1986 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Logo of the Nebraska athletic teams 1982-1991
Sugar Bowl Champions
Sugar Bowl vs. #5 LSU, W 30-15
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
CoachesNo. 4
APNo. 5
1986 record10-2-0 (5-2-0 Big 8)
Head coachTom Osborne (14th season)
Offensive coordinatorTom Osborne (17th season)
Offensive schemeI formation
Defensive coordinatorCharlie McBride (6th season)
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
← 1985
1987 →
1986 Big 8 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#3 Oklahoma 7 0 0     11 1 0
Colorado 6 1 0     6 6 0
#5 Nebraska 5 2 0     10 2 0
Oklahoma State 4 3 0     6 5 0
Iowa State 3 4 0     6 5 0
Missouri 2 5 0     3 8 0
Kansas State 1 6 0     2 9 0
Kansas 0 7 0     3 8 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1986 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1986 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 6* #11 Florida State #8 Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska W 34-17   75,865
September 20* at Illinois #6 Memorial StadiumChampaign, Illinois W 59-14   75,865
September 27* Oregon #4 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 48-14   76,185
October 4* at South Carolina #3 Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, South Carolina W 27-24   73,109
October 11† Oklahoma State #3 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 30-10   76,041
October 18 Missouri #3 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 48-17   76,005
October 25 at Colorado #3 Folsom FieldBoulder, Colorado L 10-20   52,440
November 1 Kansas State #9 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska W 38-0   75,893
November 8 at Iowa State #7 Cyclone StadiumAmes, Iowa W 35-14   48,007
November 15 at Kansas #6 Memorial StadiumLawrence, Kansas W 70-0   48,800
November 22 #3 Oklahoma #5 Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska L 17-20   76,198
January 1* vs. #5 LSU #6 Louisiana SuperdomeNew Orleans, Louisiana (Sugar Bowl) W 30-15   76,234
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time.

