American Football Database
1923 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Missouri Valley Champions
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
1923 record4-2-2 (3-0-2 MVIAA)
Head coachFred Dawson (3rd season)
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
← 1922
1924 →
1923 Missouri Valley football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Nebraska 3 0 2     4 2 2
Kansas 3 0 3     5 0 3
Drake 3 1 0     5 2 0
Iowa State 3 2 1     4 3 1
Kansas State 2 2 2     4 2 2
Missouri 1 3 2     2 3 3
Oklahoma 2 4 0     3 5 0
Grinnell 1 3 0     2 6 0
Washington (MO) 1 4 0     3 5 0

The 1923 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska in the 1923 college football season. The team was coached by Fred Dawson and played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Before the season

Coach Dawson returned for his third season with two conference championships to his credit and a new home playing field following the completion of Memorial Stadium, but it was a hard start to the season. The most prounounced change was the absence of Jack Best, the team's trainer of the previous 32 seasons dating to the beginning of the program, who had died shortly after the end of the 1922 season. The first team on the schedule was not the typical tune-up patsy scrimmage of most seasons past, as coach Dawson had arranged an opening battle on the road against Illinois in order to infuse his team with a heavy dose of experience early in the year. Making things additionally rough to start the year, only nine starters from last season's title team were returning to play for the Cornhuskers.[1]



Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
October 6* at Illinois Memorial StadiumChampaign, Illinois L 7-24 -
October 13 Oklahoma Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska W 24-0 -
October 20† Kansas Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska T 0-0 20,000+
October 27 at Missouri Rollins Field • Columbia, Missouri T 7-7 -
November 10* Notre Dame Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 14-7 30,000
November 17 at Iowa State Clyde Williams Field • Ames, Iowa W 26-14 -
November 24* Syracuse Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 0-7 -
November 29 Kansas State Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 34-12 -
*Non-Conference Game. †Homecoming


Bassett, Henry (Sr.)T
Berquist, Joy (Sr.)RG
Bloodgood, Elbert (So.) QB
Collins, Melvin (So.) E
Dewitz, Herbert (Sr.)HB
Dewitz, Rufus (Jr.) HB
Gately QB
Halberslaben G
Hartman, Cecil (Sr.)FB
Hendrickson, Emil (Jr.) G
Hill T
Hubka, Ladimer (So.) E
Hutchinson, Harold (So.) C
Lewellen, Verne (Sr.)QB
Locke, Roland (So.) HB
Mackey C


McAllister, Eugene (Jr.) E
McGlasson, Ross (Sr.)G
Myers, Douglas (So.) E
Noble, Dave (Sr.)HB
Ogden, Warren (So.) G
Packer, Bloyce G
Popelar E
Pospisil, Frank G
Randolph, George HB
Reed G
Rhodes, John (So.) E
Robertson, Rob (So.) E
Rorby, Noel C
Weir, Ed (Jr.) T
Wostoupel, Joseph (So.) E

Coaching staff

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Fred Dawson Head Coach 1921 1921–1924 Princeton
Henry Schulte Lineman Coach 1921 1919–1924, 1931–1937 Michigan
Owen Frank Backfield Coach 1921 1921–1925 Nebraska
Bill Day Centers Coach 1921 1921–1925, 1928–1931 Nebraska
Leo Sherer Ends Coach 1923 1923–1928 Nebraska
Hartley Backfield Coach 1923 1923
James Tyson Manager


Game notes


Nebraska at Illinois
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Nebraska 0
Illinois 0

Nebraska had not faced Illinois since 1905, but had racked up victories in every contest against the Fighting Illini to date. This time, however, the game was to be played in Champaign instead of Lincoln, and the Cornhuskers had only two weeks of practice to prepare for this opening contest. The game was held close, and the outcome was in doubt until the fourth quarter, when Illinois finally overpowered Nebraska and pulled away for the win. The Cornhuskers went home with an opening loss, but held the series advantage at 4-1. [1][6]


Oklahoma at Nebraska
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Oklahoma 0
Nebraska 0

The Cornhuskers hosted Oklahoma for the first game played at the new Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. The lopsided score does not tell the tale of the game, which was a bitter contest of near equals except for the breaks that fell in favor of the Cornhuskers. The Sooners repeatedly threatened to score and were thwarted by untimely errors, and the final Nebraska score came on another near-touchdown by Oklahoma that was turned over and returned 90 yards. Oklahoma remained winless in the series, trailing Nebraska 0-4-1.[1][6][7]


Kansas at Nebraska
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Kansas 0 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 0 0 0 0 0

