1902 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

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1902 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
1902 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.png
Conference Independent
1902 record 10–0
Head coach Walter C. Booth (3rd season)
Home stadium Antelope Field
← 1901
1903 →

The 1902 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska in the 1902 college football season. The team was coached by Walter C. "Bummy" Booth and played their home games at Antelope Field in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Before the season[edit]

Coach Booth entered his third season hoping to improve upon the 6-2 record of the previous year. The roster shrunk somewhat over previous years and was now down to just 19 players.



Date Opponent/Time Site Result Attendance
September 20* Lincoln High Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 27–0 -
September 27 Doane Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 51–0 -
October 4 at Colorado Gamble FieldBoulder, Colorado W 10–0 -
October 11 Grinnell Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 17–0 -
October 18 Minnesota Northrop FieldMinneapolis W 6–0 -
October 25 vs. Missouri Saint Joseph, Missouri W 12–0 2,000
November 1 Haskell Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 28–0 6,000
November 8 Kansas Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 16–0 -
November 15 Knox Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 7–0 -
November 27 Northwestern Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 12–0 -
*Exhibition Game.



Bell, Johnny HB
Bender, Johnny HB
Benedict, Maurice QB
Borg, Charles C
Briggs T
Cortelyou, Spencer E
Cotton, Charles RG
Engelhart, William FB
Follmer, Eugene E
Hunter, Fred RG
Mason, Cyrus LT
Mickel, Oliver FB
Ringer, John LG
Shedd, Charlie E
Symondynes HB
Thorpe, Orley QB
Tobin, John G
Westover, John RT
Wilson, Harry LT

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
Walter C. "Bummy" Booth Head Coach 1900 1900–1905 Princeton
Jack Best Trainer 1890 1890–1922
Lew Palmer Assistant Coach 1902 1902 Princeton
Charles Engel Manager 1902 1902 Nebraska
John Westover Assistant Manager 1904 1901–1905 Nebraska


Game summaries[edit]

Lincoln High[edit]

Lincoln High at Nebraska
1 2Total
Lincoln High 0
Nebraska 27

The Lincoln high schoolers continued their exercise in futility in hoping to knock off the university squad in the annual preseason exhibition game, losing for the 5th time in five games. [6]


Doane at Nebraska
1 2Total
Doane 0 0 0
Nebraska 22 29 51
  • Date: 1902-09-27
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Doane's latest attempt to best the Cornhuskers fell completely apart as Nebraska scored seemingly at will against the overpowered Doane squad, and extended their series lead to 8-2. [6][7]


Nebraska at Colorado
1 2Total
Nebraska 5 5 10
Colorado 0 0 0

Nebraska traveled again to Boulder, to meet Colorado for the second time. One Cornhusker score in each half, combined with a stiff defensive effort to secure Nebraska's third straight shutout, secured the victory and put Nebraska out to a 2-0 series lead.[6][7]


Grinnell at Nebraska
1 2Total
Grinnell 0 0 0
Nebraska 12 5 17
  • Date: 1902-10-11
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game weather: Rain

Nebraska's star halfback was out with an injury, but neither the loss of his efforts nor the driving rain prevented the Cornhuskers from posting yet another shutout victory, allowing Nebraska to take over the series lead 3-2. [6][7]


Minnesota at Nebraska
1 2Total
Minnesota 0 0 0
Nebraska 0 6 6
  • Date: 1902-10-18
  • Location: Northrop Field • Minneapolis

Nebraska traveled to Minneapolis to face the feared powerhouse Minnesota team for the third time, hoping to finally come away with a win and avenge the two losses recorded against them so far. The hard fought game remained scoreless until the final minutes, when the Cornhuskers managed the only points of the day on a touchdown. This was the first of Minnesota's only two losses of the season, and extremely remarkable considering that Minnesota would finish the 1902 season by outscoring its opponents 335-34, including eight shutout victories. [6][7]


Nebraska vs. Missouri
1 2Total
Nebraska 6 6 12
Missouri 0 0 0

Meeting Missouri on new neutral ground, in St. Joseph for the first time, the Cornhuskers ended an early scoring attempt by Missouri at the Nebraska 7-yard line, and then shut down the Tigers for the rest of the day, while making two touchdowns of their own to extend the shutout streak to 6, and the series lead to 8-3.[6][7]


Haskell at Nebraska
1 2Total
Haskell 0 0 0
Nebraska 6 22 28
  • Date: 1902-11-01
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 6,000

The Haskell Indians never really had a plausible chance to make a game of it, as Nebraska dominated the contest from beginning to end in yet another shutout victory, extending their series over Haskell to 2-0. [6][7]


Kansas at Nebraska
1 2Total
Kansas 0
Nebraska 16
  • Date: 1902-11-08
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

One of Nebraska's touchdown came on a trick placekick that was instead run in for a touchdown. Nebraska's shutout streak was now eight games in a row, and the Cornhuskers pulled ahead in the series for the first time, 6-5. [6][7]


Knox at Nebraska
1 2Total
Knox 0 0 0
Nebraska 7 0 7
  • Date: 1902-11-15
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska hosted Knox for the first game between the teams, and the highlight of the event was the defensive efforts of both teams. Although Knox kept Nebraska to just 7 points in the first half before closing them down, the Cornhuskers once again prevented the opponent from scoring at all. Knox came close, however, before turning over the ball on downs just inches from the end zone. [6][7]


Northwestern at Nebraska
1 2Total
Northwestern 0
Nebraska 12
  • Date: 1902-11-27
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska met Northwestern for the first time, hosting another Illinois team in Lincoln for the second week in a row. The penalty-ridden game was an emotional battle, with Northwestern reporting rough treatment on the field by the Cornhuskers. Despite seven holding penalties against Nebraska, each of which required turning over the ball according to the rules of the time, the Cornhuskers still held Northwestern scoreless for its tenth straight shutout win to close out the season with a perfect record. [6][7]

After the season[edit]

Nebraska wrapped up coach Booth's third season with an unprecedented full slate of shutout victories, including the exhibition game at the beginning of the season, scoring 186 points while keeping all opponents off the scoreboard. Nebraska's hopes to be considered the Western Champion were dashed when Michigan was instead selected, following their 23-6 win over Minnesota, which was Minnesota's only season defeat except for their earlier loss to Nebraska.

Being an independent seemed to work against Nebraska's title consideration, as the other contenders were members of the Big Nine Conference. Nebraska applied to the Big Nine following the season, but the application was denied.

Coach Booth's record at Nebraska improved to 21-3-1 (.860), and the program's overall record improved to 62-28-5 (.679).


  1. ^ "Football - 1902 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  2. ^ "Nebraska Football 1902 Roster". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  4. ^ "118 Years of Cornhusker Football" (PDF). University of Nebraska Athletics Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  5. ^ "1904 Sombrero - University of Nebraska Yearbook". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "the 1900s". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "1902 Game Recaps". Husker Press Box. Retrieved 2009-11-13.