Minnesota 20
Nebraska 12

Nov. 29, 1900 • Antelope Field, Lincoln


Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 29 — Minnesota won the game, but Nebraska won most of the money and with it the lion’s share of glory.

It was the finest exhibition of football ever seen on a Nebraska gridiron, and was witnessed by 5,000 gally beribboned enthusiasts, of whom almost a thousand came down from the snow covered fields of Minnesota to wager their money that the light and lithe Nebraskans could not score against their brawny, light haired norther giants. Nebraska rooters accepted the bets and Nebraska’s swift and scientific eleven scored two touchdowns and kicked two goals, thereby increasing somewhat the volume of the circulating medium in William J. Bryan’s state.

The outcome of the game was a surprise to every one except Coach Booth of the Nebraskans and those few who had confidence in the “Princeton method” applied ton speedy and light team. Before the game was called a great many hundreds of dollars were posted at odds of two to one that Nebraska would fall to make a touchdown and other hundred were up that Minnesota would score seventeen more points than Nebraska. These were the popular wagers and because of them the Gophers go home with another scalp dangling to their belt. It is true, but sadly depleted of coin of the realm.

Nebraska at the Front

As a result of the game Nebraska takes a front rank in western football circles. She made against Minnesota the western champion twice the score made by Chicago, Wisconsin and Northwestern university teams. Too much credit cannot be accorded Coach Walter Booth, late of the Princeton eleven, who is the idol of the Nebraska undergraduates. He took a squad of men averaging only 175 pounds in weight, and made of them a team able to cope with a caravan of giants every one of whom is over six feet tall, and all but one of whom weigh over 200 pounds.

Nebraska’s team was sure and swift of foot, heady and scientific. Her speedy backs, the speediest in all the west, wen time and again dodging and twisting around and through the Minnesota line. Her line of players, light but absolutely fearless, held the Minnesotans in their terrific onslaughts in a manner that brought cheer upon cheer from thousands of spectators. Little “Stub” Crandall, weighing but 134 pounds and looking but little more than five feet tall, in a half dozen plays went squirming right through the Minnesotans, slippery as an eel.

Pillsbury’s Great Run

The sensational play of the game, however, was made by Pillsbury, Nebraska’s substitute fullback, who came on early in the first half. With the ball n Nebraska’s forty-five yard line, and one touchdown already scored against her, Nebraska opened out for a kick. Minnesota prepared to meet it, but the kick was never made. Instead, Pillsbury went dashing headlong through Minnesota’s line, protected by magnificent interference, and raced an even hundred yards to a touchdown, with the whole Minnesota team chasing vainly at his heels.

Minnesota Tactics

Minnesota’s scores were the result of brawn, splendid team work and Knowlton’s magnificent punting. Her method was to punt, hold Nebraska down, then punt again. It resulted in victory, but by no such score as had been hoped for.

It was an ideal football day from the point of view of spectators, though a little warm for the players. The crowd was as large as the campus would hold. Pretty “Co-ed” in dainty gowns, thousands of students with streaming colors and strident megaphones, fraternities on coaches and tally-hos all combined to make it a scene of color and animation heretofore foreign to the university campus. The “rooting” was thoroughly organized on either side and the result was an almost continuous cataract of noise, drowning even the strenuous efforts of bands.

After the game the Minnesotans, led by their band, cake walked in hilarious abandon through the business section of the city, jamming the streets from curb to curb. Ladies in silks and dignified professors in high hats joined in the riotous demonstration.

Gopher Team Broke

When the parade finally broke up, several scores of Gopher students crowded both the telegraph offices. They were wiring for enough money to get home on.

The game was called at 2:00. At 2:15 Minnesota’s cadet band entered the arena and took a position directly in front of Gopher’s rooting section at the north end of the west bleachers. Then Nebraska’s band took a place at the south half of the field fronting Nebraska’s rooting section. At 2:21 Nebraska’s sons jumped the fence and showed themselves to their admirers. The crowd went wild and the band struck up a college air. Coach Booth was given an ovation. Hardly had the thousands subsided when Minnesota’s men entered the gridiron and the northerners cried with joy.

Details of the Game

To an onlooker the two teams were much different. Nebraska’s men lighter, smaller and quicker. Minnesota’s men, the long looked for, were truly giants. Minnesota won the toss at 2:33 and chose south goal with a slight breeze in the southwest.

Ringer kicked off at 2:39 for 25 yards. Minnesota tried Nebraska’s right end but gained nothing. Sent Lefans through left tackle but netted nothing.

Minnesota punted to Crandall and Nebraska lost on a fumble. Minnesota then sent Lefans through left tackle again, but for no gain. Van Valkenburg hammered the same spot, but when Westover stood and help them. This was on Nebraska’s 25-yard line an Minnesota tried a place kick. It missed by a foot. Nebraska kicked off from the 25-yard line. Minnesota brought the ball back twelve yards. Van Valkenburg skated around right end for seven yards, duplicated the act and four yards more. Lefans skirted Nebraska’s other end for fifteen yards. Minnesota was now on Nebraska’s five-yard line and ball had been placed there with apparent ease. Van Valkenburg pushed through right tackle for two yards.

