1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

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1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Nebraska Cornhuskers logo, 1992–2003.svg
Consensus national champion
Big Eight champion
Orange Bowl champion
Orange Bowl, W 24–17 vs. Miami (FL)
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 1
1994 record13–0 (7–0 Big 8)
Head coachTom Osborne (22nd season)
Offensive coordinatorTom Osborne (25th season)
Offensive schemeI formation
Defensive coordinatorCharlie McBride (14th season)
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
(Capacity: 72,700)
Seasons
← 1993
1995 →
1994 Big 8 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 1 Nebraska $ 7 0 0     13 0 0
No. 3 Colorado % 6 1 0     11 1 0
No. 19 Kansas State 5 2 0     9 3 0
Oklahoma 4 3 0     6 6 0
Kansas 3 4 0     6 5 0
Missouri 2 5 0     3 8 1
Oklahoma State 0 6 1     3 7 1
Iowa State 0 6 1     0 10 1
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ‡ – Bowl Coalition at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll

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.

Before the season[edit]

There was much anticipation for the 1994 season. The 1993 Nebraska team compiled an 11–0 record in the regular season before destroying Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl. The 1994 offseason was dubbed "Unfinished Business" by the Huskers, in their quest to secure a national championship for the coming season.

Junior Tommie Frazier returned as the quarterback in Tom Osborne's vaunted triple option offense. Also returning were several key starters on defense that would prove to be a highly rated unit during the 1994 season.

Schedule[edit]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
August 281:00 PMvs. No. 24 West Virginia*No. 4ABCW 31–058,233
September 87:00 PMat Texas Tech*No. 1ESPNW 42–1632,768
September 172:30 PMNo. 13 UCLA*No. 2ABCW 49–2175,687
September 241:00 PMPacific (CA)*No. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 70–2175,273
October 12:30 PMWyoming*No. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
PPVW 42–3275,333
October 81:00 PMOklahoma StateNo. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 32–375,434
October 1511:00 AMat No. 16 Kansas StateNo. 2ABCW 17–642,817
October 221:00 PMat MissouriNo. 3W 42–750,537
October 2911:00 AMNo. 2 ColoradodaggerNo. 3
ABCW 24–776,131
November 51:00 PMKansasNo. 1
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 45–1775,543
November 121:00 PMat Iowa StateNo. 1W 28–1245,186
November 252:30 PMat OklahomaNo. 1ABCW 13–370,216
January 17:00 PMvs. No. 3 Miami*No. 1NBCW 24–1781,753
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

[1]

Roster and coaching staff[edit]

