Lincoln Kennedy speaks on the '92 Nebraska game

"Nobody on our team had played a game at Husky Stadium that ran into the evening before," former Husky Lincoln Kennedy recently reminisced to "Come the day of the game, the weather was so beautiful…it was the anticipation of Nebraska coming to our place, and it being the true point of proving as to whether we could repeat as champions."

Washington was in the midst of a 16-game winning streak and was also the two-time defending Rose Bowl Champion. The Cornhuskers entered the game highly ranked and unabashedly stating that they were coming to Seattle to avenge their 36-21 loss the previous year back home.

"It was one of those nights to remember," said Kennedy of the rematch. "Because when you came into the stadium, the air was so thick with anticipation, it was almost jubilation. You really had trouble containing yourself. The late afternoon sky had a pigment of orange to it, and as it grew dark, the night was so clear. You actually felt like you could do no wrong. Those kinds of moments don't come along very often."

Nebraska entered the game averaging 559 yards of offense per game, and possessed what coach Tom Osborne referred to as the greatest offensive line he had ever coached.

73,333 fans packed into Husky Stadium, along with the ESPN crew and a horde of national media. A Nebraska fan named Yvonne Stahmer had flown to Seattle with eight of her friends with the faith that they could get tickets for the game. In the Husky locker room, safety Tommie Smith was dressed early, well before his teammates. He paced back and forth like a bull as he hyperventilated. Defensive linemen D'Marco Farr and Mike Lustyk continued their superstition of helping each other with their jerseys and eye black. They were 16-0 when carrying this superstition out… As kickoff drew near and Farr and his teammates made their way down the tunnel toward the thunderous din of the field, his stomach churned queasily.

Washington received the opening kickoff and things got off to an uneasy start. The two defenses battled through the first quarter, but then a memorable play gave the Dawgs a 2-0 lead. Following back-to-back procedure penalties, Nebraska faced 2nd and 12 from their own six-inch line. In effect Washington had nine men on the line of scrimmage, and Nebraska QB Mike Brandt dropped back to pass. Tommie Smith flashed in unabated from the right side and blasted Brandt to the turf in his own end zone. The Husky crowd exploded with ecstasy and the Huskies had a lead they wouldn't surrender.

Key plays were made throughout the first half. Eric Bjornson emerged with 3 catches for 72 yards. Both Napoleon Kaufman and Beno Bryant had touchdown plunges from 1 yard out. And receiver Joe Kralik made a dubious reception in the back of the end zone for a 23-7 halftime lead.

Lincoln Kennedy was all set to do battle with one of Nebraska's star defensive lineman, by name of John Parrella. The Nebraska defensive end had stated publicly that he was eager to battle with Kennedy. But Parrella was injured in the first quarter, and his wet-behind-the-ears replacements were shuttled into the game thereafter. In the recent DMC interview, Kennedy was asked which players he went against for the rest of the way.

"I had a montage of gentlemen that I can't remember now," said Kennedy as he laughed good-naturedly. "It was the one time in my career that I was actually laughing during the game. I had these different guys lining up across from me, and they were literally shaking. I don't know if it was from my reputation or what. They didn't know what to do. You can smell fear on the football field. And they had no clue. And I felt so great out there! I had enough energy to literally play four football games in a row."

The second half was a toe-to-toe defensive slugfest… and when the clock struck 0:00, Washington had knocked off Nebraska 29-14. The Huskies improved to 3-0 and solidified their position insofar as national esteem. In leaving the field and coming back up the tunnel, the jubilant line of Husky players barked out in unison, "WHOSE HOUSE??? DAWG'S HOUSE!!!… WHOSE HOUSE??? DAWG'S HOUSE!!!"

Seattle P-I writer Dan Raley was also heading toward the tunnel when Husky QB Billy Joe Hobert jogged up to him. Raley probably knew what was coming, as he had predicted in a column that Nebraska would win-- and should UW win, he wrote, that he would jog one mile for every point the Huskies won by.

"What size shoes should I buy ya?" blurted Hobert with a smile. Raley patted his own stomach. "Hey, I do need to work this gut off anyways." Both men then laughed.

A smiling D'Marco Farr was talking to some media: "We laid the '91 defense to rest tonight… Nobody can play like Steve Emtman, but we did a pretty good imitation, didn't we?"

Two other players ambling slowly off the field were Washington's Lincoln Kennedy and Nebraska's John Parrella. They were joking freely and laughing uproariously. Then Lincoln Kennedy took his helmet in hand and peeled the W off of it, giving it then to his counterpart. Parrella would take it back home to Nebraska, where he plastered it on his locker.
Derek Johnson can be reached at
Special thanks to the book "Bitter Roses" by Sam Farmer Top Stories