The history of Nebraska vs. Northwestern on the football field

    Nebraska and Northwestern have met four times over the past 109 years, and only three times in the regular season. On a magical day in Evanston in 1931, the ‘Cats executed their only win over the Cornhuskers ever. On Sunday, NU will look to mimic the efforts of the ’31 team with a victory against traditional powerhouse Nebraska in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers, on the other hand, will look to continue their general success against the Wildcats, as Nebraska has dominated the series other than the 1931 contest.
    Nov. 27, 1902 (Lincoln, Neb.): Nebraska 12, Northwestern 0: At Antelope Field, the 6-5 ‘Cats attempted to spoil the 9-0 ‘Huskers perfect season in the final week. Nebraska, however, managed to defend its home turf with a shutout victory. Unfortunately for the Cornhuskers, Michigan and Yale were crowned as co-national champions. We can only assume NCAA officials must have ignored Nebraska’s wins over Lincoln High, Doane, Grinnell, Haskell, and Knox.
    Oct. 3, 1931 (Evanston, Ill.): Northwestern 19, Nebraska 7: On opening day at Dyche Stadium, the ‘Cats started the 1931 season with a win over the 1-0 Cornhuskers. The ‘Cats took the momentum from the win and ran with it, winning six of the next seven games (the other game was a 0-0 tie against Notre Dame). Despite a loss in the final week to Purdue, Northwestern still only finished the season with one loss. Nebraska rebounded from the loss to go undefeated in Big Six (an early predecessor to the Big 12) play to win the conference.
    Sept. 28, 1974 (Lincoln, Neb.): No. 10 Nebraska 49, Northwestern 7: Coming into a showdown in Lincoln, the 0-2 ‘Cats looked to rebound from a 49-3 throttling by No. 1 Notre Dame against 1-1 ‘Huskers, fresh off a 21-20 loss to Wisconsin. Nebraska unloaded on NU for a 42-point victory. The ‘Cats finished the season at a forgettable 3-8. Nebraska finished 9-3 (5-2) with a Sugar Bowl win over Florida.
    Dec. 30, 2000 (San Antonio, Texas): No. 9 Nebraska 66, No. 18 Northwestern 17: Finishing the regular season at 8-3 (6-2), the co-Big Ten champion Wildcats earned a bid to the Alamo Bowl. Their opponent was the 9-2 (6-2) Cornhuskers. Nebraska tore the ‘Cats apart, thanks in part to quarterback Eric Crouch, the 2001 Heisman Award winner, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Dan Alexander ran for 240 yards with two touchdowns, and Correll Buckhalter reached the end zone twice. For the ‘Cats, Damien Anderson ran for 149 yards and a touchdown. Nebraska moved up to No. 8 in the AP Poll, while Northwestern dropped out of the rankings. Although the season ended on a very sour note for Northwestern, the 2000 campaign is still considered to be one of the best in Wildcat football history.


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