1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
TE 88 Eric Alford Sr
WB 31 Jacques Allen Jr
OT 70 Eric Anderson Fr
SE 7 Reggie Baul Jr
IB 21 Damon Benning So
QB 18 Brook Berringer Jr
WB Lance Brown Fr
OL 62 Ted Butler Fr
TE 90 Tim Carpenter Fr
OT 61 Brady Caskey Sr
SE 16 Kenny Cheatham Fr
IB 26 Clinton Childs Jr
QB Monte Christo Fr
FB Josh Cobb Fr
IB 17 Scott Davenport Sr
SE 83 Aaron Davis So
OT 75 Chris Dishman So
OL 63 Constantine Dumitrescu Fr
FB Greg Ford Fr
QB 15 Tommie Frazier Jr
OL Ben Gessford Fr
TE 87 Mark Gilman Jr
C 54 Aaron Graham Jr
SE Billy Haafke Fr
SE Ryan Held Fr
C Josh Heskew Fr
TE 89 Erich Hohl Sr
SE 5 Brendan Holbein So
TE Joe Horst Fr
OG Matt Hoskinson Fr
C 51 Bill Humphrey Sr
TE 84 Sheldon Jackson Fr
FB Vershan Jackson Fr
WB 33 Clester Johnson Jr
FB 24 Brian Knuckles Jr
SE Jeff (Robert) Lake Fr
OG Mike Lesser Fr
SE 81 John Livingston Jr
OL Jason Luhr Fr
FB 22 Jeff Makovicka Jr
FB Joel Makovicka Fr
TE Josh McGrane Fr
OT Kory Mikos So
SE Andy Miller Fr
WB 27 Abdul Muhammad Sr
FB 38 Chris Norris Jr
OT Brian Nunns Jr
OG 69 Steve Ott Jr
IB 1 Lawrence Phillips So
OT 73 Fred Pollack Fr
SE 80 Brett Popplewell Jr
OG 65 Bryan Pruitt Jr
WB 34 David Reddick Fr
TE 86 Dorrick Roy Fr
FB 40 Cory Schlesinger Sr
OL Anthony Schmode Fr
FB 28 Brian Schuster So
OL Jeremy Shadrick Fr
TE 85 Matt Shaw Sr
IB 47 Marvin Sims So
SE Larry Smith Fr
FB Mike Smith So
QB Jay Staehr Fr
OG 66 Brenden Stai Sr
FB Chad Stanley Jr
OG Dave Stramel Fr
OG 67 Aaron Taylor Fr
OL Ross Tessendorf Fr
OT 77 Adam Treu So
OL Kyle Tully Fr
QB 77 Matt Turman So
IB 23 Todd Uhlir Fr
OG 59 Mike Van Cleave Fr
WB 25 Jon Vedral So
OG 68 Steve Volin Jr
C 53 Matt Vrzal So
OG 74 Brandt Wade Fr
SE 3 Riley Washington So
OT 72 Zach Wiegert Sr
WB Sean Wieting Fr
OG 76 Joel Wilks Sr
OG 64 Jon Zatechka Fr
OT 56 Rob Zatechka Sr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
ROV 11 Matt Aden Fr
ROV Dave Alderman So
MLB 36 Leonard Alexander Sr
OLB 23 Larry Arnold So
FS Dennis Bailey So
LCB Chad Blahak So
DB 5 Michael Booker So
FS Chad Brouse So
SLB 45 Clint Brown Sr
LB Darren Brummond Fr
FS 17 Sedric Collins Sr
MLB 46 Doug Colman Jr
DT 99 Terry Connealy Sr
DB 3 Tray Crayton Fr
LCB 2 Leslie Dennis Fr
SLB 4 Troy Dumas Sr
MLB 41 Phil Ellis Jr
SLB 24 Jason Fisher Sr
DB 7 Jay Foreman Fr
OLB Sean Gard Fr
OLB 58 Luther Hardin Jr
OLB 86 Dwayne Harris Sr
DB Chris Herron Fr
MLB 44 Jon Hesse So
OLB 92 Jerad Higman Sr
DT Michael Hoffman Fr
LB Quint Hogrefe Fr
WLB Matt Hunting Fr
DB Jai Jackson Fr
DT 96 Jason Jenkins Jr
ROV Jeremy Jensen Jr
OLB 84 Donta Jones Sr
LB Charlie Leece Fr
LB Casey Macken Fr
OLB 49 John Martin Sr
DB 12 Octavious McFarlin Fr
LCB 14 Barron Miles Sr
OLB Bryce Miller So
ROV 10 Mike Minter So
WLB Ian Mitchell So
OLB 42 Ed Morrow So
ROV 29 Kareem Moss Sr
DL 80 Erik Nelson Fr
SLB 43 Sean Noster Fr
DT 97 Jeff Ogard So
OLB 98 Jeff Olsen So
WLB 52 Aaron Penland Jr
DT 57 Jason Pesterfield Sr
DT 55 Christian Peter Jr
DT 95 Jason Peter Fr
ROV 39 Mike Roberts So
LB 82 Mike Rucker Fr
MLB 35 Jeff Sakalosky Fr
DT 74 Scott Saltsman So
RCB 37 Darren Schmadeke Jr
MLB Adam Skoda Fr
MLB 31 Justin Stephens Fr
WLB 32 Ed Stewart Sr
RCB 16 Eric Stokes So
WLB 91 Ryan Terwilliger So
DB Andy Thompson Fr
LB 83 Travis Toline Fr
DT 93 Jared Tomich Jr
DT 94 Larry Townsend So
FS 9 Tony Veland Jr
DB Eric Walther Fr
ROV 28 Jamel Williams So
RCB 8 Tyrone Williams Jr
DT 68 Jason Wiltz Fr
OLB Shalis Winder Fr
OLB 85 Grant Wistrom Fr
RCB 22 Trampis Wrice So
FS Chad Young Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
P/PK 6 Darin Erstad So
P 19 Jesse Kosch Fr
P/PK Bill Lafleur Fr
P/PK Brian Morro Fr
PK 13 Ted Retzlaff Fr
PK 12 Tom Sieler Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Charlie McBride
       14th season as DC/LB coach
       18th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Colorado
  • Turner Gill
       3rd season as QB coach
       3rd year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Kevin Steele
       6th season as LB coach
       6th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Tennessee
  • Ron Brown
       8th season as WR/TE coach
       8th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Brown
  • Dan Young
       12th season as OL/K coach
       12th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Reed
  • Milt Tenopir
       21st season as OL coach
       21st year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Sterling
  • Tony Samuel
       9th season as OLB coach
       9th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • George Darlington
       DB coach
       22nd year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Rutgers
  • Frank Solich
       12th season as RB coach
       16th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Boyd Epley
       26th season as S&C coach
       26th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Roster
Last update: January 17, 2011

