Nebraska 6
Iowa 0

Nov. 28, 1895 • Omaha

Wins Against Odds



Again is the scarlet and cream waving in triumph, again is the glory of the University of Nebraska upheld while the old gold of the University of Iowa is dragged in the slush and mud of the gridiron. It was a well earned victory for the Nebraskans, for there were several times during the struggle when it seemed that the colors of Nebraska were doomed to be worn at half mast while those of Iowa floated joyfully over them.

In the very olden days, it is told, a knight buckled on his armor and went to do battle just for the love of a maiden fair, and even if he failed in his effort to vanquish his adversary his achievement was none the less glorious. But those days passed long ago, and today it is the foot ball player that goes out into the field, not to battle for the smiles of a maiden as a general thing, but for the glories of his alma mater, and it may be that if he is defeated none the less the glory should be his.

It is certain that the Iowa boys lost none of the credit that is theirs on the field yesterday, for although they did not win the bloodless battles they fought with the vigor and courage of the Spartans and not until the very last moment did they give up the strife. There was no flag of truce on that field, no emissaries who endeavored to secure amnesty, no wavering in the ranks, but they charged with the indomitable pluck of veterans, although it was apparent after the touchdown that theirs was a hopeless struggle.

Has no Superior

There has never been such a battle fought on the gridiron in the west as that of yesterday. There was never been such powers of endurance and pluck manifested nor such determination. It was a game that long will live in the memory of the participants and those who witnessed it as a struggle that was worth braving the chilly wind and the damp sodden ground and slush of the field and the cold boards of the grand stand and bleachers.

A more disagreeable day could not be imagined. The snow of a few days previous had been scraped from the gridiron over into the area reserved for those standing and those in vehicles, and this was tramped by the hundreds of feet into a mixture resembling mush, but this did not seem to deter the crowd from pressing into every available space. A chilly wind swept the field, and only those warmly dressed were at all comfortable. The clouds hung low and dark, too, and only once or twice during the progress of the game did the sun send a ray of feeble light streaming over the field and grand stand.

The gridiron itself was far from satisfactory, but still it was better than the most sanguine had anticipated. It was not very muddy, but was very slippery, and the one or two brilliant runs were made under these unfavorable circumstances and thus were the more brilliant. The ball, too, became covered with a thin, slimy coating after a few minutes play and was therefore a very difficult to handle, and this is the excuse for several very bad fumbles.

Many Admirers

That the game has a secure hold on the affections of the people was made manifest by the presence of as large a crowd as ever witnessed a struggle on the gridiron. The grand stand and bleachers contained a crowd that packed into every square inch of the seating capacity and another crowd packed itself around the wired field and good naturedly chaffed one another, although the soggy condition of the ground and the slush were not conductive to jocularity. The space set aside for vehicles was well crowded with the enthusiastic collegians and society folk.

The game was set for 3 o'clock, but at 2 the crowd had begun coming and by 3 the vast crowd was in place. It was a few minutes before 3 when the Iowa boys drove in on top of a coach and bounded to the ground and chased out on to the gridiron. Their crack, James Cavanaugh, and their 8-year-old mascot, 'Spike' Hennessey, were with them. Their advent was the signal for countless old gold flags to wave and their followers to shout lustily.

Nebraska Boys Arrive

They had scarcely taken a turn across the field before the Nebraska boys arrived and ran out and joined them. The appearance of the Nebraskans was the signal for a shout that echoed and reechoed for blocks and scarlet and cream ribbons, flags and banners were waved from every nook and corner of University park.

A stillness fell over the park and then it was broken by an Iowa man who lifted up his voice and shouted:

"Tis no lie, tis no bluff

Iowa, Iowa is hot stuff"

The words draped around the posts that supported the grand stand and wound around the pillars of the Roman-esque grand stand for a few seconds when a shout, as from one lung, drowned the words.

Then a student from the Nebraska university arose and let out a Pandora's box of shouts followed by these words:

"We are the stuff, we are the stuff, we are the stuff the people say,"

"Why?"

"We wear the scarlet and the cream, boom ta ra ray!"

He did not have the exact yell or words, but they were sufficient.

While all this was going on Coach Thomas of Nebraska and Coach Cavanaugh of the Iowa team were busily engaged in deciding on the officials and they finally selected S.G.V. Griswold, referee, W.A. Pixley, umpire; Joe Mallalieu and Addison Aiter, linesmen. Captain Layton chose the cast goal for his Iowa braves and Captain Wilson took the west for the stalwart Nebraskans.

Then The Fun Began

The first half was replete in brilliant plays, but the Iowa boys forced the ball steadily down the field and it looked as though the Nebraskans were powerless to head them off. But soon the Nebraskans began gaining, slowly to be sure, but steadily, and when within twenty yards of the Iowa goal Oury made a miserable fumble and Keppler got it and made an exciting run of forty-five yards. It was fighting then until the end of the half without either side scoring.

The second half was more exciting for the Nebraska boys were thoroughly awakened and fought with a desperation seldom seen and the result was that in twenty-two minutes Shedd had made a touchdown and kicked a goal, a difficult feat to performing owing to the slippery condition of the pigskin.

The ball was brought back and then began a desperate playing on the part of the Iowa representatives, who hoped to tie the score, but the Nebraskans realized that they had the game won if they could keep the ball in the field and this they were so successful in doing that, neither side scored again.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 29-17 all-time against Iowa.

See all games »


1895 season (6-3)

Sioux City AC Oct. 12
Butte Oct. 16
Denver AC Oct. 19
Omaha University Club Oct. 26
Missouri Nov. 2
Kansas Nov. 16
Doane Nov. 19
Grinnell Nov. 22
Iowa Nov. 28

This day in history

Nebraska has played 15 games on Nov. 28. See them all »

©2019 BH Media Group