1958 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

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1958 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Conference Big Seven Conference
1958 record 3-7-0 (1-5-0 Big 7)
Head coach Bill Jennings (2nd year)
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
Seasons
« 1957 1959 »
1958 Big 7 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#5 Oklahoma 6 0 0     10 1 0
Missouri 4 1 1     5 4 1
Colorado 4 2 0     6 4 0
Kansas 3 2 1     4 5 1
Kansas State 2 4 0     3 7 0
Nebraska 1 5 0     3 7 0
Iowa State 0 6 0     4 6 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1958 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska and member of the Big 7 Conference in the 1958 college football season. The team was coached by Bill Jennings and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Before the season[edit]

Nebraska was reeling from the 1957 season that saw a new all-time low mark set when the Cornhuskers finished 1-9-0, which was the first 1-win season since 1899, and the first ever 9-loss season. Coach Jennings began the second year of his first head coaching job with few places to go but up, but led a young squad with only six seniors. The 1958 schedule was loaded with powerhouse teams from the east, every bit as difficult as the 1957 slate had been, so the task to succeed over last year would not be an easy one.[1]

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 20 Penn State* Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska W 14-7   26,966
September 27 at Purdue* Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, Indiana L 0-28   29,475
October 4 Iowa State Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 7-6   30,310
October 11 Kansas State Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 6-23   37,596
October 18 at Syracuse* Archbold StadiumSyracuse, New York L 0-38   17,083
October 25 at #12 Colorado Folsom FieldBoulder, Colorado L 16-27   40,271
November 1 Missouridagger Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 0-31   31,816
November 8 at Kansas Memorial StadiumLawrence, Kansas L 7-29   23,760
November 15 #14 Pittsburgh* Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 14-6   24,107
November 22 at #4 Oklahoma Oklahoma Memorial StadiumNorman, Oklahoma L 7-40   44,740
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game.

Roster[edit]

Halfback Clay White
Official Roster
  • 53 Barnes, Tim C (So.)
  • 33 Bigelow, Lee FB (So.)
  • 34 Bohanan, Bill FB (Jr.)
  • 86 Bond, John E (So.)
  • 83 Brede, Roger E (Jr.)
  • 71 Cowan, Mike RT (Jr.)
  • 23 Cozine, Dean QB (So.)
  • 51 Daniels, Robert C (So.)
  • 15 Davis, Don HB (So.)
  • 44 Dickson, Joe HB (So.)
  • 66 Dohrman, Melvin RG (Sr.)
  • 78 Doyle, Dennis RT (So.)
  • 74 Edeal, Russell LT (So.)
  • 80 Eger, Mike E (So.)
  • 61 Emanuel, Dennis LG (Jr.)
  • 40 Fischer, Pat HB (So.)
  • 10 Flock, WilliamDean HB (Sr.)
  • 50 Fricke, Donald C (So.)
  • 79 Gacusana, Joe LT (So.)
  • 54 Haggard, Ken C (So.)
  • 20 Harshman, George QB (Sr.)
  • 73 Hart, Joseph RT (Sr.)
  • 13 Heldt, Don LT (So.)
  • 46 Hergenreter, Jim HB (Jr.)
  • 38 Jordan, Don LG (Jr.)
  • 52 Kitchen, Robert C (So.)
  • 63 Kosier, Richard RG (So.)
  • 75 Laabs, Donald LT (So.)
  • 65 Lafleur, Jim RG (Jr.)
  • 82 Lee, Michael E (Sr.)
 
