1970 Day by Day Articles

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 19

10/19/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 19: Van's the man for Big Eight honor. Quarterback Van Brownson was the unanimous pick Monday for Big Eight back of the week. Brownson made the most of his first start of the season by passing for two touchdowns and running for two more in Nebraska's come-from-behind win at Kansas. In reviewing the game, coach Bob Devaney liked how…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 18

10/18/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 18: Huskers lead in standings, stats. With the Kansas game in the rear-view mirror, Nebraska could begin focusing Sunday on facing the Big Eight's leading passer, Tony Pounds of Oklahoma State. The Huskers, though, were no slouches themselves in slinging the ball. Nebraska's 59.8 percent completion rate was easily tops in the conference, and the Huskers had already set…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 17

10/17/20 | J. Hudson
Van Brownson connects with Johnny Rodgers for a third-quarter touchdown. Oct. 17: Huskers brush off Kansas surge. After a sudden Kansas surge turned a 10-0 Nebraska lead into a 20-10 deficit, the Huskers reeled off 31 unanswered points to put away the Jayhawks, 41-20. A 96-yard kickoff return followed by a successful onside kick fueled the uprising by Kansas, which…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 16

10/16/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 16: Huskers, Jayhawks ready to tangle. With the Huskers favored over Kansas by three touchdowns, the only suspense in the newspapers' final game previews seemed to be who would start at quarterback for Nebraska. Nothing was official, but the consensus was that Van Brownson would get the nod in Lawrence after closing out the win over Missouri the previous…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 15

10/15/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 15: Quarterback choice could be a coin flip. Bob Devaney said Thursday that he remained undecided about who would start at quarterback Saturday against Kansas. "One minute I think I'll start one guy, and the next minute I think differently," he said of the decision between Jerry Tagge and Van Brownson. "Let's just say we'll be starting a righthander."…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 14

10/14/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 14: Blahak, Morock return to practice. A pair of Blackshirts, cornerback Joe Blahak and monster Dave Morock, returned to practice Wednesday as the Huskers continued preparations for their game at Kansas. Coach Bob Devaney wasn't happy about dealing with the Big Eight's 47-man limit on traveling squads, calling the limit "false economy." It helped matters that the Huskers' punter…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 13

10/13/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 13: Passing game gets extra attention. Three Huskers missed Tuesday's practice as Nebraska prepared for its trip to Lawrence to face Kansas. Monster back Dave Morock had a twisted knee, cornerback Joe Blahak was fighting the flu and linebacker Bruce Hauge was nursing a back injury. Coach Bob Devaney said the first and second units would be held out…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 12

10/12/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 12: Devaney guards against overconfidence. With Nebraska's defense drawing praise left and right, coach Bob Devaney was determined Monday not to let the Blackshirts' success go to their heads. "We don't want them to get too satisfied," Devaney said, "because you must improve in athletics. You don't just stand still." That didn't stop him from singling out linebacker Jerry…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 11

10/11/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 11: Surprising Kansas up next. The day after the win over Missouri, it was time Sunday to start thinking about Nebraska's next opponent, the better-than-expected Kansas Jayhawks. Picked to finish next to last in the conference by the Big Eight Skywriters, Kansas was surprising everyone with a 4-1 start that included an upset win over Kansas State, a preseason…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 10

10/10/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 10: Defense shines, Van steps in vs. Tigers. The Blackshirts came up big, allowing just a one-yard touchdown "drive," as Nebraska downed Missouri, 21-7, in a hard-hitting, turnover-filled game in Lincoln. Van Brownson took over at quarterback for the Huskers in the second half, and he led a 66-yard drive to break a 7-7 tie early in the fourth…

1970 Day by Day: Oct 9

10/9/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 9: Snow problem is no problem. The much-anticipated Nebraska-Missouri game was still a day away Friday, but already there was an MVP contender: Memorial Stadium's new artificial turf. Five inches of sopping snow walloped Lincoln, knocking out power throughout town as tree limbs came crashing down. But the Friday afternoon freshman game went off without a hitch (the Husker…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 8

