74 (Sr.) C
Rimington, Dave #56 (Fr.) C
Roark, Larry (So.) DB
Ruud, John #46 (Sr.) LB
Saalfeld, Kelly #57 (Sr.) C
Santin, John (So.) DE
Schleusener, Randy #53 (Jr.) OG
Sculley, Mike (Jr.) MG
Searcey, L.G. #37 (So.) DB
Seibel, Kevin (Fr.) P/PK
Sims, Sammy #6 (So.) DB
Slobodnik, Tim (Fr.) DB
Smith, Tim #84 (Sr.) SE
Steels, Anthony #33 (So.) WB
Steiner, Dan #58 (Sr.) OT
Stocker, Kevin (Fr.) PK
Sukup, Dean #3 (Sr.) PK
Theiss, Randy (So.) OT
Theissen, Gordon #90 (Sr.) DE
Trent, Phil #16 (Fr.) DB
Vair, Duke (So.) IB
Van Lent, Bill (Fr.) DT
Van Norman, Kris #38 (So.) DB
Vergith, Tom (So.) WB
Vering, Tom #47 (Sr.) LB
Waechter, Henry #75 (So.) DT
Wallace, Walter (So.) IB
Wees, Dennis (So.) LB
Weinmaster, Kerry #51 (Sr.) MG
Williams, Jamie (Fr.) TE
Williams, Brent (Jr.) LB
Williams, Jimmy #96 (So.) DE
Woodard, Scott #88 (Jr.) SE
Wurth, Tim #25 (Sr.) FB


Depth chart


Coaching staff

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma mater
Tom Osborne Head coach
Offensive coordinator
1973 1964–1997 Hastings College
Lance Van Zandt Defensive coordinator
Defensive backs
1977 1977–1980 Lamar
Charlie McBride Defensive line 1977 1977–1999 Colorado
Cletus Fischer Offensive line 1960–1985 Nebraska
John Melton Linebackers 1973 1962–1988 Wyoming
Mike Corgan Running backs 1962 1962–1982 Notre Dame
Boyd Epley Head strength coach 1969 1969–2003 Nebraska
George Darlington Defensive ends 1973–2002 Rutgers
Milt Tenopir Offensive line 1974 1974–2002 Sterling
Gene Huey Receivers 1977 1977–1986 Wyoming
Frank Solich Head freshman coach 1979 1979–2003 Nebraska
Jack Pierce 1979–1991
Jake Cabell Freshman Defensive Coordinator 1979 1979 Nebraska
Pat Fischer 1979 1979 Nebraska

Game summaries


Utah State

Utah State at #8 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Utah State 6 800 14
#8 Nebraska 7 7714 35

Nebraska started out the 1979 season with less than convincing power, as relatively unheralded Utah State was still in the game as the teams entered intermission tied at 14. After adjustments were made, coaching and conditioning put the distance between the two teams as the Aggies failed to score again while the Cornhuskers added 21 with the help of 455 yards on the ground for the day.


#7 Nebraska at Iowa [box score]
1 234Total
#7 Nebraska 0 7710 24
Iowa 7 0140 21

For the second week in a row, an unranked team came out strong against Nebraska, as Iowa scored first and held Nebraska to the 7-7 tie at the half. The situation wasn't looking up for the Cornhuskers as Iowa moved ahead to 21-14 by the end of the 3rd, but finally the Blackshirts put the brakes on Iowa's offensive output and eventually forced a fumble as the 4th quarter wound down which Nebraska successfully converted into the winning field goal before the Cornhuskers escaped Iowa City with the win.

Penn State

#18 Penn State at #6 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
#18 Penn State 14 030 17
#6 Nebraska 0 28014 42

Nebraska continued their season trend of posting weak starts, as Penn State surged to a 14-point lead in the 1st quarter, but the Blackshirts seemed to figure out the Nittany Lions from that point forward, allowing only a 3rd-quarter field goal, while the Cornhusker offense came to life and put up 42 points to pass by Penn State and quell any hopes of an upset in Lincoln.

New Mexico State

New Mexico State at #5 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
New Mexico State 0 000 0
#5 Nebraska 21 10197 57

This game was all Nebraska, as IB Jarvis Redwine made his first start and racked up 120 yards in just 16 carries, leaving the game before halftime. Eighty four Cornhuskers saw playing time, including some true freshmen, as Nebraska coasted to an easy 57-0 pasting of the Aggies.


Kansas at #5 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Kansas 0 000 0
#5 Nebraska 0 15270 42

Nebraska again dominated, although the Kansas defense prevented three of four touchdown attempts in the first half and forced the Cornhuskers to settle for field goals instead. This was little help for the Jayhawks, however, who could not muster any kind of response to get onto the scoreboard. By the end of the game, Kansas had acquired only 8 first downs, 79 total yards, and suffered 3 interceptions as Nebraska's 611 offensive yards allowed them to steamroll to a 42-0 shutout victory.

Oklahoma State

#3 Nebraska at Oklahoma State [box score]
1 234Total
#3 Nebraska 0 15714 36
Oklahoma State 0 000 0

Nebraska settled into a remarkable groove, posting their 3rd straight shutout victory on the road in Stillwater. Two Nebraska runners exceeded 100 yards as the Cornhuskers rolled up 433 yards on the ground compared to only 37 by the Cowboys, who only crossed midfield twice.