  • 72 Luecke, John RT (So.)
  • 12 Martz, Max HB (Jr.)
  • 30 McCashland, Dick FB (Sr.)
  • 88 McDole, Ron E (So.)
  • 39 Meyers, Roger LG (Jr.)
  • 19 Micek, Michael RT (So.)
  • 11 Minnick, John HB (So.)
  • 76 Mongerson, Duane LT (Jr.)
  • 64 Moore, James RG (Jr.)
  • 89 Moskovitz, Milton E (So.)
  • 43 Naviaux, Larry HB (Sr.)
  • 17 Noe, George RT (Jr.)
  • 18 Ohlen, Alfred RT (So.)
  • 77 Olson, Don RT (Jr.)
  • 84 Ondracek, Denny E (So.)
  • 42 Place, Dick HB (So.)
  • 68 Ponsiego, John LG (Jr.)
  • 41 Ratzloff, Daniel LG (So.)
  • 69 Salak, Duane RG (So.)
  • 81 Sapp, Guy E (Sr.)
  • 37 Scarrow, Lloyd FB (Jr.)
  • 67 Siemer, Dale LG (Jr.)
  • 85 Simon, Scott E (So.)
  • 22 Stinnett, Roy QB (Sr.)
  • 21 Tolly, Harry QB (Jr.)
  • 87 Tuning, Bill E (Jr.)
  • 70 Wellman, Allen LT (So.)
  • 14 White, Clay HB (So.)
  • 31 Zaruba, Carroll HB (Sr.)
  • 62 Zentic, LeRoy RG (Jr.)

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Bill Jennings Head Coach 1957 1956–1961 Oklahoma
L. F. Klein Assistant Coach 1945 1945–1958
Don Strasheim 1954 1954–1958 Nebraska
Don Scarbrough Assistant Coach 1956 1956–1961
Dick Monroe 1957 1957–1961
Warren Schmakel 1957 1957–1959
LeRoy Pearce 1958 1958–1961
John Gordy 1958 1958 Tennessee

[2][3][4]

Game notes[edit]

Penn State[edit]

1 2 Total
Penn State 7
Nebraska 14

A shocked home field crowd watched in utter amazement as the highly ranked Nittany Lions were picked apart by the Cornhuskers. The media overwhelmingly had predicted a smashing Penn State victory, but the Nebraska team came out on fire and held Penn State off the scoreboard until the 4th quarter. A 91-yard kickoff return by Cornhusker HB Pat Fischer made the difference in the game's final seven-point margin. Nebraska still lagged behind the Nittany Lions 2-4 all time.[5][6]

Purdue[edit]

1 2 Total
Nebraska 0
Purdue 28

In a complete turnaround of fortunes, the traveling Cornhuskers were overrun by a relentless Purdue attack and could not produce any offensive yardage of value. Two lost fumbles and an interception contributed to the lopsided loss as Nebraska was blanked under the weight of four Boilermaker touchdowns. This was the first meeting of these teams.[5][6]

Iowa State[edit]

1 2 Total
Iowa State 6
Nebraska 7
  • Date: October 4
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 30,310

Iowa State's bid to take a second straight game from the Cornhuskers was denied as the final minutes ticked away. Down 0-6 after an earlier Cyclone touchdown and blocked point after, Nebraska finally punched in a touchdown of their own shortly before time expired. The Cornhusker kick after was good, sending the Cyclones home with their 42nd loss in the 52-game series.[5][7]

Kansas State[edit]

1 2 Total
Kansas State 23
Nebraska 6
  • Date: October 11
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 37,596

Plagued by injuries, Nebraska was unsuccessful in attempts to slow the Kansas State offensive plan. The Cornhuskers narrowly avoided the shutout only by an interception returned for a touchdown. The Wildcats enjoyed their relatively rare victory, their 8th in 42 attempts, with the knowledge that it was also marked the 200th all-time program loss suffered by the Cornhuskers.[5][7]

Syracuse[edit]

1 2 Total
Nebraska 0
Syracuse 38

Following the loss to Kansas State and still not fully recovered from early season injuries, Nebraska traveled to Syracuse with third-stringers starting in some positions. The imbalance in experience showed as the Orangemen had little difficulty running away with the game in a 38-0 blanking of the Cornhuskers. The win moved Syracuse ahead in the series, to 5-4-0.[5][8]

Colorado[edit]

