Pittsburgh 25
Nebraska 6

Nov. 10, 1934 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska Given Worst Defeat on Memorial Stadium Gridiron

Scampering along behind the devastating interference that swept Nebraska back toward its own goal time and again, Pitt's Mr. LaRue is seen here running for a seven-yard gain early in the game. Mr. LaRue was less troublesome to the Cornhuskers than a couple of other Panthers, but he had his moments, as the picture shows.

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 10—More than 34 thousand customers, the vast majority of them fighting their better judgment with desperate hope, gathered here from nine midland states Saturday and saw the University of Pittsburgh’s football team sledge and slice its way through the Cornhuskers for 25 points. The Cornhuskers made six.

Here are the chief items of historical interest that the uneven contest produced:

It was the second most overwhelming defeat ever suffered by a Nebraska eleven on its home play yard. In 1916, Notre Dame won, 20 to 0.

Sixth Loss in Stadium

It was by far the most emphatic margin ever accumulated at the grudging expense of a host squad in Memorial stadium was opened to the paying trade in 1923. Late that season Syracuse won, 7 to 0, and in 1926 Missouri scored 14 points to the Huskers’ 7. Until this gorgeously calamitous afternoon these feats stood as a shared record.

It was the sixth game ever won by the numerous companies of robust young men who have been Memorial stadium’s guests. Besides Syracuse and Mizzou, Illinois outscored the Nebraska kids in 1924, 9 to 6; Pitt did it in 1929, 12 to 7; and on Thanksgiving day in 1930, Kansas State conquered the Cornhuskers here for the first and only time, 10 to 9.

First Since 1930

This day’s stern, decisive spanking was the first the Bible boys had suffered at home since the ironical holiday noted immediately above.

Michael Nicksick, Dr. John Bain Sutherland’s left halfback, made all the Panthers’ touchdowns, thereby continuing a monopoly he established last year in the ominous gray concrete hollow the Panthers call home. He scored the only touchdown of that terrific encounter.

Nebraskans will hear with no regret that they’ve seen the last of Mr. Nicksick. He’s a senior. Nor will they be depressed to learn that nine of the young men who were chiefly responsible for the afternoon’s savage destruction have pestered the Huskers for the last time. After all, Michael Nicksick was just one of many lusty, hasty youths who inflicted pain and chagrin with callous gayety. He just happened to make those points.

Ball Carrier Immaterial

Izzy Weinstock and Heinie Weisenbaugh, the blasting fullbacks, or Bob LaRue, the dervish right halfback, could have accomplished the job just as efficiently as he. It’s no great trick to get yourself goalward when a rampart of animated armor plate, geared to battle cruiser swiftness is mowing down the obstacles that challenge ahead.

As it has ever been when Pitt is the triumphant foe, to the blockers the highest praise is due—to the blockers of line and backfield. Again today the Nebraska kids who were positively busting with the yen to tackle found themselves knocked spinning and sprawling by a precise, speeding slanting wall behind which the boy with the ball ran fast and carefree.

Nothing to Do

Did Pitt want to blaze a path through right tackle? Then Pitt did, and there was nothing Colonel Bible’s confounded but courageous pupils could do about it.

Did Pitt prefer to make its almost unceasing profit at cost to the Nebraska guards? Then the guards in the red shirts suffered. Their attempts to fight back were snuffed almost before they began and Pitt went pounding along.

Not in a spirit of bilious criticism, but only with the intent to tell what happened, I set down this fact, which was obvious to all who saw!

The Nebraska tackles and guards didn’t have what was necessary to frustrate their adversary. They didn’t have it either defensively or when Nebraska had the ball. What was necessary is a tremendous lot of football talent. Few teams the Panthers engage do have it.

Used Best Boys

Colonel Bible shooed onto the field the best boys he had. They were far from being good enough. But there was nothing else Colonel Bible could do. He saw his proteges exert a lot of the good old college try—and get run over for their reward.

Pitt, on the other hand, did what it did largely because of the tremendous workmen who flanked Center Shottwell. If the Husker guards were spared a few fleeting seconds for observation they must have discovered a great deal about what a star at those positions must do, for I doubt if any eleven in the land has such a pair as Captain Doc Hartwig and Ken Ormiston. They were the apex of the wedge, the head of the battering ram that blasted those great, gaping holes through which their ball luggers all too often cantered so joyously until some member of the overworked secondary—usually Lloyd Cardwell—frantically hauled them down—with seven, 10, 30, 40 yards, or touchdowns, behind them.

Cardwell Brilliant

Cardwell! The wild horse! From him, the lone brilliant figure in the Scarlet livery, Pitt gained nothing! To him, Pitt lost, and learned to avoid whenever possible the precincts he patrolled.

