It was old-school meets new-school Saturday when Nebraska unveiled its throwback jerseys for a Legends Weekend game against Northwestern.
And the day had a special Galveston connection.
The Huskers honored one of its greatest teams in school history by wearing jerseys that paid homage to the 1911-12 Huskers.
That team, coached by the legendary E.O. “Jumbo” Stiehm, went 14-1 on the season and won the Missouri Valley Conference title with an 8-0 record. The 1911-12 team went 6-0 at home, winning five of its six home games by double figures.
The Huskers’ only loss that season was to Minnesota before Nebraska closed the season with nine consecutive wins, including a pair of victories over Kansas to close the season. Stiehm, who also coached football at Nebraska, became the first coach in conference history to win both football and basketball titles in the same year.
Ball High School grad Terran Petteway made the occasion more personal by paying a special tribute to the memory of Ronnie Smith, a 6-foot-10 center from Galveston.
Petteway, the leading scorer in the Big 10 Conference, switched from his usual No. 5 jersey to No. 44 to pay homage to Smith.
Smith was not a star player at Nebraska but he was a superstar human being, Nebraska blogger Randy York wrote in a blog post.
Smith, who became a sheriff’s deputy in Butts County, Ga., was killed Dec. 17, 2011, while responding to a fight call.
The jerseys, specially created by adidas for Saturday’s game, were inspired by the 1911-12 team and featured cream colored tops and bottoms with a white accent stripe with an N logo across the middle of the jersey tops. One major difference in the jerseys is that the 1911-12 Husker jerseys did not have jersey numbers, so the number on Saturday’s throwbacks are below the stripe as well as on the back of the jersey.
In the game, which Nebraska won, 54-47, Petteway scored 10 points.
With the win, Nebraska (17-11, 9-7 Big Ten) is guaranteed a .500 conference record, a Big Ten first for the Huskers, now in their third season in the conference. Nebraska won nine conference games for the first time since 1998-99 and only the 10th time since World War II.
NU Media Relations contributed to this story.