1977 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Liberty Bowl Champions
Liberty Bowl vs. #14 North Carolina, W 21-17
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
CoachesNo. 10
APNo. 12
1977 record9-3-0 (5-2-0 Big 8)
Head coachTom Osborne (5th season)
Offensive coordinatorTom Osborne (9th season)
Offensive schemeI formation
Defensive coordinatorLance Van Zandt (1st season)
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
← 1976
1978 →
1977 Big 8 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#7 Oklahoma 7 0 0     10 2 0
Iowa State 5 2 0     8 4 0
#12 Nebraska 5 2 0     9 3 0
Colorado 3 3 1     7 3 1
Missouri 3 4 0     4 7 0
Kansas 2 4 1     4 6 1
Oklahoma State 2 5 0     4 7 0
Kansas State 0 7 0     2 9 0
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1977 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska in the 1977 college football season. The team was coached by Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.



Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 10* Washington State #15 Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska L 10-19   75,922
September 17* #4 Alabama Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska ABC W 31-24   75,899
September 24* Baylor #14 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 31-10   76,231
October 1* Indiana #11 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 31-13   76,034
October 8 at Kansas State #9 KSU StadiumManhattan, Kansas W 26-9   41,100
October 15 Iowa State #9 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 21-24   76,090
October 22† #7 Colorado #18 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 33-15   76,486
October 29 at Oklahoma State #12 Lewis FieldStillwater, Oklahoma ABC W 31-14   49,100
November 5 at Missouri #11 Faurot FieldColumbia, Missouri W 21-10   67,000
November 12 Kansas #12 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 52-7   76,392
November 25 at #3 Oklahoma #11 Oklahoma Memorial StadiumNorman, Oklahoma ABC L 7-38   71,184
December 19* vs. #14 North Carolina #12 Liberty Bowl Memorial StadiumMemphis, Tennessee (Liberty Bowl) ABC W 21-17   49,456
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time.



Anderson, Rene #2 (Sr.) DB
Andrews, George #96 (Jr.) DE
Anthony, Monte #49 (Sr.) IB
Barnett, Bill #97 (So.) DT
Berns, Richard #35 (Jr.) IB
Bishop, Keith #53 (Jr.) C
Bloom, Jeff #50 (So.) C
Brown, Kenny #22 (Jr.) WB
Bruce, Mike #76 (So.) OT
Bryant, Bill #95 (Jr.) DT
Burns, Ed #17 (Sr.) QB
Carpenter, Jeff #37 (Sr.) LB
Cass, Dan #8 (So.) DB
Clark, Kelvin #73 (Jr.) OT
Cole, Lawrence #81 (So.) DE
Cooley, Lawrence #67 (Jr.) OG
Cotton, Barney #54 (Jr.) C
Craig, Curtis #33 (Sr.) WB
Davis, Tom #52 (Sr.) C
Dixon, Rod #5 (Jr.) PK
Donnell, Dodie #45 (Sr.) FB
Dufresne, Mark #88 (Sr.) TE
Dunning, Bruce #40 (So.) LB
England, Gary #91 (So.) DT
Everett, Earl #9 (Sr.) WB
Fischer, Tim #16 (Jr.) DB
Franklin, Andra (So.) FB
Frei, Steve #27 (So.) DB
Garcia, Randy #18 (Sr.) QB
Gast, Reg #82 (Sr.) DE
Gemar, Scott #1 (So.) PK
Glenn, Steve #71 (Jr.) OT


Goodspeed, Mark #72 (So.) OT
Hager, Tim #10 (So.) QB
Hansen, Jeff #48 (Jr.) DB
Harvey, Ted #31 (Sr.) DB
Havekost, John #69 (So.) OG
Hedrick, Brian #43 (So.) DT
Hipp, I.M. #32 (So.) IB
Horn, Rod #55 (So.) DT
Ingram, John #19 (So.) DB
Jorgensen, Greg #63 (Sr.) OG
Keith, Percy #21 (So.) DB
Keuten, John #64 (So.) OG
Kunz, Lee #38 (Jr.) LB
Lee, Jeff #26 (Jr.) SE
Lee, Oudious #65 (So.) MG
Lehigh, Pat #6 (Jr.) DB
Lindquist, Steve #68 (Jr.) OG
Lockett, Frank #80 (Jr.) SE
Loken, Rocke #87 (Sr.) SE
Markus, Steve #56 (Sr.) LB
Matthies, Tom #77 (So.) OT
McCrady, Tim #24 (So.) WB
McQuitter, Greg #41 (Jr.) DB
Means, Andy #34 (So.) DB
Miller, Junior #89 (So.) TE
Moritz, Brett #70 (Sr.) OG
Nelson, Derrie #92 (So.) DE
O'Doherty, Dave #78 (So.) OT
Ohrt, Tom #74 (Jr.) OT
Payne, Dennis #13 (Jr.) DB
Pensick, Dan #93 (So.) DT
Pillen, Jim #29 (Jr.) DB


