1951 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

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1951 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Conference Big Seven Conference
1951 record 2–8 (2–4 Big 7)
Head coach Bill Glassford (3rd year)
Offensive scheme T formation / Spread offense
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
« 1950 1952 »
1951 Big 7 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#10 Oklahoma $ 6 0 0     8 2 0
Colorado 5 1 0     7 3 0
Kansas 4 2 0     8 2 0
Iowa State 2 4 0     4 4 1
Missouri 2 4 0     3 7 0
Nebraska 2 4 0     2 8 0
Kansas State 0 6 0     0 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1951 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska and member of the Big 7 Conference in the 1951 college football season. The team was coached by Bill Glassford and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Before the season[edit]

Coach Glassford's third year at the helm commenced with hopeful expectations after the turnaround season of 1950 that produced Nebraska's first winning record in ten years. The Cornhuskers had finished out the previous season ranked #17 by the AP Poll, following a competitive 35-49 loss to the national champion Oklahoma Sooners, and it looked like the train was finally back on the tracks in Lincoln. Returning for 1951 was the entire coaching staff of the previous season, and the AP shined favorably on Nebraska by introducing the Cornhuskers at #12 to open the 1951 slate.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 29 TCU* No. 12 Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska L 7-28   36,000
October 6 at Kansas State Memorial StadiumManhattan, Kansas W 1-0 ◊   12,000
October 13 Penn State* Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 7-15   39,000
October 20 at Minnesota* Memorial StadiumMinneapolis L 20-39   54,625
October 27 at Missouri Faurot FieldColumbia, Missouri L 19-35   -
November 3 Kansasdagger Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 7-27   34,500
November 10 at Iowa State Clyde Williams FieldAmes, Iowa W 34-27   15,519
November 17 Colorado Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 14-36   31,000
November 24 No. 12 Oklahoma Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 0-27   33,698
November 30 at Miami* Burdine StadiumMiami L 7-19   32,283
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. KSU forfeited.



Official Roster
  • 83 Bauer, George E (Fr.)
  • 63 Bingham, Gerald G (So.)
  • 72 Boll, Don T (Jr.)
  • 20 Bordogna, John QB (So.)
  • 65 Brasee, Carl G (Jr.)
  • 41 Brown, Dan QB (Fr.)
  • 11 Cederdahl, James QB (Fr.)
  • 23 Cifra, George FB (Fr.)
  • 79 Connor, Ted T (So.)
  • 61 Curtis, Clayton G (Jr.)
  • 69 Dale, Cliff G (So.)
  • 19 Decker, Robert HB (So.)
  • 89 Emanuel, Dennis E (So.)
  • 44 Fredstrom, Paul E (Fr.)
  • 80 Giles, William E (So.)
  • 78 Goll, Dick E (Jr.)
  • 75 Goth, Harvey T (So.)
  • 71 Handshy, Wayne T (Jr.)
  • 40 Hopp, Cliff FB (Jr.)
  • 77 Husmann, Ed G (Jr.)
  • 88 James, Ted E (So.)
  • 68 Jones, James G (So.)
  • 29 Kennedy, Max HB (So.)
  • 27 Korinek, Dennis HB (Fr.)
  • 32 Levendusky, James HB (Jr.)
  • 73 Minnick, Jerry T (So.)
  • 14 Moore, Kenneth HB (Fr.)
  • 67 Morgan, Russell G (So.)
  • 74 Mullen, Robert T (Sr.)
  • 30 Norris, Don QB (So.)
  • 33 Novak, Ray FB (So.)
  • 55 Oberlin, Bob C (Fr.)
  • 53 Oliver, Jim T (So.)
  • 84 Paulson, Jerry E (So.)
  • 82 Paynich, George E (Jr.)
  • 64 Ponsiego, Joe G (Sr.)
  • 76 Prochaska, George T (Jr.)
  • 16 Radik, Emil HB (Fr.)
  • 35 Rankin, Duane QB (Fr.)
  • 70 Regier, Dick E (Sr.)
  • 12 Reynolds, Bobby HB (Jr.)
  • 87 Robertson, Harold E (So.)
  • 50 Schabacker, William E (So.)
  • 56 Schroeder, Ken C (Jr.)
  • 52 Scott, Verl C (Jr.)
  • 43 Sebold, John T (Fr.)
  • 81 Simon, Frank E (Sr.)
  • 17 Smith, Robert HB (Fr.)
  • 15 Sommers, James HB (Jr.)
  • 85 Tangdall, Jim E (So.)
  •    Thayer, Bill HB (Fr.)
  • 54 Watson, Dick C (Fr.)
  • 18 Westin, Dick HB (So.)
  • 62 Winey, Leo G (Jr.)
  • 86 Yeager, Jerry E (So.)
  • 34 Yeisley, James HB (Fr.)

