1985 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
Fiesta Bowl, L 23–27 vs. Michigan
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
CoachesNo. 10
APNo. 11
Record9–3 (6–1 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorTom Osborne (16th season)
Offensive schemeI formation
Defensive coordinatorCharlie McBride (5th season)
Base defense5–2
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
(Capacity: 73,650)
← 1984
1986 →
1985 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 Oklahoma $ 7 0 0 11 1 0
No. 11 Nebraska 6 1 0 9 3 0
Oklahoma State 4 3 0 8 4 0
Colorado 4 3 0 7 5 0
Iowa State 3 4 0 5 6 0
Kansas 2 5 0 6 6 0
Kansas State 1 6 0 1 10 0
Missouri 1 6 0 1 10 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1985 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team represented the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Tom Osborne and played their home games in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The season opener against Florida State was the last season opening loss until 2015.



September 72:30 pmNo. 17 Florida State*No. 10ABCL 13–1775,943
September 211:30 pmNo. 20 Illinois*No. 18
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 52–2576,149
September 281:30 pmOregon*No. 16
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 63–075,947
October 51:30 pmNew Mexico*No. 13
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 38–775,902
October 126:45 pmat No. 5 Oklahoma StateNo. 9ESPNW 34–2450,400
October 1911:30 amat MissouriNo. 7RaycomW 28–2062,733
October 262:30 pmColoradodaggerNo. 5
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
ABCW 17–776,014
November 21:30 pmat Kansas StateNo. 5W 41–341,200
November 91:30 pmIowa StateNo. 3
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 49–075,920
November 161:30 pmKansasNo. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
W 56–675,863
November 232:30 pmat No. 5 OklahomaNo. 2ABCL 7–2775,554
January 112:30 pmvs. No. 5 Michigan*No. 7NBCL 23–2772,454
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

Roster and coaching staff

1985 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
G Dan Bailey So
TE 87 Tom Banderas So
WB Vance Behrens So
QB 12 Clete Blakeman So
G 70 Brian Blankenship Sr
WB 33 Dana Brinson Fr
G 58 Dave Bryan Jr
OT 73 Todd Carpenter Jr
FB 24 Dan Casterline Jr
QB 7 McCathorn Clayton So
C 54 Mark Cooper Jr
TE Mark Diaz Jr
OT 59 Jim Dittmer Sr
IB 22 Doug DuBose Jr
OT 77 Jim Ernest RFr
TE 80 Todd Frain Sr
G 67 Ron Galois Jr
SE 86 Jason Gamble So
WB Pernell Gatson Jr
OT Derrick Green So
TE Mike Hall So
QB 86 Hendley Hawkins So
FB 36 Mike Hedlund So
FB 48 Micah Heibel So
G 75 Mike Hoefler Jr
WB Jim Holscher So
OT 64 Brad Johnson Jr
IB 6 Keith Jones So
FB 49 Ken Kaelin Jr
IB 40 Jon Kelley So
SE Jeff Krantz
C 68 Bill Lewis Sr
OT 57 Keven Lightner So
WB 23 Roger Lindstrom Sr
OT 77 Bill Macias So
OT 72 Rob Maggard Jr
G 61 John McCormick So
IB 21 Paul Miles Sr
TE 43 Todd Millikan Fr
QB 16 Jerry Mlinar Jr
TE 90 Brian Moore Sr
WB 8 Ray Nelson Jr
C 63 John Nichols So
C 56 Jack Noel Sr
SE Mike Otte
G 74 Stan Parker Jr
FB 26 Tom Rathman Sr
OT 65 Tim Roth Sr
OT 78 Tim Rother So
G 62 Jim Schaaf So
SE 85 Robb Schnitzler Jr
C 53 Jeff Sellentin Jr
WB 2 Von Sheppard So
SE 88 Rod Smith So
QB 10 Jeff Taylor So
QB 11 Steve Taylor Fr
QB 14 Travis Turner Sr
OT 69 Tom Welter Jr
Pos. # Name Class
CB 42 Mike Carl Jr
S 45 Chris Carr Jr
CB 28 John Custard So
LB 46 Chad Daffer Sr
CB 32 Brian Davis Jr
LB 48 LeRoy Etienne Fr
LB 38 Steve Forch Jr
DE Paul Gangwish Sr
DT 52 Danny Groskurth So
LB 39 Blake Henning So
S 15 Scott Hill So
LB 91 Tony Holloway Jr
DE 55 Jeff Jamrog So
DT 98 Lee Jones So
LB 44 Mike Knox Sr
CB 17 Cleo Miller Jr
LB 41 Marc Munford Jr
MG 95 Danny Noonan Jr
DE Harlan Opie So
CB 9 Woody Paige Sr
DT 97 Tony Palmer So
LB 35 Kevin Parsons Jr
CB 18 Brian Pokorny Sr
MG 34 Todd Proffitt Sr
DE 84 Gregg Reeves Sr
DT 93 Rod Reynolds Sr
MG 66 Phil Rogers Sr
CB 3 Gary Schneider Jr
LB 51 Pat Shaw Jr
LB 99 Ken Shead Sr
S 19 Bryan Siebler Jr
DT 96 Jim Skow Sr
DE 81 Brad Smith Sr
DT 92 Neil Smith So
DT 76 Chris Spachman Jr
S Matt Strasburger Jr
S 29 Dan Thayer Jr
DE 82 Broderick Thomas Fr
DE 89 Scott Tucker Sr
DE 83 Brad Tyrer Jr
CB 27 Dennis Watkins Sr
LB 37 Doug Welniak So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
MON 31 Gene Chealey So
PK 1 Dale Klein Jr
MON 4 Guy Rozier Sr
P/PK 13 Craig Schnitzler So
MON 11 Jeff Tomjack So
MON 43 Brian Washington So
P/PK 47 Dan Wingard Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Charlie McBride
       5th season as DC/LB coach
       9th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Colorado
  • Cletus Fischer
       OL coach
       26th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • John Melton
       13th season as LB coach
       24th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Wyoming
  • Boyd Epley
       17th season as S&C coach
       17th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • George Darlington
       DE coach
       13th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Rutgers
  • Milt Tenopir
       12th season as OL coach
       12th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Sterling
  • Gene Huey
       9th season as WR coach
       9th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Wyoming
  • Frank Solich
       3rd season as RB coach
       7th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Jack Pierce
       7th year at Nebraska
  • Bob Thornton
       5th season as Sec coach
       5th year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Nebraska
  • Dan Young
       3rd season as OL/K coach
       3rd year at Nebraska
       Alma mater: Reed

