Nebraska 33
Colgate 7

Oct. 18, 1924

Scarlet Sweeps to 33-7 Victory

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb. — A half scorned University of Nebraska football team, tossed ruthlessly about on the sea of early season football and stung twice by defeat, soared to triumphant heights Saturday afternoon. Wearing the colors of the west, the Cornhuskers outfought, outplayed and decisively defeated its eastern challenger, Colgate university, 33 to 7.

A crowd of 25 thousand — many Cornhusker athletes and students of bygone days — witnessed the triumph. It was a typical homecoming day crowd and the old grads found plenty of cheer, for the game furnished some of the most sensational opening field running of any contest played in the new stadium.

The stadium crowd was given its first touch of excitement when Melvin Collins intercepted a Maroon pass and sped 60 yards to a touchdown. Thrills then followed in rapid succession. There was the mad scramble for the ball in the Maroon end zone after a blocked punt threatened a touchdown, there was Bloodgood’s sensation return of Colgate's punts, Rhode’s 71-yard run to a touchdown, and Locke’s subsequent 80-yard lightning jaunt while the Colgate players were suffering a lapse of football mentality.

It was a clean-cut victory for Nebraska. There can be no eastern alibis of the “sod field” or “out of condition” variety. The Maroons simply met a better team and were willing to acknowledge it.

Following the game Coach “Dick” Harlow sought out Coach Fred T. Dawson and his players in their dressing rooms. He said:

“You played great football. There are no alibis. The score speaks for itself.”

“We were in there to give our best,” was Coach “Snap-It-Up” Dawson’s reply. “I was proud of all the boys.”

The Colgate aggregation was was for the most part a one-man team, pure and simple. It was Tryon about which the Maroon offense was grouped and it was Tryon that seemed forced to do most of the work on the defense. The Colgate ace punted, passed, went out to get passes, lugged the ball on sweeping end runs and carried the ball on smashing attacks at the line, in fact he figured in every play and seemed to come through the struggle little the worse for wear.

The work of “Choppy” Rhodes and Al Bloodgood stood out prominently in the Cornhusker backfield. Rhodes was at his best on off-tackle smashes, most of which were started from punt formations. The fleet Ansley youth was always more than good for a gain and seemed to baffle the easterners with his uncanny ability to sift through the line to the secondary defense.

Rhodes scored two Nebraska touchdowns. One was the result of a clever bit of broken field running. He plunged through the line and then cleared the secondary defense with a thrilling bit of side stepping which had the Colgate tacklers missing from all sides.

His other touchdown which came in the first quarter was the result of another bit of clever work on the part of the former Custer county star. He received the ball from Bloodgood and dodged tacklers in a forty-yard sprint to the final chalk mark, twice slipping out of “Pockets” when it seemed Maroon tacklers would drag him to ground.

It remained, however, for Roland Locke to prove the prize stunt of the afternoon. The North Platte flash, the fastest human in moleskins, played the sidelines during the Illinois and Oklahoma contests.

Near the close of the second quarter he was injected into the Nebraska backfield with just fair success. His chance came in the fourth quarter when he returned to the Cornhusker ground-gaining quartet.

His nine-yard jaunt around the Colgate wings preceded Rhodes thrilling journey to a touchdown.

A few minutes later Locke, himself, entered the score column, but by perhaps one of the queerest coincidences in this year’s history of football scoring.

Colgate threatened the Nebraska goal, in fact the Maroons were but twenty yards from Nebraska goal posts. Failing to gain through the line, Tryon passed and Locke grabbed the ball in his arms and stood still. A Colgate man was off side by at least four yards when the play started and both, apparently thinking the play would be called back, merely stood and watched Locke make the catch.

Locke watched the ball, dusted his grid pants and sauntering past two Colgate tacklers, made a motion as if to throw the ball to the field judge nearby.

But did he throw? He did not. Instead he started his spring to the goal line, ninety yards away.