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Bill Glassford Head Coach 1949 1949–1955 Pittsburgh
L. F. Klein Assistant Coach 1945 1945–1958
Ray Prochaska Ends Coach 1950 1947–1948, 1950–1954 Nebraska
Ike Hanscomb Freshman Coach 1948 1948–1953
Bob Davis Backfield Coach 1949 1949–1955
Peter Janetos Freshman Coach 1949 1949–1952
Marvin Franklin Defensive Coach 1950 1949–1951
Ralph Fife Offensive Line Coach 1950 1950–1952
Neal Mehring Defensive Coach 1950 1950–1951


Game notes[edit]


1 2 Total
TCU 28
#12 Nebraska 7

The 1951 Cornhuskers stumbled out of the gate, falling to Texas Christian in Lincoln in the first-ever meeting of these teams. The combination of a new and innovative TCU offensive formation with ill-timed Nebraska turnovers gave the Horned Frogs a relatively easy win. TCU went on the finish the season 6-4-0 and ranked #11 by the AP Poll.[5][6]

Kansas State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Nebraska 6 0 0 0 6
Kansas State 0 0 6 0 6

A large contingent of Cornhusker fans traveled to Manhattan for the season's road-opening game, braving the wet weather and with hopes of another easy win over the beleaguered Kansas State team. The Wildcats succeeded in slowing the Nebraska attack following the first touchdown of the day, and managed to tie the game after the half and hold on the finish the game at an even 6-6. Nebraska returned to Lincoln without an outright win in the series for the first time in the last nine meetings, but the Wildcats were later penalized for using an ineligible player for the game and had to forfeit the resulting tie. The official final recorded score for the game was later revised, to a 1-0 Nebraska victory, moving the Cornhuskers to 29-4-2 against Kansas State to date.[5][6]

Penn State[edit]

1 2 Total
Penn State 15
Nebraska 7
  • Date: October 13
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 39,000

After a lackluster opening to the season, Coach Glassford reorganized his personnel in preparation for the visit by Penn State. The Nittany Lions scored first, but the Cornhuskers made it a battle by firing right back to go up 7-6. Scoring was sparse on the day, but Nebraska was unable to answer a later touchdown by Penn State and fell to 1-3 in the series.[5][7]


1 2 Total
Nebraska 20
Minnesota 39

Minnesota hosted the Cornhuskers in Minneapolis and successfully avenged their rare loss to Nebraska by taking advantage of a series of Cornhusker miscues just prior to the halftime break. Until the shift of momentum, it appeared that Nebraska might be able to make a fight out of the contest, but the Golden Gophers were once again triumphant, advancing their commanding lead in the series to 26-5-2.[5][7]


1 2 Total
Nebraska 19
Missouri 35

For the second week in a row, second-quarter mistakes proved costly to the Cornhuskers, as a 7-7 tie was broken open with two quick Missouri touchdowns before the half. By falling to the Tigers, who had as yet not won a game themselves, the Cornhusker season now seemed to be spiraling out of control, bringing back visions of the painful 1940s. Nebraska's lead in the series slipped to 25-16-3, and Missouri took back the Victory Bell for the year.[5][8]


1 2 Total
Kansas 27
Nebraska 7
  • Date: November 3
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 34,500
  • Game weather: Windy