10/8/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 8: New rug may give Huskers an edge. On a wet and chilly Thursday afternoon, the Cornhuskers did most of their work inside the Field House in preparation for Saturday's clash in Lincoln with Missouri. "I have an idea that they'll be ready to play," coach Bob Devaney said afterward. The Tigers, he noted, had "beaten us enough lately."…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 7

10/7/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 7: Huskers' flu bug clears up. The Huskers practiced in rainy weather Wednesday with all hands on deck. "Everyone seems to have snapped back" from the intestinal bug that hit several players Monday and Tuesday, coach Bob Devaney said. It was revealed that Doug Dumler dislocated two fingers in his right hand Tuesday, but that wasn't expected to keep…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 6

10/6/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 6: Ailing Tagge exits practice early. An intestinal ailment continued to make the rounds Tuesday as the Huskers prepared for Missouri. Quarterback Jerry Tagge left practice early after feeling ill. Three players — fullback Dan Schneiss, linebacker Pat Morell and safety Bill Kosch — were not at full speed after being sidelined by the bug Monday. Left guard Dick…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 5

10/5/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 5: Devaney wary of Tigers' defense. With fans primed for Missouri week, coach Bob Devaney hinted Monday that points wouldn't be easy to come by against the Tigers. Devaney noted at his weekly luncheon appearance that the previous year's Huskers rang up 42 points against Minnesota but managed just 7 the following week in Columbia. Missouri, he declared, had…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 4

10/4/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 4: Showdown with nemesis Mizzou is next. There was no practice Sunday for the Huskers, but players' and coaches' focus no doubt had turned to the showdown at the end of the week with Missouri, defending Big Eight co-champions with Nebraska. The Tigers were looking for their fourth consecutive win in the series, and they were sporting a 3-1…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 3

10/3/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 3: Huskers' fast start buries Gophers. Operating against a stiff wind, Nebraska racked up 21 points and 200-plus yards in the first quarter en route to a 35-10 victory Saturday at Minnesota. Johnny Rodgers got things going with a six-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, but Ernie Cook's 45-yard TD jaunt pulled Minnesota even, 7-7, midway into…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 2

10/2/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 2: Gophers seen as no pushover. In their final pregame wrap-ups, the Nebraska newspapers set the stage for a tough battle between the Huskers and Minnesota despite the Gophers' status as 9½-point underdogs and Nebraska's recent mastery in the series. The Lincoln Journal noted that the Gophers had yet to be scored upon in the first half and said…

1970 Day by Day: Oct. 1

10/1/20 | J. Hudson
Oct. 1: Huskers look healthy for trip north. The game of musical chairs envisioned earlier in the week for Nebraska's offensive line was deemed unnecessary Thursday. Coach Bob Devaney said starting right guard Donnie McGhee appeared good to go for Saturday's game at Minnesota. The senior had been dealing with a shoulder problem. Health at quarterback had improved to the…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 30

9/30/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 30: Quarterbacks rounding into form. Coach Bob Devaney declared quarterbacks Jerry Tagge and Van Brownson to be almost completely healthy Wednesday, three days before Nebraska's clash with Minnesota. After weeks of elbow soreness, Brownson was throwing long passes again, but with some pain. Offensive guard Donnie McGhee remained questionable because of a sore shoulder. Devaney said Nebraska would test…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 29

9/29/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 29: Shuffle on O-line a possibility. Nebraska faced a possible shift of duties on the offensive line Tuesday as the Huskers prepared for their game at Minnesota. Starting right guard Donnie McGhee's status for Saturday was uncertain because of a sore shoulder. Keith Wortman, the starter at left guard, was preparing to slide over to McGhee's spot, in which…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 28

9/28/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 28: Girding for Gophers' ground game. The Huskers went through a 90-minute workout Monday and then viewed films of their next opponent, Minnesota. Nursing a knee injury, defensive end John Pitts was considered doubtful for Saturday. The Huskers otherwise appeared to be at full strength for their trip to Minneapolis. Nebraska was preparing for a heavy dose of the…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 27

9/27/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 27: Fans got their film fix on Sundays. With no organized practice going on, all was quiet on the Nebraska football front on the day after the win over Army. As usual, fans across the state could pore over the Sunday newspapers' game coverage and then tune in to the hourlong "Bob Devaney Show." The program each week would…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 26

