1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

Last updated
1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Nebraska Cornhuskers logo, 1992-2003.svg
Coaches Poll national champion
Big 12 champion
Big 12 North Division champion
Orange Bowl champion
Orange Bowl, W 4217 vs. Tennessee
Conference Big 12 Conference
DivisionNorth Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 2
1997 record130 (80 Big 12)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorTom Osborne (28th season)
Offensive scheme I formation
Defensive coordinatorCharlie McBride (17th season)
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
Seasons
  1996
1998  
1997 Big 12 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Northern Division
No. 2 Nebraska † xy$ 80    130 
No. 8 Kansas State  % 71    111 
No. 23 Missouri  53    75 
Colorado  35    56 
Kansas  35    56 
Iowa State  17    110 
Southern Division
No. 20 Texas A&M xy 62    94 
No. 24 Oklahoma State  53    84 
Texas Tech  53    65 
Texas  26    47 
Oklahoma  26    48 
Baylor  17    29 
Championship: Nebraska 54, Texas A&M 15
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
  • † – Coaches Poll National Champion
    $ – Bowl Alliance representative as champion
    % – Bowl Alliance at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was led by 25th-year head coach Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers competed as members of the Big 12 Conference in the league's second year of existence.

Contents

The Cornhuskers compiled a perfect 13–0 record and claimed their third national championship in four years. Nebraska was ranked first in the final Coaches Poll of the year, but was ranked second behind Michigan (also undefeated, at 12–0) in the final AP Poll. Of the 20 official championship selectors designated by the NCAA, 13 selected Nebraska as national champions, six selected Michigan, and one declared them co-champions. [1] It remains one of the most hotly contested national championship debates in college football history. [2]

Nebraska secured their first Big 12 Conference championship by defeating Texas A&M by a score of 54–15 in the Big 12 Championship Game. Nebraska had been upset by Texas in the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game in 1996. The season ended with a 42–17 victory over No. 3 Tennessee in the 1998 Orange Bowl for their fourth consecutive major bowl victory.

The Nebraska offense, which led the country in scoring, was led by quarterback Scott Frost and running back Ahman Green. Frost became just the tenth player in college football history to both pass and run for 1,000 yards. Green finished second in the country in rushing yards with 1,877 yards, and tied for third in touchdowns with 22. [3] Offensive lineman Aaron Taylor was named a consensus All-American and was the recipient of the Outland Trophy. The Cornhusker defense was anchored by All-American defensive linemen Jason Peter and Grant Wistrom, winner of the Lombardi Award.

Head coach Tom Osborne announced after the regular season that the Orange Bowl would be his final game as head coach. He retired as Nebraska's all-time winningest coach, and was sixth in wins all-time in major college football history at the time of his retirement. [4]

Schedule

[5]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
August 301:00 pm Akron *No. 6W 59–1475,124
September 1312:30 pm UCF *No. 6
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 38–2475,327
September 202:30 pmat No. 2 Washington *No. 7 ABC W 27–1474,023
October 46:00 pmNo. 17 Kansas State No. 3
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
FSNW 56–2675,856
October 116:00 pmat Baylor No. 3W 49–2138,175
October 1812:30 pm Texas Tech Dagger-14-plain.pngNo. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 29–075,764
October 256:00 pmat Kansas No. 1FSNW 35–042,000
November 12:30 pm Oklahoma No. 1
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska (rivalry)
ABCW 69–775,926
November 82:30 pmat Missouri No. 1ABCW 45–38 OT66,846
November 1511:30 am Iowa State No. 3
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
FSNW 77–1475,613
November 281:30 pmat Colorado No. 2ABCW 27–2452,738
December 63:30 pmvs. No. 14 Texas A&M No. 2ABCW 54–1564,824
January 27:00 pmvs. No. 3 Tennessee *No. 2 CBS W 42–1772,385
  • *Non-conference game
  • Dagger-14-plain.pngHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

