Notre Dame 7
Nebraska 0

Oct. 22, 1921

Huskers Fall to Notre Dame in Second Period



Note: Parts of this interview are illegible. They have been marked with an ellipses.

* * *

Weak offenses keep Nebraska scoreless

South Bend, Ind., Oct. 22. - It was ... the emaciated margin of one touchdown and goal in the latter ... of the second period, and ... resulting from a five-yard penalty that left the ball two feet of Nebraska’s ... that Notre Dame today ... the Huskers.

There is plenty of happiness in South Bend and on the Catholic campus tonight, but no gloats. Seven to 0 isn’t anything to gloat about. They may be pleased at such result, ... not indulge in many pirouettes ... drills. Snake dances all over the public thoroughfares, hotel lobbies and many squares are permissible and one may even grin at a ... in scarlet and cream with ... when her blushes of a 7-0 ... lend to her comely face the ... of the very colors she is ... .

Positively no hellish gloats

When Chet Wynne slammed and burrowed his way through the previously granite line ... until the shadow of the Nebraska cross bar fell across face, he knew he had been ... where! The Dawson Huskers ... him there before, but this time a Lincoln player carelessly ... too soon and the resulting five-yard penalty placed that auburn ... within two feet of victory.

Johnny Mohardt Did It

Johnny Mohardt, the plugging left back of the Blue and Gold, like a ... executioner, stepped up and severed all Cornhusker hope; did ... between Weller and Berquist, in ... view of the palpitating audience. ... they had poured boiling water ... the Nebraska gang and forced ... to let go of Mohardt, a gent ... Buck Shaw stepped up and nonshalantly kicked goal. To make ... pleasant for Mac Baldrige ... Freeman Fitzgerald, the mentors, I may explain that this Buck Shaw tried for the Blue and Gold ... eleven a couple of years ago and Tommy Mills didn’t think he was good enough. Woof!

... wonderful defense on the part of the Dawsonites and an almost complete lack of of attack in offense is about all that can be said of Nebraska.

... wonderful defense by ... and Kiley, tremendous ... power in Wynne and Mohardt, and an evident lack of a ... field general in quarterback’s ... form pretty well sizes up Notre Dame.

The Blue and Gold was luck to ... this side of bacon, for three ... and a penalty did the business.

Otherwise the pigskin flopped and ... and rolled around in an ... fifty-fifty fashon with everyone expecting fireworks that never ... touched off.

Let the statistics show that Notre Dame should win just as she did. Knute Rockne’s amiable thoroughness rolled up eleven first downs to Nebraska’s two, 177 yards to Dawson’s 59 from snapback.

What the Coaches Said

Statements by coaches:

Nebraska’s defense is wonderful and the work they did under heavy fire with the goal right behind them stamps the Cornhuskers as one of the strongest outfits in this department that may be ... and in the country. As for my bunch, we did surprisingly well — surprising to me, at any rate. I ... no quarterback with imagination enough to lead a team that is anxious to trot. That’s the only weakness that is bothering me much right now. I think you will agree that this was a dandy clean game with the best of feeling and spirit on both sides, on the field and in the stands.

(Signed)

COACH KNUTE ROCKNE “Notre Dame”

It was a good game, hard to win or lose The boys did finely on defense and I am proud of them. Many of the players are doing their first year on the big squad and are naturally a little nervous. Much of our passing was bad, especially from center, during the first two periods. The Cornhuskers have the material, however, and will grow. Rockne has some wonderful men in his gang.

(Signed)

COACH FRED DAWSON “Nebraska”

The Old Straight Game

The Cornhuskers, contrary to general expectation and hope, failed to uncouple a single play with any novelty in it, nothing with viscera and esprit du corps that used to make Jesse Harper ride home from Lincoln in the baggage car, when Knute Rockne was a little lad playing with his father’s chewing tobacco.

It was the same old grind, plunges through the line — generally off tackle or straight through between guard and tackle — and then get up and do it some more, and repeat, and encore.

Forward passing on both sides was a very unmusical comedy, Nebraska collecting on three attempts and Notre Dame on one, for a very short stretch. This showings was as disappointing to the homecoming Notre Damers as it was to our Scarlet and Cream minority — for Rockne generally has all sorts of paprika of the aerial variety on tap. Not so this year. The two armies simply took turns intercepting each other’s passes and politely picking up each other’s fumbles.

Weller kicked off for the Huskers. His first attempt was outside, and Castner returned to his second shot to the thirty-yard line. Castner punter after a penalty for offside play, but Nebraska couldn’t do much with the foe, and Lewellen punter. Mohardt, Caster and Wynne started a little parade for two first downs, smack through the tackles and guards. Mohardt finally fumbled, which was very fashionable all day, and Nebraska recovered on her forty-five-yard line.

