|1979 Nebraska Cornhuskers football|
|Conference||Big Eight Conference|
|1979 record||10–2 (6–1 Big 8)|
|Offensive coordinator||Tom Osborne (10th season)|
|Offensive scheme||I formation|
|Defensive coordinator||Lance Van Zandt (3rd season)|
|Home stadium||Memorial Stadium|
|1979 Big Eight Conference football standings|
|No. 3 Oklahoma $||7||–||0||–||0||11||–||1||–||0|
|No. 9 Nebraska||6||–||1||–||0||10||–||2||–||0|
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.
|September 15||1:30 pm||Utah State*||No. 8||W 35-14||75,953|
|September 22||1:05 pm||at Iowa*||No. 7||W 24-21||60,005|
|September 29||11:45 am||No. 18 Penn State*||No. 6||ABC||W 42-17||76,151|
|October 6||1:30 pm||New Mexico State*||No. 5||W 57-0||76,135|
|October 13||1:30 pm||Kansas||No. 5||W 42-0||76,011|
|October 20||1:30 pm||at Oklahoma State||No. 3||W 36-0||51,000|
|October 27||1:30 pm||Colorado||No. 2||W 38-10||76,158|
|November 3||1:30 pm||at Missouri||No. 2||W 23-20||74,575|
|November 10||1:30 pm||at Kansas State||No. 2||W 21-12||43,210|
|November 17||1:30 pm||Iowa State||No. 3||W 34-3||76,049|
|November 24||11:30 am||at No. 8 Oklahoma||No. 3||ABC||L 14-17||72,516|
|January 1||1:10 pm||vs. No. 8 Houston*||No. 7||CBS||L 14-17||72,032|
Adams, Joe #64 (Jr.) OG
Horn, Rod #55 (Sr.) DT
Peterson, Dick #83 (So.) TE
in this position
|Years at Nebraska||Alma Mater|
|Tom Osborne||Head Coach
|Lance Van Zandt||Defensive Coordinator
|Charlie McBride||Defensive Line||1977||1977–1999||Colorado|
|Cletus Fischer||Offensive Line||1960–1985||Nebraska|
|Mike Corgan||Running Backs||1962||1962–1982||Notre Dame|
|Boyd Epley||Head Strength Coach||1969||1969–2003||Nebraska|
|George Darlington||Defensive Ends||1973–2002||Rutgers|
|Milt Tenopir||Offensive Line||1974||1974–2002||Sterling|
|Frank Solich||Head Freshman Coach||1979||1979–2003||Nebraska|
|Jake Cabell||Freshman Defensive Coordinator||1979||1979||Nebraska|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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 Phil Bradley to get sacked by the Blackshirts before he could unload the ball.
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.
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.
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 second-ever fumblerooski, picked up by All-American guard Randy Schleusener.
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.
See also: 1979 NCAA Division I-A football rankings
|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|
|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|
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.
|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|