1903 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

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1903 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
1903 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.jpg
Conference Independent
1903 record 11–0
Head coach Walter C. Booth (4th season)
Home stadium Antelope Field
← 1902
1904 →

The 1903 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska in the 1903 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]

Coming off an undefeated season which also featured a full schedule of shutout victories, Nebraska was intent on showing that the previous year was not a fluke. The roster grew to 26 players, up significantly from 19 in 1902.



Date Opponent/Time Site Result Attendance
September 19* Lincoln High Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 23-6 -
September 26 Grand Island Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 64-0 -
October 3 South Dakota Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 23-0 -
October 10 at Denver Denver, Colorado W 10-0 -
October 17 Haskell Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 16-0 3,000
October 24 Colorado Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 31-0 -
October 31 at Iowa Iowa FieldIowa City, Iowa W 17-6 -
November 7 Knox Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 33-5 -
November 14 at Kansas Central Park • Lawrence, Kansas W 6-0 -
November 21 Bellevue[a] Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 52-0 -
November 26 Illinois Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 16-0 -
*Exhibition Game.
  1. ^ Now-defunct Bellevue College, not to be confused with present-day's Bellevue University[2]



Bell, Johnny HB
Bender, Johnny HB
Benedict, Maurice QB
Borg, Charles C
Briggs LT
Cortelyou, Spencer E
Cotton, Charles RG
Eager, Earl HB
Engelhart, William FB
Follmer, Eugene E
Graves, Elliot HB
Hunter, Fred RG
Lantz HB
Lesh, W.W. G
Marsh, Earl HB
Mason, Cyrus LT
Mason, John FB
Mickel, Oliver FB
Perry, F.D. T
Ringer, John LG
Robertson, Claud RT
Shedd, Charlie E
Thorpe, Orley E
Tobin, John G
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
John Westover Assistant Coach 1904 1901–1905 Nebraska


Game summaries[edit]

Lincoln High[edit]

Lincoln High at Nebraska
1 2Total
Lincoln High 6
Nebraska 23

In their sixth exhibition meeting, the Lincoln high schoolers managed to put points on the board against the Cornhuskers for the first time, remarkably ending Nebraska's run of 10 straight shutout victories. Unsurprisingly, though, the University put up more, and pushed the perfect series record to 6-0.[7]

Grand Island[edit]

Grand Island at Nebraska
1 2Total
Grand Island 0
Nebraska 64
  • Date: 1903-09-26
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

The Grand Island College team suffered the wrath of the Cornhuskers after Nebraska's shutout streak was ended the previous week, as the Cornhuskers rolled up almost 800 yards of offense and piled 64 points on while holding Grand Island off the scoreboard. Excluding the exhibition game, the shutout streak remained alive. [7][8]

South Dakota[edit]

South Dakota at Nebraska
1 2Total
South Dakota 0
Nebraska 23
  • Date: 1903-10-03
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

After a three-year break, Nebraska once again met South Dakota with designs to avenge the Cornhusker loss from 1899. Nebraska accumulated more than four times as many yards as South Dakota and posted yet another shutout win. [7][8]


Nebraska at Denver
1 2Total
Nebraska 0 10 10
Denver 0 0 0

Nebraska steamrolled the University of Denver on their own field, amassing 685 yards while holding the Pioneers to just 15 yards and no points on the day. The damage would have been far worse if not for the muddy conditions leading to sloppy play and numerous turnovers. This was the first time these teams had met. [7][8]


Haskell at Nebraska
1 2Total
Haskell 0
Nebraska 16
  • Date: 1903-10-17
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Game attendance: 3,000

Haskell arrived in Lincoln and ended up being the next in a line of teams to be knocked off and held scoreless as the Cornhuskers rolled up the wins. Some historical records mention this game, the program's 100th, was the first game in which a Nebraska mascot dog appeared, in this case a bulldog wearing a scarlet and cream blanket, however there is a mention of a white bull terrier painted half red from a Nebraska game in 1893.[7][8]


Colorado at Nebraska
1 2Total
Colorado 0
Nebraska 31
  • Date: 1903-10-24
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska's domination continued, as this time it was Colorado held ineffective with only 37 yards to the 314 rolled up by the Cornhuskers. Nebraska's series lead extended to 3-0 over Colorado.[7][8]


Nebraska at Iowa
1 2Total
Nebraska 17
Iowa 6

Three years since their last meeting, Nebraska traveled to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes on their own field for the first time. Iowa managed to snap the Cornhuskers shutout streak after a Nebraska fumble and subsequent penalty allowed Iowa to start from the Nebraska 2-yard line, where they were successful in getting a score. Still, Nebraska came away with the win, maintaining their unbeaten streak at 20 straight including exhibition games, and pulled ahead in the series, 5-4-2. [7][8]


Knox at Nebraska
1 2Total
Knox 5
Nebraska 33
  • Date: 1903-11-07
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

For the second game in a row, Nebraska allowed an opponent to score. By the time Knox reached 5 points, Nebraska already had 10, and would continue to score to pull away. Nebraska improved their record over Knox to 2-0. [7][8]


Nebraska at Kansas
1 2Total
Nebraska 0 6 6
Kansas 0 0 0

Kansas presented a real challenge for the Cornhuskers, managing to hold Nebraska without points until near the end of the game. One touchdown was enough, though, as The Cornhuskers again managed to keep the other team off the board. Nebraska improved their record over the Jayhawks to 7-5. [7][8]


Bellevue College at Nebraska
1 2Total
Bellevue 0
Nebraska 52
  • Date: 1903-11-21
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

After the relatively weak showings in the previous three games, allowing two opponents to score and one to hold the Cornhuskers to a single touchdown, Nebraska unloaded on Bellevue in the first meeting of these teams, rolling up 52 points with minimal effort. [7][8]


Illinois at Nebraska
1 2Total
Illinois 0 0 0
Nebraska 0 16 16
  • Date: 1903-11-26
  • Location: Antelope Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

It had been a full ten years since these teams last met, a 6-0 Nebraska victory in Lincoln, and the outcome today would be the same despite a strong defensive showing by Illinois. Nebraska only managed 58 yards in the first half, but after the break the Cornhuskers figured out the Fighting Illini and produced 276 yards and 16 points for yet another shutout, their 3rd in a row and 8th on the season. Nebraska now led the series 2-0.[7][8]

After the season[edit]

Nebraska wrapped up a second consecutive unbeaten season, its third overall, and had indeed become a feared power in college football. One newspaper writer of the time wrote "Nebraska occupies a unique position in western football. Too strong to find fearful competitors, the Cornhuskers can almost weep with Alexander the Great because they have no more teams to conquer."[9]

At this point, Nebraska had a 24-game winning streak dating back into 1901 (including exhibition games). Coach Booth's record at Nebraska improved to 31-3-1 (.900), which also raised the program's overall record to 72-28-5 (.710). However, by being an independent program, Nebraska was unable to claim a conference title and was again snubbed for consideration for any kind of regional title.


  1. ^ "Football - 1903 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. ^ http://www.lostcolleges.com/bellevue-college
  3. ^ "Nebraska Football 1903 Roster". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  5. ^ "118 Years of Cornhusker Football" (PDF). University of Nebraska Athletics Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  6. ^ "1902 Sombrero - University of Nebraska Yearbook". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "the 1900s". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "1903 Game Recaps". Husker Press Box. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Husker Football History" (PDF). University of Nebraska–Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-14.