Colorado at #2 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Colorado 3 700 10
#2 Nebraska 7 10147 38

Colorado's only touchdown came on an interception return, which left intact a record 19 straight quarters that the Blackshirts had prevented a touchdown, while IB Jarvis Redwine amassed over 200 yards and three touchdowns as the Cornhuskers defeated the Buffaloes for the 12th consecutive time.


#2 Nebraska at Missouri [box score]
1 234Total
#2 Nebraska 7 1033 23
Missouri 0 6140 20

Nebraska pulled out to an early 20-6 lead shortly after halftime, and a relatively easy win seemed to be on the horizon, but someone forgot to tell Missouri to give up. The Tigers came right back, scoring 14 straight to tie the game at 20 as the 3rd quarter ended, and the game was on. Both teams struggled to make progress until Nebraska was able to muster a single field goal with a little over 3 minutes left to play, but the game was not decided until the final play, as Missouri opted out of the easy, game-tying field goal and went for the win from the Nebraska 11 with 3 seconds left, only for QB Phil Bradley to get sacked by the Blackshirts before he could unload the ball.

Kansas State

#2 Nebraska at Kansas State [box score]
1 234Total
#2 Nebraska 7 077 21
Kansas State 6 060 12

Kansas State turned over four interceptions, but it seemed as if Nebraska was intent on repaying the favor by losing five of seven fumbles to help keep the Wildcats in the game. By the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Wildcats trailed the Cornhuskers by just 2 points. Halfway through the 4th, Nebraska put up 7 more points to create some breathing room, and held off Kansas State until time expired.

Iowa State

Iowa State at #3 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Iowa State 0 003 3
#3 Nebraska 3 2506 34

Nebraska experienced yet another slow start as the 1st quarter ended with only a Cornhusker field goal on the board, but in the second quarter things seemed to fall into place as Nebraska posted another 25 points by halftime without any response from Iowa State. The Cyclones managed to avoid the shutout with a field goal in the 4th, but avoiding the disgrace of the shutout was about all they accomplished for the day as they departed Lincoln with a 3-34 loss on the books.


#3 Nebraska at #8 Oklahoma [box score]
1 234Total
#3 Nebraska 0 707 14
#8 Oklahoma 0 377 17

A hard fought battle for the Big 8 title resulted in disappointment for Nebraska, who surrendered a 4-point halftime lead as Oklahoma overpowered the Blackshirts, who had been ranked #1 against the run leading up to this game. The final score of the day came from Nebraska's second-ever fumblerooski, picked up by All-American guard Randy Schleusener.


#7 Nebraska vs #8 Houston [box score]
1 234Total
#7 Nebraska 7 007 14
#8 Houston 0 7010 17

The Cornhuskers got onto the scoreboard first with a 1st-quarter touchdown, but offensive production stalled as Houston caught up and tied the Cornhuskers before halftime. The Cougers gave up an interception and lost three of seven fumbles during the game, giving Nebraska a 4-1 turnover margin edge, but Houston's passing and rushing efforts were successful enough to overcome the setbacks. Nebraska gained a slim 3-point lead with little more than 3 minutes to play, but Houston marched down the field and put one more touchdown into the end zone with just 12 seconds on the clock, handing Nebraska a loss to close the season.


Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking ██ Decrease in ranking




Award Name(s)
All-America 1st team Junior Miller
All-America 2nd team Mark Goodspeed, Jarvis Redwine, Kerry Weinmaster
All-America 3rd team Kelly Saalfeld
All-America honorable mention John Havekost, Rod Horn, Derrie Nelson, Kerry Weinmaster
Big 8 Newcomer of the Year Jarvis Redwine
All-Big 8 1st team Kenny Brown, John Havekost, Rod Horn, Junior Miller, Derrie Nelson, Jarvis Redwine, Kelly Saalfeld, Tim Smith, Dean Sukup, Kerry Weinmaster
All-Big 8 2nd team Bill Barnett, Mark Goodspeed, Andy Means, Randy Schleusener, Tim Smith
All-Big 8 honorable mention Lawrence Cole, Andra Franklin, I. M. Hipp, Mark LeRoy, Dan Steiner, Tom Vering, Brent Williams

NFL and pro players


The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1979 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents.[4]

Name Team
Bill Barnett Miami Dolphins
Todd Brown Montreal Concordes
Andra Franklin Miami Dolphins
Russell Gary New Orleans Saints
Mark Goodspeed St. Louis Cardinals
Rod Horn Cincinnati Bengals
Dan Hurley Boston Breakers
Brad Johnson Boston Breakers
Oudious Lee St. Louis Cardinals
Rodney Lewis New Orleans Saints
Allen Lyday Houston Oilers
Bruce Mathison San Diego Chargers
Junior Miller Atlanta Falcons
Derrie Nelson San Diego Chargers
Jeff Quinn Pittsburgh Steelers
Jarvis Redwine Minnesota Vikings
Dave Rimington Cincinnati Bengals
Kevin Seibel Chicago Blitz
Anthony Steels Boston Breakers
Henry Waechter Chicago Bears
Jamie Williams St. Louis Cardinals
Jimmy Williams Detroit Lions


  1. ^ Nebraska 1979 Roster
  2. ^ "Nebraska 1979 Commitments". Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  3. ^ 1979 Husker Honors
  4. ^ "All Time NFL Huskers". Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved June 9, 2009.