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by Del
Rated: E · Other · Sports · #1693499
An entry for a contest to describe one's first U of Nebraska football game.
It was the game at Memorial Stadium, Saturday, September 22, 1962 that began the surge to national prominence. I was a newbie teaching assistant living on a pittance, $240 per month, and debated VERY hard about either spending scarce and precious dollars on student tickets for games or scalping them.

In years just prior we had beaten some teams we shouldn't but often had embarrassing losses to poor teams. Few new friends and acquaintances at the University expressed much hope for a good team but had some optimism for the future. Coach had done well at Wyoming and most thought the team might be competitive in a few years when there were better players.

Expectations weren't high for my first university football game in Nebraska—except the new coach had promised to never punt on third down and called USD a good, tough team. I spent the money against my better judgment.

“Awesome” didn't come close. Bob Devaney, Thunder Thornton, Bob Brown, John Faiman and all amazed, fascinated, energized and boggled the collective minds of me, the student body, fans, faculty and staff with a 53-0 whipping of USD. The celebrating in the stands was electrifying! We were all hoarse from the yelling and hollering and our feet were sore from the stomping. It was one hell of a beginning!! The grinning could be found all across campus the next week and months.

One game didn't make a season or a coaching career. Most expected this was an “up” in an up and down season and we'd have a drubbing at the hands of Michigan and losses to Iowa State to live down. HAH!!

One definition of soul-satisfying is to be able to say with a very sly, wry smile, “They play a little football in Nebraska.”
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