Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 9 — The Cornhuskers essayed the annual task of twisting the Missouri Tiger’s tail Saturday afternoon, and, after giving up the Bengal’s appendage one violent jerk permitted the “show me” animal to scamper away with a 14-to-7 decision.
The game, a real thriller although more or less of a disappointment from a Nebraska standpoint, was staged before a stadium well-filled with customers. A crowd of 20 thousand was in the stands although the weather threatened rain at any moment. It was the first time the Scarlet and Cream colors were dipped to a Missouri Valley opponent on Memorial Stadium soil. Kansas U. held the Huskers to a scoreless tie in the dedication game of 1923 and Syracuse won a one touchdown victory over Nebraska the same year.
The Saturday game was a near duplication of the 9-6 reverse sustained on the Columbia rectangle last fall. Last season the Beargmen out-downed and out-yarded the Tigers but dropped the contest. This year the Cornhuskers out-rushed and out-downed the Bengals but neglected that important and necessary factor — the long end of the score.
The game itself possessed more breaks than a bull in a china shop. In fact both teams scored as a result of those turns in fate which decide the outcome in so many football games. The opening kickoff had passed but a fleeting moment before a Missouri penalty and fumble gave the Cornhuskers possession of the ball within striking distance of the Tiger goal. In seven plays Blue Howell, plunging fullback, crashed through the Missouri line for a Nebraska touchdown.
But the grim hand of fate that had rested so lightly on the shoulder of the sturdy Nebraskans turned to beckon to the Old Gold and Black. Thrown back into Nebraska territory when an exchange of punts lost yardage, the Cornhuskers started the second quarter by scrimmage from their 20-yard line.
A 15-yard penalty on the first play forced Brown to kick from behind his own goal. The kick was trapped by Clark, the Missouri back who had been guilty of the costly first period fumble. As if by way of atoning for his previous error, the shifty Clark darted, turned and twisted 37 yards across the final chalk mark for the touchdown that tied the score.
The second and deciding Missouri touchdown which closely followed came like a bolt of lightning from the clear sky. It was all over before the spectators in the stands seemed to realize what was happening and the self-same Clark was on the scoring end of the tally.
The Huskers had stopped the Missourians on the Nebraska 22-yard line and on the fourth down, Stuber dropped back as if to attempt a score from the field. Instead of dropkicking the oval he whirled to shoot a pass to the waiting Bacchus. The ball sailed through the air and Halfback Glenn Presnell of the Cornhuskers leaped high to ward off the attack. In his attempt to ground the ball, Presnell batted it directly into the hands of Clark, who promptly darted the five yards necessary to a touchdown.
It is a football axiom that “the breaks go to the alert team and that alertness is bred by experience.” In this respect, Missouri held the edge on Nebraska as the two teams squared away. The Tigers, with a lineup that numbered 10 veterans among the 11 players, were evidently out to play a waiting game and take advantage of the breaks.
They did this very thing and once those breaks came and they were riding with a seven-point lead, the Bengals dropped back to a defensive game, relying on the trusty toe of Stuber, or a rally near the goal to smother the Nebraska offense. Superiority in the kicking department permitted the Tigers to launch this strategy, short punts by Brown and Bronson constantly forcing the Husker backs to make up the lost distance by lugging the pigskin — a stunt that saps the strength of any football aggregation.
Cold statistics of the game show the stubborn defense presented by the Nebraska line which was outweighed by a substantial margin from wing to wing. In spite of the fact that Missouri boasted of its stalwart forward wall, the Nebraska backs plunged to eight first downs and passed to two more. The Missouri backs failed to gain a solitary first down by rushing, the three times the Tigers made yardage being the result of successful aerial play.
Yardage carefully compiled by statisticians shows Nebraska plunged and sprinted for 194 yards from scrimmage, this total including a sensational run of 37 yards by Brown, the Nebraska quarterback, carrying the ball until forced out of bounds by the Missouri safety.
Missouri gained but 59 yards by rushing, this total being sprinkled throughout the four quarters.
Nebraska made two bids for touchdowns in the last two periods. The first flivvered after the Cornhuskers had carried the ball 63 yards to the Missouri 13-yard line. The second went on the rocks a few inches from the Tiger goal.
Brown’s sparkling run of 37 yards after Howell and Presnell had plunged to two first downs quickened the hearts of Nebraska supporters early in the third period. Brown stepped out of bounds on the Missouri 18-yard line. Howell made six yards on two plunges and Marrow added another yard. It was the fourth down and four yards to go. Brown and Holm retired from the Nebraska lineup in favor of Bronson and A. Mandery. The Huskers forsook the line and tried the ends with Mandery carrying the ball. The Tigers sifted through and smothered the Tecumseh athlete, taking the ball on downs on their 13-yard line.
Howell soon was summoned to the sidelines and Wally Marrow and Bill Bronson headed the Nebraska attack.
Two neat gains by Marrow were nullified when the officials maintained the Omahan was “crawling” after the ball had been “blown” dead. From the stands it appeared Marrow was still wriggling away from tacklers when the “crawl” was executed.
An 11-yard pass, Bronson to Joe Weir, saved the situation and after Marrow had driven through for six yards the quarter ended with Nebraska in possession of the ball on the Missouri 32-yard line.
The start of the fourth quarter still found the Huskers fighting for that touchdown and after Bronson had made the four yards necessary for a first down, Marrow broke through the Missouri line for a 15-yard gain. It was a neat bit of work, Wally side-stepping out of the arms of tacklers until he was finally dropped by the safety on the Missouri 10-yard mark.
The crowd was in an uproar when Bronson drove over a 200-pound Missouri tackle for four yards. Beck plowed through for three yards and Marrow added a yard more.
The Tigers took out time for Captain Bacchus, who was injured.
The referee’s whistle blew, the line charged and Center James shot the ball to Marrow, who disappeared beneath a mass of Missouri and Nebraska linesmen. From the press box it appeared Marrow had shoved the ball forward onto the chalk mark before he was dropped to the turf. The officials appeared to rule he had advanced the ball to the chalk mark after he was downed and the Tigers took the ball on downs, a slender three inches from the goal line.
It was Nebraska’s final bid for a tie decision, Stuber’s kick from the end zone rolling 46 yards and Bronson making no return. The Cornhuskers tried a last minute attempt at forward passes, but to no avail.
The showing made by Nebraska in aerial play means that the Cornhuskers will have plenty of work cut out for the coming week in polishing an attack against passes. Falling to negotiate the Nebraska line, the Tigers dropped back to forward flips and got away in good shape.
Roland Locke, former Nebraska track captain and holder of world sprint records was timed in 10 seconds in an exhibition 100-yard dash between halves of the game. Billy Hein, his teammate, and Art Easter, Cambridge freshman, finished in a tie for second.
Nebraska is 65-36 all-time against Missouri.
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