Nebraska's home sell out streak started on November 3, 1962 against the Missouri Tigers. 36,501 fans were on hand for the homecoming game, and the Cornhuskers hadn't beaten the Tigers in their last five tries. In fact, the Huskers hadn't scored on them in four straight years. Nebraska had won only six games against Missouri since the 1940 season, a record of 6-14 over that time span.
Was it the hope of Bob Devaney's first season or homecoming that brought Husker fans to the stadium that day? Was it that the team hadn't had a winning season since 1954, while under Devaney they were going into the Missouri game having not lost a game yet in the 1962 season?
Unfortunately, the 1962 game wouldn't be much different than the previous four other than the fact that the Cornhuskers finally scored.
Could anyone have foreseen what Bob Devaney would do with the program? Devaney would win the next four straight over Mizzou and would go on to establish Nebraska as a football powerhouse, winning two national titles in before retiring and turning the reigns over to Tom Osborne.
Since the streak, the Huskers have gone 258-39, winning an incredible 87% of their games. By the time the streak reached 100 on September 29th, 1979, Memorial Stadium's capacity had expanded to over 76,000. Nebraska crushed Penn State 42-17. The 200th game came during the ‘94 season as the Huskers dominated second-ranked Colorado, 24-7 in a game that lead to a number one ranking over Penn State. Colorado's defense couldn't stop one of the best offensive lines in Husker history. The Colorado offense, featuring Kordell Stewart and Rasham Salaam, were crushed by the Blackshirt defense.
The 300th consecutive sell out will happen when the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette come to Lincoln on September 26th. The Husker athletic department has done a remarkable job of marketing an otherwise nondescript body bag game.
The 1962-retro jerseys are pretty cool looking, perhaps because of their simplicity, or perhaps just because they're a little different for one game. I wonder if anyone will freak out when they don't see the "N" on the side of the helmet. There is a celebration planned, complete with some members of the 1962 team, and Bob Devaney's family will be honored.
If you can't afford to bid for an authentic throwback uniform (minimum bid $500 and some are already over $1000) , there will be plenty of other items for sale, like a 300th consecutive sell out t-shirt. You know other programs can't sell something like that!
Things have certainly changed since 1962, including the game itself. Hey, maybe this time that 16 points can belong to Louisiana-Lafayette. Maybe we could hit 300, just for the sake of celebration?