Roster and coaching staff

1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team roster
PlayersCoaches
Offense
Pos.#NameClass
FB 38 Dan Alexander Fr
OL Steve AltstadtFr
OT 70Eric AndersonSr
TE 94Travis AntholzSo
WB 82Sean ApplegateSo
C 52Matt BaldwinSo
OG 76Sasho BecvarovskiFr
SE 20Tom BeveridgeFr
WB 14Lance BrownJr
IB 36 Correll Buckhalter Fr
TE 90Tim CarpenterSr
SE 6Kenny CheathamJr
QB 9Monte ChristoJr
OT 68Jeff ClausenSo
FB 42Josh CobbJr
WB Ben CornelsenFr
WB Tyler CottenFr
QB Eric Crouch Fr
SE 3Matt DavisonFr
TE 85T.J. DeBatesSo
SE Luke DenneyFr
OT 77Billy DiekmannFr
SE 2J.R. EdwardsSo
IB 4DeAngelo EvansSo
WB 12Demond FinisterSo
SE 83Craig FischerSo
SE Pat FriesenFr
QB 7 Scott Frost Sr
WB Paul FujanFr
OT 74Lonnie FultonSo
SE 10Mike GentileFr
OG 72Ben GessfordJr
WB 27John GibsonFr
IB Marcus GilesFr
FB Nick GragertFr
IB 30 Ahman Green Jr
OL Mike GreenFr
SE 80Billy HaafkeJr
OG 53Aaron HavlovicSo
OT 51Kyle HensonJr
C 59Josh HeskewJr
OG 55 Russ Hochstein Fr
OG 62Matt HoskinsonSr
TE 88Sheldon JacksonJr
TE 34Vershan JacksonSr
OG 56Marcus JohnsonSo
SE Nate JohnsonFr
WB Jordan JonesFr
OT 69Adam JulchSo
FB 22Ben KingstonSo
TE 87Chad KobusSo
OL Kyle KollmorgenFr
SE 89Jeff (Robert) LakeSr
FB 40Billy LegateJr
QB 1Frankie LondonSo
FB 45 Joel Makovicka Jr
TE 41Jake McKeeFr
FB 32Willie MillerFr
TE 81John MurphyFr
QB 12Bobby NewcombeFr
IB 37Jason OlnesSo
IB 36Hank PieningFr
OT 73Fred PollackSr
OT 57Ryan PreisterFr
C Dominic Raiola Fr
OL Buck RasmussenFr
TE 86Dorrick RoyJr
QB 16Jay RuntyFr
OG Jon RutherfordFr
OG 79Chris SaalfeldFr
FB 21Matt SchoeningFr
OT 65Jason SchwabSo
C 54Doug SeamanSr
OG 63James ShermanSo
IB 31James SimsSr
IB 25Travis SoucieFr
FB 43Jeremy StanislavFr
OT 95Jim TanseySo
OG 67Aaron TaylorSr
OT 71Mike Van CleaveSr
WB 26Casey VanderhoefFr
OL Dave VolkFr
OG 61Brandt WadeJr
RB Dan WhiteFr
WB 33Sean WietingSr
WB 5Shevin WigginsJr
QB 3Chad WilesFr
FB 24Andy WinklerSo
TE Tracey WistromFr
OG 64Jon ZatechkaSr
Defense
Pos.#NameClass
DT 95Derek AllenSo
DT 89Luis AlmanzarFr
LCB 28Josh AndersonFr
WLB 40Erick ArensSo
WLB 36Rod BakerFr
RE 87Chris BassettSr
LCB 24Jason BenesSr
DB Mic BoettnerFr
DB Dion BookerFr
ROV 21 Mike Brown So
RCB 22 Ralph Brown So
MLB 39Ben BuettenbackSo
LB Grant BuntonFr
LB Jamie BurrowFr
LB Jon CoyneFr
SLB 54Chris DeitloffFr
DB Damian DempsFr
RCB 2Leslie DennisSr
ROV 17George DittrickFr
DT 58Brandon DrumJr
DT 61Jason DushFr
FS 33Mitch EbkeFr
FS John EisenbergSo
FS 19 Clint Finley Fr
FS 5Eric FischerFr
MLB 44 Jay Foreman Jr
SLB 34Russell FroehlichJr
RCB 18Jay GatesSr
DT 77Bobby GillSo
RE 75Matt GrummertFr
RE 9George GuidryFr
LB Chris GustafsonFr
FS 45Brad HamikFr
CB Brandon HarrisonJr
SLB 49Quint HogrefeJr
DB Matt IckesFr
WLB 50Julius JacksonSo
WLB 1 Eric Johnson Jr
DT 88Dave JonesSr
DT 91Loran KaiserFr
RE 57Chad KelsayJr
WLB 47Josh KohlSo
RE 82Curt LennersSr
ROV 29Gregg ListSo
ROV 6Kalin MakaiwiJr
DT 97Glen MatthewsJr
DT 85Jason McCulloughJr
WLB 4Octavious McFarlinSr
DL Matt McGinnFr
FS 25Greg McGrawSo
LB Levi MehlFr
DT 78Tom MiliusSo
RE 93Brandon MooberryFr
SLB 37Tony OrtizSo
LB Jon PennyFr
DT 55 Jason Peter Sr
LCB 11Jerome PetersonSo
MLB 13 Carlos Polk Fr
ROV 14Brandon QuindtFr
SLB 23Steve RaymondSo
RCB 10Khari ReynoldsFr
LB Brandon RothFr
RE 84 Mike Rucker Jr
RE 80Eric RyanSo
SLB 46Brian ShawSo
RE 76Scott SiebenbornFr
LB Ryan SvobodaFr
DB 16 Erwin Swiney Fr
LB Nick TerrioFr
DT 79Ross TessendorfJr
DB Alik TilleryFr
RE 92Travis TolineJr
DB Arion TurnerFr
MLB 48Chad TuttleFr
MLB 56Noland UrbanFr
LB Simon Van BoeningFr
RE Kyle Vanden Bosch Fr
LB Mark VedralFr
CB 27Joe WalkerFr
DT 94Brian WaltersFr
FS 32Eric WaltherJr
RE 90Brandon WardynFr
FS 3 Eric Warfield Sr
DT 96 Steve Warren So
ROV 42Troy WatchornFr
LB J.P. (John Paul) WichmannFr
RE 81Aaron WillsSo
DT 99Jason WiltzJr
RE 98 Grant Wistrom Sr
DB Wes WoodwardFr
RE 38Brendan ZahlSr
Special teams
Pos.#NameClass
PK 35 Kris Brown Jr
PK 12Dan HadenfeldtSo
P 19Jesse KoschSr
P 23 Bill Lafleur Jr
PK 28Chace LongFr
P 8Brian MorroJr
PK 13Ted RetzlaffSr
P/PK Chuck TackFr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Charlie McBride
       17th season as DC/LB coach
       21st year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Colorado
  • Turner Gill
       6th season as QB coach
       6th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Craig Bohl
       3rd season as LB coach
       6th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Ron Brown
       11th season as WR/TE coach
       11th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Brown
  • Dan Young
       15th season as OL/K coach
       15th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Reed
  • Milt Tenopir
       24th season as OL coach
       24th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Sterling
  • Nelson Barnes
       1st season as RE coach
       1st year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: North Texas
  • George Darlington
       DB coach
       25th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Rutgers
  • Frank Solich
       15th season as RB coach
       19th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Boyd Epley
       29th season as S&C coach
       29th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt

Roster
Last update: 2011-01-17

Depth chart

Game summaries

Akron

Akron at Nebraska
1234Total
Akron 007714
Nebraska142414759

UCF

UCF at Nebraska
1234Total
UCF 7100724
Nebraska01417738

Washington

Nebraska at Washington
1234Total
Nebraska1470627
Washington 077014

Kansas State

Kansas State at Nebraska
1234Total
Kansas State 6061426
Nebraska1010211556

Baylor

Nebraska at Baylor
1234Total
Nebraska14287049
Baylor 7001421

Texas Tech

Texas Tech at Nebraska
1234Total
Texas Tech 00000
Nebraska3109729

Kansas

Nebraska at Kansas
1234Total
Nebraska71401435
Kansas 00000

Oklahoma

Oklahoma at Nebraska
1234Total
Oklahoma 00707
Nebraska2014211469

Missouri

Nebraska at Missouri
1234OTTotal
Nebraska147710745
Missouri 71777038

Iowa State

Iowa State at Nebraska
1234Total
Iowa State 700714
Nebraska35287777

Colorado

Nebraska at Colorado
1234Total
Nebraska3717027
Colorado 0371424

Texas A&M

Texas A&M vs Nebraska
1234Total
Texas A&M 0301215
Nebraska162131454

Tennessee

Tennessee vs Nebraska
1234Total
Tennessee 036817
Nebraska7721742

Statistics

Rankings

Ranking movements
Legend:██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. т = Tied with team above or below. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre12345678910111213141516Final 
AP 666673332111332222 
Coaches 66563332111332221

After the season

Nebraska Head Coach Tom Osborne announced his retirement just prior to the 1998 Orange bowl, capping a remarkable career of success. The #2 Cornhuskers handily defeated the #3 Tennessee Volunteers 42-17, while #1 Michigan defeated #7 Washington State team 21-16. In postgame coverage on the field, Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost openly lobbied Coaches Poll voters for support based on performance comparisons between Nebraska and Michigan. [6] The voters apparently agreed, as Nebraska was ranked #1 in the final Coaches Poll, while Michigan retained their pre-bowl #1 ranking in the AP Poll, creating a split National Championship. Following the game, there were fans and sports reporters alike who felt that a #1 team should never drop in the polls after winning, as Michigan did, dropping to #2 behind Nebraska. However, in week 11 of the season, #1 Nebraska dropped after a win, which allowed Michigan to move up to #1. The 1997 Huskers set an NCAA record that still stands by scoring an average of 5.5 rushing touchdowns per game (66 rushing touchdowns in twelve games, not including the six scored in the Orange Bowl). [7]

Awards

[8]