9/26/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 26: Sputtering start no problem vs. Army. Despite a slow start on offense, Nebraska had little trouble Saturday putting away Army, 28-0. The heavily favored Huskers didn't score until less than five minutes remained in the first half. A 43-yard touchdown pass from Jerry Tagge to Johnny Rodgers broke the ice. Early in the third quarter, Joe Orduna added…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 25

9/25/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 25: Guarding against a letdown. With Nebraska going up against heavy underdog Army, there was little suspense to drum up in the newspapers' final previews. Army coach Tom Cahill was declaring it "rededication week" after the Cadets' upset loss to Baylor. The Cadets were going to need rededication and a whole lot more as they entered a brutal five-game…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 24

9/24/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 24: Cox gets the call at split end. Senior split end Guy Ingles practiced Thursday for the first time since the Southern Cal game, but his painful rib injury meant his status for Saturday's game against Army remained iffy. It was announced that Woody Cox would start in his place. Cox, a 5-foot-9 junior, transferred to Nebraska over the…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 23

9/23/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 23: Tooth trouble for Brownson. Wet weather forced the Huskers indoors for parts of Wednesday's practice, but the offense got in a good deal of work on Memorial Stadium's artificial surface once the rain subsided. There was hope that Guy Ingles might play Saturday against Army. For a third consecutive practice, the senior split end was sidelined by the…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 22

9/22/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 22: Fatigue factor fades as Army awaits. Nebraska's tie with Southern Cal brought individual honors Tuesday to Huskers on both sides of the ball. Linebacker Jerry Murtaugh (14 unassisted tackles, 11 assists) was named Big Eight lineman of the week, and I-back Joe Orduna (135 yards rushing) earned a spot in the four-man national backfield of the week chosen…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 21

9/21/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 21: Three starters not in pads. Quarterback Jerry Tagge, offensive guard Donnie McGhee and split end Guy Ingles were not in pads Monday as Nebraska began preparations for its game against Army. Coach Bob Devaney said the plan was to rest Tagge as much as possible during the coming week to let his thigh injury clear up. Ingles suffered…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 20

9/20/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 20: A welcome home for Huskers. A crowd of 1,000 cheered the Huskers as the team arrived Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Municipal Airport after the 21-21 tie with Southern Cal the night before. Few fans voiced disappointment with the deadlock in L.A., even if the players were in no mood to treat the result as a moral victory against…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 19

9/19/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 19: A tie with the touted Trojans. An 11-point underdog against third-ranked Southern Cal, Nebraska never trailed. The No. 9 Huskers might have won if not for a botched chip-shot field goal in the fourth quarter. Instead, a 21-21 tie was what they had to show for their toils Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Afterward, the Huskers…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 18

9/18/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 18: Sports scribes not on same page. On the day before the big game against Southern Cal, what exactly was Nebraska's quarterback situation? Take your pick: Business as usual, or completely unsettled. It depended on which newspaper's final preview you were reading. In Lincoln, both the Star and the Journal treated quarterback Jerry Tagge's leg problem as a non-issue.…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 17

9/17/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 17: Thursday night lights and QB questions. Quarterback Jerry Tagge missed a second consecutive practice as the Huskers went through their plays under the lights Thursday night on the grass turf of Seacrest Field. Van Brownson, recovering from a prolonged stretch of elbow soreness, was said to be on target with his throws during the closed session in east…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 16

9/16/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 16: Twists and turns at quarterback. There was good and bad news at quarterback as Nebraska practiced in the rain Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. Van Brownson, severely limited for two weeks by an ailing elbow, resumed throwing a day earlier than expected. Jerry Tagge, however, did not practice after suffering a burst blood vessel in his leg Tuesday night.…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 15

9/15/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 15: Roster moves made on defense. Three previously unsettled positions on defense firmed up Tuesday, with two sophomores and a junior tagged as probable starters for Saturday night's game at Southern Cal. Coach Bob Devaney announced the first-team assignments for sophomore right end Willie Harper, junior tackle Larry Jacobson and sophomore cornerback Joe Blahak. Left defensive end John Adkins…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 14