Although this was not the first game to be played at the new Memorial Stadium, this was the game associated with the official dedication of the facility, scheduled to coincide with homecoming. According to the Nebraska yearbook, there was apparently a streak of home field losses for area teams dedicating new stadiums at about this time, and although Nebraska did not drop this game, they also failed to get a win against visiting Kansas. Where Nebraska had the offense to move the ball, Kansas produced some stingy goal line stands to keep the Cornhuskers off the board for all four quarters, leaving both teams scoreless at the final whistle. Nebraska's overall lead in the series thus remained unchanged, at 19-9-2.[6][7]


Nebraska at Missouri
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Nebraska 0
Missouri 0

For the second game in a row, Nebraska came out looking solid and played strong football, only to be met by an equally strong team opposing them. It was not a game filled with errors and mishaps, but rather two well-coached teams that matched up equally. As a result, the game ended in a 7-7 tie, the second consecutive tie game for Nebraska. The only other time Nebraska had tied two games in a row was in 1919, and it never happened again. Missouri still had a long way to go if they hoped to catch up the series, as they still lagged behind 3-13-1. [6][7][8]

Notre Dame

Notre Dame at Nebraska
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Notre Dame 0 0 0 7 7
Nebraska 7 7 0 0 14
  • Date: November 10
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 30,000

Nebraska's season began rather weakly as the Cornhuskers managed to scrape up to a 1-1-2 record to date. Unsurprisingly, things looked grim for the home team as the undefeated Notre Dame team returned to Lincoln with a 6-0 record, having prevented all opponents from scoring more than a single touchdown in each game. The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame were looking to exact revenge for the defeat handed them by Nebraska the previous year. The game opened with Notre Dame shocked at their struggle to gain the upper hand. Nebraska scored once, and then again, going up 14-0 by halftime, stunning the crowd entirely - both those rooting for Notre Dame and for Nebraska. Knute Rockne finally managed to coach his team to a single fourth quarter touchdown, but the day belonged to the Cornhuskers. For the second time in a row, Nebraska handed the Four Horsemen a loss, which was also only the second time they had lost to any team. Notre Dame went on to win the next three games, finishing their season with just the one loss in Lincoln, again not allowing any of those other opponents more than 7 points per game. The Nebraska win caught them up with the Fighting Irish, to 4-4-1 all time.[6][9][10]

Iowa State

Nebraska at Iowa State
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Nebraska 0
Iowa State 0

Nebraska ran right out to a 26-0 lead, never seriously being challenged by Iowa State for most of the game despite a hard-fought and physical battle on the field. In the fourth quarter, however, injuries and substitutions disrupted the rhythm of the Cornhuskers, which allowed Iowa State to come to life and put in a late 14 points. Iowa State's record against Nebraska fell to 4-15-1. [6][9][11]


Syracuse at Nebraska
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Syracuse 0
Nebraska 0
  • Date: November 24
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska had some players still out from injury, while many who stayed in were slowed by various problems still carried since the Iowa State game. In another battle against a strong eastern team, both squads fought to a standstill for most of the game. Near the end, however, as in the previous week, the Cornhuskers began to bend and then finally allowed Syracuse a single touchdown, which was enough for to Syracuse to be the first visiting team to win in Nebraska's new stadium. Nebraska's frustration against the Orangemen was extended as they fell to 1-3 against Syracuse all time. [6][11]

Kansas State

Kansas State at Nebraska
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Kansas State 0
Nebraska 0
  • Date: November 29
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska found success in the final game of the season by controlling the time of the possession, with a punishing ground game that prevented Kansas State from opportunities to touch the ball. Although the final score implied a convincing win, the Kansas State squad threatened to score throughout the entire game when they were able to get the ball, and the outcome was not decided until late in the day. The Nebraska win extended the futility of the Kansas State squad in the series, as they remained winless in all eight games played to date. [6][11]

After the season

After two very successful seasons, coach Dawson's third year experienced a setback in the program's record, but still came away with several successes. Although Nebraska tied two conference games, they were also unbeaten in conference play and had one less tie game than Kansas, which handed Dawson his third consecutive league title. Bigger than that was the defeat of Notre Dame in Lincoln. Notre Dame was now undefeated for two seasons in a row - except for the two losses handed down to them by the Cornhuskers. Coach Dawson's career record suffered from the relatively weak showing on the year, falling to 18-4-2 (.792) as the program's overall record slipped to 192-64-17 (.734). Nebraska's conference record also fell slightly, despite taking home the title again, to 35-3-4 (.881).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "1924 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 517)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  2. "Football - 1923 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  3. "Nebraska Football 1923 Roster". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  4. "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  5. "1924 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 514)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 "the 1920s". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "1923 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 518)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  8. "1923 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 519)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "1923 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 520)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  10. "1923: The Huskers Pull Off A Huge Upset". Husker Press Box. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "1923 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 521)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-12-20.