AwardName(s)
Lombardi Award Grant Wistrom
Outland Trophy Aaron Taylor
Big 12 Male Athlete of the YearGrant Wistrom
All-America 1st team Jason Peter, Aaron Taylor, Grant Wistrom
All-America 2nd team Ahman Green
All-America 3rd teamEric Anderson
All-Big 12 1st teamEric Anderson, Mike Brown, Ralph Brown, Scott Frost, Ahman Green, Jason Peter, Aaron Taylor, Grant Wistrom
All-Big 12 2nd team Jay Foreman
All-Big 12 3rd teamJosh Heskew, Chad Kelsay, Eric Warfield, Jon Zatechka
All-Big 12 honorable mention Kris Brown, Jesse Kosch, Joel Makovicka, Fred Pollack, Mike Rucker, Jason Wiltz

NFL and pro players

The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1997 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents. [9]

NameTeam
Dan Alexander Tennessee Titans
Eric Anderson Amsterdam Admirals
Kris Brown Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Brown Chicago Bears
Ralph Brown New York Giants
Correll Buckhalter Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Crouch St. Louis Rams
Clint Finley Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Foreman Buffalo Bills
Scott Frost New York Jets
Ahman Green Seattle Seahawks
Russ Hochstein Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sheldon Jackson Buffalo Bills
Vershan Jackson Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Johnson Oakland Raiders
Chad Kelsay Pittsburgh Steelers
Bill Lafleur Barcelona Dragons
Joel Makovicka Arizona Cardinals
Bobby Newcombe Montreal Alouettes
Tony Ortiz Scottish Claymores
Jason Peter Carolina Panthers
Carlos Polk San Diego Chargers
Dominic Raiola Detroit Lions
Mike Rucker Carolina Panthers
Erwin Swiney Green Bay Packers
Larry Townsend Berlin Thunder
Kyle Vanden Bosch Arizona Cardinals
Joe Walker Tennessee Titans
Eric Warfield Kansas City Chiefs
Steve Warren Green Bay Packers
Jason Wiltz New York Jets
Grant Wistrom St. Louis Rams
Jon Zatechka Berlin Thunder

Related Research Articles

Tom Osborne American football player and coach, college athletics administrator, politician

Thomas William Osborne is a former American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and politician from Nebraska. He served as head football coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1973 to 1997. After being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Osborne was elected to Congress in 2000 from Nebraska's third district as a Republican. He served three terms (2001–2007), returned to the University of Nebraska as athletic director in 2007, and retired in 2013.

Ahman Green

Ahman Rashad Green is a former American football running back who played 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Green played college football at Nebraska and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft, playing there for two seasons before being traded to the Green Bay Packers, with whom he played for eight of the next ten seasons. Green also played for the Houston Texans, and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Packers, where he holds the franchise record for rushing yards. He is currently the head Esports coach at Lakeland University.

Bob Devaney

Robert Simon Devaney was a college football coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Wyoming from 1957 to 1961 and at the University of Nebraska from 1962 to 1972, compiling a career record of 136–30–7 (.806). Devaney's Nebraska Cornhuskers won consecutive national championships in 1970 and 1971 and three consecutive Orange Bowls.

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In college football, the Flea Kicker was a notable play executed by the Nebraska Cornhuskers against the Missouri Tigers on November 8, 1997 that sent the game into overtime and resulted in a win for the Cornhuskers who went on to share the NCAA Division I-A National Championship with the Michigan Wolverines. The final minutes of the game were seen by many people on ABC, after other regional games ended.

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The 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nicknamed "The Scoring Explosion", the team was noted for its prolific offense, which is still widely considered one of the greatest in college football history. The team and some of its individual players set several NCAA statistical records, some of which still stand. Nebraska scored a total of 654 points on the season.

1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team American college football season

The 1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and was the national champion of the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers offense scored 459 points while the defense allowed 162 points.

The 2010 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Bo Pelini and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. They were members of the North Division of the Big 12 Conference. It was Nebraska's 102nd and last season in the Big 12 as they began competing in the Big Ten Conference in 2011.

The 1987 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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.

The 2013 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska in the 2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Bo Pelini and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The 2015 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by first-year head coach Mike Riley and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. They were members of the West Division of the Big Ten Conference.

History of Nebraska Cornhuskers football

The History of Nebraska Cornhuskers football covers the history of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's football program, from its inception in 1890 until the present day. Nebraska competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, in the West Division of the Big Ten. Nebraska plays its home games at Memorial Stadium, where it has sold out every game since 1962. The team is currently coached by Scott Frost.

References

  1. 2017 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. July 2017. p. 115. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  2. Ogden, Tim (July 30, 2009). "1997 The Great Debate". Bleacher Report.
  3. "1997 College Football Year Summary". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  4. Moran, Malcolm (December 11, 1997). "After 25 seasons, Osborne to retire". The New York Times.
  5. "Football - 1997 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy1M0kncB1I
  7. http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/football_records/DI/2010/2010FBS.pdf
  8. 1997 Husker Honors
  9. "All Time NFL Huskers". Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-05-21.