PITTSBURGH — Eight minutes had passed when Bill Dutton, the Pittsburgh offense, back-stepped to his own 35-yard line and threw far ahead, deep into the Huskers’ precincts.
On the Huskers’ five End Mike Sotack turned to make the catch. Toward Mike rushed Husker Roy Long and Husker Marvin Athey, who properly figured that long needed help.
Athey leaped. His extended hand hit the ball — downward into Sotack’s eager hands. Two or three long strides put Sotack in the end zone.
Without Athey’s unintentional assist, the Panther wing couldn’t have fielded the ball.
Thus, with a Nebraskan’s unwilling help, Pitt won the seventeeth game of the series, by 6 to 0, for Vic Schleich blocked Walter West’s attempted place kick.
Two or three minutes later, Dutton threw again, this time to No. 4 Wingback Lou Chelko, who scooted some 20 yards before Long jerked him down from behind on Nebraska’s 7. But Ki Eisenhart ruined Dutton’s fourth-down pass and Pitt was finished. Pitt had spent its charge. And under the circumstances, it was enough.
At the start of the third quarter, the Huskers made their single serious bid — which netted them two lovely opportunities — but no points.
Long dodged back 15 yards to the Pitt 46 with Dutton’s punt. Then Long’s plunges, Hank Reichel’s short but consistent runs and Long’s passes to Fred Metheny and Reichel swept to a first down on the 13.
But Eisenhart was stopped on the six on a fourth-down lateral, and Pitt took possession long enough for Dutton to punt to Long, who returned seven to the Pitt 35.
Long and associates began all over. They worked more swiftly.
Long passed to Bobby Cooper for 10, to Reichel, who grabbed the ball from Dutton, for 19 more. A touchdown was six yards away, and four downs seemed enough to produce it.
Eisenhart took the snapback from Joe partington, rammed ahead, and as he hit the scrimmage line fumbled.
Pitt did not reciprocate with an assist at this climactic time. Fullback Frank Saksa recovered the ball for Pitt.
And that was the ball game, waged by the two weakest teams ever to represent the two schools.
A teeth-clicking 10 thousand shivered in the freezing northwest wind while a total of 17 Panthers tried to increase their margin and a total of 26 Huskers, some of them debutantes, who had hardly expected to get into a game this term, ran and passed to 15 first downs to the Panthers’ five, and a corresponding margin in yardage — and fumbles — indeed, about everything but points.
Six Panthers played 60 minutes — Tackles Jack Durishan and Joe Salcuvvi, Guards Francis Mattioll and Vincent Antoneill, Backs Dutton and Saksa. James Mariades relieved Salcucci only long enough to kick off.
That was Charley Bowser’s way of handling a squad from which injuries had removed some of his most dependable lads.
Charley conserved. Glenn Presnell, similarly hard-pressed, tried the opposite method. He gave first chances to Back Harold Hungerford and Ed Bob Gillespie. He used Reichel and Tackle Charley Wright and Ends Vic Clark and Dean Gelwick for the second time.
Only Partington played the whole game. Dale Bradley tried to relieve Long, but his hurts hobbled him. Injured Allen Zikmund and Forrest Bachman were onlookers throughout. So were Gerry Kathol and Howard Debus. Kathol was sick Friday.
Dutton, as indicated, was Pitt’s offense. The Huskers rendered him pretty ineffectual when he tried to run with the ball, but his passes and his punting were priceless to Pitt — and poisonous to the boys in red.
Nebraska is 6-15 all-time against Pittsburgh.
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