Poeschl, Randy #75 (Jr.) DT
Powers, Dana #28 (So.) DB
Pullen, Jeff #66 (Sr.) MG
Quinn, Jeff #11 (So.) QB
Rick, Randy #90 (Sr.) DE
Roehrs, Kelvin #99 (Jr.) MG
Ruud, John #46 (So.) LB
Saalfeld, Kelly #57 (Jr.) C
Samuel, Tony #98 (Sr.) DE
Schleusener, Randy #61 (So.) OG
Selko, John #83 (Jr.) TE
Smith, Kent #23 (Sr.) DB
Smith, Tim #84 (So.) SE
Sorley, Tom #12 (Jr.) QB
Spaeth, Ken #86 (Sr.) TE
Steiner, Dan #58 (So.) OG
Steward, Keith #44 (Jr.) FB
Stewart, Byron #30 (Jr.) IB
Stroh, Mark #85 (So.) DE
Sukup, Dean #3 (So.) PK
Todd, Billy #14 (Jr.) PK
Valasek, Larry #4 (Sr.) DB
Vering, Tom #47 (Jr.) LB
Waldemore, Stan #62 (Sr.) OT
Walton, Darrell #7 (Jr.) DB
Washington, Mike #36 (So.) FB
Weinmaster, Kerry #51 (So.) MG
Wightman, Jim #59 (Sr.) LB
Wurth, Tim #25 (So.) IB
Young, Larry #94 (Jr.) DE
Young, Willie #39 (So.) LB


Coaching staffEdit

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Tom OsborneHead Coach
Offensive Coordinator
19731964-1997Hastings College
Lance Van ZandtDefensive Coordinator
Defensive Backs
Cletus FischerOffensive Line 1960-1985Nebraska
John MeltonTight Ends
Mike CorganRunning Backs19621962-1982Notre Dame
Boyd EpleyHead Strength Coach19691969-2003Nebraska
Jerry MooreWide Receivers19731973-1978Baylor
George DarlingtonDefensive Backs 1973-2002 Rutgers
Milt TenopirOffensive Line19741974-2002 Sterling
Guy InglesFreshman Head Coach 1976-1978Nebraska
Gene HueyReceivers19771977-1986Wyoming
Charlie McBrideDefensive Line19771977-1999Colorado

Game notesEdit

Washington StateEdit

Washington State at #15 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Washington State 0 7 7 5 19
#15 Nebraska 0 7 0 3 10

Nebraska convincingly dominated Washington State on the field and statistically, but fumbled repeatedly, including three times inside the Couger 10 yard line and once on a punt. Despite the miscues, Nebraska still held onto a 7-7 tie at halftime. As the game progressed and Washington State began to pull away, Nebraska kept piling up the statistics but failed to get any closer than 10-14 before the Cougars iced the game with a field goal and a safety in the 4th quarter. The numbers defied the scoreboard, as Nebraska led in first downs 24-14, on the ground 247-120 and in the air 223-174, but the number that mattered was 0-1 to start the season.


#4 Alabama at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#4 Alabama 7 10 0 7 24
Nebraska 10 7 7 7 31

Alabama came into Lincoln ranked #2 as Nebraska was still feeling the sting of the loss to Washington State and a rare absence from the polls. While the Crimson Tide slightly exceeded the Cornhuskers on offensive production, the 5-1 interception ratio and 25-17 first down edge each helped give Nebraska the edge to pull off the stunning upset.


Baylor at #14 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Baylor 3 0 7 0 10
#14 Nebraska 10 13 0 8 31

Baylor was behind 10-3 by the end of the 1st quarter, and their only other score was a 3rd quarter touchdown made possible in part by a lost Nebraska fumble. It was the offensive production that told the story of the day, as Nebraska rolled up 414 yards compared to the 182 produced by Baylor.


Indiana at #11 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Indiana 7 3 3 0 13
#11 Nebraska 10 7 0 14 31

Nebraska IB I.M. Hipp, starting place of injured IB Rick Berns, set a new single game rushing record of 254 yards, besting the previous record of 211 set the previous year by Berns. Despite that performance, the game actually was in doubt entering the 4th quarter as the Hoosiers trailed 13-17, but the Cornhuskers added two more touchdowns soon after and came away with their 3rd consecutive 31-point score and win to close out the non-conference slate.

Kansas StateEdit

#9 Nebraska at Kansas State [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#9 Nebraska 0 10 7 9 26
Kansas State 3 0 0 6 9

Two long touchdown runs by Nebraska IB I.M. Hipp created the gap between Kansas State and Nebraska, but the three interceptions suffered by the Wildcats also hurt any hopes that Kansas State may have had to put up a fight. Though Nebraska started out behind 0-3 in the 1st quarter, they scored the next touchdown and never looked back.

