Nebraska 0
Iowa 0

Nov. 26, 1896 • Omaha, NE

Didn'I Make a Point?

Hard Uphill Work for Both Sides — Individual Plays

Weather conditions have much to do with the success or failure of a foot ball match. Yesterday’s contest between Nebraska and Iowa was played under great difficulties and failed to give the spectators excitement sufficient to raise their several thermometers up to a comfortable notch. It was a good contest in some respects, as neither side was able to score during the game.

There were no really brilliant plays no grand stand runs — just quiet, hotly contested football. The Nebraska defense was great and the Iowa team’s interference was very strong, indeed. Frigidity of temperature seemed to enter into the players as well as the large crowd of spectators which crowded around the four sides of the field and shivered and swore, that is the male contingent did, at the “beastly weather.” The gridiron, to begin with, was barren of the line marks, for the simple reason that it was covered with sleet and ice and the ordinary man could not walk across it without danger of life and limb. Twice during the game a fall of snow obliterated all but the conglomerate mass of men struggling and straining, edging now toward on goal and the forced slowly toward the other by stages that were won by superior brawn and muscle of the big Iowans or the tricky play of the lighter men opposing them.

Heavy Weights

One man remarked as he turned away from the game: “Those big fellows ought to knock the Nebraskans out in no time.” But that was hardly fair to Iowa, as a light man is supposed to have better facilities for retaining his equilibrium than a heavy wight upon a gridiron that bears resemblance to a skating rink. Then there was not such a big average difference between the avoirdupois of the teams as one might suspect at first blush.

About 2,000 people had assembled about the field, crowded close up to the lines, when the game was called in the neighborhood of 3 o’clock. It took fifty minutes to settle the first half and the second, lasting forty-five minutes, lengthened the time until darkness overtook the players. Many of the less enduring retired from the field before the game ended, but the large majority remained firm in their conviction that the break ought to come pretty soon, and one of the teams, it was thought Iowa, would break the monotony with a touchdown and a kick that would set the air ringing with enthusiastic yells. But it did not come.

The officials of the gamer were Referee, W. H. Stipp; umpire, Charles Wilson; linesmen, T. F. Kennedy and F. J Capell. It requires the combined and frequently administered efforts of the squad of police and the college guardians of the game to keep the enthusiastic onlookers from monopolizing the field.

First Half

The first half was opened with the kick off by Shedd of Nebraska. Iverson went through the line for five yards; Hobbs went around the end for twenty yards, and Melford went through Iowa’s center for a five yard gain. The ball was bucked back and forth with no perceptible gain, when it was snapped back to Thorpe by Melford, and Thorpe punted it for twenty-five yards. Meyers made a brilliant run around the end for forty yards, and was tackled by Cook. Holbrook was lying low and looking for a place to take a chance in the game. The cards were not shuffled for him just then, but dropped into his hands later, Thorpe went around the end for twenty yards, and he punted. Iowa got the ball and began a series of bucking the line of Nebraska that began to tell and edge the ball steadily up to the goal, with no perceptible gain by the Nebraskans. Shedd succeeded in going through for five yards, and Cook did some brilliant work going through for five and then for ten, but this was soon overcome by Holbrook taking the ball around the end for ten yards, and Colgren doing some work around the ends.

Holbrook Gingers Up

It was about even between the two teams for a few minutes, when Iowa began to awaken to the job before her and forced the ball steadily up the field by a series of rushes through the center and one run around the end by Walker. Holbrook, the big colored player for the Hawkeyes, here began to manifest a decided interest in the contest, and broke through for five yards, and in rapid succession followed it up with ten yards and then yards. The Nebraska boys’ capillary appendages began to assume the perpendicular because this wiry negro had edged the ball, assisted with excellent interference, up to within five yards of the goal lines, and it looked like an immortal cinch for a touchdown. Thorpe here inserted himself into the game and broke through for five yards, and despite the herculean efforts of Walker, Shedd broke through for five yards and then five yards. When the half ended Iowa had the ball up to within the five-yard goal line, but could not get it over. First half: Nebraska, 2; Iowa, 0.

Last Half

It required more than the accustomed ten-minutes rest before the boys went out for the second half. They were so thoroughly cooled through that they had to roost beside the stoves in the dressing rooms for nearly thirty minutes before they went on the gridiron. Thomas kicked off, and in rapid “suck-son” Packard went through the lines for five yards, while Melford bucked it for five more. Shedd went around the end for ten yards, and it began to look as though the Nebraskans would have a walkaway in this half, and particularly after Thorpe punted for twenty yards and Nebraska still had the ball. Holbrook again inserted himself in the game, and he inspired the others and by a series of rushes and punts the ball was forced down dangerously near to the Iowa goal lines. Shedd and Thorpe fought desperately, but apparently nothing could head the Iowa boys off, and it seemed a certainty that they would win the game by a touchdown, and particularly when Meyers made a fine run around the end for twenty yards. The ball was in Nebraska’s hand and just before the half was up Melford made a bad pass back, a fumbled followed, and any ordinary man would have sworn that Iowa had made a safety, but it was not so. This ended the afternoon’s disturbance, with neither side scoring.

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Series history

Nebraska is 29-17 all-time against Iowa.

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1896 season (6-3-1)

Doane Oct. 17
Missouri Oct. 26
Nebraska Wesleyan Oct. 31
Kansas Nov. 7
KC Medics Nov. 9
Butte Nov. 12
Iowa State Nov. 19
Nebraska Wesleyan Nov. 23
Iowa Nov. 26
Iowa Nov. 28

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