Coach Stewart's second Cornhusker team was coming off of a down year that anywhere else would have been considered very successful. The two losses of 1916, although ending the four-season unbeaten streak, still did not prevent Nebraska from notching a seventh consecutive league title. Stewart greatly expanded his roster to 22 players, an increase of almost 30% from the 17 players on the squad in 1916. Coach Stewart set up this year's schedule as an ambitious test, as powerhouses Michigan, Notre Dame and Syracuse all had dates with the Cornhuskers on the slate.
The Cornhuskers opened the new season with a chip on their shoulder, and completely smashed Nebraska Wesleyan in a bit of revenge for being held to just 21 points in the previous year's shutout win over NWU. This was the fourth and final time Nebraska scored 100 or more points in the history of the program, the previous coming in 1911 in a 117-0 blanking of Kearney State. NWU remained winless against Nebraska, 0-7.
Notre Dame returned to Lincoln with hopes of staying on top of the Cornhuskers, but ND assistant Knute Rockne had scouted the team in advance and reported back to ND head coach Jesse Harper that Nebraska was to be feared after the strong 147-0 combined scoring of their first two games. Notre Dame had started the season with a 55-0 shutout over Kalamazoo but was then held to a scoreless tie against Wisconsin before the date in Lincoln. It wasn't until the second quarter that the Cornhuskers managed to post the first points, and though the teams continued to fight severely, the defenses carried the rest of the day. Notre Dame's closest attempt reached the Nebraska 8 before an interception killed the drive. Among the Notre Dame players present was future College Football Hall of Fame inductee George Gipp (of "Win one for the Gipper" fame), who in this case was handed his first career loss at Notre Dame as Nebraska moved ahead in the series to 2-1.
Nebraska was riding a wave of success, having shut out all three of their opponents on the season, including Notre Dame, and arrived in Ann Arbor looking for their first win against Michigan. The game was in fact a shutout, but not the one the Cornhuskers were hoping for, as the Wolverines sent Nebraska home in futility and without a win in the series, now at 0-2-1 against Michigan to date. The bitter defeat was the first Nebraska blanking since Minnesota defeated the Cornhuskers 13-0 in 1912.
After four years off, the series with conference foe Missouri was renewed in Lincoln. Still smarting from last week's shutout beating in Ann Arbor, the Cornhuskers unloaded on the helpess Tigers and put up their fourth shutout on the year in front of the homecoming crowd, moving up to 11-3 all time against Missouri.
Kansas put a scare into the Cornhuskers, having brought Nebraska down to Lawrence and carrying some confidence after defeating them the previous season in Lincoln. The scoring output was much lower than earlier games with comparable foes as the Jayhawks refused to be shut down. Nebraska still escaped with the win anyway, staying perfect in their only two conference games of the year, and increased their series lead over Kansas to 15-9.
Up against the third powerhouse team of the season, Nebraska could not quite come up with enough to close out the season with a win, losing by only one point to Syracuse in Lincoln, in the first meeting of these teams.
After the season
Coach Stewart ended his second season much like his first, with two bitter nonconference losses but with another conference championship. Nebraska had so far strung together an implausible eight straight conference titles, spanning all of coach Stewart's career as well as the entire career of his predecessor, Ewald O. Stiehm. Coach Stewart's Nebraska career record fell slightly to 11-4-0 (.733), and the two season losses nudged the program's overall record down to 164-51-11 (.750), though the conference record improved to 24-3-2 (.862).
Coach Stewart departed the football program after this year in order to assist in the war effort, as the United States moved closer to involvement in World War I. He would spend time at the YMCA helping young men train in preparation for joining the armed forces, but would eventually return to Nebraska to run the basketball program.