Nebraska 0
Minnesota 0

Oct. 17, 1908 • Northrop Field, Minneapolis

Cornhuskers Play Gophers to a Tie



Minneapolis, Oct. 17 — Desperately battling with every bit of strength in their muscular bodies, football players of Nebraska and Minnesota gave 12,000 spectators an exhibition of the gridiron game in all its intensity at Northrop field this afternoon. The final score of 0 to 0 shows how evenly the teams were matched. The grit of these Nebraska Cornhuskers never showed to better advantage than in the fiercest struggle this afternoon. Time after time they were on the defensive, with the ball a few yards from their goal line, and every time they held the plunging Gophers and took the ball on downs. The ball was in Nebraska territory during the greater part of the game, but it was on the defensive that the Nebraskans did their best work.

Five times the Gophers came plunging to the Cornhuskers' goal, only to be stopped by a stone wall resistance. Spots that had been easy to penetrated, suddenly stiffened and the men of Minnesota were unable to advance an inch.

Minnesota played straight football most of the time. Their few attempts at forward passes generally resulted disastrously. Twice they were penalized for illegal passes, and but once did a forward heave net a substantial gain.

On the contrary, Nebraska's forward tosses worked well. Kroger, Harvey and Beltzer tore off several large gains by means of almost perfect tosses. The Nebraska kickers outpunted their Minnesota opponents by yards.

Wind Favored Cornhuskers

In the first half, when the wind favored the Cornhuskers, this was expected, but Kroger and Beltzer, in the second half, with the wind blowing straight against them, easily beat the Gopher booter in long distance kicks.

Captain Harvey, little Cooke, the giant Kroger and Chaloupka and Beltzer were the stars for Nebraska, but the entire teams played so well that it would be an injustice to single out these men as stars without mentioning that every Cornhusker put up a grand article of football.

For Minnesota, Plankers, McGovern, Captain Safford and Young shown with particular brilliance.

A swarm of Nebraska rooters, bedecked with the scarlet and cream of the state of Bryan, occupied a section of the grandstand, and reinforced by the University band, vied with Gopher rooters in the noise.

Gopher rooters were out early, and before the game began, entertained by their antics, aided by music by the band. Between halves the two bands joined and marched around the field to the tune of "Hot Time." A burro was the Minnesota mascot, and was paraded up and down the field during the intermission, in the hope that its appearance might have some influence on the score.

The Nebraska team appeared at 2:45 amid an outburst of applause from the stands. They ran through signal practice in a brilliant manner, and then Minnesota came out. A veritable roar from a thousand throats met them.

Nebraska Works Forward Pass

That Nebraska did not outweigh the Minnesota team by very many pounds was easily seen when the Gophers ran out for practice. They were just as big and just as husky as the Nebraskans, and it was estimated that the teams averaged nearly even in weight.

Nebraska won the toss and chose to defend the north goal with the wind in their favor. Farnam kicked off to Cooke on Nebraska's fifteen-yard line, and the big game was on. Cooke ran the ball back fifteen yards as a starter. The first few plays looked bad for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were unable to gain, and on an attempted run Cooke was thrown back for a distinct loss. Nebraska was forced to kick, and the Gophers grabbed the ball int eh center of the field.

Their progress toward the Cornhusker goal was seriously impeded by burly, moleskin-clad athletes wearing the scarlet and cream of Nebraska. Finally McGovern punted, and Cooke snatched the ball on his twenty-yard line, but fumbled, only to regain the ball as three giant Minnesotans dived for it. Again the Nebraskans tried their offense without material result, and Beltzer lifted another punt far down the field. An exchanged of punts followed, with honors nearly even.

Then began the struggle of the giants. Minnesota made the distance several times, but invariably was held when the Cornhusker goal seemed to be in danger. Two onside kicks worked beautifully for Nebraska, and the visitors had the ball on the Minnesota thirty-yard line.

Splendid forward passes, with Harvey generally carrying the ball, aided.

Placed Kick Fails

The Cornhuskers were in striking distance and Harvey tried a placed kick, but the ball fell short. The half ended with the ball in Nebraska's possession, on her own thirty-five-yard line.

The visiting rooters were jubilant because they had prevented Minnesota from scoring, and over the great defensive play shown by their team, but the Gophers were equally as happy for reports from Nebraska had led them to expect an overwhelming defeat.

Minor took Beltzer's place in the second half, and in the final period of the game the gameness and staying qualities of Nebraska came to the front. The ball was in Nebraska territory nearly all the time in the second half, with the Cornhuskers on the defensive. Fighting for every inch they held, the burly athletes of Williams when a touchdown seemed imminent. Near the close of play the Gophers secured the ball on a fumble on Nebraska's twenty-yard line.

Plunges outside of tackle and through the center added five more and then on a forward pass the ball was carried to Nebraska's five-yard line. "Hold 'em Nebraska" came from the throats of the anxious scarlet and cream rooters. "Hold 'em boys."

On the Other side of the stand the Minnesota flags were waving and eager voices shrieked for a touchdown, but it was not to be. The first play gained nothing for the Gophers/ Then, to the consternation of Nebraska, they shoved a man over the line, but were called back for holding. Another attempt failed to gain and it was Nebraska's ball underneath her goal posts.

Cooke's Great Gain

A punt sent the ball twenty yards up the field and the Minnesota back fumbled, Nebraska recovering the ball. A delayed pass was the next play and little Cooke was seen shooting around the right end. He covered chalkmarks with the speed and agility for which he is noted. Notwithstanding an injured leg, received early in the battle, he tore on, dodging several eager Gopher tacklers. He covered forty yards before he was downed, and with the Cornhuskers strong and confident and the Gophers weakened and discouraged by their failure to land the ball across the goal line when within reach a score seemed likely for the Cornhuskers. But just then the final whistle blew and Nebraska's chance was gone.

Minneapolis is elated tonight over the unexpectedly good showing made by the Gophers against the veteran Nebraskans. The score in the Chicago-Illinois game caused belief that Minnesota has a chance to defeat Stagg's pupils in the coming game.

The Nebraska band made the evening bright with its jubilant tunes on the down town streets, but left with the rooters on an early train for Omaha. A bevy of sorority girls from Lincoln added to the general picturesqueness of the Nebraska scarlet and cream section. Gopher girls were out in force, too.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 25-33 all-time against Minnesota.

See all games »


1908 season (7-2-1)

Peru State Sept. 26
Doane Oct. 3
Grinnell Oct. 10
Minnesota Oct. 17
Haskell Oct. 24
Iowa Oct. 31
Iowa State Nov. 7
Kansas Nov. 14
Wabash Nov. 26
Carlisle Dec. 2

This day in history

Nebraska has played 16 games on Oct. 17. See them all »

©2019 BH Media Group