Nebraska hits the road for the first time in 2004 this Saturday as the Huskers travel east to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field. The game marks the first meeting between the two schools since 1958, after the Huskers and Pittsburgh played 22 times between 1921 and 1958, including 16 consecutive seasons between 1927 and 1942. The matchup will be televised to a national audience by ABC, with kickoff set for 11:10 a.m. (CDT).
The Huskers enter the Pittsburgh game coming off their first loss of the season, a 21-17 setback against Southern Miss last Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The Nebraska offense moved the ball well against the Golden Eagles, piling up 476 yards of total offense, but five Husker turnovers were the difference in the contest. The Huskers enter the contest dominating the stat sheet after two weeks, averaging 528.5 yards of total offense and limiting the opposition to 229.5 yards per game. However, Nebraska is a minus-six in the turnover column through two games.
Pittsburgh enters this week’s matchup with a 1-0 mark on the season, after defeating Ohio, 24-3, on Saturday night at Heinz Field. The Panthers relied on a stout defensive effort to capture the victory, holding Ohio to 290 total yards, 14 first downs and also forced three Bobcat turnovers.
A victory on Saturday would allow the Huskers to complete the non-conference season with a winning record for the 23rd consecutive season and avoid falling below .500 for the first time since 1981. The Huskers opened the 1981 campaign with a 1-2 record, but won their last eight regular-season games and captured the Big Eight crown.
Turnovers Costly in Home Loss to Southern Miss
Southern Miss forced five Nebraska turnovers and converted the miscues into 18 points to defeat the Huskers, 21-17, at Memorial Stadium last Saturday, dropping the Huskers to 1-1 on the young season. Trailing 21-17, Nebraska began its final drive at its own 41-yard line after forcing Southern Miss to punt from its own 21. The Huskers drove to the USM 12-yard line, before turning the ball over on downs, securing the win for the Golden Eagles who handed Nebraska its first home non-conference loss since 1991.
The Huskers won the statistical battle everywhere other than the turnover column. NU held a 35:25-24:35 time of possession advantage, and racked up 476 yards of total offense while limiting the Golden Eagles to 239 yards. Nebraska also picked up 26 first downs to just 11 for Southern Miss, but the turnovers were the story of the day.
Trailing 9-3 after the first half, Nebraska took its first lead of the game with a 73-yard scoring drive on its opening series of the second half. I-back Cory Ross broke loose for a career-long 52-yard run on the first play of the drive, and the Huskers scored three plays later when Joe Dailey hit sophomore Grant Mulkey for the first touchdown of the game with 11:29 remaining in the third quarter. On USM’s next drive, safety Daniel Bullocks intercepted a Dustin Almond pass and returned the pick 16 yards to the Southern Miss 28 to set up another quick Nebraska score. Dailey connected with tight end Matt Herian for a 13-yard touchdown pass to give NU a 17-9 lead.
But just as Nebraska appeared to be in control of the game, the Golden Eagles again scored on a Husker turnover. USM linebacker Naton Stewart intercepted Dailey and sprinted 49 yards for the score as time expired in the third quarter. NU stopped Southern Miss on a two-point conversion attempt to maintain a 17-15 advantage. However, Southern Miss capitalized on another NU turnover in the fourth quarter. After a Tierre Green fumble USM scored two plays later on a 46-yard TD pass from Almond to Marvin Young to give USM a 21-17 lead with 7:47 left in the fourth quarter.
Nebraska drove deep into USM territory on its next drive, before Dailey fumbled inside the Golden Eagle 20, Nebraska’s fifth turnover of the day.
Dailey was 22-of-42 with 202 yards, including two touchdown passes, but was intercepted three times, including one returned for a touchdown. Dailey’s 42 pass attempts tied the single-game school record set by Dave Humm in 1972. Ross carried the load for the NU rushing attack, picking up a career-high 169 yards on 27 carries, highlighted by a career-long 52-yard run. He also surpassed the 1,000-yard career rushing mark, while topping the century mark for the fifth time in six games. Herian continued to be a dominant force from his tight end position. The junior hauled in eight passes to tie the Nebraska single-game record for receptions by a tight end, a record that had not been matched for 38 years.
