Halloween 1959 was a gloomy, rainy day in Lincoln, Nebraska. The "Sea of Red" was still a few years off and today, another beat-down was expected at the University of Nebraska stadium.

Mighty Oklahoma was in town. The Bud Wilkinson coached Sooners were Number eight in the college football ratings and Nebraska didn't make it to page two. The game was supposed to be a slaughter.

The Oklahoma Upset

Oklahoma got the kickoff and marched down the field for a quick touchdown. That was no surprise. Nebraska did the same thing. That was a surprise. Oklahoma scored again.

Nebraska ditto. The game went back and forth until the last few seconds. Nebraska held a three-point lead with seconds to go. A Sooner pass sailed toward the end zone. Intercepted. Nebraska 25 Oklahoma 21.

The crowd went crazy. The goal post came down. A snake dance parade went through the streets of Lincoln to the chancellor' house. He proclaimed the following Monday, a student holiday to celebrate the win.

The quarterback for that big upset was a handsome personable young coach-to-be, Harry Tolly, according to Football Foundation. Tolly graduated from North Platte High School and was following in his coach father's footsteps. Nebraska coach Bill Jennings he only had one more season to go at Nebraska.

The end of the Bill Jennings era

Tolly liked Jennings but like many on the Husker team, he wasn't crazy about the long practices under the lights behind the Nebraska Coliseum next to the stadium. Nebraska alums wanted more after this taste of upset greatness. They wanted a new coach who could bring some life to Cornhusker Football.

The search ended in Laramie, Wyoming. Nebraska would hire the head coach of Wyoming Football, Bob Devaney. Coach Devany liked Tolly and offered him a graduate assistant position with the newly inspired Huskers. Tolly accepted.

The wisdom of a coach

On a whim, Tolly applied to Nebraska's Dental School. With his winning personality and great credentials, it was no surprise when he was accepted.

He had a big decision to make. Would he stay on the path to become or coach or would be become a dentist? He trusted Bob Devaney so he took the letter and the question to him.

"If you have a chance to go to dental school, you should," Coach Devaney told young Tolly. "Football is an unforgiving profession."

Tolly took the advice and that opened up a position on the football staff. Devany soon filled that position with a tall skinny guy by the name of Tom Osborne.

"That is my big contribution to Nebraska Football" Tolly grinned as he told his story to an interviewer. "I made room for Tom Osborne."

Tolly's place in Husker Football history is secure. He is the Oklahoma beating quarterback that made room for Tom Osborne and set the Big Red machine in motion.