Nebraska 19
Washburn 0

Oct. 4, 1913 • Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska Wins First 1913 Game By Easy Margin



Defeats Washburn College Eleven by Score of 19 to 0

Cornhuskers Give the Lie to “Bear” Stories

Line Holds Sturdily and Game Is Finished by Team of Substitutes

Parts of this game recap are illegible.

Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 4 — The University of Nebraska football season was opened today in a battle with the Washburn college team of Topeka, Kans., which Nebraska won by a score of 19 to 0. The game was fought on a field heavy with mud, which aided the heavy Nebraskans and enabled them to seep through the line of their light opponents almost at will.

Captain Purdy went over for the first touchdown, but fumbled on the ball. Quarterback Towle fell on it, but failed to kick goal. The local eleven centered their attack on the Washburn line, making long gains through center and tackle and occasionally sweeping around the ends. In the final moment of play, Halfbacks Hardy and Bearg of Washburn, by plunging through the Nebraska forwards, and assisted by penalties, carried the ball to the Nebraska three-yard line. Hardy was thrown back for a ten-yard loss the next play, just as time was called.

Nebraska showed a proficiency in offense and defense that was a gratifying surprise to coaches and partisans of the Cornhuskers, who had feared the line would falter when the real test came. Taking the measure of the Kansans in the first five minutes of play, the Nebraskans were able to forecast their victory and the first half saw the entrance of a new backfield, and a number of changes in the line, lessening the Cornhuskers’ offense, but maintaining the safety of the goal line. Nebraska’s ground gainers were Rutherford, Towle and Elwell, the latter relieving Captain Purdy, while Hardy, the colored halfback, was the star of the visitors.

No Startling Plays

The Nebraska team got away with no startling plays save in the last minute of the bout, when with the blue and white on the Cornhusker four-yard line, Beck, left end, tore through the opposing line and threw Halfback Hardy for a loss that left the ball nearly fifteen yards from the counting spot.

Towel stayed throughout the game as Nebraska quarter, and although for a time working with three substitute backs, kept the enemy from the danger mark. The little quarterback likewise made two of the counters, once with two yards to go, he grabbed the ball from a fumble and made the distance himself through the center of the line.

The first touchdown was made by Towle, after twelve minutes of play. The ball had been in Washburn territory every moment after the kickoff, Nebraska working within two yards, greatly aided by forty yards, which Captain Purdy and Towle ripped off after a ten-minute seesaw performance.

The second touchdown followed a continued short distance plowing through the line, Towle wiggling through the line with his backfield colleagues giving him superb assistance.

Elwell, playing in the captain’s place, made the third counter after Delemetre, Coffee and himself and romped over the southerners for half a dozen plays that netted from five to eight yards each time.

Washburn reserved its shiver-producing gambol until the last moment of … when it arrived within striking distance twice. The first time, the team was wedged back by a Nebraska punt, but Hardy, the crashing halfback, lugged the pigskin back to the four-yard line after evading a quartet of Nebraska tacklers. The stonewall resistance and the spectacular tackle by Beck saved the scarlet and cream line the last time … the final whistle blow just in time to … the suspense. The regular backfield meanwhile had been restored to the game.

Nebraska Ends Active



Mastin and Buck played well at the wing positions and, with Howard’s punts to chase, pulled the opposing runners down in their tracks. Twice the Nebraska men recovered the ball after their own kicker’s boot had sent it for long distances. Washburn had better luck with forward passes than did Stiehm’s pupils. Nebraska penalties totaled sixty yards on six miscues, while the little Kansas school suffered only one measure of five yards in this manner.

Thomson, Omaha man who played center for three quarters, and Howard, another purple and white warrior, staged stellar games, the linemen being particularly effective on the defense and Howard playing well on offense, besides placing his punts advantageously.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 4-0 all-time against Washburn.

See all games »


1913 season (8-0)

Washburn Oct. 4
Kansas State Oct. 11
Minnesota Oct. 18
Haskell Oct. 25
Iowa State Nov. 1
Nebraska Wesleyan Nov. 8
Kansas Nov. 15
Iowa Nov. 22

This day in history

Nebraska has played 17 games on Oct. 4. See them all »

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