Homecoming week brought the Kansas Jayhawks to Lincoln, but more Cornhusker turnovers spelled doom for hopes of the season's first outright victory. Five of Nebraska's six fumbles were lost to Kansas, making little work for the Jayhawks to pick up the win and disappoint the homecoming crowd. Nebraska remained ahead in the series 41-13-3, but remained winless on the field in all six games of the season so far[5][9]

Iowa State[edit]

1 2 Total
Nebraska 34
Iowa State 27
  • Date: November 10
  • Location: Clyde Williams Field • Ames, Iowa
  • Game attendance: 15,519

Coach Glassford again implemented changes, installing elements of the spread formation presented by the Texas Christian team in Nebraska's season-opening loss, and successfully managed to snatch the season's first victory against the Cyclones. The turnover battle was also won by the Cornhuskers on the field, as Iowa State gave up six interceptions and failed to take away either of Nebraska's two fumbles on the day. Thus an outright winning streak was kept alive as the Cornhuskers left Ames with six straight decisions over the Cyclones and improved to 36-8-1 in the series.[5][8]


1 2 Total
Colorado 36
Nebraska 14
  • Date: November 17
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 31,000
  • Game weather: Cold

Nebraska again attacked using the new spread formation, but found less success than the previous week, and once again the Cornhuskers were set back by miscues in the 2nd quarter. With key injuries taking a toll, Nebraska reverted to the T formation against the Buffaloes but was unable to produce meaningful results and fell before the visiting Colorado squad for the second year in a row, slipping to 6-4 in the series to date.[5][10]


1 2 Total
• #12 Oklahoma 27
Nebraska 0
  • Date: November 24
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 33,698

Reigning league champion Oklahoma arrived in Lincoln ranked at #12 by the AP Poll, and set to the task of closing Nebraska's home field season with another Cornhusker loss. The Nebraska defense made a fight out of the event for much of the game before collapsing in the 4th quarter. No offensive look managed to get past the Sooners as the Cornhuskers were shut out for the first time of the season, giving up another decision to Oklahoma, yet still holding on to the series lead at 16-12-3. The nine straight losses against the Sooners again extended Nebraska's record losing streak to any single team. Oklahoma finished the season as undefeated Big 7 champions, 8-2-0 overall, and ranked #10.[5][10]


1 2 Total
Nebraska 7
Miami 19

The Cornhuskers traveled to Miami for the first-ever meeting of these teams, and fan expectation was not high for success. Surprisingly, the Cornhuskers came out swinging and were actually leading the game 7-6 by halftime, avoiding the "2nd quarter jinx" that had haunted the squad for much of the season. The second half told a different story as Nebraska's scoring came to a halt and the Hurricanes tacked on two more touchdowns to close out a very disappointing Cornhusker campaign.[5][11]

After the season[edit]

The brief successful fire seen in Nebraska's 1950 8-2 season was just as quickly darkened when the 1951 campaign fell flat. Although the season eventually would be recorded as a dismal 2-8-0 after being revised because of the Kansas State forfeit, this was of no meaningful improvement over the original 1-8-1 end-of-season tally, and was significantly worse than coach Glassford's initial 5-4 record in his first year. One bright spot looking to the future was the return of future NFL draft picks Bobby Reynolds and Ed Hussman, both set to play for one more year.

The disappointing close to 1951 brought coach Glassford's career record down to 9-9-0 (.500) in the Big 7, and dropped his previously winning overall record to 12-15-1 (.446). The Nebraska program endured another hit to its legacy by slipping to 328-163-32 (.658) all time and 129-46-11 (.723) in conference play.

Ranking Movement
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Final
AP #12 #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR #NR

Future NFL and other professional league players[edit]


  1. ^ "Football - 1951 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  2. ^ "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  3. ^ "Assistant coaches". HuskerMax. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  4. ^ "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 265)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1950s Nebraska football schedules". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  6. ^ a b "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 258)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  7. ^ a b "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 259)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  8. ^ a b "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 260)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  9. ^ "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 261)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  10. ^ a b "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 262)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  11. ^ "1952 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 263)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-07-17.