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
  • Redshirt

Last update: 2011-01-17

Depth chart

Game summaries

Florida State

#17 Florida State at #10 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
#17 Florida State 7 1000 17
#10 Nebraska 7 600 13

Both teams started out evenly with a 7-7 tie after the first quarter, but Florida State led the Cornhuskers by 4 at the half and no one scored during the rest of this scorcher, as the mercury in Lincoln reached 93 °F (and 133 °F on the field). This was the last season opener Nebraska would lose until 2015.


Illinois at #18 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Illinois 0 10015 25
#18 Nebraska 14 10217 52

Although Illinois started out behind 0-17, they came within 7 points of a tie before Nebraska ran away, as the Cornhuskers at one point scored 28 straight in a game whose outcome never was seriously in doubt.


Oregon at #16 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Oregon 0 000 0
#16 Nebraska 14 28147 63

Oregon was rendered helpless in Lincoln as Nebraska punched in four touchdowns late in the 2nd quarter and rolled to a 63-0 shutout in Lincoln. The Ducks only crossed the center of the field twice and were unable to scrape up even 1/3 of the total time of possession.

New Mexico

New Mexico at #13 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
New Mexico 7 000 7
#13 Nebraska 7 71014 38

Nebraska closed out the non-conference season against a New Mexico team that was not intimidated in Lincoln. The Lobos scored first and acquired 379 total yards of offense while winning the time of possession battle, but could not turn those accomplishments into scores as they also allowed nine sacks, four interceptions and lost a fumble.

Oklahoma State

#9 Nebraska at #5 Oklahoma State [box score]
1 234Total
#9 Nebraska 0 17314 34
#5 Oklahoma State 0 3147 24

Nebraska pulled off the upset of Oklahoma State in Stillwater, as The Cowboys' passing attack was no match for the Cornhuskers' rushing attack when it was hampered by OSU's two lost fumbles and two thrown interceptions. Nebraska continued their unbeaten streak over Oklahoma State that began in 1961.


#7 Nebraska at Missouri [box score]
1 234Total
#7 Nebraska 6 9310 28
Missouri 7 067 20

21 of Nebraska's 28 points came off of the foot of PK Dale Klein, who not only tied the NCAA record of seven field goals in a game, but also became the first player to make seven straight in a game while also running his Nebraska field goal record streak up to nine.