Roster and coaching staffEdit

1986 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
OG 68 Bailey, DanDan Bailey Jr
TE 87 Banderas, TomTom Banderas Jr
WB 18 Behrens, VanceVance Behrens Jr
WB 21 Bell, RichardRichard Bell So
QB 12 Blakeman, CleteClete Blakeman Jr
WB 33 Brinson, DanaDana Brinson So
FB 24 Casterline, DanDan Casterline Sr
C 54 Cooper, MarkMark Cooper Sr
FB    Dalton, DougDoug Dalton Jr
TE 81 Diaz, MarkMark Diaz Sr
IB 22 DuBose, DougDoug DuBose Sr
OT 77 Ernest, JimJim Ernest So
OG 67 Galois, RonRon Galois Sr
SE 86 Gamble, JasonJason Gamble So
WB Gatson, PernellPernell Gatson Sr
OT 73 Green, DerrickDerrick Green Jr
TE 84 Hall, MikeMike Hall Jr
SE 82 Hawkins, HendleyHendley Hawkins Jr
FB 48 Heibel, MicahMicah Heibel Jr
OG 75 Hoefler, MikeMike Hoefler Sr
WB 27 Holscher, JimJim Holscher Jr
OT 70 Hudson, Corey BillCorey Bill Hudson Jr
OT 64 Johnson, BradBrad Johnson Sr
IB Jones, KeithKeith Jones Jr
FB 49 Kaelin, KenKen Kaelin Sr
OG 65 Keeler, AndyAndy Keeler So
IB 40 Kelley, JonJon Kelley Jr
FB 34 Knox, TyreeseTyreese Knox So
OT 57 Lightner, KevenKeven Lightner Jr
OT 72 Maggard, RobRob Maggard Sr
OG 61 McCormick, JohnJohn McCormick Jr
TE 43 Millikan, ToddTodd Millikan So
QB 16 Mlinar, JerryJerry Mlinar Sr
WB Nelson, RayRay Nelson Sr
C 63 Nichols, JohnJohn Nichols Jr
OT 74 Parker, StanStan Parker Sr
IB 20 Rodgers, TerryTerry Rodgers Fr
SE 85 Schnitzler, RobbRobb Schnitzler Sr
C 53 Sellentin, JeffJeff Sellentin Sr
WB Sheppard, VonVon Sheppard Jr
OT 62 Sledge, BobBob Sledge So
SE 88 Smith, RodRod Smith Jr
QB Taylor, SteveSteve Taylor So
OT 69 Welter, TomTom Welter Sr
IB 25 Wheeler, JeffJeff Wheeler So
QB 15 Wooten, WendellWendell Wooten So
C 68 Young, JakeJake Young Fr
Pos. # Name Class
S 23 Blazek, MarkMark Blazek Jr
MG 58 Bryan, DaveDave Bryan Sr
CB 42 Carl, MikeMike Carl Sr
S 45 Carr, ChrisChris Carr Sr
CB 31 Chealey, GeneGene Chealey Jr
CB Clayton, McCathornMcCathorn Clayton Jr
CB 28 Custard, JohnJohn Custard So
CB 32 Davis, BrianBrian Davis Sr
LB 47 Etienne, LeRoyLeRoy Etienne So
LB 38 Forch, SteveSteve Forch Sr
CB 10 Fryar, CharlesCharles Fryar So
DT 84 Griffin, WillieWillie Griffin So
DT 52 Groskurth, DannyDanny Groskurth Jr
LB 39 Henning, BlakeBlake Henning Jr
CB Hicks, LorenzoLorenzo Hicks So
DE 91 Holloway, TonyTony Holloway Sr
DE 80 Jamrog, JeffJeff Jamrog Jr
DE 55 Jobman, RandallRandall Jobman So
DT 98 Jones, LeeLee Jones Jr
DE 93 Marco, JonJon Marco So
CB 17 Miller, CleoCleo Miller Sr
LB 41 Munford, MarcMarc Munford Sr
MG 95 Noonan, DannyDanny Noonan Sr
DE 94 Novacek, BumpBump Novacek So
DE 90 Opie, HarlanHarlan Opie Jr
DT 97 Palmer, TonyTony Palmer Jr
LB 35 Parsons, KevinKevin Parsons Sr
MG 96 Pete, LawrenceLawrence Pete So
MG 92 Putnam, SeanSean Putnam So
DT 78 Rother, TimTim Rother Jr
CB 26 Sanders, MarvinMarvin Sanders So
LB 51 Shaw, PatPat Shaw Sr
S 19 Siebler, BryanBryan Siebler Sr
DT 66 Skradis, KurtKurt Skradis So
DT 99 Smith, NeilNeil Smith Jr
DT 76 Spachman, ChrisChris Spachman Sr
S 29 Thayer, DanDan Thayer Sr
DE 89 Thomas, BroderickBroderick Thomas So
DE 83 Tyrer, BradBrad Tyrer Sr
LB 37 Welniak, DougDoug Welniak Jr
LB 24 Wiley, DanteDante Wiley So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
PK 44 Barrios, GreggGregg Barrios Fr
PK 44 Drennan, ChrisChris Drennan So
PK Klein, DaleDale Klein Sr
P 45 Kroeker, JohnJohn Kroeker So
MON Schneider, GaryGary Schneider Sr
P/PK 13 Schnitzler, CraigCraig Schnitzler Jr
MON 11 Tomjack, JeffJeff Tomjack Jr
P 14 Toner, JimJim Toner So
MON Washington, BrianBrian Washington Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Charlie McBride
       6th season as DC/LB coach
       10th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Colorado
  • John Melton
       14th season as TE/WB coach
       25th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Wyoming
  • Boyd Epley
       18th season as S&C coach
       18th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • George Darlington
       DB coach
       14th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Rutgers
  • Milt Tenopir
       13th season as OL coach
       13th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Sterling
  • Gene Huey
       10th season as WR coach
       10th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Wyoming
  • Frank Solich
       4th season as RB coach
       8th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Jack Pierce
       8th year at Nebraska
  • Dan Young
       4th season as OL/K coach
       4th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Reed
  • Tony Samuel
       1st season as OLB coach
       1st year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt

Last update: 2011-01-17

Game notesEdit

Florida StateEdit

Florida State at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Florida State 7 7 3 0 17
Nebraska 0 10 14 10 34

This was the first ever night game at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska's loss to FSU in Lincoln the previous year was avenged when the Cornhuskers came back from a halftime deficit, outscoring FSU 24-3 and holding the Seminoles to -2 yards in the second half.


Nebraska at Illinois [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 28 10 14 7 59
Illinois 0 7 0 7 14

The outcome of this game was more or less sealed from the very first play, as Illinois QB Chris Lamb threw an interception that Cornhusker CB Brian Davis returned for a touchdown, and Nebraska never looked back.


Oregon at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Oregon 7 0 0 7 14
Nebraska 14 21 13 0 48

Oregon made the first strike, but Nebraska then ran away from the Ducks, scoring 48 unanswered points, though the Cornhuskers suffered the loss of WB Von Sheppard to injury and saw PK Dale Klein's consecutive PATs streak ended at 60.