Game summaries[edit]

West Virginia[edit]

Nebraska vs West Virginia [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 3 2107 31
West Virginia 0 000 0

The 1994 season started for the No. 4 Cornhuskers with a 31–0 win over No. 24 West Virginia in the Kickoff Classic. The game pitted two teams that had posted undefeated regular-season records in 1993. Quarterback Tommie Frazier was the game's MVP, rushing for 130 yards on 12 carries, including touchdown runs of 25, 27, and 42 yards. He also completed 8 of 16 passes for 100 yards and another touchdown. I-back Lawrence Phillips also ran 126 yards on 24 carries. In all, Nebraska gained 368 rushing yards and 468 total. The Nebraska defense dominated the Mountaineers, registering eight quarterback sacks and holding West Virginia to 8 yards rushing and 89 total yards. Todd Sauerbrun set a record for West Virginia with a 90-yard punt and averaged 60.1 yards on nine punts. The victory marked Nebraska's first shutout victory in two years. It was also Nebraska's first shutout victory against a ranked non-conference opponent since a 20–0 win over No. 19 Baylor in Lincoln 1939, and the first ever such win in a game played outside of Lincoln. The win vaulted Nebraska to No. 1 in the polls.

Texas Tech[edit]

Nebraska at Texas Tech [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 7 71414 42
Texas Tech 0 367 16

Next up was a road victory that saw the Huskers cruise past the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 42–16, which remarkably saw the Huskers drop to #2 in the polls. Unfortunately, this victory came at a cost, as safety Mike Minter suffered a season-ending knee injury.

UCLA[edit]

UCLA at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
UCLA 0 777 21
Nebraska 12 16714 49

Pacific[edit]

Pacific at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Pacific 0 0147 21
Nebraska 28 21147 70

The next two weeks first saw a tough match-up, where the Huskers would dominate #13-ranked UCLA in Memorial Stadium, followed by a blowout against Pacific. Shortly after this victory, the 1994 season got a lot more interesting when Nebraska's field general Tommie Frazier was sidelined by a blood clot in his right knee.

Wyoming[edit]

Wyoming at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Wyoming 14 738 32
Nebraska 0 14217 42

Oklahoma State[edit]

Oklahoma State at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Oklahoma State 3 000 3
Nebraska 0 9167 32

Kansas State[edit]

Nebraska at Kansas State [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 7 0010 17
Kansas State 0 600 6

With Frazier sidelined, junior Brook Berringer answered the call to run Osborne's offense. Berringer, a pro-style QB from Goodland, Kansas, came off the bench and performed at his best in two straight victories against Wyoming and Oklahoma State, even at times with a partially collapsed lung. When it became too much for Berringer, walk-on QB Matt Turman stepped up to lead the Cornhuskers against Okie State and in a tough road game that pitched the Huskers against conference foe and neighbor Kansas State. This game proved to be a defensive battle, which saw the Huskers walk away with a 17–6 victory against the #16 Wildcats.

Missouri[edit]

Nebraska at Missouri [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 141414 42
Missouri 0 007 7

Colorado[edit]

Colorado at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Colorado 0 070 7
Nebraska 7 1070 24

Nebraska's homecoming game and 200th consecutive home sell out.

Kansas[edit]

Kansas at Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Kansas 3 707 17
Nebraska 24 1470 45

Iowa State[edit]

Nebraska at Iowa State [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 7 7014 28
Iowa State 0 660 12

Oklahoma[edit]

Nebraska at Oklahoma [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 337 13
Oklahoma 0 300 3

The final five regular season games saw Nebraska beat #2 Colorado, where the defense shut down eventual Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam. Only Oklahoma provided any resistance for the Huskers, who escaped with a 13–3 victory in Norman, and another Big Eight Conference Championship.

Miami[edit]

Nebraska vs Miami [box score]
1 234Total
Nebraska 0 7215 24
Miami 10 070 17

Nebraska was #1 in the nation, and found themselves pitted against #3 Miami in the Orange Bowl, a setting very familiar to Tom Osborne and his Husker players. Osborne had been in this very stadium on three separate occasions playing for a national championship, and came away empty-handed each time, losing the previous year against Bobby Bowden's Seminoles of Florida State, to the Miami Hurricanes in the legendary 1984 Orange Bowl by the score of 31–30, and to the #1 Clemson Tigers in the 1982 Orange Bowl, a night game in which Nebraska entered #4 where the #2 and #3 teams lost their bowl games earlier in the day.