He was twenty yards ahead of the pack before Colgate players woke up to the situation. Those who took up the pursuit soon gave it up. Referee Birch was the only individual who pursued Locke down the field and the Cornhuskers speed merchant and considerable time to while away before Birch reached him.

The Cornhuskers of course declined the penalty and took the gain which in this instance developed to seven points.

The showing made by Nebraska line factored strongly in the victory. The forwards that stopped “Red” Grange also made it tough going for Eddie Tryon, the ace of eastern scorers. Several times they sifted through and tossed Colgate backs for losses, three times they blocked Maroon punts and on the offense they opened up wide holes through which Rhodes, A. Manderry and Myers skipped for substantial gains. Captain Ed Weird, Collins, Wostoupal and Pospisil were the big noise among the forwards. Weird in addition to playing his usual line game, turned in three gains on tackle-around swings. Collins intercepted the pass which scored the first Nebraska touchdown, was a demon at breaking up Colgate plays around his wings and factored in the defense against passes. Wostoupal was a terror to the Colgate backs. He twice downed Tryon for no gains and refused to be kept out of any plays. Pospisil, given his first chance at the big time, made good.

A Nebraska victory was forecast after the first five minutes of play. Tryon returned Weir’s kickoff thirty yards and on the second play skirted the Nebraska right end for thirty four yards. The ball was called back as both teams were offside. It was a bad break for Colgate for until the fourth quarter, it was the only time the Maroons looked dangers.

It was the old story of Nebraska forwards sifting through the gang-tackle the opposing backs — the sight which caused the blood to surge in the veins of Cornhusker followers who have witnessed the Nebraska-Notre Dame games of the past two years.

The first quarter was scoreless, Nebraska forcing the fight, reeling off four downs for 52 yards as compared with 18 yards and no first downs turned in by the New Yorkers.

Nebraska scored 14 points in the second quarter.

The Cornhuskers drew first blood when Collins intercepted Morgan’s pass and ran sixty yards to a touchdown. He scored behind an interference wall of three team-mates which mowed down Tryon on the trip to the final line.

A few minutes later Nebraska added two points by the safety route. After the Huskers had advanced the ball to the shadow of the Maroon goal posts, Colgate took the ball when Labell snagged a Husker pass on his fifteen yard line.

Failing to gain, Tryon dropped back to punt. Long Joe Wostoupal stretched up and blocked the punt, the ball rolling into the end zone. Joe dove for the ball and fell on it. The elusive oval bounded out to the turf and in the wild scramble that followed Tryon recovered for a safety.

Nebraska scored again toward the close of the quarter, a forty yard pass, Bloodgood to Rhodes meeting the touchdown. It was a beautiful piece of work on the part of Rhodes, the Nebraska halfback dodging in and out of the tackles on his way to the goal.

With a 14-point advantage at the start of the second half, Nebraska fell back to defensive ball, preferring to wait the breaks which were sure to come should Colgate open up its aerial game.

The first break came late in the third quarter. The Cornhuskers, with the wind advantage, bested Tryon in a punting duel and forced the Maroons back to their goal posts. Bloodgood behind a wall of interference, sidestepped his way forty yards on a return of Tryon’s punt being dropped on the Maroon 8-yard line. On the next play the Nebraska quarter back squirmed across.

Coach Dawson substituted freely during the fourth period and Colgate drove across to an earned touchdown, Tryon doing the bulk of the work and scoring the touchdown.

Nebraska’s replay was touchdown scored in two plays. Strack’s kickoff sailed over the Cornhusker goal and Nebraska scrimmaged from its 20-yard line, Locke made 9 yards and on the next play Rhodes went 71 yards for a touchdown.

The final tally was Roland Locke’s 90-yard sightseeing journey.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 1-0 all-time against Colgate.

See all games »

1924 season (5-3)

Illinois Oct. 4
Oklahoma Oct. 11
Colgate Oct. 18
Kansas Oct. 25
Missouri Nov. 1
Notre Dame Nov. 15
Kansas State Nov. 22
Oregon State Nov. 27

This day in history

Nebraska has played 19 games on Oct. 18. See them all »

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