Honors & Awards
- First-Team All-Big Eight (1966)
- Coaches All-America Game (1967)
An first-team All-Big Eight selection for Coach Bob Devaney's Cornhuskers in 1966, Kelly Petersen anchored a potent Nebraska offense as Nebraska's starting center in 1965 and 1966.
As a junior in 1965, Petersen helped the Huskers to a 10-1 overall record, a Big Eight title and a trip to the 1966 Orange Bowl against Bear Bryant's Alabama squad. NU fell 39-28 to the Crimson Tide, but finished the season ranked No. 3 in the final national polls.
With Petersen paving the way, Nebraska ranked second nationally in total offense with 404 yards per game, including the school's second NCAA rushing title with 290 yards per game. The Huskers also ranked second nationally in scoring offense with 32.1 points per game.
Nebraska added another Big Eight crown in 1966, finishing with a 9-2 mark after falling to Alabama in the 1967 Sugar Bowl. The Huskers finished with a final No. 6 national ranking. NU led the Big Eight with 192.4 rushing yards per game, while managing 318.8 yards per game in total offense.
Petersen came to Nebraska after earning high school All-America honors for Coach Terry Williams at Cozad High School. Petersen was a two-time all-state selection on the gridiron and starred in basketball for Cozad.
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Norris Petersen, Kelly was a business administration major at Nebraska.