Recapping Game Two...Southern Miss 21, Nebraska 17
4Junior I-back Cory Ross rushed for a career-high 169 yards on 27 carries, pushing his career rushing total to to 1,053 yards, making him the 54th Husker to rush for 1,000 career yards. Ross eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on Nebraska’s first offensive play of the second half when he broke a career-long 52-yard run. The USM game marked the fifth time in Nebraska’s last six games dating back to last season that Ross has topped 100 yards.
4Ross’ 52-yard run was the longest by a Nebraska I-back since Dahrran Diedrick had a 53-yard rush against Kansas on Nov. 9, 2002. Ross’ 169 yards were the most by a Husker since I-back Josh Davis had 179 yards against Penn State on Sept. 13, 2003.
4Ross and redshirt freshman I-back Tierre Green combined to rush for 235 yards, marking the second straight week the duo has combined for more than 200 yards on the ground. In week one, Ross (125) and Green (112) combined for 237 rushing yards.
4Tight end Matt Herian caught eight passes to tie the NU single-game record for receptions by a tight end, also held by Dennis Morrison who had eight for 108 yards at Colorado on Oct. 22, 1966. Herian has 15 receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games and is nearly halfway to the Nebraska season record for receptions by a tight end held by Johnny Mitchell who caught 31 passes in 1991.
4Quarterback Joe Dailey completed 22 of 42 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. The 42 attempts tied the Nebraska single-game record for pass attempts, matching the mark set by Dave Humm against Iowa State on Nov. 11, 1972. Dailey’s 22 completions were just three off the Nebraska record of 25 by Humm in 1973 against Wisconsin. The 42 passing attempts also tied the school record for team attempts.
4Dailey has thrown six touchdowns in Nebraska’s first two games of the season, marking the most touchdowns in a two-game stretch since Eric Crouch had seven in consecutive games against Iowa (5) and Missouri (2) in 2000.
4Senior linebacker Barrett Ruud made nine tackles against USM to become just the second player in Nebraska history to surpass 300 career tackles. Ruud now has 308 career tackles, 34 behind NU career leader Jerry Murtaugh who recorded 342 tackles in his Husker career.
4Southern Miss converted five Nebraska turnovers into 18 points. The Husker defense held the Golden Eagles to a pair of field goals after first-quarter interceptions allowed USM to begin drives on NU’s 33 and 27 yard line.
4The Southern Miss victory was the first non-conference home loss for Nebraska since 1991, when the Huskers dropped a 36-21 contest to Washington, ending a streak of 35 straight home wins against non-league foes.
4The third-quarter interception by junior strong safety Daniel Bullocks was his second of the season and the fourth of his career, all in the past six games. The Bullocks’ twins have now combined for 15 career interceptions.
4Nebraska held Southern Miss to 97 rushing yards, marking the fourth straight game Nebraska has limited the opposition to less than 100 yards on the ground. The Huskers held Western Illinois to minus-three yards rushing last week, while limiting Michigan State (45) and Colorado (64) below 100 rushing yards to end last season.
Callahan Has Fond Memories of Last Trip to Heinz Field
Head Coach Bill Callahan will make his road debut as Nebraska’s head man in familiar location–Heinz Field. Nearly two years ago to the day on Sept. 15, 2002, Callahan made his road debut as the Oakland Raiders’ head coach at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The first-year Husker mentor hopes this trip to the Steel City is as productive as his last trek to Pittsburgh. In Callahan’s second overall game as head coach, the Raiders defeated Pittsburgh, 30-17, in an ESPN Sunday night contest. The victory helped set the tone for a season that saw Oakland win the AFC championship, before falling to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Oakland unleashed an offensive outburst behind Callahan’s West Coast Offense in the 2002 game at Heinz Field, including...
4464 total yards and 369 passing yards
4An impressive 60 percent third-down conversion rate (12-of-20)
4Quarterback Rich Gannon completed 43-of-64 passes for 403 yards, including 26 consecutive passing plays in the first half
Later in 2002, the Raiders became the first team in NFL history to win games in the same season while passing at least 60 times and rushing 60 times (60 in a 28-0 win over Kansas City).
West Coast Offense Fits Nicely in Heartland
Nebraska fans who may have been nervous about seeing a new offense in Lincoln have had their fears calmed quickly by outstanding offensive production in the first two games.
