Iowa Pre-Flight 46
Nebraska 0

Nov. 21, 1942 • Iowa Stadium, Iowa City

Huskers Absorb Worst Loss, 46-0


Roy Long broke through the Seahawk forward wall and managed to pick up a first down before being hauled down in the secondary. AP WIRE PHOTO


Swisher’s 80-Yard Jaunt Features Seahawk Parade; Subs Cavort

IOWA CITY — The hapless Huskers, bopped around during a hectic wartime football session, picked themselves up off the cold, soggy Iowa turf Saturday and sadly gazed at the scoreboard.

In bold black figures, the board read: Iowa Preflight 46, Nebraska 0.

The score represented the worst defeat ever suffered by a Nebraska football team.

Of more interest to the tired Cornhuskers was the fact the black hands on the huge ice-covered clock were anchored at straight-up, meaning the ball game was over.

For more than two hours, Glen Presnell’s undermanned squad gave their best to stop the powerful Seahawks.

This wasn’t enough.

Even Lief Bierman’s philanthropic efforts of dipping deep into his player personnel failed to aid the Huskers. The perfectly conditioned pre-flighters all wore the label of previous college competition. A dozen or more were veterans of the pro-league, and they performed with the confident ease of huge dogs toying with a mouse.

The game was a bit more interesting to the crowd of less than four thousand than to the players. The Seahawks merely got a workout. The Huskers spent a long afternoon alternating between throwing themselves in the path of the powerful juggernaut or evading vicious blockers to tag rushing targets.

Had Bierman permitted the first string to go the route the score would have reached mountainous proportions. When his regulars were on the scene, Bierman’s outfit was a joy to behold.

Sparked by Dick Fisher, Ohio State star, the pre-flighters needed only nine plays and four minutes to bag the first touchdown. Fisher going over from the five.

The second touchdown took a bit longer, but was just as convincing. After a mild Husker threat faded near midfield, the Seahawks paraded again. They used only eight plays, including a pair of Fisher passes, to find pay dirt. Forest Evashevski, Michigan grid great, was on the receiving end at the payoff.

Hard-running Jim Langhurst of Ohio State boosted the halftime score to 20-0. The real thrill, however, was reserved for the third quarter when Bob Swisher, Northwestern dazzler, swung into action.

Swisher, on the sidelines during the first half, raced 80 yards on the second play. Aided by beautiful blocking, he side-stepped three Scarlet tacklers, slipped from the grasp of a fourth and raced down the sidelines unmolested.

The cadet cheering section still was celebrating the run as Babe Levoir sprinted from the 19 to make it 33-0. In the brief five minutes, the Seahawks used only six plays to bag their 13 points.

The fourth period touchdowns by Langhurst and Levoir were largely the result of Nebraska aerial attempts which backfired.

To the credit of the Cornhuskers, Presnell’s kids never quit.

Hopelessly outmanned, they continued to send up an aerial barrage which twice brought them fairly deep into Seahawk territory. Bobby Cooper was on the receiving end of both flips.

Had the Omaha North grad been possessed of more speed he might have rang the touchdown bell.

But the Huskers never had a chance, and so the 46-0 setback goes down on the books as the worst ever suffered by a Nebraska team. The old mark was the 40-0 drubbing absorbed by the 1932 Nebraska team at Pittsburgh.

When the Cornhuskers left for home, Harold Hungerford, Brady halfback, remained in the University hospital. Hungerford suffered a concussion and possible skull fracture.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 0-1 all-time against Iowa Pre-Flight.

See all games »


1942 season (3-7)

Iowa Sept. 26
Iowa State Oct. 3
Indiana Oct. 10
Minnesota Oct. 17
Oklahoma Oct. 24
Kansas Oct. 31
Missouri Nov. 7
Pittsburgh Nov. 14
Iowa Pre-Flight Nov. 21
Kansas State Nov. 28

This day in history

Nebraska has played 13 games on Nov. 21. See them all »

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