Nebraska 10
Pittsburgh 0

Nov. 5, 1921

Huskers Pummel Panthers


Captain Swenson's great sprint of sixty-three yards after receiving a pass from Hartley marked the beginning of the end for the Panthers. Reports from the Smoky City are loud in praise of the man whose speed dazzled the jungaleers.


Pitt eleven downed by a 10 to 0 score

Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 5 — The University of Nebraska’s Cornhuskers had little trouble defeating the Pitt Panthers here today, 10 to 0. The game was not as closely fought as the score would indicate.

The Nebraskans simply romped all over the Blue and Gold machine, tutored by Glenn Warner, supposed to be the best coach in the business, beat them to every play, broke up their forward passes, smeared “Tiny” Pewitt in all his attempts to break through the line, took care that Tom Davies never got a start with any of his so-called end runs that usually mean material gains for the Panther.

The Pitt captain was forced to kick so many times, after three downs had failed to produce results that the scorers stopped counting them.

Herb Stein, the All-American center was so befozzled by the attack of the Nebraskans that his passing took on a yellow tint, and Davies had trouble locating the pigskin half the time when it was passed to him from a punt out of danger. Three times the pass was so bad, and the keenness of the enemy so manifest, that they broke through the defense before the ball was booted and the punt was blocked.

Nebraska on the Map

This caused the Pitt leader to kick on the third down toward the end of the game, when they gave up the ship and attempted to put in the time keeping the Cornhuskers away from their goal posts.

A 10 to 0 win over the team that defeated Syracuse, 35 to 0, and Pennsylvania, 28 to 0, certainly puts Nebraska on the football map.

While the shortcomings of the Warner machine were such as they don’t show ordinarily, it cannot be accepted as an alibi for the defeat today, as the Cornhuskers were a whirlwind in speed, demons on offense and a stonewall on defense, and it is the opinion of the experts tonight that no team in the country could have withstood their onslaughts today.

Captain Swanson was a whole team in himself and played a whale of a game as an incentive to the rest of the bunch.

They responded in kind, and Coach Dawson said tonight that he could not pick out any individual above another.

As he said, “They simply overwhelmed me with joy as they overwhelmed Pitt with gloom.”

The way the linemen seemed to define what was coming when Pitt had the ball was uncanny, to say the least, and they soon had the Blue and Gold huskies floundering in despair of approaching defeat.

Coach Warner started the game without the services of his flashy little quarterback, Tommy Holleran, whose presence seems absolutely to Pitt’s welfare, and in desperation, he was rushed in after the interval, but it only resulted in an aggravation of the little speed merchant’s injuries, received against Pennsylvania, and may keep him out for the rest of the season, as he was carried off the field in bad shape.

Tackling Is Hard

This does not mean that the game was unnecessarily rough, although the tackling was hard and accurate on both sides. The best of feeling prevailed between the teams throughout.

The visitors won the toss and elected to take the ball. Davies kicked to Lewellen, who ran back twenty yards before he was downed. Hartley and Wright shot the line for gains and made two downs, but on the next play a fifteen-yard penalty worked against the Cornhuskers, and the Blue and Gold recovered the ball on downs.

Hewitt was sent against the line, without result, and Davies tried a run around left end, but Swanson smeared him, and when he tried it again Pucelik threw him for a loss.

However, a double pass from Hewitt to Davies made first down, the only one for Pitt during the period. After four more tries the westerners secured the ball in midfield and began a march down the field, but two penalties for offside set them back again and the Pitt line managed to hold for downs. And so it was throughout the period, the Dawson proteges playing the best football in a strictly straight manner, but losing ground on penalties and the first quarter ended scoreless.

Resort to Air Game

Beginning with the second quarter both teams resorted to the aerial game, but with no success for the home team, because Davies’ shorts were ill-timed and also because of the fact that several of the Nebraska team could outjump their rivals and break down the ball.

The weight of the visiting backfield began to tell on the Panthers, and Hartley, Wright and Llewellen made big holes in their defense.

These three players carried the ball on line bucking to Pitt’s thirty-yard line, where the Panthers held and took the ball when a forward pass for the fourth down was grounded.

But Davies was soon forced to kick out of danger. After a few scrimmages, in which the fortunes alternated, Nebraska secured the ball and a forward pass from Hartley to Swanson sent the latter on a long run of sixty-two yards the spelled a touchdown, three panting Blue and Gold players falling heavily on the noble captain as he crossed the line.

Hartley retired for a moment until Dewitt was rushed into action in his place and the latter kicked the goal that made the score 7 to 0, just as the whistle blew that ended the quarter.

This was the signal for a war dance on the Nebraska bench that was bad medicine for the Pitt rooters.

When the Pitt team ran on the field at the beginning of the second half, there were two substitutions, Holleran for Schuler, and McLean for Kelley, the Cornhuskers playing such a driving game that Warner was forced to call upon his hospital list in order to stave off impending defeat.

Every Play Fails

For a few minutes in this period it looked as if Pitt had found herself, but if she had the Nebraskans were in on it also and nary a play that the Blue and Gold engineered was allowed to go through. It was really pitiful to the students to see Davies’ throws go amiss that ought to have made big gains on the aerial route, but it was wonderful to see the way that the Dawson scholars got after the ball in time to break up the play.

The visitors made matters look dark about the middle of the period when a succession of line smashes had sent the ball down to the shadow of Pitt’s goal posts, and it rested on the twelve-yard line for the third down. Here’s where Pitt made the only gain on a forward pass as Peters intercepted Preston’s throw to Swanson, that was scheduled for a touchdown, and managed to break through the Red line for twenty yards, getting his team out of danger.

But the giants from the west had their appetites whetted by this time and it was not long till they had the pigskin again well on the way to a score but a fifteen-yard penalty for them put a little heart into Pitt and the latter secured the ball just when the inevitable seemed about to happen.

An exchange of punts finished out the period without a score. The last quarter was begun in the gathering gloom indicative of the feel in the students’ hearts, the ball being in Nebraska’s possession on their own forty-five yard line.

A steady succession of gains was engineered, first by Hartley hitting the line for a down on three tries and a short end run by Lyman and suddenly Wright ran away down to the left of the line as Wright took the pass from center and a forward pass to the first named player made eighteen yards, carrying the ball to Pitt’s eight-yard line.

Make Field Goal

Pitt held, and after the visitors had lost four yards on the next two attempts, Preston essayed to kick a field goal from the twelve-yard line, which was easy to accomplish, as the play took place right in front of the goal posts, and this sank the issue down deeper, with a 10 to 0 score and the game nearly over. Especially when it was known that the Panther line had been effectually stopped by such men as Swanson, Hartly, Pucelik, Lyman and Weller. It was right after this, when Pitt secured the ball on her own twenty-yard line, that Stein’s pass rolled past Davies and the latter barely managed to fall on it on the one-yard line.

The Cornhuskers simply rested on their oars after this, constantly watching for trick plays, but they were not used, as it appeared as if Warner’s plays had all been broken up, and when the whistle blew the Panther team was a well whipped one without a single alibi.

The visiting players came out of the game without serious hurts, and will leave for home tomorrow morning.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 6-15 all-time against Pittsburgh.

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 20 games on Nov. 5. See them all »

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