The Huskers took just 1:53 to reach the end zone on the first drive of the game in the season opener against Western Illinois, mixing the run and the pass. By the end of the first quarter against WIU the stat sheet exhibited the precision, potency and versatility of Nebraska’s West Coast Offense.
413 first downs
413 rushing attempts for 110 yards
413 passing attempts for 105 yards
4215 total offensive yards, the most by Nebraska in an opening quarter since the Huskers piled up 224 yards in the opening quarter of a 41-31 victory over Texas Tech in 2001 (NU led 21-13 after first quarter)
The offensive masterpiece continued in the second quarter, as NU rolled up 398 yards before half. The Huskers finished the game with 581 yards of total offense, their most since posting 595 total yards in a 38-14 victory over McNeese State in 2002. The Huskers’ 56-point output was the most by a Nebraska team in 41 games, dating back to a 66-17 victory over Northwestern in the 2000 Alamo Bowl.
Despite a 21-17 loss to Southern Miss in game two, the offense again moved the ball with consistency and showed the balance Callahan expects from his West Coast Offense. Against the Golden Eagles, Nebraska racked up 476 total yards, including 274 yards rushing and 202 passing yards. The Huskers rushed the ball 46 times in the game and threw a school-record tying 42 passes on the day.
The "200-200" Club
Nebraska has topped 200 yards in both rushing and passing in each of the first two games this fall. Entering the season, Nebraska had not had a game in which it has recorded both 200 yards rushing and passing since Sept. 5, 1998, when the Huskers accomplished the feat against UAB.
The consecutive "200-200" games marks the first time the Huskers have posted back-to-back games with 200-plus totals in both rushing and passing since the 1993 season. In 1993, Nebraska opened with victories against North Texas and Texas Tech and topped 300 yards in both games on the ground, while producing 215 and 217-yard passing efforts, respectively.
Tight End Herian Perfect Fit in West Coast Offense
Junior tight end Matt Herian made a strong impression during his first two seasons, becoming known as a big-play threat while earning first-team All-Big 12 honors. The 6-5, 240-pound Herian hauled in seven touchdown catches in his first two seasons and figured to be one of the main beneficiaries of Nebraska’s new offensive attack.
Western Illinois defensive coordinator Vince Okruch witnessed a pair of Herian touchdowns in the past two seasons as Colorado’s coordinator. Herian’s ability scared Okruch entering the season-opening matchup with Nebraska.
"I think he’s the best tight end in the country. It doesn’t always look like he’s running that fast, but then he’ll just run past people. He can run as fast as any safety in the country."
Herian did nothing to change Okruch’s opinion after Nebraska’s 56-17 victory. The junior caught seven passes for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including six catches by halftime. Herian did not let up in game two against Southern Miss, tying the Nebraska single-game record for receptions by a tight end with eight catches for 71 yards and a third touchdown of the season. The Mackey Award candidate has posted an award-winning start to the season, including...
4Herian’s seven and eight-catch efforts to open the season rank as two of the five best receiving days by a tight end in school history. Herian’s eight receptions tied Dennis Morrison’s eight receptions at Colorado on Oct. 22, 1966, and his seven-catch effort is tied for third on the single-game tight end list.
4Herian has 15 catches in two games, after pulling down 22 receptions in 13 games during his sophomore season. Through two games, Herian is nearly halfway to the Nebraska season tight end receptions record of 31, held by Johnny Mitchell in 1991.
4Herian’s 10 career touchdown receptions are just four shy of the Nebraska career record for TD catches by a tight end. The Nebraska season record for TD catches by a tight end is seven, while the record for touchdown catches by any player is 11 by Johnny Rodgers in 1971.
4Herian and wide receiver Willie Amos each had two touchdown receptions vs. Western Illinois, marking the first time a pair of Husker receivers caught two touchdowns apiece in the same game since Tracey Wistrom (3) and Matt Davison (2) accomplished the feat against Iowa in 2000.
2004 Husker Schedule Full of Challenges
Nebraska faces a daunting schedule in 2004, as it looks for its 35th nine-win season in the last 36 years and its NCAA-record 36th consecutive bowl trip. Overall, the Huskers will face seven teams that participated in bowl games in 2003, including five Big 12 foes that appeared in the postseason a year ago. Western Illinois opened a solid non-conference schedule that includes a Division I-AA quarterfinalist from 2003, and a pair of 2003 bowl teams.