But Pitt’s profits at the expense of the Wild Horse’s fellows more than offset the debits he inflicted. One devastating, gallant warrior is so pitifully, so wistfully insufficient against Pitt! There must be eleven such warriors!

It was Joe Toman, understudy to End Bernie Scherer, who in the fourth quarter caught the pass Chief Bauer pitched from Pitt’s 22-yard line and hurried the five yards necessary to score against a lineup peopled mostly by white-armoured substitutes. This saved the Huskers from the pain of the worst home licking in history, but it was only a flaring, successful spark. Cardwell blazed every moment he waged his futile, unyielding, almost lone fight. Almost lone, I say, because Frank Meier was beside him often, so, too, were Sam’l Francis and Lester McDonald, but neither of these was able to maintain the almost superhuman but vain tempo of the savage centaur who was Cardwell.

Red Wall Braces

Pitt knew Nebraska’s weak spots. Pitt should have, for its reconnoitering Eddie Hirschberg had marked them in every one of the five contests waged before today. Pitt whammed away at the line from the inaugural kickoff. A penalty forced momentarily the retreat that the Huskers were unable to order, but the first period indicated plainly what was ahead.

Whirling, slashing, hammering, Weinstock and Nicksick advanced the battle front 49 yards, to a point two steps from a touchdown. There the Huskers braced. On the fourth down Nicksick fired himself into a mass of red. The mass rose and threw him back. The stands roared. A successful goal line stand.

Then the Booes

Then booes broke! The throng massed in the stands opposite the goal line, the hundreds who overflowed onto the platform erected behind it, shouted their disapproval of Referee Leslie Edmonds. Edmonds ruled Nicksick had crossed. Edmonds had called it a touchdown! Boo! Boo! It was suddenly a prize fight crowd, screaming for a man’s blood.

But touchdown it remained, and doubtless justly so, for Leslie Edmonds is a fine official who almost never errs at climatic moments.

This was Mike Nicksick’s first score. Weinstock missed the placement. But Mike Nicksick had just begun. The opening quarter ended, 6 to 0, but before recess was called Michael had got himself another. He got it right after Bernie Scherer had ended one thrust by spilling Weinstock on the Husker 31-yard line for a seven-yard loss.

Mike Over Again

Miller Munjas punted on the next play, but all the Huskers could do was punt back. The Panthers started all over on their own 42, and in but little more time than it takes to relate it they were back again 11 yards from the payoff line. Here Michael, whose last name certainly suggests his effect on those who oppose him, slanted off tackle and raced over. Boys in red sprawled and rolled ludicrously all along his path. They were put in their undignified and ineffective poses by those deadly, powerful, sharpshooting blockers. Cardwell blocked Weinstock’s attempt at placement. The half was over.

Then the last semester began. One minute 45 seconds after the kickoff Nicksick had boosted his point total to 18. On Nebraska’s 47 Weinstock cannonaded his way through center, and while Huskers lunged at him, half turned and threw backward to Michael.

Those Sickening Laterals

Izzy then became Mike’s personal escort and not a Nebraska laddie touched him as he sped the remaining 40 yards. This was the play that gave the Panthers their lone touchdown against Minnesota. For the third time, Weinstock failed to make the placekick.

Not many minutes later Mike put an exclamatory point after the glamorous tale of his accomplishments by boosting his credits to 24. First he took a lateral from Weinstock and ran 46 yards. Cardwell delayed the touchdown by felling him 13 yards out. But it wasn’t a long delay. Izzy threw him another lateral, which made 11 yards. Then he blasted two yards through left tackle for the score. Ken Ormiston tried to convert and succeeded. It was 25 to 0.

Dr. Sutherland beckoned his No. 1 hands to the bench, replaced them with his No. 2 class. Against these the Huskers became emphatic. Only once was their emphasis successful, but they did maintain authority throughout most of the final period. It was their role to do a sort of minor afterpiece, and due principally to Chief Bauer’s pitching and Joe Toman’s catching they saved themselves from shutout, also from the worst punishment before a home crowd in history. They also added a bit of team brilliance to Lloyd Cardwell’s individual accomplishments, which included several returns of punts, one for 28 yards, and sporadic sprints around the wings.


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Series history

Nebraska is 6-15 all-time against Pittsburgh.

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1934 season (6-3)

Wyoming Sept. 29
Minnesota Oct. 6
Iowa Oct. 13
Oklahoma Oct. 20
Iowa State Oct. 27
Pittsburgh Nov. 10
Kansas Nov. 17
Missouri Nov. 24
Kansas State Nov. 29

This day in history

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