Nebraska football has a sellout streak dating back to 1962, stretching back 375 games through five national championship seasons. But after Nebraska's brutal loss to Illinois in the season opener, the Cornhuskers needed a little extra help getting the streak to 376.
With the streak on the line, two major donors came forward to buy the remaining tickets for Nebraska's game against Fordham on Saturday at Memorial Stadium to keep the historic milestone alive. The tickets will be distributed for free to school-aged children and their families in a project called the "Red Carpet Experience."
But while the donors made the best of a bad situation, the need for an 11th hour save speaks to the state of the program under coach Scott Frost. Once hailed as one of the top up-and-comers in college football coaching, Frost has stumbled out to a shaky 12-21 record through three seasons. The former championship-winning quarterback and Nebraska alum has failed to recapture the tradition of yesteryear.
The Cornhuskers went down 30-9 against Illinois in the third quarter in a game that was nowhere near as competitive as the 30-22 final score. Illinois went just 2-6 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
"I hope nobody lost excitement after Saturday," Frost told the Associated Press on Monday. "This team has a chance to be really good. I think this team is going to prove a lot to a lot of people. If there are still some tickets out there, buy 'em up and come watch this team."
Nebraska's athletic department acknowledged that there are still tickets available for each of the program's six remaining games at Memorial Stadium. The streak ending would be a dagger for one of college football's most historic programs, and would likely spell the end of the Frost era in Lincoln.
The Red Carpet Experience will give complimentary tickets to any students in eighth grade or younger and their parents for the game against Fordham. Nebraska will also provide a free hot dog, popcorn and soda to those receiving tickets through the program.