The Huskers completed a three-game contract with Southern Miss when the Golden Eagles traveled to Lincoln last Saturday. This week’s tirp to Pittsburgh will complete the 2004 non-conference schedule. Nebraska will visit Heinz Field on Sept. 18 to take on the Panthers, who played in the Continental Tire Bowl last fall. Pittsburgh is scheduled to travel to Lincoln on Sept. 17, 2005.
Nebraska will open Big 12 Conference action against Kansas (Tangerine Bowl) on Oct. 2 in Lincoln. Other conference home games include Baylor (Oct. 16), Missouri (Oct. 30, Independence Bowl) and Colorado (Nov. 26). The Huskers face a difficult league road slate, traveling to Texas Tech (Oct. 9, Houston Bowl), defending league champion Kansas State (Oct. 23, Fiesta Bowl), Iowa State (Nov. 6) and 2003 South Division champ Oklahoma (Nov. 13, Sugar Bowl). Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma rotated onto the Huskers' schedule this fall, while Nebraska will not face Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State this season.
Seven of Nebraska's 2004 opponents won eight or more games last season, including Western Illinois, Southern Miss, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Scanning the Polls
Nebraska was unranked entering the season for the second consecutive year. The Huskers received enough points in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll to rank 26th and were 27th in points in the Associated Press listing. This marks just the second time since 1969 that Nebraska has began the season unranked in the Associated Press Poll (also 2003).
Nebraska received two points in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and no points in the AP poll. Oklahoma (Nov. 13) is the only team on Nebraska’s 2004 schedule who is currently nationally ranked as the Sooners check in at No. 2 in both polls. Texas is the only other Big 12 team in the rankings, as the Longhorns check in at No. 6/6. Six Big 12 teams, including Nebraska, received votes in this week’s polls.
Huskers Continue Nation’s Best Win Streak in Season Openers
Nebraska continued a long run of dominance in season openers with a 56-17 win over Western Illinois. The Huskers have been victorious in their last 19 season openers since a 17-13 setback against Florida State in 1985 at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska’s 19-game win streak in season openers tops the nation, followed by Kansas State and Florida with 15 each.
Nebraska has won each of those 19 games by at least 10 points, and owns an 84-26-5 all-time record in season openers. Since 1973, the Huskers are 27-4-1 in season openers, including 22-2 at Memorial Stadium, with losses to only Florida State in 1985 and Washington State in 1977. In all-time home openers, Nebraska is 93-17-5, including 65-14-3 at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are 29-2 in their last 31 home openers.
Construction at Memorial Stadium to Continue Throughout 2004 Nebraska is in the midst of a major building and stadium improvement project on the north end of Memorial Stadium. The $50 million project includes an addition of more than 6,000 seats to Memorial Stadium, which will raise Nebraska’s average crowd to 80,000 fans per game.
The project also includes the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex, which will include a new locker room for the Husker football program. The building will include new football offices, a new strength complex, new training room, water therapy pools and administrative offices. The improvement project also features a new indoor workout facility, giving the Huskers two full-sized indoor practice areas adjacent to two outdoor grass fields. The project will not be completed until the 2006 season, leading to a few changes for Husker fans and opponents this fall.
The demolition of the north fieldhouse has forced the relocation of opposing teams to East Stadium. Husker opponents will locker in the south end of the East Stadium. The opponent will travel under East Stadium and enter the field from the northeast corner, but will exit the field on the southeast corner near their locker room. Nebraska will continue to enter the playing field from the southwest corner for the next two seasons, before moving to the North Stadium for the 2006 season.
Husker fans will also see minor changes in their game-day routine. Gate 14 on the northeast corner of the stadium has been combined with Gate 15. Fans previously using that entrance will now use Gate 15.