South CarolinaEdit

Nebraska at South Carolina [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 10 3 0 14 27
South Carolina 0 7 3 14 24

Nebraska survived a scare in Columbia, escaping with a victory due to recovering a Gamecock fumble with two minutes left to play to set up the go-ahead touchdown, and then intercepting a throw by South Carolina QB Todd Ellis at NU's 10 yard line with just 10 seconds remaining.

Oklahoma StateEdit

Oklahoma State at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Oklahoma State 0 10 0 0 10
Nebraska 14 7 9 0 30

Nebraska continued their string of domination over Oklahoma State in the second ever night game at Memorial Stadium, extending their win streak over the Cowboys to 25.


Missouri at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Missouri 3 0 0 14 17
Nebraska 0 20 21 7 48

Missouri scored first on a 29 yard field goal, but Nebraska owned the show for the rest of the game, scoring six straight touchdowns on their way to the win. Nebraska PK Dave Klein beat the Cornhusker career FG record of 22 when he extended his total to 24 in this game.


Nebraska at Colorado [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 0 0 7 3 10
Colorado 7 3 0 10 20

Unranked Colorado stunned the #3 Cornhuskers, holding Nebraska to its lowest rushing yard total in eight years and ending Nebraska's 19-year winning streak against the Buffaloes.

Kansas StateEdit

Kansas State at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Kansas State 0 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 17 0 14 7 38

The hapless Wildcats suffered Nebraska's wrath following their loss to unranked Colorado the week prior, as the Cornhuskers romped in the snow at Memorial Stadium and shut out Kansas State while allowing them just 106 total yards of offense.

Iowa StateEdit

Nebraska at Iowa State [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 7 0 14 14 35
Iowa State 0 14 0 0 14

Nebraska struck first but then seemed to flame out, as Iowa State sent the Cornhuskers to the locker room behind 14-7 at halftime. After a rousing pep talk from Coach Osborne, the Cornhuskers stormed back in the 2nd half for the win.


Nebraska at Kansas [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 21 14 21 14 70
Kansas 0 0 0 0 0

Nebraska absolutely crushed Kansas in Lawrence, handing the Jayhawks their worst-ever loss and posting the biggest Cornhusker shutout since a 100-0 smashing of Nebraska Wesleyan in 1917.


Oklahoma at Nebraska [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Oklahoma 7 0 0 13 20
Nebraska 7 3 7 0 17

The #5 Cornhuskers, flying high after their 70-0 shutout against Kansas the previous week, looked ready to upset the #3 Sooners, but it was not to be. Oklahoma found the end zone twice in the 4th quarter to tie the game, and forced a Nebraska punt with 1:22 remaining. After grinding back down the field, and with just 9 seconds remaining, Oklahoma PK Tim Lashar made a 31 yard kick to split the uprights for the win, handing the Sooners their 2nd consecutive Big 8 Championship title.


Nebraska vs LSU [box score]
by Quarter1234 Total
Nebraska 0 10 7 13 30
LSU 7 0 0 8 15

Nebraska's 25th bowl appearance saw the Blackshirts setting two new bowl-game records by holding LSU to just 32 net rushing yards and 10 first downs as the #5 Cornhuskers rolled up the upset win over the #3 Tigers.


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 Final
AP 8 6 6 4 3 3 3 3 9 7 6 5 6 6 5
Coaches 4



Award Name(s)
All-America 1st team Danny Noonan
All-America 3rd team Tom Welter
All-America honorable mention Broderick Thomas, Keith Jones, Rob Maggard, John McCormick, Marc Munford, Stan Parker, Chris Spachman
Sophomore All-America 1st team Broderick Thomas
Sophomore All-America honorable mention LeRoy Etienne
Big 8 Athlete of the Year Danny Noonan
All-Big 8 1st team Keith Jones, Danny Noonan, Broderick Thomas, Tom Welter, Marc Munford
All-Big 8 2nd team John McCormick, Brian Davis, Rob Maggard, Todd Millikan, Stan Parker, Rod Smith

NFL and Pro PlayersEdit

The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1986 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents.[3]

Name Team
Richard Bell Pittsburgh Steelers
Dana Brinson San Diego Chargers
Brian Davis Washington Redskins
Doug DuBose San Francisco 49ers
LeRoy Etienne San Francisco 49ers
Keith Jones Cleveland Browns
Marc Munford Denver Broncos
Danny Noonan Dallas Cowboys
Lawrence Pete Detroit Lions
Tim Rother Los Angeles Raiders
Neil Smith Kansas City Chiefs
Steve Taylor Edmonton Eskimos
Broderick Thomas Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brian Washington Cleveland Browns
Tom Welter St. Louis Cardinals


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