9/14/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 14: Too much surf on the natural turf. Nebraska's grass practice fields were soggy Monday from rain, so the Huskers practiced on Memorial Stadium's AstroTurf. It wasn't an ideal situation given that Saturday's big game at Southern Cal would be played on natural turf. USC's 485 yards rushing against Alabama had Nebraska's attention. "We'll have to wait and see…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 13

9/13/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 13: Trojans looking impressive. Southern California loomed as a formidable opponent for Nebraska long before the season began. Now, six days before the West Coast showdown, the Huskers' task appeared even tougher. On Saturday, USC got everyone's attention by whipping Alabama on the road by three touchdowns. On Sunday, there was concern the Huskers would have to rely on…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 12

9/12/20 | J. Hudson
Joe Orduna eludes Wake Forest’s Frank Fussell en route to a 20-yard touchdown. Sept. 12: Tagge delivers vs. Deacons. A week filled with worries about the Nebraska quarterbacks’ health seemed like a distant memory by the time the Huskers were finished with Wake Forest, 36-12, in Saturday’s season opener. Jerry Tagge hit 9 of 12 passes for 168 yards, including…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 11

9/11/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 11: A tall task for Deacons. One thing hasn’t changed in 50 years: Little or no news typically comes out of Friday in-season practices. With that in mind, this series on Fridays will consist mainly of final pregame wrap-ups that appeared in the Friday evening or Saturday morning newspapers. The North Carolina press oozed pessimism about Wake Forest’s chances…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 10

9/10/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 10: Starting lineups firmed up. Likely starters were named at all positions but one after Thursday’s light workout. To nobody's surprise, Jerry Tagge got the nod at quarterback even though he was running at only two-thirds speed by coach Bob Devaney's estimation. Van Brownson’s ailing right elbow finally showed some improvement, and Devaney said the junior signal-caller might suit…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 9

9/9/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 9: Huskers ease up as game nears. With Jerry Tagge appearing more and more certain to start at quarterback against Wake Forest, there was growing concern Wednesday about Van Brownson's ailing right elbow. “We’re not even sure what the problem is," coach Bob Devaney said, adding: “I’m concerned about it even beyond Saturday.” Devaney said Tagge’s sore leg was…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 8

9/8/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 8: Tagge’s status brightens QB picture. The quarterback situation remained worrisome after Tuesday’s practice, but there was hope that Jerry Tagge could answer the bell Saturday against Wake Forest. “We got a full day of practice from Tagge, but Van looks more doubtful than ever,” coach Bob Devaney said. A leg bruised continued to slow Tagge. As for Van…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 7

9/7/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 7: Quarterbacks still on the mend. With Nebraska’s top two quarterbacks dinged up, sophomore Bob Jones was running the No. 1 offense during Monday’s practice. Coach Bob Devaney held out hope that Van Brownson and Jerry Tagge would be ready to play in Saturday’s opener against Wake Forest. Brownson was nursing a sore elbow, as he had been for…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 6

9/6/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 6: Huskers 9th in preseason poll. The Huskers learned they would start the season with a No. 9 national ranking as the Associated Press released its preseason Top Twenty poll Sunday. Ohio State and Texas claimed the top two spots, just ahead of No. 3 Southern Cal, Nebraska’s second opponent. The other ranked teams on the Huskers’ schedule were…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 5

9/5/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 5: Scrimmage fails to satisfy Devaney. The heavy work of fall camp ended as the Huskers played a game-like scrimmage Saturday in front of about 2,000 fans. The Red team, with the top offensive and defensive units, dominated the Whites, 47-3. Coach Bob Devaney wasn’t impressed, however, saying consistency was lacking with a week to go before the opener…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 4

9/4/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 4: Here are the captains. Dan Schneiss and Jerry Murtaugh were announced as Nebraska’s co-captains for 1970 after Friday’s practice. Fullback Schneiss was the team’s second-leading rusher in 1969, a year that saw linebacker Murtaugh set the school record for tackles in a single season. The two seniors were elected by their teammates. “Both are outstanding players and will…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 3

