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Running is Sort of Nebraska’s Thing

 The history of Nebraska football is long and storied. Everyone agrees on this. When you start talking about the greatest college football programs of all time, the Cornhuskers are in the discussion with schools like Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, and Texas. Those are the only seven schools to have won more than 900 games entering the 2020 season.

 That’s pretty good company and if you were to boil down why Nebraska football has been so successful, sure it requires tough defense, good quarterback play and excellent coaching but the thing the Huskers have done as well as anyone else is run. Run the football, that is. No idea how they would do in the Good Life Halfsy, but if you need a little extra motivation as the race winds around Memorial Stadium and nears the finish, maybe some of the great running feats that happened inside can offer that last push.

 

  • Nebraska is one of two teams in NCAA history to have three players on the same team eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards in the same season. The 2000 Huskers had quarterback Eric Crouch (2,319 yards) and running backs Correll Buckhalter (2,522) and Dan Alexander (2,456) all reach the milestone as Nebraska went 10-2.
  • Nebraska ran the ball 78 times during its 68-0 win over New Mexico State in 1982, racking up 677 yards. The yardage total isn’t an NCAA record, but this is: The Huskers didn’t lose a yard on any of those 78 carries. Much like a half-marathon, they were always moving forward and covered about four-tenths of a mile that way.
  • Nebraska is one of six schools to have four players rush for more than 100 yards in the same game. Crouch, Thunder Collins, Dahrran Dedrick and Judd Davies all topped the century mark in the Huskers’ 48-7 win over Baylor in 2001.
  • Nebraska averaged 5.5 rushing touchdowns per game in 1997, the most in NCAA history. That team included current head coach Scott Frost at quarterback and won a share of the national title in Tom Osborne’s final season.
  • Nebraska holds seven of the 25 best rushing seasons in NCAA history. The Huskers best rushing season, based on yards per game, was in 1983 when Nebraska rushed for 401.7 yards per game. The 1995 (399.8 yards per game) and 1982 (394.3) rank in the top 10 all time. The 1980, 1985, 1987. 1988 and 1989 seasons are also in the top 20.
  • Nebraska won the rushing “national championship” 15 times between 1963 and 2001 (39 seasons). The Huskers first lead the country in rushing yards per game in 1963—Bob Devaney’s first season—and last led the nation in rushing in 2001. Between 1988 and 2001, Nebraska ran for more yards per game than any team in the country in nine of 14 seasons.

 

Hail Varsity is a monthly magazine focused on the coverage of Nebraska athletics. Not everything needs to be viewed through the prism of football, but a lot of things are. That’s what we’re here for. Subscribe today at store.hailvarsity.com.