1917 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

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1917 Nebraska Cornhuskers football
1917 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.jpg
Missouri Valley champion
Conference Big Eight Conference
1917 record 5–2 (2–0 MVIAA)
Head coach E. J. Stewart (2nd season)
Home stadium Nebraska Field
← 1916
1918 →
1917 Missouri Valley football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Nebraska $ 2 0 0     5 2 0
Kansas 3 1 0     6 2 0
Iowa State 3 1 0     5 2 0
Kansas State 2 2 0     6 2 0
Missouri 2 4 0     3 5 0
Washington (MO) 1 2 0     4 3 0
Drake 0 3 0     0 5 2
  • $ – Conference champion

The 1917 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the representative of the University of Nebraska in the 1917 college football season. The team was coached by E. J. Stewart and played their home games at Nebraska Field in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Before the season[edit]

Coach Stewart's second Cornhusker team was coming off of a down year that anywhere else would have been considered very successful. The two losses of 1916, although ending the four-season unbeaten streak, still did not prevent Nebraska from notching a seventh consecutive league title. Stewart greatly expanded his roster to 22 players, an increase of almost 30% from the 17 players on the squad in 1916. Coach Stewart set up this year's schedule as an ambitious test, as powerhouses Michigan, Notre Dame and Syracuse all had dates with the Cornhuskers on the slate.



Date Opponent/Time Site Result Attendance
October 6* Nebraska Wesleyan 2:30 PM Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 100-0 -
October 13* Iowa 2:30 PM Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 47-0 -
October 20* Notre Dame 2:30 PM Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 7-0 -
October 27* at Michigan 2:30 PM Ferry FieldAnn Arbor, Michigan L 0-20 -
November 10† Missouri 2:30 PM Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska W 52-0 -
November 17 at Kansas 2:00 PM McCook FieldLawrence, Kansas W 13-3 -
November 29* Syracuse 2:30 PM Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska L 9-10 -
*Non-Conference Game. †Homecoming



Cook, John QB
Day, William C
Dobson, Paul HB
DuTeau, Al E
Henry, Stanley C
Hubka, Ernest FB
Kellogg, Sam T
Kositsky, Ed T
Kriemelmeyer, Walter T
McMahon, Harold HB
Munn, Wayne G
Otopalik, Hugo HB
Rhodes, Roscoe E
Riddell, Ted E
Schellenberg, Elmer HB
Shaw, Edson T
Shaw, Lawrence T
Teter, John G
White, Herbert PLAYER
White, Roland PLAYER
Wilder, Harold T
Young, Farley G

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Title First year
in this position
Years at Nebraska Alma Mater
E. J. Stewart head Coach 1916 1916–1917 Mount Union
Jack Best Trainer 1890 1890–1922


Game summaries[edit]

Nebraska Wesleyan[edit]

Nebraska Wesleyan at Nebraska
1 2Total
Nebraska Wesleyan 0
Nebraska 100

The Cornhuskers opened the new season with a chip on their shoulder, and completely smashed Nebraska Wesleyan in a bit of revenge for being held to just 21 points in the previous year's shutout win over NWU. This was the fourth and final time Nebraska scored 100 or more points in the history of the program, the previous coming in 1911 in a 117-0 blanking of Kearney State. NWU remained winless against Nebraska, 0-7. [5]


Iowa at Nebraska
1 2Total
Iowa 0
Nebraska 47
  • Date: 1917-10-13
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

The Cornhuskers put up another shutout by blanking Iowa, continuing the strong start intended to wipe away the memory of last year's two losses, and improved over Iowa to 12-4-3. [5]

Notre Dame[edit]

Notre Dame at Nebraska
1 234Total
Notre Dame 0 000 0
Nebraska 0 700 7
  • Date: 1917-10-20
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Notre Dame returned to Lincoln with hopes of staying on top of the Cornhuskers, but ND assistant Knute Rockne had scouted the team in advance and reported back to ND head coach Jesse Harper that Nebraska was to be feared after the strong 147-0 combined scoring of their first two games. Notre Dame had started the season with a 55-0 shutout over Kalamazoo but was then held to a scoreless tie against Wisconsin before the date in Lincoln. It wasn't until the second quarter that the Cornhuskers managed to post the first points, and though the teams continued to fight severely, the defenses carried the rest of the day. Notre Dame's closest attempt reached the Nebraska 8 before an interception killed the drive. Among the Notre Dame players present was future College Football Hall of Fame inductee George Gipp (of "Win one for the Gipper" fame), who in this case was handed his first career loss at Notre Dame as Nebraska moved ahead in the series to 2-1. [5][6][7]


Nebraska at Michigan
1 2Total
Nebraska 0
Michigan 20

Nebraska was riding a wave of success, having shut out all three of their opponents on the season, including Notre Dame, and arrived in Ann Arbor looking for their first win against Michigan. The game was in fact a shutout, but not the one the Cornhuskers were hoping for, as the Wolverines sent Nebraska home in futility and without a win in the series, now at 0-2-1 against Michigan to date. The bitter defeat was the first Nebraska blanking since Minnesota defeated the Cornhuskers 13-0 in 1912. [5]


Missouri at Nebraska
1 2Total
Missouri 0
Nebraska 52
  • Date: 1917-11-10
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

After four years off, the series with conference foe Missouri was renewed in Lincoln. Still smarting from last week's shutout beating in Ann Arbor, the Cornhuskers unloaded on the helpless Tigers and put up their fourth shutout on the year in front of the homecoming crowd, moving up to 11-3 all time against Missouri.[5]


Nebraska at Kansas
1 2Total
Nebraska 13
Kansas 3

Kansas put a scare into the Cornhuskers, having brought Nebraska down to Lawrence and carrying some confidence after defeating them the previous season in Lincoln. The scoring output was much lower than earlier games with comparable foes as the Jayhawks refused to be shut down. Nebraska still escaped with the win anyway, staying perfect in their only two conference games of the year, and increased their series lead over Kansas to 15-9. [5]


Syracuse at Nebraska
1 2Total
Syracuse 10
Nebraska 9
  • Date: 1917-11-29
  • Location: Nebraska Field • Lincoln, Nebraska

Up against the third powerhouse team of the season, Nebraska could not quite come up with enough to close out the season with a win, losing by only one point to Syracuse in Lincoln, in the first meeting of these teams. [5]

After the season[edit]

Coach Stewart ended his second season much like his first, with two bitter nonconference losses but with another conference championship. Nebraska had so far strung together an implausible eight straight conference titles, spanning all of coach Stewart's career as well as the entire career of his predecessor, Ewald O. Stiehm. Coach Stewart's Nebraska career record fell slightly to 11-4-0 (.733), and the two season losses nudged the program's overall record down to 164-51-11 (.750), though the conference record improved to 24-3-2 (.862).

Coach Stewart departed the football program after this year in order to assist in the war effort, as the United States moved closer to involvement in World War I. He would spend time at the YMCA helping young men train in preparation for joining the armed forces, but would eventually return to Nebraska to run the basketball program.


  1. ^ "Football - 1917 Schedule/Results". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  2. ^ "Nebraska Football 1917 Roster". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  3. ^ "Nebraska head coaches". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  4. ^ "1917 Cornhusker - University of Nebraska Yearbook (Page 139)". University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "the 1910s". HuskerMax. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Huskers Beat Irish, the Gipper, 7-0". University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics Department. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  7. ^ "1917: Nebraska Shuts Out Notre Dame". Husker Press Box. Retrieved 2009-11-22.