Iowa StateEdit

Iowa State at #9 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Iowa State 7 14 3 0 24
#9 Nebraska 14 0 7 0 21

Nebraska struck first and still held the 14-7 lead by the end of the 1st quarter, but two more Iowa State scores before the half put the Cyclones ahead for the rest of the game. Both offenses ground to a halt in the 4th quarter as the Cornhuskers failed to overcome the 21-24 deficit and were handed their second loss of the season.


#7 Colorado at #18 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#7 Colorado 7 8 0 0 15
#18 Nebraska 3 13 3 14 33

The season of upsets for and against Nebraska continued, as the #7 Colorado team arrived in Lincoln to be dealt its first loss of the season. One of the two Colorado scores came on a 98 yard kickoff return, but after the half it was all Nebraska as the Cornhuskers piled up 390 yards on the ground and 480 in total.

Oklahoma StateEdit

#12 Nebraska at Oklahoma State [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#12 Nebraska 0 14 14 3 31
Oklahoma State 7 0 0 7 14

Nebraska owned the edge in all facets, leading 74-63 through the air and 318-196 on the ground. Although the Cornhuskers didn't see the scoreboard until the 2nd quarter, they quickly took the lead with help from the Blackshirts, as the Cowboys soon found themselves too far behind to pose any further threat to Nebraska.


#11 Nebraska at Missouri [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#11 Nebraska 9 0 6 6 21
Missouri 0 10 0 0 10

Once again the Blackshirts helped carry the day to make up for repeated turnovers, along with help from Nebraska PK Billy Todd, who created some breathing room by accounting for 9 of the 11 points that separated the Cornhuskers from the Tigers at the final whistle.


Kansas at #12 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Kansas 0 0 0 7 7
#12 Nebraska 14 14 10 14 52

Nebraska steamrolled Kansas in Lincoln to close out the home schedule, setting records all over in the process. Cornhusker PK Billy Todd set a new Nebraska record for field goals in a season with his 12th and tied a 55-yard longest Nebraska field goal record set in 1969, while the offense set a new single-game rushing record at 550 yards. The Jayhawks' only score came in the 4th quarter against reserves.


#11 Nebraska at #3 Oklahoma [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#11 Nebraska 0 7 0 0 7
#3 Oklahoma 0 21 3 14 38

Both teams struggled to put points up to start out, but adjustments made by Oklahoma, with help from inopportune tunovers by Nebraska, led to a Sooner halftime lead of 21-7. The Cornhuskers never were able to get consistent production after that and never saw the scoreboard again as Oklahoma had little trouble padding their lead by an additional 17 points to secure their 6th straight win over Nebraska.

North CarolinaEdit

#12 Nebraska vs #14 North Carolina [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
#12 Nebraska 0 7 0 14 21
#14 North Carolina 0 14 3 0 17

Nebraska survived a scare when they came from behind, lagging North Carolina 7-17 at the start of the 4th quarter, to post two straight touchdowns for the lead and the win. Nebraska was the only team to score more than 14 against the Tar Heels all year, as North Carolina led the nation in scoring defense and had held opponents to an average of under 8 points per game. It was backup Nebraska QB Randy Garcia who provided the late spark for the Cornhuskers as he came off the bench and directed the two touchdown drives that put Nebraska ahead with just 3:16 left to play, putting away the game and closing the door on the Tar Heels' bid for an upset.


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 Final
AP 15 NR 14 11 9 9 18 12 11 12 11 11 12 12
Coaches 10



Award Name(s)
All-America 1st team Tom Davis
All-America 2nd team Greg Jorgensen, I.M. Hipp
All-America honorable mention Ken Spaeth, Kelvin Clark, Lee Kunz, Ted Harvey
All-Big 8 1st team Tom Davis, Greg Jorgensen, I.M. Hipp, Jim Pillen
All-Big 8 2nd team Rick Berns, Kelvin Clark, Ted Harvey, Lee Kunz, Steve Lindquist, Ken Spaeth, Stan Waldemore
All-Big 8 honorable mention George Andrews, Tony Samuel, Tom Sorley

NFL and Pro PlayersEdit

The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1977 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents.[5]

Name Team
George Andrews Los Angeles Rams
Bill Barnett Miami Dolphins
Rick Berns Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ed Burns New Orleans Saints
Kelvin Clark Denver Broncos
Barney Cotton Cincinnati Bengals
Tom Davis Toronto Argonauts
Andra Franklin Miami Dolphins
Mark Goodspeed St. Louis Cardinals
Rod Horn Cincinnati Bengals
Lee Kunz Chicago Bears
Jeff Lee St. Louis Cardinals
Oudious Lee St. Louis Cardinals
Frank Lockett Boston Breakers
Junior Miller Atlanta Falcons
Brett Moritz Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derrie Nelson San Diego Chargers
Jeff Quinn Pittsburgh Steelers
Stan Waldemore New York Jets


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