But it would be much different this year. Frazier had returned from his injury, and Nebraska would not back down, even after trailing 10–7 at halftime and 17–7 with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter. It is important to note that during his halftime speech, Coach Osborne had predicted the eventual meltdown of Miami late in the game. He told his players that if they maintained their composure, that Miami would slip up and earn a costly penalty. Osborne's prediction rang true, and the physically dominant Huskers scored 15 unanswered points in the 4th quarter on two key TD runs by FB Corey Schlesinger to earn Tom Osborne his first national title, by the score of 24–17.

Rankings[edit]

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 Wk 13 Wk 14 Wk 15 Final
AP 4 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Coaches 1

After the season[edit]

The successful season saw Nebraska lead the nation in rushing, with talented but troubled sophomore Lawrence Phillips rushing for 1,722 yards and finishing 8th in Heisman voting. The offensive line, which was arguably the best in the country as well, was affectionately known as "The Pipeline" and included Outland Trophy winner and All-American Zach Wiegert at tackle, fellow All-American Brendan Stai at guard, along with Rob Zatechka, Joel Wilks, and Aaron Graham. The vaunted 4–3 defense, led by All-American linebacker Ed Stewart, limited conference opponents to a mere 55 points.

The Huskers were treated to a warm welcome, despite the freezing temperatures, when they returned to Lincoln as National Champions. An estimated 15,000 fans were on hand at the Lincoln Airport to welcome home their Big Red heroes.

Awards[edit]

[2]

Award Name(s)
Outland Trophy Zach Wiegert
UPI Lineman of the Year Zach Wiegert
All-America 1st team Terry Connealy, Donta Jones, Brenden Stai, Ed Stewart, Zach Wiegert, Rob Zatechka
All-America 2nd team Lawrence Phillips
All-America 3rd team Barron Miles
Big 8 Coach of the Year Tom Osborne
Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year Ed Stewart
Big 8 Defensive Newcomer of the Year Grant Wistrom
Big 8 Male Athlete of the Year Rob Zatechka
All-Big 8 1st team Troy Dumas, Aaron Graham, Donta Jones, Lawrence Phillips, Barron Miles, Brenden Stai, Ed Stewart, Zach Wiegert, Tyrone Williams
All-Big 8 2nd team Brook Berringer, Terry Connealy, Dwayne Harris, Kareem Moss, Christian Peter, Rob Zatechka
All-Big 8 honorable mention Eric Alford, Reggie Baul, Darin Erstad, Abdul Muhammad, Cory Schlesinger

NFL and pro players[edit]

The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1994 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents.[3]

Name Team
Eric Anderson Amsterdam Admirals
Mike Anderson Amsterdam Admirals
Michael Booker Atlanta Falcons
Doug Colman New York Giants
Chris Dishman Arizona Cardinals
Troy Dumas Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Foreman Buffalo Bills
Tommie Frazier Montreal Alouettes
Aaron Graham Arizona Cardinals
Jon Hesse Green Bay Packers
Sheldon Jackson Buffalo Bills
Vershan Jackson Kansas City Chiefs
Donta Jones Pittsburgh Steelers
Bill Lafleur Barcelona Dragons
Joel Makovicka Arizona Cardinals
Barron Miles Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Minter Carolina Panthers
Kareem Moss BC Lions
Christian Peter New York Jets
Jason Peter Carolina Panthers
Lawrence Phillips St. Louis Rams
Mike Rucker Carolina Panthers
Cory Schlesinger Detroit Lions
Brenden Stai Pittsburgh Steelers
Eric Stokes Seattle Seahawks
Jared Tomich New Orleans Saints
Larry Townsend Berlin Thunder
Adam Treu Oakland Raiders
Tony Veland Denver Broncos
Zach Wiegert St. Louis Rams
Jamel Williams Washington Redskins
Tyrone Williams Green Bay Packers
Jason Wiltz New York Jets
Grant Wistrom St. Louis Rams
Jon Zatechka Berlin Thunder
Rob Zatechka New York Giants

Additionally, starting junior punter Darin Erstad also played baseball for the University of Nebraska, and was selected as a First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He chose to forego his college career to enter the MLB draft and was selected as the first pick overall in the 1995 Major League Baseball draft. He would go on to have a distinguished career in Major League Baseball (particularly with the Anaheim Angels). Erstad would later be the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball from 2012 to 2019.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Football - 1994 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  2. ^ 1994 Husker Honors
  3. ^ "All Time NFL Huskers". Archived from the original on May 16, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.