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Football's National Champions - 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997

  Nineteen-hundred ninety-eight wasn't the greatest year for Nebraska Football, but with a new coach pacing the sidelines for the first time in twenty-five seasons, the team faced uncertainty in a manner it hadn't seen in a generation...

  Coach Frank Solich took over the reigns from retired Tom Osborne and his 1998 Huskers compiled a 9 wins against 4 losses. At Nebraska, four losses is almost unforgivable, but with nine wins in his first year, Coach Solich equalled the number of wins posted by Bob Devaney and Osborne in their first seasons at the helm.

  It wasn't a great team to be sure. Bobby Newcombe, Sophomore quarterback converted from wingback, was the player most fans expected to continue to lead the Huskers to the Promised Land. But Bobby went out early in the year with a knee injury and along with other injuries in the backfield, NU used some 25 combinations of backfield players, looking for that magic group. Reserve Quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Monte Cristo each had their moments of excellence under center, but none of the play-callers were able to consistently lead the team. The Defense wasn't quite their usual selves either, allowing an NCAA single player single game record in the first game of the season against Louisana Tech. Nobody expected the Techsters to be a great team, but the combination of Tim Rattay to Troy Edwards (405 yds receiving) gave notice to the Huskers' soft secondary. Nebraska didn't seem like its invincible self.

 The rest of 1998 was a fairly bland. Not the usual Husker-blowout standard, but simple decent football, mixed with some tough wins some sad losses. NU had a difficult time against a California team that possesed an anemic offense. The score, 24-3, didn't equate to how much trouble NU had - (at least there were 30,000 plus Husker fans for the school's first visit to Northern California); a goal line stand with no time remaining kept Oklahoma State out of the endzone in a soggy game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City; and Missouri and Colorado gave us fits at home, though we prevailed in both...

 The three regular season losses - Texas A&M, Texas and Kansas State (KSU - for the first time in 30 years!), left NU out of the Big 12 Champsionship game and aimed them for something less than a New Year's Day Bowl Game.

  NU headed to San Diego and the Holiday Bowl, where the season took one more turn south on December 30th, with Arizona handing NU its 4th loss for the first time since 1974. NU just seemed deflated at the end of the season, the toll of injuries and overall inexperience of all involved proving just too much to handle.

  Look for the Huskers of 1999 to be faster, bigger, meaner and hungrier. They have comitted themselves to regain their stature as the best in the Big 12 and the best in the Nation. Stay Tuned...

  All Nebraskans take pride in their team. Its class act promotes the good nature of the people and the state in general. Thanks to Coach Dr. Tom Osborne for 25 years of unparalleled excellence on the gridiron and off. His career record was 255-49-3, going 60-3 in the last five years with a trio of National Championships. You, sir, are a class act. Go Big Red!

huskers.gif by joe

1998 Nebraska Football
1-0 Aug 29 NU 56 Louisiana Tech 27
(Eddie Robinson Classic)
2-0 Sep 5 NU 38 Alabama-Birmingham 7
3-0 Sep 12 NU 24 at California 3
4-0 Sep 26 NU 55 Washington 7
5-0 Oct 3 NU 24 Oklahoma State 17
(in Kansas City)
5-1 Oct 10 NU 21 at Texas A&M 28
6-1 Oct 17 NU 41 Kansas 0
7-1 Oct 24 NU 20 Missouri 13
7-2 Oct 31 NU 16 Texas 20
8-2 Nov 7 NU 42 Iowa State 7
8-3 Nov 14 NU 30 Kansas State 40
9-3 Nov 14 NU 16 Colorado 14
9-4 Dec 30 NU 17 Arizona 27
Holiday Bowl, San Diego

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