Colorado at #5 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Colorado 7 000 7
#5 Nebraska 0 773 17

Colorado, playing without its 1st and 2nd string quarterbacks, still managed to hold Nebraska to a 7-7 halftime tie before a long touchdown run at the end of the 3rd quarter allowed the Cornhuskers to pull away.

Kansas State

#5 Nebraska at Kansas State [box score]
1 234Total
#5 Nebraska 7 17314 41
Kansas State 3 000 3

Kansas State managed to prevent any single Nebraska runner from exceeding 100 yards, and even though Nebraska only completed six passes, it made no difference as the Wildcats were held to just a 1st-quarter field goal while the Cornhuskers had little trouble putting up 41 points. Nebraska PK Dale Klein set a Nebraska and personal record when he kicked a 50-yard field goal, his 12th of the season.

Iowa State

Iowa State at #3 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Iowa State 0 000 0
#3 Nebraska 7 14217 49

The #3 Cornhuskers romped in Lincoln as the Blackshirts extended their touchdown prevention streak to 11 quarters. Nebraska IB Doug DuBose entered record territory, becoming the 10th Nebraska player to post 2,000 yards, became the third (after Jarvis Redwine and Mike Rozier) to have two 1,000 yard seasons, and was the first Cornhusker to do so before their senior season.


Kansas at #2 Nebraska [box score]
1 234Total
Kansas 3 030 6
#2 Nebraska 10 28117 56

Despite a 0-6 turnover margin deficit, #2 Nebraska rolled the Kansas Jayhawks up in a 56-6 drubbing that saw the Cornhusker defense extend their touchdown-free series to 15 quarters. Without the five lost fumbles and one interception given up by Nebraska, the blowout of Kansas would have been far worse.


#2 Nebraska at #5 Oklahoma [box score]
1 234Total
#2 Nebraska 0 007 7
#5 Oklahoma 14 3100 27

Oklahoma completely shut down Nebraska's offensive machine, as the Cornhuskers' only score came on a 76-yard fumble return for a touchdown with just 26 seconds left to play, very narrowly avoiding what would have been Nebraska's first shutout in 147 games. There were only 19 total passes and 5 completions in the entire game, and although Nebraska had not previously allowed more than 157 ground yards this season, the vaunted Oklahoma wishbone attack netted the Sooners 423 yards.


#7 Nebraska vs #5 Michigan [box score]
1 234Total
#7 Nebraska 0 1409 23
• #5 Michigan 3 0240 27

Although Nebraska led 14-3 going into halftime, turnover-free Michigan cashed in on each of several Cornhusker mistakes in the third quarter to run off 24 points and pull away, handing Nebraska its second consecutive defeat to a #5 team.


See also: 1985 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.

After the season



Award Name(s)
All-America 1st team Bill Lewis, Jim Skow
All-America 2nd team Doug DuBose
All-America 3rd team Tom Rathman
All-America honorable mention Tim Roth, Brian Blankenship
All-Big 8 1st team Brian Blankenship, Bill Lewis, Doug DuBose, Tom Rathman, Dale Klein, Jim Skow
All-Big 8 2nd team Danny Noonan, Brian Washington, Tim Roth, Dan Wingard, Chris Spachman, Marc Munford

NFL and pro players

The following Nebraska players who participated in the 1985 season later moved on to the next level and joined a professional or semi-pro team as draftees or free agents.[4]

Name Team
Brian Blankenship Pittsburgh Steelers
Dana Brinson San Diego Chargers
Brian Davis Washington Redskins
Doug DuBose San Francisco 49ers
LeRoy Etienne San Francisco 49ers
Todd Frain Washington Redskins
Keith Jones Cleveland Browns
Mike Knox Denver Broncos
Bill Lewis Los Angeles Raiders
Paul Miles Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marc Munford Denver Broncos
Danny Noonan Dallas Cowboys
Tom Rathman San Francisco 49ers
Tim Rother Los Angeles Raiders
Jim Skow Cincinnati Bengals
Neil Smith Kansas City Chiefs
Steve Taylor Edmonton Eskimos
Broderick Thomas Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brian Washington Cleveland Browns
Dennis Watkins Philadelphia Eagles
Tom Welter St. Louis Cardinals


  1. ^ "Football - 1985 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  2. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1985 Sept 29.
  3. ^ 1985 Husker Honors
  4. ^ "All Time NFL Huskers". Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-05-31.