By Nate Rohr
Bob Devaney earned the first of his 62 career Big Eight conference wins, as Nebraska defeated Iowa State at home, 36-22, in this week in Husker History, Oct. 6, 1962.
Devaney, in his first season as the head coach of the Cornhusker football team, closed his career with a 62-13-1 record in the conference including eight Big Eight championships as the head coach of the Huskers.
Against the Cyclones, Nebraska sprinted to a 28-0 lead in the first 23 minutes of the game. Quarterback Dennis Claridge ran for a pair of touchdowns and passed for another, while Warren Powers also notched a touchdown run in the first quarter, helping the Huskers build a four-score lead.
Nebraska’s first drive was a steady 17-play, 70-yard march that chewed up the first 7:48 of the game. The Huskers rushed on 14 of the 17 plays, with 57 of the 70 yards on the scoring drive gained on the ground.
After ISU went three-and-out on their first drive of the game, Nebraska struck again, this time more quickly than the first drive. With the Huskers starting at their own 20, Willie Ross ran 20 yards on the first play of the drive. Two snaps later, Claridge hooked up with Larry Tomlinson on a 38-yard completion that put NU at the Iowa State 22. Ross put the Huskers in position to score with an eight-yard run to give Nebraska 1st-and-goal at the ISU 8. Powers polished off the drive with a three-yard run to give Nebraska a two-touchdown lead.
The Huskers struck again midway through the second quarter, with an 11-play, 59-yard drive that was capped by another Claridge touchdown run to build the lead to 21-0 with the extra point. On the ensuing drive, a Cyclone fumble gave Nebraska the ball at the ISU 44. The next play, Claridge connected with Jim Huge on a 44-yard TD pass that gave Nebraska a 28-point lead with 7:11 remaining in the first half. Iowa State answered late in the second quarter, but the game was essentially over after the Huskers ran off 28 points in the first 23 minutes.
The Huskers went on to a 9-2 record that season, including a 5-2 mark in the conference. Nebraska closed its first season under Bob Devaney with a 36-34 win in the Gotham Bowl over Miami. Iowa State finished the 1962 season with a 5-5 record.
All-time, Nebraska is 13-2 on Oct. 6. Along the Huskers’ 36-22 win over Iowa State in 1962, other notable games in This week in Husker History include Nebraska’s 100-0 win over Nebraska Wesleyan in 1917 and a 24-7 loss to Illinois in 1923. The loss to the Fighting Illini is notable because that game marked the debut of the legendary Red Grange, who scored three touchdowns in his first college game. Grange would go onto to score 12 touchdowns in his first year as a college player and lead the Fighting Illini to the 1923 national championship.