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What's all this about '70 at 50'? A look at the Journal Star's history project on Nebraska's first title team

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The Journal Star will take readers on a week-by-week ride through the 1970s schedule, Nebraska’s run to its first national championship. 

We're blending new content with frequent trips to the archive library. New content includes stories and commentary on Husker players and coaches from that season, and what they recall from that season, as well as untold stories.

We've already talked to Johnny Rodgers for a Week 1 story. We’ll talk to Tom Osborne, Jerry Tagge and many others this fall. We’ll also re-run the original game story, photos and relive the season with a podcast.

Still not sold? Chris Basnett's series-opening story about Jerry Martaugh making a bold prediction before the season that no coach likes to hear, especially not Bob Devaney.

Week 1: Nebraska 36, Wake Forest 12

Brent C. Wagner revisits Johnny Rodgers' first varsity game for the Huskers, and the story of how Bob Devaney steered him from USC.

Original game story: 


Week 2: No. 9 Nebraska 21, No. 3 USC 21 

The Kosch family has a special tie to Nebraska football, as Bill Kosch was part of the 1970 and 71 national championship teams, and his son, Jesse, was a part of three title-winning teams in the 90s.

Tim Gray shares the story:

Original game story: 

Chris Basnett shares a postgame interaction involving Jerry Murtaugh and the opposing team that "perhaps marks the first inkling Nebraska might be on to something big that season."

Week 3: Nebraska 28, Army 0

Nebraska's dominating defense during the 1970 season was especially illustrated in Week 3, as Army could only muster 20 yards.

Here's a closer look, with commentary from former Husker Outland Trophy winners Larry Jacobson and Rich Glover.

Brent C. Wagner shares the story:

Original game story: 

Middle guard Ed "Fast Eddie" Periard earned his nickname because of his tremendous speed on defense.

Brent C. Wagner shares the story:


Week 4: Nebraska 35, Minnesota 10

Bob Devaney turned to Tom Osborne to change the Husker offense following the 1968 season. It was a good move by Bob.

Steven M. Sipple's story:

Original game story: 

Week 5: Nebraska 21, Missouri 7

Before 1972, freshman teams operated like its own program, and had about 60 players, with as many as 45 scholarship players and walk-ons. 

Brent C. Wagner's story:

Original game story:

Week 6: Nebraska 41, Kansas 20

Van Brownson and Jerry Tagge had a job-share arrangement that bobbed and weaved through injuries to both players through 1969 and into 1970.

Parker Gabriel shares the story:

Original game story: 

Week 7: Nebraska 65, Oklahoma State 31

Paul Rogers and Jeff Hughes gave the Huskers a leg up to help lead their team's march to a national championship in 1970.

Clark Grell's story: 

Original game story: 

Week 8: Nebraska 29, Colorado 13

Nicknamed "The Fly," Ingles' first takeaway from his time as a Nebraska football player has nothing to do with catches, touchdowns or wins.

Nate Head's story:

Original game story:

Week 9: Nebraska 54, Iowa State 29

Original game story:

70 at 50: 'Reliever' Tagge hurls NU to victory at Iowa State

Week 10: Nebraska 51, Kansas State 23

With Boyd Epley at the helm, Nebraska's weight lifting model was emulated across the country. Bob Devaney, skeptical at first, bought in, too.

Original game story:

Week 11: Nebraska 28, Oklahoma 21

Wins over Oklahoma were hugely important for Devaney and NU. And the key may have been that he didn't treat them like huge games.

Chris Basnett's story:

Original game story:

Orange Bowl: Nebraska 17, LSU 12

"70 at 50" podcasts

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4


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