9/3/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 3: Hurtin’ Huskers wrap up two-a-days. It was the last of the two-a-days Thursday, and a few more banged-up Huskers joined the list of those who might sit out Saturday’s scrimmage. Things were so thin at center that coach Bob Devaney called up Dan Anderson in Fremont and had him rejoin the squad. Anderson had not been invited to…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 2

9/2/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 2: Snakebit at the center position. The Huskers took another hit at center as sophomore Doug Jamail suffered a badly sprained ankle during scrimmaging Wednesday. Sophomore Doug Dumler now appeared to be a shoo-in to start in the Sept. 12 opener against Wake Forest. Dumler, who began fall camp at No. 3, took over the No. 1 spot after…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 1

9/1/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 1: Still looking for a pass rush. An ineffective pass rush continued to concern coach Bob Devaney after a pair of practices on a hot and humid Tuesday, 11 days before the season opener against Wake Forest. With three starters from last season gone, the defensive secondary can ill afford the extra burden of an opposing quarterback with ample…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 31

8/31/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 31: From the mouth of Murtaugh. Little if anything remarkable happened on the practice field Monday as the Cornhuskers resumed two-a-days. What occurred afterward, though, has become ingrained in the lore surrounding the 1970 season. More than two dozen sports journalists observed the Huskers’ afternoon practice as the Big Eight Skywriters tour hit Lincoln. When the workout was finished,…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 30

8/30/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 30: One week down, two to go. In a break from two-a-days, the Huskers held a single practice Sunday and installed the final batch of offensive plays for the Sept. 12 season opener against Wake Forest. Coaches weren’t finished evaluating the four reels of film from Saturday’s scrimmage, so any lineup changes were yet to be announced. One exception…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 29

8/29/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 29: Offense steps up in scrimmage. Six touchdowns were rung up as the offense ruled the first major scrimmage of fall camp, but coach Bob Devaney wasn't hitting the panic button with his inexperienced defense. The two juniors vying for the top quarterback job put up similarly solid numbers. Jerry Tagge, playing mainly with the first team, completed 11…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 28

8/28/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 28: Tuning up for major scrimmage. On the eve of the first major scrimmage of fall, Bob Devaney said offensive consistency wasn’t what it needed to be. “We’re certainly not ready to play a game, but it’s coming along,” the Huskers’ head coach remarked after two-a-days Friday, the fifth day of fall practice. The Omaha World-Herald had a more…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 27

8/27/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 27: Pads go on, and the hitting begins. The Huskers strapped on full gear Thursday for the first time of fall camp, and coach Bob Devaney was pleased to say afterward that “those defensive guys haven’t forgotten how to hit.” The No. 1 defense, returning just three starters from 1969, stymied the No. 1 offense for the first several…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 26

8/26/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 26: A second Husker in sick bay. One day after moving up to the No. 1 spot at flanker, Johnny Rodgers was sidelined by pain in his side. The sophomore from Omaha missed Wednesday afternoon’s practice, joining senior right guard Donnie McGhee on the sick list and undergoing tests at the Student Health Center. “The doctors aren’t sure what…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 25

8/25/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 25: Offense coming along. A sore elbow kept Van Brownson from throwing much, but Jerry Tagge’s passing was sharp Tuesday, the Huskers’ second day of fall practice. Coach Bob Devaney said the installation of the offense was going quickly, a byproduct of the NCAA’s three-year-old no-pads rule covering the first three days of fall practices. Much of Tuesday was…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 24

8/24/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 24: Huskers hit the ground running. Coaches sent the Huskers on a 12-minute run as 1970’s fall practices began with two no-pads sessions Monday. Linemen were expected to cover at least 1½ miles in that time; backs and ends, 1¾ to 2 miles. Those targets were met “almost without exception,” said coach Bob Devaney, who declared the team was…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 23

8/23/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 23: Players report for fall camp. Fifty years ago today, more than 80 Cornhusker players reported for fall camp and posed for photos on Memorial Stadium’s new AstroTurf. It was the official start of a 132-day march to something special: the Nebraska football program’s first national championship. But on this summer Sunday, no one could have known that. How…