Nebraska's Captain and His Scrappy Team.
Unbeaten Nebraskans Win Last Game, 12 to 0
Stiehm's Husky Eleven Makes Two Clean Touchdowns and Threatens Iowa Goal Three Times Besides
Captain Purdy, in Final Contest of His Gridiron Career, Crosses Goal Line for Last Score
Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 22—So completely did the triumphant Cornhuskers demonstrate their supremacy over the Hawkeyes on Nebraska field this afternoon that the bugaboo stories of the Iowa "spread play" and the speed of her backs have become one of the football jokes of the school. The final score was Nebraska 12, Iowa 0, and if the Big Nine conference thinks this sort of junk is classy it would not be much object for the home folks to try to butt into the east.
With almost everybody looking for a felonious assault on the part of Iowa, Nebraska scored easily in the first period, Rutherford going over for a touchdown in the northwest corner of the field. The goal failed.
In the fourth period Captain Purdy, playing the last game of his career, and suffering untold agonies with his strained knee, plunged desperately across the chalk for another score, but again the goal was missed. This left the final result: Nebraska 12, Iowa 0, and caused a horse to run away on Tenth Street, very nearly destroying a great many joyous citizens.
Only once was Nebraska in serious danger, and this was the third period when Stiehm's men held for downs with the ball on their own six-inch-line. Three times did the gallant Cornhusker line, famed now throughout the land, calmly riddle the Iowa attack and enable Warren Howard to kick beyond the danger zone, averting what might have been defeat. Had the Hawkeyes scored this touchdown and kicked the goal, as they certainly would, for the ball was in the very middle of the field, it is highly probable that Nebraska would not have had the gumption to bore through for the score which was recorded in the fourth period.
Stiehm Tried Tricks
Old Jumbo Stiehm, the much-maligned Nebraska coach, who has done nothing but win championships since he came to Lincoln three years ago, uncovered a bunch of strategy against Iowa that made the Hawkeyes look like a crowd of longshoremen on a spree.
Iowa won the toss and chose to defend the west goal, with a stiff wind behind them, and requested that Nebraska kick off. Bob Thompson, the Omaha lad who occupies center for the Cornhuskers, deliberately booted a little ten-yard roller, which was promptly recovered by Towle. This was a mere sample of this slick and slimy strategy which enabled Stiehm's men to keep the ball most of the time.
From the moment that Nebraska took the ball on the offense it was apparent that Iowa had no chance unless her much-vaunted speedy backfield should succeed in getting away for a spectacular touchdown. Nebraska gained steadily and finally went over.
When Iowa had the ball the wearers of the black and gold stood up and prepared to cheer—but there was nothing to cheer about. Thanks to Stiehm and Chester Dudley, the assistant coach, the forward passes and terrifying spread plays were busted right in the nose before they even started.
It was pitiful to see Iowa's speed boys start out on a run only to be met by the beautiful secondary defense of Captain Purdy and Rutherford. Mastin and Beck, two great ends, with Halligan and Cameron at tackles, cut grooves in the Iowa interference, and then these secondary demons simply murdered the runner. Generally three men hit the ball-bearer simultaneously, and there was a thud that sounded like the collapse of a tall building. Iowa's prestige was on the bum five minutes after the game opened.
Punting Below Standard
For some unknown reason the punting of both Warren Howard and Kirk was simply putrid, with a few notable exceptions. Over-anxiety for achievement may have had something to do with it, but from the packed grandstands it looked as if the boys never kicked a ball before in their lives.
About 9,000 people saw the game, and many of them came prepared to see Nebraska lose. The Iowa bogey man had been rampant in the Cornhusker camp, and there were a whole lot of folks who thought that Iowa would simply maul Stiehm's goats out of the corral. Among those who didn't think so was us, and we were mighty lonesome.
The game was altogether too full of fumbling for the comfort of all hands, and it was not until the second half that the teams began to hang onto the ball with the tenacity that behooved them. Iowa, having fumbled at many crucial points, might well have claimed that they were beaten by bad luck, had not Nebraska equalized matters in this respect.
As a matter of fact Nebraska has by far the best team of the two, and should have won by a much larger score. Over-anxiety no doubt caused some of the fumbles and errors in judgment on the part of Quarterback Towle, but it was delicious to see Stiehm's boys bust up the "spread" and the other tricks that the Hawkeyes lugged over from Iowa City. On the offense, with the exception of the third period, when Iowa was so near to the Nebraska goal line that she could smell the chalk, Nebraska simply murdered the much-touted visitors. In this period Dick ran around left end for what seemed to be a touchdown from the thirty-five-yard line, but Umpire Haddon called him back and penalized Iowa fifteen yards for holding. This was the only tie that an Iowa trick or "spread" gave Nebraska much difficulty.
Good Feeling Evident
There were the usual pleasant features in this combat, of course. The university band made sweet music, which became all the sweeter as it became more apparent that Nebraska's skill outweighed Iowa's "speed." The Lincoln High School band also joined in the festivities, generally succeeding in souring the harmony of the varsity musicians. The best of feeling was exhibited between the two schools, highly different than that between Kansas and Nebraska at Lawrence a week ago. There was some rough play on the part of the teams, but it was momentary, while the backers and trainers remained strictly sportsmanlike throughout.
Since Missouri defeated Kansas by but three points and Nebraska has walloped and shut out both of the Big Nine Conference teams it has met, it becomes apparent that the Cornhuskers rank with any aggregation west of the Alleghenies. They have won the Missouri Valley Conference title beyond a doubt and have a justifiable claim on supremacy over Chicago, who could not prevent Iowa from scoring and who could not better Nebraska's showing against Minnesota, who were shut out by the Cornhuskers.
It is not probable that Nebraska will have a man on the All-Western selective team. Neither is it fitting that she should have. Jumbo Stiehm has built up a team—just a team—and there is scarcely an individual star on it. On the defense they are positively wonderful, these Nebraska boys, as has been shown once and again. On the offense one is unable to pick an individual star to surpass his fellows. They work together, they fight together, they cling together—that is a football team, and that is what Stiehm and Chet Dudley have given to the state university.
Purdy in Last Game
Captain Purdy, playing his last game with the Cornhuskers, was a pillar of strength. Knocked silly in the early stages of the conflict, he had to be removed by Coach Stiehm, much against the doughty captain's will. Reinstated in the later periods, Purdy made good his statement that "we'll tear hell out of them," and carted the pigskin over for a touchdown.
The lion-hearted Rutherford and the demoniacal Halligan took care of the rest of the ground gaining. Halligan was playing on his twenty-first birthday, and certainly proved that he is manly enough to vote. Tonight he was dragged into Omaha by a bunch of his home friends from North Platte and was given a big dinner at an Omaha hotel. This being the last game of the season for Nebraska, Victor partook heartily, and the North Platte contingent left for that city over the Union Pacific at midnight.
As for the Hawkeyes, no star performer could be picked. Dick and Gross, the fleet-footed backs, were fleet enough, and might have done something had not Beck and Mastin, the Cornhusker ends, with Halligan and Cameron, the tackles, backed up by Nebraska's previously mentioned stellar secondary defense, simply assassinated them as soon as they got a good start. The rest of the Iowa team was simply outclassed. The score should really have been about twenty-four to nothing, or worse.
Lincoln was turned inside out after the game, as were a good many pockets that used to contain Iowa money. The Nebraska football season is over, and, being over, it is only fitting to say that the Cornhuskers have proven the fastest and best and most successful aggregation since the days of Johnny Bender. What's that? Well, perhaps more so.