Husker Personnel, Injury Update
Several Husker newcomers have made their mark during fall camp and six Husker first-timers made their debut in the opener against Western Illinois. Offensively, five first-timers saw action for Nebraska, including starting wideout Terrence Nunn, who became the first Husker offensive player to start the first game of his true freshman season since World War II. Other Husker offensive newcomers who saw action against Western Illinois included true freshman quarterback Ryan Goodman, true freshman I-back Brandon Jackson and junior college transfers Shamus McKoy (WR) and Cornealius Thomas (OT). Defensively, true freshman Cortney Grixby made his Husker debut at cornerback against Western Illinois.
In the second game of the year, three more true freshmen saw action, including receiver Santino Panico who served as NU’s punt returner, and linebackers Michael Keenan and Lance Brandenburgh who played on Husker special teams.
Nebraska entered the 2004 season in relatively good physical condition. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Adams, a transfer from Grossmont (Calif.) College, had his spleen removed on Friday, Aug. 27 and has been ruled out of action for the early part of the season. Senior Will linebacker Chad Sievers missed the opener because of an injury, but returned for the Southern Miss game and made his first career start.
NCAA Record 264 Consecutive Sellouts
Nebraska boasts an incredible NCAA-record 264 consecutive sellouts at Memorial Stadium. The sellout streak dates back to Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney's first year in 1962 (vs. Missouri on Nov. 3). Notre Dame is second in all-time consecutive sellouts with 174, 90 fewer than Nebraska.
The Huskers are 234-30 during the 264 sellouts. The mark includes a 38-20 record against ranked teams. Nebraska is 5-0 in the five milestone sellouts during that period (50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th sellouts), including a 24-7 win over No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29, 1994 (No. 200) and a 44-13 victory over Utah State on Sept. 7, 2002 (No. 250).
The fan support at Memorial Stadium has led to a dominant home field advantage for the Huskers in Lincoln. Nebraska is a remarkable 146-14 at Memorial Stadium since 1981, with eight of those losses coming against teams that finished the season ranked in the top eight of the Associated Press Poll.
Nebraska will play host to six home games in 2004, which should bring the sellout streak to 268 games by season's end.
Memorial Stadium Magic
Nebraska’s record home sellout streak is testament to the Huskers playing in front of the nation’s best college football fans. On the field, Nebraska has rewarded the loyalty of the Husker Nation with incredible success at Memorial Stadium through the years.
Nebraska had a nation-leading 26-game home winning streak end with a loss to Texas in November, 2002. The loss ended the third-longest home winning streak in school history and Nebraska’s third home win streak of 20 games or more since 1980, including a school-record 47-game home winning streak from 1991 to 1998.
The Huskers finished 6-1 at home in 2003, and Nebraska is 102-7 at home the last 16 years, including a pair of losses to teams that went on to win shares of the national championship–Colorado in 1990 and Washington in 1991. The Huskers are 469-126-20 (.779, 615 games, 115 years) in Lincoln, 344-103-13 (.762, 460 games, 82 years) in Memorial Stadium (since 1923). The 2002 season marked the first time Nebraska has lost two home games (Texas, Colorado) in a season since 1980.
Since 1986 (19 seasons), NU is 113-9 in Lincoln, with losses to Colorado (twice), Washington, Oklahoma (twice), Texas (twice), Kansas State and Southern Miss. Nebraska has not been shut out at home since a 12-0 loss to Kansas State in 1968 (230 games). NU has posted 40 unbeaten and untied home seasons. Husker faithful set a new attendance record in Memorial Stadium in 2002 against Texas with 78,268 fans.
Nebraska Tops Elite Programs in Consistency
Nebraska ranks third among Division I-A schools in all-time football victories with 782 wins. The Huskers have the nation’s best record since 1962, posting a 416-89-5 record in the last 42 seasons. In that period, Nebraska has easily been the most consistent program in the nation. That is evident when comparing the Huskers’ record to the other nine programs among the top 10 in all-time victories.
The Huskers have had just three seasons since 1962 with eight or fewer victories. Eight of the other nine schools in the top 10 have had at least 15 seasons with eight or fewer wins in that span. Nebraska’s last losing season occurred in 1961. Michigan has not had a losing record since 1967, but the other eight schools on the all-time top 10 wins list have all had losing seasons since 1988, including six programs with losing campaigns in the past seven seasons.
