LINCOLN — One minute and 45 seconds after the inaugural kickoff Bernie Masterson plunged the necessary three feet to give the Huskers six points against Iowa State.
Ten seconds before the end of the first half George Henry Sauer did himself a high jump above his own 45-yard line, yanked down one of Richard Grefe's long passes and ran with it through the entire Cyclone team, which made ineffectual, uncertain movements in his direction.
George Henry pulled up standing behind the Iowa State goal and his six points, to be credited pretty largely to individual effort, enable the Cornhuskers to outlast the Cyclones in their first defense of the Big Six championship which they won last year by burying a team wearing the same trade-mark under a 23-to-0 score. The Score Saturday, however, was only 12 to 6.
The Cornhuskers as a team, after a promising beginning that lasted just long enough for the big time clock to make two or three revolutions and give the customers false hopes, became worse and worse as the exercises went on.
Especially when on the offensive they wandered aimlessly around, no guy apparently very much concerned with what the other guys had in mind, or, if he was unable to do very much in the way cooperation.
After Bernie Masterson's early and encouraging touchdown Colonel Bible's pupils were utter strangers to consistency almost every time they had the ball. They had their sporadic moments when they managed to hold together long enough to get Christ Mathis or Big Bernie or Hube Boswell away on an end run off tackle smash or lateral pass maneuver. But always after these flashes of success the line either failed to pry openings in the stubborn Cyclone wall or the interfering backs dashed in the opposite directions — or all these things happened at once.
As the proceedings wore on, the Huskers seemed to grow worse at the business of going places, while Professor Veenker's boys showed plainly that they gained encouragement with every Nebraska failure. Save for little Dick Grefe, who was most of the Cyclone backfield whenever the Cyclones had the ball, the guest pupils were unable to do anything with their running attack. The boys in the red shirts did look pretty well on defense. Grefe's scampers around end or outside tackle were too infrequent to be put together successfully.
It probably is well for the Huskers that the Cyclones didn't start throwing the ball sooner.
The Cyclones didn't really get down to serious throwing until the fourth quarter started. On the second play of this interval Big Ed Shafroth buried a zoomer to Ivan Impson, who had posted himself on the Nebraska goal line. Ed was credited by the meticulous statisticians with a heave of 34 yards because the line of scrimmage was that far from counting territory but actually he sent the ball zipping a good 50 yards. And it zipped right into Ivan's arms.
Dick Grefe missed the goal kick just as Masterson and Sauer had missed but the Cyclones had found themselves able to get places through the air and they decided to keep on trying.
They were deep in Nebraska territory scant seconds before the game ended. Nebraska had the ball, but the offense was trittering itself away, as was habitual in this contest, and Sauer was forced to kick from his 10-yard line. Dick Grefe made the catch 30 yards up the field and tried to flip a lateral to a backfield mate. Lee Penny intercepted it and started for the Iowa Stat goal. He couldn't get along as fast as Mr. Impson, who hauled him down from behind, 20 yards from a third Nebraska touchdown.
The fact that this removed the Ames menace, which had become very serious to Colonel Bible, sliding around down there on the bench, was far more important than the fact that Penny failed to score. For that was the last play of the game, and persons sitting under the hyena cage were heard to remark that 'It's a swell thing for Nebraska that the game hasn't got another quarter to go."
The Cyclones made good only one other pass besides the that scored, and they tried 10, but as remarked, they didn't get down to passing very early. And it's true that one of Grefe's throws gave Nebraska the points needed to win, but just the same Nebraska can be thankful that the opposition didn't take to air cruising earlier. As Mr. Impson demonstrated, just one of them when completed was good for six points, and Messrs, Ely, Hokuf and Masterson couldn't be expected to bat down or intercept all of them.
The Huskers, who had done pretty well a week ago with passes against the apprentice or larval footballer, found that with one exception throwing on their own account was utterly wasted effort.
That one exception netted them their first touchdown right at the start. Corwin Hulbert recovered the fumble of Theophilus, the Cyclone fullback, on the latter's 18-yard line. After the Huskers had taken the first five yards of 100 yards of penalties that were to be called on them, Sauer made a nice throw to Masterson, who was forced out of bounds one yard from a touchdown. Bernie plunged on the next play and made that yard.
Sauer or his backfield mates tried a dozen other passes after that, and it is doubtful if even the experience they got amounted to very much.
Penalties probably cost the Huskers touchdowns on a couple of occasions. They were off side almost as often as they were on side, and this, probably along with their ragged play, perhaps should be charged to the fact that this was the opener.
The Cyclones took one penalty of five yards to the Nebraskans' total of one hundred, and this was a technical violation, a second incomplete pass in a series.
But, even so, the Huskers were a pretty sorry lot when they had the ball. Probably the Cyclone line is formidable, but the Cyclone line had nothing to do with the slow starting of plays, the poor timing and the wandering disposition of the backfield interference. Nebraska's victory might well be credited to good line play plus the individual effort of George Henry Sauer, for George Henry not only interrupted the progress of Dick Grefe's pass on his own 45-yard line, but without any great amount of assistance he eluded the entire Cyclone team, which at that interval was pretty aimless itself, on his pretty scamper 55 yards to the winning touchdown.
George Henry made it almost alone, even though he stumbled so badly that he came within one kneecap of violating the new dead ball rule. But he managed to keep himself on his hind feet and, running away out of balance with his barrel chest thrust grotesquely forward, he covered the remaining 20 yards to the promised land.
Nebraska is 86-17 all-time against Iowa State.
|Iowa State||Oct. 8|
|Kansas State||Oct. 29|
|Southern Methodist||Dec. 3|
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