American Football Database
1979 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
File:Nebraska Cornhuskers logo.svg
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
CoachesNo. 7
APNo. 9
1979 record10-2-0 (6-1-0 Big 8)
Head coachTom Osborne (7th season)
Offensive coordinatorTom Osborne (10th season)
Offensive schemeI formation
Defensive coordinatorLance Van Zandt (3rd season)
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
← 1978
1980 →
1979 Big 8 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#3 Oklahoma 7 0 0     11 1 0
#9 Nebraska 6 1 0     10 2 0
Oklahoma State 5 2 0     7 4 0
Missouri 3 4 0     7 5 0
Colorado 2 5 0     3 8 0
Iowa State 2 5 0     3 8 0
Kansas 2 5 0     3 8 0
Kansas State 1 6 0     3 8 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1979 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1979 NCAA Division I-A 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 15* Utah State #8 Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska W 35-14   75,953
September 22* at Iowa #7 Kinnick StadiumIowa City, Iowa W 24-21   60,005
September 29* #18 Penn State #6 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska ABC W 42-17   76,151
October 6 New Mexico State #5 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 57-0   76,135
October 13† Kansas #5 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 42-0   76,011
October 20 at Oklahoma State #3 Lewis FieldStillwater, Oklahoma W 36-0   51,000
October 27 Colorado #2 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 38-10   76,158
November 3 at Missouri #2 Faurot FieldColumbia, Missouri W 23-20   74,575
November 10 at Kansas State #2 KSU StadiumManhattan, Kansas W 21-12   43,210
November 17 Iowa State #3 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 34-3   76,049
November 24 at #8 Oklahoma #3 Oklahoma Memorial StadiumNorman, Oklahoma L 14-17   72,516
January 1* vs. #8 Houston #7 Cotton BowlDallas, Texas (Cotton Bowl Classic) L 14-17   72,032
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time.



Adams, Joe #64 (Jr.) OG
Baker, Kim #41 (Jr.) LB
Barnett, Bill #97 (Sr.) DT
Bates, Phil (So.) FB
Beach, Jim (So.) DB
Bergkamp, Tim #36 (Jr.) PK
Bess, Donnie (So.) DE
Bloom, Jeff #50 (Sr.) C
Boll, Peter (So.) OT
Branch, Anthony #4 (So.) WB
Brandl, Matt (So.) OG
Brown, Kenny #22 (Sr.) WB
Brown, Todd #29 (Fr.) SE
Bruce, Mike #76 (Jr.) OT
Bush, Anthony (So.) SE
Carlstrom, Tom #78 (So.) OG
Clark, David #63 (Jr.) DT
Cole, Lawrence #81 (Sr.) DE
Conneally, Jerry (So.) LB
Damkroger, Steve #35 (Fr.) LB
Davies, Steve #82 (Jr.) TE
DeLoach, Trey #52 (Jr.) C
England, Gary #70 (Jr.) OT
Evans, Brent (So.) FB
Finn, Jeff #87 (Jr.) TE
Fischer, Dan #26 (So.) DB
Franklin, Andra #39 (Jr.) FB
Gary, Russell #9 (Jr.) DB
Gdowski, Tom (So.) DT
Gebert, Chris #14 (So.) QB
Gemar, Scott #1 (Jr.) PK
Gerlach, Dan (So.) DB
Glathar, Kurt (So.) OG
Goodspeed, Mark #72 (Sr.) OT
Hager, Tim #10 (Sr.) QB
Havekost, John #69 (Sr.) OG
Hedrick, Brian #43 (Jr.) DT
Hill, Dan (So.) TE
Hineline, Curt #59 (So.) MG
Hipp, I.M. #32 (Sr.) IB
Holbrook, Tim (So.) DB
Holmes, Daryl #94 (Jr.) DE


