MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Minnesota 7, Nebraska 6.
Colonel Bible's surprising Cornhuskers matched Professor Bernie Bierman's Gophers in everything connected with Saturday's football exercises but weight and a placement after touchdown.
The shortage in heft didn't make any difference but the failure to convert the extra point after Big Bernie Masterson had stretched himself from six-feet-three to about eight-feet-three to snag George Henry Sauer's forward pass in the end zone cost the Nebraska kids a tie with the team that in the advance reckonings had seemed vastly superior.
In their gaudy maroon and gold union suits the Gophers looked vastly superior there on the field, too.
The browning sod of the recitation floor shook and shivered as they pranced and pounded and cavorted to warm themselves up for what appeared certain to be just what Professor Pierman had announced — an opportunity — for his pupils to try a bit of experimenting and polishing in preparation for the Big Ten games to come.
The Gophers experimented all right, but not in the way that Professor Bierman had intended. The whole afternoon long they experimented with ways and means of running and kicking themselves out of desperate situations. their attempts to run away from tight places were invariably futile. They had to rely on the big foot of Halfback Francis Lund to shove the Huskers back into the safer regions and Mr. Lund didn't have any success doing it until along in the second quarter after six points had been credited to the disrespectful, pesky invaders. The Huskers didn't score in the last three periods. Several times they threatened to do so, and they probably would have had it not been for penalties which were meticulously called on both teams whenever either seemed on the way to realization of something from its strenuous efforts.
But from start to finish, Colonel Bible's kids were ever a threat—just as great a threat to the Gophers as the Gophers were to them.
And the result was a whale of a football battle that kept the 20 thousand — and then some —downtowners, students, Boy Scouts and legionnaires who were honor guests in a merry uproar for nigh onto two and a half hours.
It was a game as well played as last week's exercises with Iowa State were drab and floundering and aimless and miserable.
Only now and then fumbles marred maneuvers that began promisingly for both sides. The penalties also disrupted the continuity, but these were minor faults. On the whole it was a thrilling, severe, stubborn conflict, fit to rank with the contests waged in the days when giants wore the armor of both schools.
There were noisy exclamations of surprise when Bernie Masterson stretched those extra two feet to catch the pass that gave him and his mates six points before the opening quarter was half over.
The Huskers, to borrow from the effective vocabulary of the celebrated Elmer Greenberg of yesteryear, had the Gophers "nots."
More than that they had customers' "nots," too. The overwhelming home product patronage was "nots" with alarm and shock. The little band of Nebraska's faithful were "nots" with happy surprise.
It all happeened not more than six minutes after Marshall Wells had booted the opening kickoff and the Minnesotans, who are just beginning to appreciate and call for more of Professor Bierman's deft thimble-rigging, had settled back to watch Professor Bierman's boys experiment with stuff to be used later in bringing about the undoing of Big Ten teams.
Nebraska had the brisk west wind at its back in the first quarter, so George Henry Sauer began booting 'em 55 and 60 yards down the field, gaining with every exchange.
Right at the inauguration of the ceremonies the Gopher running attack was checked and chilled and it was kept that way all afternoon, especially whenever the Huskers' goal was threatened, Mr. Jack Manders and his boisterous mates found the Huskers defense as hard to dent as a bride's biscuits.
In fact, everything went wrong with Minnesota's plans right from the beginning. Professor Bierman, being an alert and opportune party, immediately sent in orders to cease experimenting with stuff to confound future opponents and start looking for something to subvert and chastise those pesky Gophers.
George Henry Sauer and Chris Mathis alternated at lugging during a series of running plays that had the Minnesotans dazed and darned near daffy. They carried their campaign into enemy territory. Penalties set them back. But still they kept on, spearing and darting and smashing ahead.
Presently George Henry flipped a pass to Masterson, who in turn threw what he intended to be a backward pass to Hube Boswell. It was good for 15 yards, but the referee called it back, ruling that the toss to Boswell was forward, not backward, and hence illegal. In the second quarter a similar close interpretation was decided in Minnesota's favor and it gave the big fellows their touchdown.
Undaunted, however, George Henry threw again. From behind his 39-yard line he let 'er fly, and this time Masterson didn't attempt any relaying. this time Big Bernie grabbed himself a tight hold and got himself down field to the five-yard line. Two line plays' with George Henry and Bernie lugging, didn't net anything. Then little Mathis squirmed and twisted and dodged around left end for one yard. There was one down left. Bernie charged into the end zone with Captain Ely's snapback. He waited there until George Henry flipped, George Henry sighted a little too high. But Bernie is both tall and elastic. Bernie let himself out in an upward direction and made the catch.
Then, curses; Bernie, who had scored those six points with a high jump and a pair of large hands was unable to score one point with his foot. The placekick was wide. Nebraska 6, Minnesota 0.
The Huskers kept right on deviling the Gophers and when Penney recovered an enemy fumble 25 yards from the enemy goal it looked like 12 and Maybe 13 Nebraska points would be manufactured in the first quarter.
But right after Penney's commendable transaction George Henry evened the fumbling score and it was Minnesota's ball and Minnesota got away from there in a big hurry, riding one of Mr. Lund's punts.
Things like that, and penalties, ruined other Nebraska opportunities. Mostly it was penalties. Those officials were painstaking, almost painfully so.
It was to some degree one of these supreme court decisions that gave Minnesota its touchdown and enabled Manders to kick the point that won.
The play was almost a duplicate of the forward-backward pass maneuver that had been called illegal on the Huskers early in the contest. It happened in the second quarter.
Sauer had to punt against the win. The kick sailed high but not forward. In fact, it was downed on the Scarlet's 30-yard mark for a loss of two yards. Lund whanged away at Hulbert's tackle and made only a yard. Obviously such tactics were futile.
So Lund threw a forward pass to End Robinson. Husker tacklers bore down upon him. Robinson threw to Manders. He really dribbled it, for Manders took it on the bounce. Evidently thinking it was the same sort of thing that had been nullified when they tried it, the huskers paused for a split second. Manders picked up the ball on the first bounce and got away for counting territory. He made it, and rested there, while officials and members of both teams huddled close in hot debate.
Referee Fred Gardner stuck by his decision. He ruled Robinson's throw to Manders either a lateral or a backward pass. Therefore, it was legal. He had ruled illegal Manderson's first quarter throw to Boswell, which varied only scant inches in direction from Robinson's toss. Masterson's throw had been forward. Robinson's was either lateral or backward. Referee Gardner must by the lynx-eyed wonder.
Anyway Manders scored and Manders kicked goal and the goal kick gave Minnesota the victory. But the play that did all this doubtless has provided a topic for discussion in the golf club locker rooms far into next summer.
Nebraska is 25-33 all-time against Minnesota.
|Iowa State||Oct. 8|
|Kansas State||Oct. 29|
|Southern Methodist||Dec. 3|
Nebraska has played 18 games on Oct. 15. See them all »
©2019 BH Media Group