1890 Nebraska Old Gold Knights football
Nebraska State Champions
1890 record2-0-0
Head coachLangdon Frothingham (1st season)
1891 →

The 1890 Nebraska Old Gold Knights football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska in the 1890 college football season. The team was coached by Langdon Frothingham. Nebraska played no home games.

Before the seasonEdit

1890 was the first year that Nebraska fielded a football team. Coach Frothingham, a graduate of Harvard University just hired to the faculty at Nebraska, was named as coach of Nebraska's first football team mainly because he had brought a football with him.[1]



Date Opponent Site Result
November 27 at Omaha YMCA Omaha YMCA Ball Park, Omaha, Nebraska W 10-0
February 14 at Doane Crete, Nebraska W 18-0



File:Huskers 1890.jpg
Official Roster
  • Arthur Anderson L
  • Chandler, Charles T
  • Gerrard, Ernest QB
  • Hyde, Frederick G
  • Johnston, James HB
  • Johnston, W.M. PLAYER
  • Lord, Harrison T
  • Mockett, Ebenezer HB
  • Morrow, Frank FB
  • Mosher, Bradley FB
  • Oliver HB
  • Porterfield, James T
  • Skiles, Charles E
  • Stockton, William G
  • Strohman, Charles PLAYER
  • Troyer, Albert FB
  • Troyer, L. E. E

Coaching staffEdit

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Langdon FrothinghamHead Coach18901890Harvard
Jack BestTrainer18901890–1922
Albert TroyerManager18901890Nebraska

Game notesEdit

Omaha YMCAEdit

Nebraska at Omaha YMCA
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 4 6 0 0 10
Omaha YMCA 0 0 0 0 0

The University of Nebraska fielded their first team, as yet without an official name, for the inaugural game of the football program against the YMCA of Omaha. Approximately 500 students from the Lincoln campus were in attendance, which was a significant traveling group considering the transportation options of the era and the approximately 55-mile journey. In this early era of American football, The game was divided merely into two halves instead of four quarters, touchdowns were worth four points, and field kicks after touchdowns were worth two.

Omaha started the game with possession and drove 40 yards before giving up a fumble to Nebraska. Nebraska failed to capitalize, coming as close as 1 yard from the end zone before a penalty setback eventually resulted in the drive coming up empty. Omaha's subsequent possession ended early when an attempt to kick the ball out of the end zone failed and the kicker was tackled for a safety by Charles Chandler and James Porterfield, marking Nebraska's first-ever points scored and putting them ahead 2-0. After several possession changes, Nebraska came close enough to try for a field goal. However, the play was executed as a drop-kick, and although it went through the uprights it was ruled as a punt by the officials, and no points were awarded.

Nebraska soon after forced an Omaha fumble in their end zone, but Omaha recovered it to prevent the touchdown, instead suffering another safety which brought the scoreboard to 4-0 Nebraska.

Both teams struggled in the 2nd half, trading possession several times until Nebraska's Albert Troyer broke through the line and scored a touchdown for four more points, however the field kick afterward failed, and the score then remained 8-0 until time expired.

The YMCA's team colors were white and red, a pairing that would eventually be adopted by Nebraska. A rematch game in Lincoln was mentioned in the local newspaper, to be played a few weeks later, but was not played. [4][5]


Nebraska at Doane
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 14 4 0 0 18
Doane 0 0 0 0 0

The Nebraska football team, now christened the "Old Gold" and eventually remembered as the "Old Gold Knights", played the second and final game of the program's inaugural season against Doane College in Crete, Nebraska.

Nebraska started slowly on their initial possession, but then exploded with a 50-yard pass to Ebenezer Mockett, and a subsequent 25-yard touchdown run by Oliver. The field kick was good and Nebraska was ahead 6-0. Later in the half, Oliver scored another touchdown, but the field kick failed and left Nebraska ahead 10-0. Just before halftime, Ebenezer Mockett rushed for another touchdown and Doane found themselves down 0-14 at the break.

During the second half, both teams struggled, resulting in numerous kicks and fumbles as the teams traded possession. Eventually, the Doane kicker dropped the ball in the endzone, which was recovered by James Porterfield for another Nebraska touchdown. Again, the field kick failed, and the score would remain 18-0 until time expired.[4]

After the seasonEdit

Coach Frothingham suffered a broken leg while participating in a practice scrimmage in preparation for the Doane game, and returned to Boston to teach at Harvard after spending just the one year teaching at Nebraska.

Having won both of their games against the only other viable Nebraska-based teams, the 1890 Old Gold Knights claimed what amounted to the Nebraska State Championship


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