1 2 Total
Nebraska 16
• #12 Colorado 27

The Cornhuskers were struggling to find some success on the field to show for their efforts, but faced a stiff road test when visiting #12 Colorado in Boulder. Against expectations, Nebraska blocked two punts and capitalized on three turnovers to lead the Buffaloes for the first three quarters, putting a good scare into the crowd. However, the Cornhuskers finally gave way in the final quarter and allowed Colorado to surge ahead and take the game. It was Nebraska's third straight loss to the Buffaloes as their series lead slipped to just 9-8-0.[5][8]


Missouri[edit]

1 2 Total
Missouri 31
Nebraska 0
  • Date: November 1
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 31,816

Nebraska suffered yet another demoralizing loss as the Tigers arrived in Lincoln and handed another shutout defeat to the Cornhuskers, their third of the season. The homecoming crowd was never a factor, as the Nebraska offense never seemed to find a spark. The best Nebraska performance of the day was the kicking game, made necessary for lack of first down production. Missouri narrowed the series to 20-28-3 and kept the Missouri-Nebraska Victory Bell in Columbia.[5][9]


Kansas[edit]

1 2 Total
Nebraska 7
Kansas 29

The game was somewhat closer than the final score indicated, as Nebraska drew within five yards of a touchdown on two occasions before being turned away. The Jayhawks were not impressed by statistical victories and had little difficulty defeating the Cornhuskers by 22 points in Lawrence, though their series record was still far behind Nebraska at 15-46-3. It was Nebraska's fifth straight loss, which would've tied the program's all-time loss streak record had it not just been broken by the seven-game skid set in the previous year.[5][9]

Pittsburgh[edit]

1 2 Total
#14 Pittsburgh 6
Nebraska 14
  • Date: November 15
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 24,107

The downtrodden Cornhuskers, now 2-6 and watching their season slip away into disappointment, had every reason to just lay down in front of #14 Pittsburgh. For some reason, the Panthers held a commanding dominance over Nebraska year in and year out, owning the series at 15-3-3 heading into this game. Perhaps it was this circumstance that might have caused the Panthers to overlook the Cornhuskers, but once on the field it was the Pittsburgh players suddenly on their heels. The Cornhuskers played a stellar contest, holding the lead through the entire game and not allowing the Panthers to get their single touchdown until the fourth quarter on a long pass completion. Though dominated by their fellow conference opponents this year, the Cornhuskers were now 2-2 in nonconference play against major eastern teams, and the rare win against the rival Panthers was savored by all.[5][9]

Oklahoma[edit]

1 2 Total
Nebraska 7
• #4 Oklahoma 40

If Pittsburgh allowed themselves to overlook and then get stunned by Nebraska, the #4 Sooners took note and ensured the same fate did not befall their team in the annual Nebraska-Oklahoma game. By the end of the first quarter, Oklahoma already had put in three touchdowns, and they never looked back. The Cornhuskers avoided the shutout only by returning an interception 89 yards to score. The loss to Oklahoma was the 16th straight allowed by Nebraska, and was Oklahoma's 71st consecutive conference win. Oklahoma went on to finish #5 in the AP Poll and then defeated Syracuse 21-6 in the Orange Bowl.[5][10]


After the season[edit]

It wasn't easy to determine if 1958 was a successful season or another failure. Coach Jennings had improved over last year's dismal 1-9-0 outing, but only to 3-7-0 and a 6th place finish in the Big 7. On the other hand, surprise upset wins against Syracuse and especially against Pittsburgh were remarkable bright spots on an otherwise dreary year. These two unexpected wins may have played a part in Jennings being given additional time to see if he could turn the program around. Now with two years on the job, Coach Jennings had compiled a dismal 4-16-0 (.200) career record, with an even worse 2-10-0 (.167) history within the conference. Nebraska's overall program record slipped for the 8th straight year, to 355-205-34 (.626), with a Big 7 record now down to 148-68-12 (.689).

Future professional players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 221)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  2. ^ "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  3. ^ "Assistant coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  4. ^ "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 219)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1950s Nebraska football schedules". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  6. ^ a b "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 222)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  7. ^ a b "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 223)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  8. ^ a b "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 224)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  9. ^ a b c "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 225)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  10. ^ "1959 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 226)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2010-08-04.