Garvey Breaks ‘Em Up

Wright and Dewitz copped six yards between ‘em, but Wright was then tumbled for a heavy loss, Notre Dame being offside for doing it. Nebraska’s ball, first down, but Garvey climbs through and around the Husker line and breaks up plays before they got a good start. Wynne appeared to know just where each play was directed long before it started. He was in the secondary defense and was wonderful throughout. He it was who told Garvey where to go to nab the Nebraskans as they came along.

Lewellen punted, Castner fumbled, Nebraska recovering well in Notre Dame territory. Wright started a run, but juggled the ball and was slammed for a five-yard loss. He then essayed the first forward pass of the game by either team, and it was incomplete. Captain Eddie Anderson of the Rocknes forked Noble for another loss -- and there was twenty yards to go. Lewellen punted over the Indiana goal.More punting. It’s a gay life.

One of Lewellen’s pedal offerings was blocked at this juncture by Captain Anderson, but Lew attended to his own recovery. This block was caused through bad passing by the Nebraska center, and the next play was the same, on the Huskers’ twenty-yard line, when Degree had time to nail Noble for still another loss.

More punting then took place, mixed up with some incompleted passes and an attempted drop kick by Castner, standing on the fifty-yard line.

It was Nebraska’s ball on her twenty-yard line, third down and the end of the first period, and when play resumed Lewellen immediately kicked. The great Wynne returned this effort to the eighteen-yard line, when Castner and Mohardt plugged it along to the Nebraska five-yard line.

Here was a crisis.

Huskers Hold at the Goal

Also an exhibition of Coach Dawson’s marvelous defense.

Thomas took the oval within a yard of Nebraska’s goal, first down.

Mohardt started for the line but was met half way and lost two yards.

Castner met a brick fence and was shot in his tracks.

A double pass, Thomas to Mohardt, gained nothing, Mohardt being tackled so hard that he was out for the limit.

Mohardt tried a forward flip, but Lewellen intercepted it. There was interference and Nebraska took the ball on her twenty-yard line.

This was really one of the greatest triumphs in Husker football history. To hold Notre Dame for four down within less than a yard of the Nebraska goal on the Catholics’ own battleground — that’s what! It isn’t done very often; in fact, is considered unclubb and not au fait.

But this was merely perparatory to disaster.

The Lincoln backs could not do a thing with the Damers with their old-fashioned line plunges and tackle bucks. Outweighing the South Benders considerable, Nebraska was still unable to collect on straight play, and nothing very new was even called for.

Lewellen punted and Castner almost immediately kicked right back — just like that. This time Lewellen fumbled the catch and Captain Eddie Anderson, who ran past Captain Swanson on this and many occasions like a streak of lightning, recovered the ball on Nebraska’s thirty-yard line or thereabouts.

Wynne Not the Comedian

It was here that Wynne proved that he isn’t Eddie Wynne, the comedian. He became very earnest. His first effort was for eight yards through left tackle and Castner donated four more through the scarlet line. Then Wynne bit off another six yards and the ball reposed on Dawson’s eleven-yard line.

Castner was unable to gain through left tackle, and the Cornhuskers stiffened as usual when in danger. The mighty Wynne vainly crashed into the red jerseys, but was only rewarded with a paltry yard. It remained for Quarterback Thomas to slice through on a short buck for first down. Wynne then collected three yards through center and the hellish pig-hide as on Nebraska’s six-yard line.

This was a good time for the Huskers not to be penalized, but that’s what they got — five yards for offside play.

In actual measurement the ball was only a couple of feet from home — but still the Lincolnites sturdily refused to quit.

Johnny Mohardt hit once and was repulsed. Gritting his teeth, he smashed into the same left tackle again--and when the pile was unraveled the deed had been done!

Buck Shaw kicked the goal--and everybody might as well have started home, only they did not know it.

Not until the final toot was the anxious expression entirely gone from the weird maps of the local and visiting Irish gents and dainty colleens. At any time, had the Huskers possessed some wild stunt such as Joe Brandy and the lamented George Gipp used to spring in emergencies, the Nebraskans might have tied the game, because it was seesaw for fair. But the milk is spilled--and there you are.

Tribute to George Gipp

The first half ended with this sad event, or shortly afterward, and in the intermission was staged a most impressive tribute to George Gipp, the famous Notre Dame star, who died last winter following the fastest and most successful season of his football career. The entire crowd, more than 14,000 people, stood with bared heads while a trumpeteer played taps, and it was notable that over all that mellow stretch of beautiful campus and russet autumnland there was not a sound, not a whisper, except the sweetly sad song of the bugle.