Huskers Own An Unprecedented Winning Tradition
Nebraska, the nation's third-winningest program all time (fourth by percentage), boasts a 782-312-40 record in 1,134 games (.707) in 115 years of football. In the last 36 years, NU is tops, posting a record of 348-71-5 for an .827 winning percentage (424 games), an average of nearly 10 wins per year.
NU has won 10-or-more games 24 times since 1962, has gone undefeated and untied through the regular season seven times, played in 13 national title games (for at least one of the teams) and won the championship five times. Since the first Nebraska season in 1890, Husker teams have won 11 or more games 12 times, including seven of the last 11 years. NU has won 12 or more games seven times, and 13 games three times (1971, 1994 and 1997).
Nebraska (702), Michigan (705), Alabama (728) and Notre Dame (736) were the only four programs to win 700 games in the 1900s. NU became the first Division I team to win 100 or more games in consecutive decades, ranking first in the 1980s (103-20-0, .837) and second in the 1990s (108-16-1, .890) and posted a nation’s best 309-56-5 record in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Huskers To Bid for NCAA-Record 36th Consecutive
Bowl Appearance in 2004 Campaign
Nebraska’s visit to the 2003 Mastercard Alamo Bowl marked the Huskers’ 35th consecutive bowl game, the nation's longest current streak and an all-time NCAA record. Michigan’s streak of consecutive bowl appearances reached 29 last year, the second-longest streak in NCAA history. Nebraska's 42 overall bowl appearances is tied for fourth best with USC, trailing Alabama's 51, Tennessee’s 44 and Texas’ 43.
Nebraska played the first of its 42 bowls in the Rose Bowl, when No. 7 Nebraska lost to No. 2 Stanford, 21-13, following the 1940 season. NU's 35 consecutive bowls began with a 45-6 win over Georgia in the 1969 Sun Bowl. The Huskers are 21-21 all-time in bowl games.
NU Owns 42 Consecutive Winning Regular Seasons
The Huskers' 10-3 record in 2003 marked Nebraska's 42nd consecutive winning regular season and its 41st winning season in the last 42 years. Nebraska saw its streak of 40 consecutive winning seasons end with a 7-7 mark in 2002. Nebraska’s streak of 40 consecutive winning seasons fell two years short of Notre Dame’s NCAA-record run of 42 straight winning campaigns from 1889 to 1932.
The Huskers boast 42 consecutive winning regular seasons and 42 straight years with a .500 or better finish. Nebraska’s 42 straight non-losing seasons is tied for second all-time in NCAA Division I-A, with Notre Dame's 42 (1889-1932), trailing only Penn State’s 49 (1939-87). Since Nebraska’s 42-year .500-or-better streak began, the Huskers have averaged nearly 10 wins per season with a 416-86-5 record (.825).
Nine Wins a Regular Occurrence for Huskers
Nebraska’s amazing run of nine-win seasons came to an end at 33 consecutive years in 2002. The streak is even more remarkable when considering that Texas and Miami now share the lead for most consecutive nine-win seasons with six apiece. Texas’ current run of six consecutive nine-win seasons is the longest in its proud history. Miami reeled off 10 straight nine-win campaigns spanning the 1980s and 1990s and Florida State had a 14-year streak that ended in 2000.
However, among a group of other long-time powers, including Notre Dame, Penn State, Oklahoma, Michigan and Ohio State, the longest streak of nine-win seasons is eight years by both Oklahoma and Ohio State.
Nebraska has won nine-or-more games in 39 of the past 42 seasons. Only back-to-back 6-4 records in 1967 and 1968, and a 7-7 mark in 2002, have fallen short of the nine-win plateau.
Huskers a Fixture in National Polls
Nebraska was unranked in the preseason 2004 Associated Press poll, but is a regular visitor to the national polls. Including the Sept. 12 AP poll, Nebraska has been ranked in 538 of 556 AP polls since 1969 (all but one week in 1977, two weeks in 1981, the final 11 weeks of 2002; the 2003 preseason poll; and the first three polls of 2004). Additionally, Nebraska has been ranked in the AP top 10 for at least one week in each of the last 34 seasons and 40 of the last 41 years.
The Huskers saw an AP Poll record streak of 348 consecutive weeks in the poll end after a 2002 loss at Iowa State. Nebraska appeared in every weekly poll from Oct. 17, 1981, to Sept. 22, 2002.