First Touchdown Easy

The ball was on Nebraska’s three-yard line. Knowlton was pushed over on the next play for a touchdown. He missed an easy goal. Score, 5-0.

Minnesota went wild and it had only taken seven minutes of play.

Nebraska kicked for only ten yards, but lost the ball on a fumble. Westover’s tackle play netted one yard. Then Cook plunged through Minnesota’s heavy line for fifteen yards. The bleachers rose and thundered their approbation. Nebraska stack went up, Crandall went through left tackle for two yards and followed by hurdling the line in the same place for seven yards. Montgomery tired an end run but gained nothing. Cook made one yard through center. Cook tried left tackle but to no avail. The crowd hushed — not a sound was heard — it was Minnesota’s ball. But they could gain nothing in three trials and punted. Drain fumbled but downed the ball. Nebraska tried in vain to make yards and kicked. It was Minnesota’s ball. The latter lined up and punted. Then it was Nebraska’s ball on her thirty-five yard line. She made three yards in two downs, but lost the ball to the Gophers on off-side play. Cook was hurt and retired, Pillsbury succeeding him. Minnesota started another march, Nebraska fighting every inch. Hoyt was soon pushed over for a touchdown. Again, Knowlton missed goal. Score, 10 to 0.

Sensational Play of the Day

Nebraska kicked off. Minnesota got the ball on the next play punted. Drain and Crandall both fumbled, but Nebraska downed the ball. Drain made four yards on a double pass — but Nebraska was forced to kick. Minnesota returned to center to field and then punted. Crandall returned fifteen yards. It was Nebraska’s ball on her 45-yard line. Minnesota was repeating her previous performance — kicking and holding. Black despair settled down over the Nebraska bleachers—and then something happened. It was a fake punt — Ringer ran back for punt position — Minnesota changed slightly to meet it. But Nebraska didn’t kick. Instead Pillsbury dashed through Minnesota’s line, throwing Minnesotans right and left and sided by Nebraska’s end dashed by every Gopher for a touchdown. The multitude went wild. Hats were thrown in the air — women screamed and the varsity yell resounded above all. Ringer kicked an easy goal, score 10 to 6.

Minnesota kicked off, sending the ball behind the goal line. Nebraska downed it and then kicked off from the 25-yard line. Minnesota got the ball on Nebraska’s 45-yard line. An exchange of downs and punts ensued and after even play Minnesota got the ball on Nebraska’s yard line in the middle of the field. Nebraska held for two downs and Minnesota tried a field goal. The ball sailed squarely through the goal posts over the crossbar and in its flight scored five more points for the northerners. It now stood 6 to 15. The rest of the half was played in the center of the field with especial advantage to either side. When the referee’s whistle announced rest the ball was on Nebraskan 25-yard line and in her possession.

It had take an hour and twenty minutes to play the first half. During the intermission both college bands sent snatches of melody out over the field.

Second Half In

When Nebraska lined up in the second half, Bender had taken Montgomery’s place, Minnesota played the same men. Minnesota kicked off to Bender who returned the ball twenty yards through, over and under the big northerners, before they sat on him. Crandall went around Minnesota’s left end for ten yards. Then Pillsbury punched the line for four more — followed by an additional three. Then twice Nebraska tried in vain to advance the pig skin and Pillsbury punted. Johnson downed the Minnesotan in his tracks. Minnesota’s lost ball on downs, Nebraska advanced Bender for ten yards but the play was brought back and the bill given to Minnesota on holding.

Van Valkenburg made a fifteen yard run around right end, but Nebraska soon recovered the ball on downs. Then Drain made fifteen yards on a double pass. The ball was in the center of field. Van Valkenburg was injured and retired in favor of Smith. Nebraska made eight yards, then three, then twelve and swept down the field irresistibly. Minnesota’s ten, eight and five yard lines were passed and finally the ball brought up on the one yard line and the third down. Minnesota took a stand, but couldn’t hold it and Pillsbury was shoved over for a touchdown.

Again the Scarlet and cream waved over everything and men yelled themselves hoarse. Ringer kicked goal. Score 12 to 15.

But Nebraska had done her best and was unable to repeat the thing again. Minnesota, however, late in the half scored again, through line punching and mass-plays but missed goal.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 24-32 all-time against Minnesota.

See all games »


1900 season (6-1-1)

Iowa State Oct. 13
Drake Oct. 20
KC Medics Oct. 27
Tarkio Oct. 29
Missouri Nov. 5
Grinnell Nov. 10
Kansas Nov. 17
Minnesota Nov. 29

This day in history

Nebraska has played 14 games on Nov. 29. See them all »

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