Lincoln, Neb., October 18—Notre Dame outplayed the Cornhuskers today. That in a few words explains the 1 to 9 defeat suffered by Nebraska at the hands of the Hoosiers on Nebraska field here this afternoon.
It was the second defeat of the season for the Cornhuskers, Iowa having turned the trick to the tune of 18 to 0 in the first game of the year.
The margin of victory, however, was made possible by a trick play, for the successful execution of which Knute Rockne, head coach at Notre Dame, and “Dutch” Bergman, star halfback, divide honors. On the first kick-off Bergman sprinted ninety-five yards for a touchdown on this trick play.
This gave Notre Dame a seven-point lead in the first sixty seconds of play, and it so disheartened the Cornhuskers that they never overcame it.
It was an old trick, too, almost as old and familiar as the old army game.
On Nebraska’s kick-off, opening the game, Gipp gathered the pigskin into his arms in the corner of the field on his own two-yard line. As Gipp caught the oval and the rest of the team charged down the field to act as interference, Bergman remained behind. Then Gipp darted horizontally across the field. Bergman started in the same manner, but in the opposite direction. As they passed each other in the center of the field on Notre Dame’s five-yard line, Gipp passed the ball to Bergman.
Gipp then continued to sprint down the south side of the field, while Bergman pursued an uninterrupted course down the north side of the field.
Nebraska tacklers, expecting the play on Gipp on the north side of the field, found themselves too late. Bergman was under way with a clear field ahead of him and his speed made it impossible to bring him down behind. He sprinted the entire ninety-five yards down the field on the very first play of the game and planted the ball squarely behind the goal posts.
The play was perfectly executed. Couglin, Notre Dame tackler, went all the way down the field ahead of his mates to take care of McGlasson, the Husker safety. He did a good job, too, for McGlasson was bowled to the earth by the Hoosier tackle just as Bergman darted around him.
McGlasson was the only man who had a chance to stop Bergman’s great run. But he made one fatal slip. He had left the ground in making his attempt to tackle the Notre Dame sprinter he might have nailed his man or at least checked his progress sufficiently to allow one of the desperately sprinting Cornhuskers in Bergman’s wake to pull down the Hoosier halfback from behind.
But McGlasson remained on his feet. And Couglin’s drive was sufficient to put him out of the play.
Bahan easily booted the goal after the touchdown and almost before the game was under way Notre Dame was in the lead, 7 to 0.
Three years ago Notre Dame pulled the same trick on West Point. It worked just as well.
Notre Dame made a second touchdown in the third quarter in a well-sustained procession down the field. They started on their own forty-three-yard line, and aided by a forty-five-yard forward pass from Gipp to Bergman, put the ball over the goal line for an earned score.
The Cornhuskers scored their only touchdown in the second period on straight football, with the Nebraska backfield carrying the ball forward in short gains.
The other three points were scored on a drop-kick by Dobson, which from the standpoint of the spectators, was the prettiest play of the game, excepting, of course, Bergman’s ninety-five-yard gallop down the field.
Dobson’s boot was for forty yards. It was made from the north side of the field and was a perfect kick. It dropped nearly between the goal posts just over the cross-bar.
During the first half Nebraska out-played Notre Dame. But they lacked the punch to put over the needed touchdowns. And in the second half the Hoosiers made short work of Schulte’s men, completely outplaying them in every department of the game.
In total yards gained Notre Dame beat Nebraska’s mark by 130 yards. Ninety-five yards of this, however, goes to Bergman’s long run.
Notre Dame suffered thirty yards more of penalties than Nebraska and played the better open game. The Hoosiers successful executed five forward passes — all for good gains — in eight attempts whereas Nebraska completed only one in four rather half-hearted trials.
The Huskers were outplayed and outclassed and out everything else, although a great many who saw the game believe the Huskers should have won.
Perhaps they should have won. But they didn’t. The reason in a nut shell appears to be that the Huskers are a little bit lacking in what is known as football brains.
Notre Dame has a good team. But it isn’t the strongest team in the world in any sense of the word. It has a good back field with Bergman as the pivot. It also possesses a couple of good ends, but the line as a whole is not overly strong. And Notre Dame has exhibited better back fields in years gone by.
But Notre Dame was good enough yesterday to beat Nebraska and that was all that was required.