Horn, Rod #55 (Sr.) DT
Huebert, Randy (So.) WB
Hunt, Al #49 (So.) FB
Hurley, Dan #73 (So.) OT
Iodence, Brian (So.) DB
Johnson, Brad (So.) C
Johnson, Craig #30 (Jr.) IB
Keith, Percy #21 (Jr.) IB
Keuten, John #62 (Jr.) OG
Kirk, Donnie #13 (So.) PK
Knoll, Eric (So.) QB
Kotera, Jim #44 (Jr.) FB
Krejci, Jeff #2 (So.) DB
Kwapick, Jeff (So.) OT
Landwehr, Randy #27 (So.) IB
Larsen, Pat (So.) DB
Lee, Oudious #65 (Sr.) MG
LeRoy, Mark #23 (Sr.) DB
Letcher, Paul #8 (Sr.) DB
Lewis, Rodney #5 (So.) DB
Liegl, David #28 (Jr.) DB
Lindquist, Ric #15 (So.) DB
Lindstrom, Dan #98 (Jr.) DE
Lingenfelter, Bruce (So.) OT
Lynch, Greg (So.) OG
Mandelko, Mike #68 (So.) OG
Mathison, Bruce #19 (So.) QB
Mauer, Mark #17 (So.) QB
McCloney, Maurice #31 (So.) WB
McCrady, Tim #24 (Jr.) WB
McElroy, Mike (So.) C
McWhirter, Steve #45 (Fr.) LB
Means, Andy #34 (Jr.) DB
Michaelson, Steve #18 (So.) QB
Miles, Darwin #91 (So.) DE
Miller, Junior #89 (Sr.) TE
Minor, John #86 (Sr.) MG
Moravec, Mark (So.) FB
Nelson, Derrie #92 (Jr.) DE
Noonan, John (So.) SE
Nyden, Richard (Jr.) SE
Pensick, Dan #93 (Sr.) DT


Peterson, Dick #83 (So.) TE
Phillips, Patrick #94 (So.) DE
Poppe, Scott (So.) LB
Potadle, Paul #61 (Sr.) OG
Quinn, Jeff #11 (Jr.) QB
Rabas, Greg #85 (So.) TE
Redwine, Jarvis #12 (Jr.) IB
Reiners, Dan (So.) DE
Rice, Dan #74 (Sr.) C
Rimington, Dave #56 (Fr.) C
Roark, Larry (So.) DB
Ruud, John #46 (Sr.) LB
Saalfeld, Kelly #57 (Sr.) C
Santin, John (So.) DE
Schleusener, Randy #53 (Jr.) OG
Sculley, Mike (Jr.) MG
Searcey, L.G. #37 (So.) DB
Seibel, Kevin (Fr.) P/PK
Sims, Sammy #6 (So.) DB
Slobodnik, Tim (Fr.) DB
Smith, Tim #84 (Sr.) SE
Steels, Anthony #33 (So.) WB
Steiner, Dan #58 (Sr.) OT
Stocker, Kevin #20 (Fr.) PK
Sukup, Dean #3 (Sr.) PK
Theiss, Randy (So.) OT
Theissen, Gordon #90 (Sr.) DE
Trent, Phil #16 (Fr.) DB
Vair, Duke (So.) IB
Van Lent, Bill (Fr.) DT
Van Norman, Kris #38 (So.) DB
Vergith, Tom (So.) WB
Vering, Tom #47 (Sr.) LB
Waechter, Henry #75 (So.) DT
Wallace, Walter (So.) IB
Wees, Dennis (So.) LB
Weinmaster, Kerry #51 (Sr.) MG
Williams, Jamie (Fr.) TE
Williams, Brent (Jr.) LB
Williams, Jimmy #96 (So.) DE
Woodard, Scott #88 (Jr.) SE
Wurth, Tim (Unk) I


Coaching staff

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Tom Osborne Head Coach
Offensive Coordinator
1973 1964–1997 Hastings College
Lance Van Zandt Defensive Coordinator
Defensive Backs
1977 1977–1980 Lamar
Charlie McBride Defensive Line 1977 1977–1999 Colorado
Cletus Fischer Offensive Line 1960–1985 Nebraska
John Melton Tight Ends
1973 1962–1988 Wyoming
Mike Corgan Running Backs 1962 1962–1982 Notre Dame
Boyd Epley Head Strength Coach 1969 1969–2003 Nebraska
George Darlington Defensive Backs 1973–2002 Rutgers
Milt Tenopir Offensive Line 1974 1974–2002 Sterling
Gene Huey Receivers 1977 1977–1986 Wyoming
Frank Solich Head Freshman Coach 1979 1979–2003 Nebraska
Jack Pierce 1979–1991
Jake Cabell Freshman Defensive Coordinator 1979 1979 Nebraska
Pat Fischer 1979 1979 Nebraska