The Catholic started out the second half as if they intended to commit some sort of dastardly crime, and it took the Huskers several attempts before they were stopped. At this point Wynne began to call Nebraska’s plays as if he had been studying under Dawson.

“Try a long run around this end!” he yelled while the Notre Dame quarter was calling signals. Wynne was planted far out on the right end of his line, and sure enough — there went the play. His invitation must have suited him, for he knocked Wright over for a loss of a few feet.

Wynne, Thomas, Mohardt and Coughlin--the latter having gone in for a while in lieu of Castner whose game leg was bothering him, started a raid on the Scarlet line which netted plenty, but not enough. There was another punting bee. Castner got back into the melee and attempted a number of drop kicks.

Russell Does Well

All were pretty except one, which was blocked by Scherer and recovered by him; Castner’s blocks were often but a few yards short. Russell went in for Lewellen and the Omaha boy made a far better showing in punting than did his predecessor, standing further back, and not having to hurry so much to escape the fierce charges of Captain ANderson the mussed-up Mister Kiley. He also managed to negotiate a couple of successful passes during his regime, which placed him in the spotlight.

Dewitz made twelve yards off left tackle toward the end of the third period — which was Nebraska initial first down. Can you imagine that? Neither can we!

More jimmying around in the center of the field ensued, and finally Preston, Husker quarter, missed perhaps the only real opportunity his mob had to pull a sensation and tie the score.

Wynne, Mohardt, Castner and Kiley had jammed and jazzed down the groove until they were within thirteen yards of the dead line, when suddenly there was a Notre Dame fumble. The rich blonde ball rolled out in the clear and Preston made for it. Instead of scooping it up and setting sail through practically an unruffled sea--he fell on that doggone leather thing--and up the well known balloon. The third period ended with the oval in the Huskers’ possession on their own twenty-yard line.

There were more punts and some Castner drop kicks and eventually Captain Anderson threw Russell on Nebraska’s five-yard line, while Russ was trying to figure out where to heave the ball. Instead of kicking, Russell passed from punt formation on the next play, Scherer receiving for a sixteen-yard gain. Russell then tried another pass and Wynne intercepted.

Desch, the Hurdler, In.

Gus Desch, world’s champion 440-yard hurdler, here went in for Castern and made all of us wonder why he wasn’t on the job earlier or oftener. He promptly intercepted a pass and Notre Dame took charge of the services on Nebraska’s thirty-seven-yard line. Then, on the following play, he went galloping around left end for twelve yards, just like that. Mohardt couldn’t gain and Desch took one last gulp of one yard on a criss-cross; Notre Dame was penalized fifteen yards for rough stuff — and suddenly the pig squealed and the fray was history.

There is not a man on either team or in the stands, whether wearing the Blue and Gold or the Scarlet and Cream, that is not wildly enthusiastic over the game as a clean and hard fought battle. It leaves the final score of games played, Notre Dame won four, lost two, tied one.

But it is the wonderful reception, perfect courtesy, almost unbelievable anxiety to make every Nebraska visitor feel perfectly at home here, that has made the big hit with the mob from Nebraska.

This has been one constant pageant of entertainment, and it about to close with a big dance at the Oliver hotel, for and by Notre Dame home-comers, with all Nebraskans heartily invited.

Dempsey Sends Photo

During the heat of the betting and argument that always precedes a football scrap, and during the game itself, and still afterward — there has not been heard one hot word or one disrespectful or taunting phrase or epithet directed toward the many who wore the Scarlet and Cream. Our Nebraska is known as pretty hot stuff when it comes to sportsmanship and entertaining, but she will have to doll up a little next fall if planning to put anything over on Notre Dame, you can take that from your lynx-eyed correspondent on the eastern front!

Jack Dempsey sent an autographed picture to Knute Rockne just before the game, which Knute is simply stuck on. The world’s champ heavyweight is at Chicago with hoof and mouth disease, or something, and could not attend the game, although a box had been reserved for him and his entourage.

The victory song — sweetest of all college chants — is caroling from myriad throats through the streets of South Bend tonight, and, strange as it may seem, a lot of Nebraskans are helping sing — although it belongs to Notre Dame.

The Huskers left the scene of defeat shortly after the game in their private car.

Good night.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 8-7 all-time against Notre Dame.

See all games »


1921 season (7-1)

Nebraska Wesleyan Oct. 1
Haskell Oct. 15
Notre Dame Oct. 22
Oklahoma Oct. 29
Pittsburgh Nov. 5
Kansas Nov. 12
Iowa State Nov. 19
Colorado State Nov. 24

This day in history

Nebraska has played 18 games on Oct. 22. See them all »

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