But the Cornhuskers lacked something. The old drive and punch which has marked Nebraska elevens of the past was missing. So was the speed. The Husker backs could not get away and the line was slow in starting. The Cornhuskers have the beef but not the speed to go with it and the result was that the poundage was of no avail.
On the second kickoff, Notre Dame kicked and booted the ball over the Nebraska goal line. It was brought out to the twenty-yard line. Dobson immediately punted to the Hoosiers’ forty-five yard mark. After suffering a five-yard penalty, Notre Dame tried a forward pass. The aerial stunt, however, faltered when Dobson intercepted the ball on his own forty-five-yard line.
Notre Dame was handed five-yard penalties for off-side on the next two plays. Then Dobson sneaked through for five yards and Dale added six and first downs after a couple of short line bucks that gained little.
Dobson was given the ball again and responded with a four-yard gain. Wright charged through for two-yards and Dale made the yards with an eight-yard plunge through the line, which carried the ball to Notre Dame’s eighteen-yard mark. It looked like a touchdown was coming Nebraska’s way.
Then that lack of driving power exhibited itself. An attempted forward pass was incomplete and Dale lost three yards in an attempt to encircle an end. Again the aerial game was resorted to. This time Dobson’s pass was true. But McGlasson let the pigskin slip through his fingers. Had he caught the ball he at least would have planted the ball under Notre Dame’s goal posts. All that remained to be done and Dobson’s drop kick was wide and short.
Notre Dame receiving the ball promptly punted out of danger. McGlasson was dropped in his tracks by Kirk on his own 20-yard line. It was a 60-yard kick. Dobson punted back to Notre Dame’s 23-yard line. Lyman threw Gipp for a five-yard loss and then Notre Dame was caught holding and was set back fifteen yards by the referee. Miller punted to Dale who ran the ball back ten yards to Notre Dame’s 35-yard mark.
Again Nebraska started. Dale gained four yards and Dobson five. Dale took it the rest of the way for first downs as the quarter ended.
The second quarter started with the ball on the 28-yard line. Dobson made five yards and Dale four, Wright made first downs with a seven-yard smash off tackle. This placed the ball on Notre Dame’s eleven-yard line and again a Nebraska touchdown seemed unavoidable.
Dobson failed to gain but Wright went through for four yards and Dale made one yard. With five yards to go McGlasson chose to overlook the opportunity for a short forward pass and signalled for Dobson to attempt to run from punt formation. The strategy was a failure, for Dobson was buried under an avalanche of tacklers.
Notre Dame took the ball but was set back to its own one-yard line with a five-yard penalty. Miller punted from behind his own goal line and the ball went wide. It sailed outside on the Hoosiers’ seventeen-yard mark.
It was in the third period that the Hoosiers exhibited their aerial game. Soon after the period opened Gipp Sailed a pass to Bergman for thirty-three yards. Then another pass from Gipp to Kirk netted twenty more and put the ball on Nebraska’s sixteen-yard line. Gipp and Kirk pulled another forward pass which netted ten yards and first downs and put the ball on the five-yard line. With four downs in which to make five yards a touchdown was practically inevitable. Gipp and Bahan failed to gain and the inevitable occurred. Nebraska for once showed fight. They held. And then a forward pass was attempted as a last resort. Dobson knocked it down just as a Hoosier was about to pull it in.
But this stand against the wall availed nothing as the Hoosier scored a few moments later. Dobson’s attempt to punt out of danger drove the Hoosiers back to their own forty-three-yard line, but a forward pass from Gipp to Bergman overcame the advantage on the next play. Bergman got away and ran forty-five yards. He slipped away from half a dozen Husker tacklers and evaded McGlasson again at the safety position, but was brought down from behind on the Husker’s ten-yard line. But Miller made four yards and a criss-cross, with Gipp passing the ball to Bergman, took the pigskin to the one-yard mark and Bahan pushed it over. Bahan kicked goal, making the score Notre Dame 14, Nebraska 6.
A few minutes after the fourth period opened Dobson made his forty-yard drop kick, which was the last score of the game. Notre Dame was on the offensive during most of the remainder of the game.
The game was slow and not particularly interesting, largely because of the slowness of the officials, who apparently were confused a considerable part of the time. Notre Dame, being in the lead, naturally stalled for time during most of the game and were permitted to get away with it. The officials also seemed uncertain at times as to what was going on and what their duties were.
No great variety of open play was exhibited by either team. Notre Dame uncovered more than Nebraska in this respect.
Nebraska is 8-7 all-time against Notre Dame.
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