Nebraska 10
Missouri 7

Oct. 31, 1931 • Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Mo.

Gun Stops Tigers from Goal as Nebraska Wins 10 to 7

Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Mo., Oct. 31—The timekeeper’s blunderbuss popped in the gathering dusk Saturday afternoon and brought down a ferocious, rampant Tiger that was about to gobble up the corn-fattened football boys from Nebraska.

Clawing, leaping, throwing himself through the air with a deadly accuracy, the Tiger fought both the second hand and the Cornhuskers in a desperate effort to overcome a three-point lead, and the Tiger failed by little more than one foot, when time allied itself with the harried, confounded Nebraskans.

Tigers Play Frantically

The score was Nebraska 10, Missouri 7, and the game ended with the vanquished team striving frantically but in vain to run off a second down play before the timekeeper intervened. George Stuber had pitched a pass to Max Collings, who was downed less than a half-yard from the goal. Missouri had four downs to cross this tiny stripe. Four downs, but scant fleeting seconds. Stuber threw himself against the mass of scarlet in the center. He was smothered. Then the gun sounded victory for Nebraska, and sighs mingled with groans above the eight thousand who wilted in their seats.

There were no cheers. The Tigers slumped from the field. Shakily, the Cornhuskers rose from the scrimmage line, where they had crouched, worried and harassed, not knowing whether the foe would assail the line again or project another of those terrific passes that had proved so deadly. Then the Cornhuskers, too, slumped from the field, too spent to demonstrate the joy of conquest by word or act.

Bible Gets News of New Son

D. X. Bible helped himself from the Nebraska bench and began to mosey toward the dressing room, apparently deep in thought. A messenger boy rushed up and handed him a telegram. The Nebraska professor ripped the envelope, eyed the contents for a split second and with hands flung aloft emitted the one, lone raucous valedictory to the titanic struggle. But the valedictory was only incidental. It was disclosed, in the dressing room, that the message, from Lincoln, Neb., read:

“Son born this afternoon. Both he and mother doing well.”

Almost timidly, the representatives of the Nebraska Innocents Society lifted the old bronze bell, emblem of this traditional rivalry, and bore it to a waiting car, to be returned to the Lincoln campus for the fourth consecutive year.

Huskers Tie Wildcats

This game, which seemed reasonably safe for Nebraska as the fourth quarter began, and then began to veer through the air to the enemy, only to be saved to the invaders because the time ran out, hoisted the Huskers to a tie with Kansas State for the lead of the Big Six conference and makes almost certain a championship struggle at Manhattan November 14. It was the first time that Nebraska had won on the Missouri field since 1919 and the victory evened the score between Tiger elevens coached by Gwynn Henry and the redshirts from the cornlands at three victories each and three ties.

The line which had denied other Big Six opponents entrance to Cornhusker territory was sundered time and time again throughout the early moments, but managed with the help of breaks to repulse the onslaughts of mighty Carl Johanningmeier and Stuber when cleats dug into the turf just ahead of the goal line.

Masterson Leads Attack

In the opening quarter, big Bernie Masterson conducted an almost purely personal running attack, which with the aid of a pass, Henry Bauer to Bob Joy, carried the attack 44 yards to the Tigers’ 10-yard line. Here the Bengals braced up and stopped Kreizinger, and Bernie dropped back 10 yards and kicked a perfect field goal from placement. This put the Huskers ahead, 3 to 0, and there the reckoning remained until midway in the third period when Everett Kreizinger tore himself loose.

The teams had been sledging away at one another and nothing important seemed imminent. Then the Bellwood boy squeezed through a small opening at right guard, shook off the Tiger backs and began to gallop with big Johanningmeier in frantic pursuit. Johanningmeier pulled him down from behind on the Tigers’ six-yard line, after he had covered 54 yards. There the Missourians dug in deep, and held, but big Bernie again came through in the emergency. He threw a pass on the dead run. Bruce Kilbourne was waiting for the heave in the end zone. He got it. Once more Bernie kicked, this time for the extra point, and the score was 10 to 0.

Governor Waves a Cheer

Governor Charley Bryan gave his kerchief an extra exuberant flip before returning it to his pocket after mopping his pink top, and the Missouri throng was silent. Defeat, the first defeat by Nebraska at Columbia in 12 years, seemed inevitable. The mighty Tiger backs, under the expert influence of Quarterback George Stuber, had ripped the Husker line time and again only to fail in the pinch.

Then Gwyn Henry sent in substitutes who are gifted at pitching the ball, and catching it. They were to make the final, desperate bid for victory. No one seemed to hope for very much. Donald Eaves replaced Percy Gill. Eaves’ very first play was a pass, caught by Stuber in Tiger territory. But the brilliant field general didn’t stop there. He crossed the midfield line and kept going, making tacklers lunge foolishly. Pass and gallop were good for 55 yards and six points.

Not a hand was laid on Stuber as he raced through the Nebraska domain and over the Nebraska goal. Johanningmeier’s placement for the seventh point was good.

Stuber Fails, Huskers Succeed

The Tigers kept right on with their deadly bombardment. The Huskers almost became demoralized. The passes popped about their ears and the line of battle ate its way deeper and deeper into Scarlet territory. Eleven yards from a second touchdown were the Bengals when Lawrence Ely leaped high and intercepted a long singing throw. Kreizinger’s punt gave him and his mates temporary respite and the minutes were slipping swiftly past. But back down the field swept the Missourians, now mixing running plays with their passes, for the Scarlet defenders seemed not to know what to do, and so did little save give ground, give ground, until once more they braced themselves on the goal line.

The seconds finally ticked out as Stuber made his gallant smash at center, and failed. And as he failed, Nebraska succeeded.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 65-36 all-time against Missouri.

See all games »

1931 season (8-2)

South Dakota Sept. 26
Northwestern Oct. 3
Oklahoma Oct. 10
Kansas Oct. 24
Missouri Oct. 31
Iowa Nov. 7
Kansas State Nov. 14
Iowa State Nov. 21
Pittsburgh Nov. 26
Colorado State Dec. 5

This day in history

Nebraska has played 20 games on Oct. 31. See them all »

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