Game notes

Utah State

Utah State at #8 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Utah State 6 8 0 0 14
#8 Nebraska 7 7 7 14 35

Nebraska started out the 1979 season with less than convincing power, as relatively unheralded Utah State was still in the game as the teams entered intermission tied at 14. After adjustments were made, coaching and conditioning put the distance between the two teams as the Aggies failed to score again while the Cornhuskers added 21 with the help of 455 yards on the ground for the day.


#7 Nebraska at Iowa [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#7 Nebraska 0 7 7 10 24
Iowa 7 0 14 0 21

For the second week in a row, an unranked team came out strong against Nebraska, as Iowa scored first and held Nebraska to the 7-7 tie at the half. The situation wasn't looking up for the Cornhuskers as Iowa moved ahead to 21-14 by the end of the 3rd, but finally the Blackshirts put the brakes on Iowa's offensive output and eventually forced a fumble as the 4th quarter wound down which Nebraska successfully converted into the winning field goal before the Cornhuskers escaped Iowa City with the win.

Penn State

#18 Penn State at #6 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#18 Penn State 14 0 3 0 17
#6 Nebraska 28 0 0 14 42

Nebraska continued their season trend of posting weak starts, as Penn State surged to a 14 point lead in the 1st quarter, but the Blackshirts seemed to figure out the Nittany Lions from that point forward, allowing only a 3rd quarter field goal, while the Cornhusker offense came to life and put up 42 points to pass by Penn State and quell any hopes of an upset in Lincoln.

New Mexico State

New Mexico State at #5 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
New Mexico State 0 0 0 0 0
#5 Nebraska 21 10 19 7 57

This game was all Nebraska, as IB Jarvis Redwine made his first start and racked up 120 yards in just 16 carries, leaving the game before halftime. Eighty four Cornhuskers saw playing time, including some true freshmen, as Nebraska coasted to an easy 57-0 pasting of the Aggies.


Kansas at #5 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Kansas 0 0 0 0 0
#5 Nebraska 0 15 27 0 42

Nebraska again dominated, although the Kansas defense prevented three of four touchdown attempts in the first half and forced the Cornhuskers to settle for field goals instead. This was little help for the Jayhawks, however, who could not muster any kind of response to get onto the scoreboard. By the end of the game, Kansas had acquired only 8 first downs, 79 total yards, and suffered 3 interceptions as Nebraska's 611 offensive yards allowed them to steamroll to a 42-0 shutout victory.

Oklahoma State

#3 Nebraska at Oklahoma State [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#3 Nebraska 0 15 7 14 36
Oklahoma State 0 0 0 0 0

Nebraska settled into a remarkable groove, posting their 3rd straight shutout victory on the road in Stillwater. Two Nebraska runners exceeded 100 yards as the Cornhuskers rolled up 433 yards on the ground compared to only 37 by the Cowboys, who only crossed midfield twice.


Colorado at #2 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Colorado 3 7 0 0 10
#2 Nebraska 7 10 14 7 38

Colorado's only touchdown came on an interception return, which left intact a record 19 straight quarters that the Blackshirts had prevented a touchdown, while IB Jarvis Redwine amassed over 200 yards and three touchdowns as the Cornhuskers defeated the Buffaloes for the 12th consecutive time.


#2 Nebraska at Missouri [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Nebraska 7 10 3 3 23
Missouri 0 6 14 0 20

Nebraska pulled out to an early 20-6 lead shortly after halftime, and a relatively easy win seemed to be on the horizon, but someone forgot to tell Missouri to give up. The Tigers came right back, scoring 14 straight to tie the game at 20 as the 3rd quarter ended, and the game was on. Both teams struggled to make progress until Nebraska was able to muster a single field goal with a little over 3 minutes left to play, but the game was not decided until the final play, as Missouri opted out of the easy, game-tying field goal and went for the win from the Nebraska 11 with 3 seconds left, only for QB James Wilder to get sacked by the Blackshirts before he could unload the ball.

