Tom's Time
Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

Tom’s Time: 57-0 over Mizzou and It Could’ve Been Uglier per One Husker

October 20, 2022

In late February of 1994, the Big Eight announced that four Texas schools would be joining the conference to form the Big 12, with play beginning in 1996.

So, the 1995 season would be the Big Eight’s last.

The Big Eight’s first season was 1960, with the addition of Oklahoma State. It had become the Big Seven, with Colorado joining to compete for the first time in 1948.

Nebraska’s conference opener in mid-October 1995, after a bye week, was against Missouri at Memorial Stadium. The two had played each other every season since 1922, as members of the Missouri Valley Conference and then the breakaway Big Six—along with Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State.

If this seems a mundane start to Tom’s Time, consider the outcome of the 1995 opener. Though the Tigers admittedly weren’t in Nebraska’s class, second-year head coach Larry Smith was optimistic they were making progress. Even so, they came to Lincoln 2-2 and had been outscored 87-83.

That point differential would increase dramatically. Nebraska’s first possession, following a short punt on a windy afternoon, carried to the Missouri 3-yard line, with Ahman Green stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1.

The Huskers’ second possession, also following a short punt and 5-yard return by Reggie Baul, lasted only two plays, both Tommie Frazier runs, the first 2 yards, the second 29 yards for a touchdown.

The score after one quarter, 7-0.

Nebraska’s next two possessions ended in Jesse Kosch punts, both short.

Midway through the first quarter, Smith sent in highly regarded freshman Corby Jones at quarterback. The plan had been to redshirt Jones, who sat out the first four games. But Smith included him on the travel roster, and when Missouri’s offense sputtered, Jones shed his redshirt.

Jones, an option quarterback, gained 12 yards on four carries in the first quarter but would finish with a net of 7 yards on 13 carries. His first of two passes was intercepted by Tony Veland.

Brock Olivo*, the Tigers’ top running back, finished with 10 yards on 11 carries. Olivo’s sixth carry, for no gain, ended in a fumble, recovered by Jared Tomich at the Missouri 27-yard line.

Six plays later, Frazier scored from 1 yard out.

Nebraska led 14-0 with 5:24 remaining in the half.

Two-and-a-half minutes later, Frazier would score another touchdown from 1 yard out and on the final play of the half, he would pass to Brendan Holbein for 29 yards and a touchdown.

The score at halftime was 28-0. And the second half was more of the same, with touchdowns by Ahman Green, Matt Turman and Damon Benning and a safety by Terrell Farley on a blocked punt.

Final score, 57-0. One of Kris Brown’s extra-point kicks failed.

Nebraska finished with 475 yards of offense, including 342 rushing, numbers affected by six fumbles, none of them lost, four in the fourth quarter, when Tom Osborne cleared the bench.

He used 89 players.

Missouri fumbled five times, losing two, and threw another interception besides Jones’. The Tigers were limited to 122 total yards, with a net of 45 yards on 39 carries.

Green, who started for the first time, finished with twice as many rushing yards, 90 on 15 carries. The freshman from Omaha Central went into the game with 525 yards and seven touchdowns on 51 carries, needing 63 yards to break Nebraska’s true freshman rushing record.

Monte Anthony rushed for 587 yards in 1974—bowl games weren’t included in NCAA statistics.

Linebacker Doug Colman led the defense with eight tackles. Freshman rush end Chad Kelsay had two of the Huskers’ four sacks. Outside linebacker Luther Hardin and SAM backer Jamel Williams had the others.

The first week in October, much-coveted running back recruit from Wichita, Kansas, DeAngelo Evans,  orally committed to Nebraska, after considering, among others, Notre Dame and Penn State. Some in the crowd of 75,552 might have been discussing that as the score mounted and the game wound down.

“It could have been real ugly if we clicked on offense like we had in the first five games,” center Aaron Graham said.

Uh, 57-0 was ugly enough.

*Olivo, from Washington, Missouri, earned state player of the year over the Huskers’ Grant Wistrom, from Webb City, Missouri, when they were high school seniors.

 Next up: No. 8 Kansas State comes to Memorial Stadium

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