College Football Throwback Thursday: Nebraska celebrates 93 years in Memorial Stadium
On Oct. 13, 1923, the Nebraska football team stepped into Memorial Stadium for the first time to take on the Oklahoma Sooners, whom it defeated 24-0 that day. While much has changed in the 93 years since that first game, Memorial Stadium remains one of more historic stadiums in the country.
So on the anniversary of this first game, we take a look at five big moments for Memorial Stadium:
The First Game
As mentioned above, the first game for the Huskers on their home field resulted in a major win. According to HuskerMax.com, while the Huskers were only able to tally a field goal before halftime, it was a 93-yard fumble return during the second half that shut down Oklahoma’s momentum. The Sooners had moved 50 yards down the field, preparing to score, but the pivotal play kept them from posting points. Nebraska took the energy from that play and were able to score another two touchdowns before the end of the game.
Dedication of the Stadium
It was named Memorial Stadium to honor all Nebraskans who served. However, many Husker fans at the time believed that the game against Oklahoma should have been the dedication game. Because just about a week later, Nebraska ended the dedication game in a scoreless tie with Kansas. Newspaper coverage of the event attributed the tie to a “stadium dedication jinx,” according to Nebraska Athletics, for the Huskers defeated the Jayhawks 28-0 when Kansas dedicated their new stadium. Today, however, Nebraska has tallied over 400 wins for a .760 win percentage in Memorial Stadium.
Still, to remind visitors and fans who come and go throughout the years who the stadium is dedicated to, the four corners of the structure holds the following inscriptions, according to Nebraska Athletics:
Southeast: "In Commendation of the men of Nebraska who served and fell in the Nations Wars."
Southwest: "Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory."
Northwest: "Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."
Northeast: "Their Lives they held their country’s trust; They kept its faith; They died its heroes."
First Night Football Game
Florida State traveled to Memorial Stadium to face Nebraska in its home opener in 1986. Here, the Huskers pulled out a 34-17 win after Nebraska ran up the score in the second half, allowing FSU to only score a single field goal after returning from the locker room, according to HuskerMax.com. But, this was just the first of many Memorial Stadium night-game wins, for, according to Nebraska Athletics, the Huskers are 37-5 under the lights at home.
The Tunnel Walk
Beginning in 1994, the Tunnel Walk, according to Nebraska Athletics, allows fans to share in the excitement of the Huskers coming out from the locker room to the field. The rumble of the stadium’s 85,000 fans and the Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” echo throughout the stadium to develop one of Nebraska’s game-day staples.
300th consecutive home sellout
Since Nov. 3, 1962, when the Nebraska-Missouri game drew over 36,000 fans, Memorial Stadium has sold out every game. However, it was the Sept. 26, 2009 game against Louisiana-Lafayette that marked the 300th sell out for the stadium. According to Nebraska Athletics, this continuing string of home sellouts remains an NCAA record, currently reaching 347 by the end of the 2015 season.
While the Huskers will be celebrating this anniversary on the road this weekend, Memorial Stadium continues to stand as what could be considered one of the most intimidating locations to play football. Since 1923, the stadium has seen renovation after renovation to also become one of the more high-tech sports structure in the world, according to Nebraska Athletics. However, it maintains its charm and looks to be the home of the Huskers for many more years to come.