Kansas State

#2 Nebraska at Kansas State [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Nebraska 7 0 7 7 21
Kansas State 6 0 6 0 12

Kansas State turned over four interceptions, but it seemed as if Nebraska was intent on repaying the favor by losing five of seven fumbles to help keep the Wildcats in the game. By the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Wildcats trailed the Cornhuskers by just 2 points. Halfway through the 4th, Nebraska put up 7 more points to create some breathing room, and held off Kansas State until time expired.

Iowa State

Iowa State at #3 Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Iowa State 0 0 0 3 3
#3 Nebraska 3 25 0 6 34

Nebraska experienced yet another slow start as the 1st quarter ended with only a Cornhusker field goal on the board, but in the second quarter things seemed to fall into place as Nebraska posted another 25 points by halftime without any response from Iowa State. The Cyclones managed to avoid the shutout with a field goal in the 4th, but avoiding the disgrace of the shutout was about all they accomplished for the day as they departed Lincoln with a 3-34 loss on the books.


#3 Nebraska at #8 Oklahoma [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#3 Nebraska 0 7 0 7 14
#8 Oklahoma 0 3 7 7 17

A hard fought battle for the Big 8 title resulted in disappointment for Nebraska, who surrendered a 4-point halftime lead as Oklahoma overpowered the Blackshirts, who had been ranked #1 against the run leading up to this game. The final score of the day came from Nebraska's first-ever fumblerooski.


#7 Nebraska vs #8 Houston [box score]
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#7 Nebraska 7 0 0 7 14
#8 Houston 0 7 0 10 17

The Cornhuskers got onto the scoreboard first with a 1st quarter touchdown, but offensive production stalled as Houston caught up and tied the Cornhuskers before halftime. The Cougers gave up an interception and lost three of seven fumbles during the game, giving Nebraska a 4-1 turnover margin edge, but Houston's passing and rushing efforts were successful enough to overcome the setbacks. Nebraska gained a slim 3 point lead with little more than 3 minutes to play, but Houston marched down the field and put one more touchdown into the end zone with just 12 seconds on the clock, handing Nebraska a loss to close the season.


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 4 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 6 5 4 8
Coaches 7



Award Name(s)
All-America 1st team Junior Miller
All-America 2nd team Mark Goodspeed, Jarvis Redwine, Kerry Weinmaster
All-America 3rd team Kelly Saalfeld
All-America honorable mention John Havekost, Rod Horn, Derrie Nelson, Kerry Weinmaster
Big 8 Newcomer of the Year Jarvis Redwine
All-Big 8 1st team Kenny Brown, John Havekost, Rod Horn, Junior Miller, Derrie Nelson, Jarvis Redwine, Kelly Saalfeld, Tim Smith, Dean Sukup, Kerry Weinmaster
All-Big 8 2nd team Bill Barnett, Mark Goodspeed, Andy Means, Randy Schleusener, Tim Smith
All-Big 8 honorable mention Lawrence Cole, Andra Franklin, I. M. Hipp, Mark LeRoy, Dan Steiner, Tom Vering, Brent Williams

NFL and Pro Players

The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1979 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents.[5]

Name Team
Bill Barnett Miami Dolphins
Todd Brown Montreal Concordes
Andra Franklin Miami Dolphins
Russell Gary New Orleans Saints
Mark Goodspeed St. Louis Cardinals
Rod Horn Cincinnati Bengals
Dan Hurley Boston Breakers
Brad Johnson Boston Breakers
Oudious Lee St. Louis Cardinals
Rodney Lewis New Orleans Saints
Allen Lyday Houston Oilers
Bruce Mathison San Diego Chargers
Junior Miller Atlanta Falcons
Derrie Nelson San Diego Chargers
Jeff Quinn Pittsburgh Steelers
Jarvis Redwine Minnesota Vikings
Dave Rimington Cincinnati Bengals
Kevin Seibel Chicago Blitz
Anthony Steels Boston Breakers
Henry Waechter Chicago Bears
Jamie Williams St. Louis Cardinals
Jimmy Williams Detroit Lions