AMES, Ia. — The Cornhuskers' first meeting with a Cyclone into which Professor James Yeager pumped the fury turned out Saturday in much the same manner as the previous 31 encounters.
The Cornhuskers won, 20 to 7, as has usually been the case, and this reckoning started them on a successful defense of the Big Six championship, as has also been customary since they made the Iowans their first conference opponent a decade ago.
Custom was consistent. Like the great majority of these neighborly combats, this day's was fiercely waged, with the Cyclones fevered and eager and the Cornhuskers trying desperately to infuse themselves with some of the fire and smartness that enabled them to defeat a more famed rival the previous Saturday.
After three minutes and 45 seconds, the majority of the 19 thousand who assembled harboring the hope that they'd see their boys beat the boys that beat Minnesota, loosed a hollering and bellowing that indicated their breathlessly-held expectations were going to be fulfilled.
In just three minutes and 45 seconds the Cyclones had scored seven points and the way they achieved six of them made the Husker outlook appear about as promising as the communist outlook in Germany.
The Cyclones passed the Huskers dizzy. A backward toss, followed by a forward pitch, Reupke to Kischer to Heileman, was simply more than the Jones boys could savvy.
But just before the inaugural period ended, the Jones boys had seven points of their own, the product of an 80-yard sprint on an end-around play by Paul Amen, and Jack Dodd's placement. After that the Cyclones never seriously threatened, but the job of breaking that stalemate was prolonged process that saw the Nebraskan's offense splutter and foozle and die throughout the second and third quarters.
It was accomplished only by a marvelous 72-yard run back of a punt by little Marvin Plock, two and a half minutes after the teams had traded goals for the last time. That scamper decided the issue. Little Man Andrew's touchdown which followed it after John Richardson had made a freakish interception of Sub Back Howard Medin's even more freakish aattempt to pass, was just extra profit, so to speak.
To Plock and Amen and Will Callihan must go most of the credit for the conquest, to Plock particularly, for it was his run backs of the superior Cyclone punts that prevented the high-keyed home boys from gaining a tremendous advantage. Marvin's dashes back up field with fielded boots hugged against his bosom totaled 185 yards.
Johnny Howell parked on the side lines throughout the afternoon, his green and black rimmed eyes shielded by dark glasses. With him, most of the time, sat the majority of the first-call hands who expended tremendous energy and spirit against Minnesota last Saturday. The number one boys played but little of the game. The second and third hands maintained the lineup that found the day's assignment just as pesky and confounding as the first teamers found the Golden Gophers.
Callihan's fine blocking and his plunging in pinches on several occasions enabled the Huskers to go forward or to hold the ball a few moments longer when holding the ball seemed highly important. He alone of the Huskers played the entire game.
Bill Andreson and Thurston Phelps alternated in Howell's position, Andreson doing the longer spell and working up a hell of a sweat trying in vain to pitch forward passes that a teammate could catch. He never did succeed, but he tried and then tried some more. This may have been just as well, because until the exercises were about over there was little that he could designate in the way of a running attack that could click either.
Those Cyclones were set, both against passes and against ground manuevers. In the Cyclone line were kids who conceded nothing to the Nebraska understudies, and during the brief spell that all the first linemen labored they asked no quarter from the foxers of Minnesota either.
The Huskers did manage pretty well to solve the Cyclone passing attack, after seven points had been entered against them, and after Everett Kischer, the brilliant quarterback, had been forced from the proceedings with a dislocated right shoulder.
The Cyclones scored 11 plays after taking the kickoff. That backward-forward pitching business was chiefly responsible, but a merry gallop of 25 yards through right tackle by Kischer preceded it. This put the ball on the Cyclone 46. From there Gordon Ruepke took the snapback and tossed backward to Kischer, and Kischer raced toward the sideline, throwing forward to Charley Heileman as he raced. The first attempt netted 21 yards.
The Huskers called an emergency consultation. It availed this much — the three Cyclones did it again, and Heileman was downed a yard from the Nebraska goal. From there Kischer eeled through the middle on a quick-opening play and then kicked goal.
Those seven points looked insuperable through almost all the rest of the period. They looked that way particularly after Guard Ed Brock had punted to Harris Andrews, who got back 15 yards to Nebraska's 20. Little more than two minutes remained.
On the 20, Bill Anderson called that end-around. He took the ball from center, passed it to Amen, who raced toward his own right side. There Elmer Dohrmann and Ted Doyle had prepared an attractive opening for him, and he took full advantage of it. He raced through, into the Cyclone secondary, eluded the desperate lungers there and set off down the field with Captain Clarence Dee in mad pursuit.
Twenty yards from the Cyclone goal Dee seemed to haul him down, but there, from here no one could be exactly sure, Bill Callihan made the finest of many fine blocks during the afternoon. Bill scythed Captain Dee to earth, and Paul crossed to six points untouched from the time he had charged through the scrimmage line.
The Huskers failed to score by punching and running their way late in the second quarter. With 10 or 15 seconds remaining, Andreson failed by a half yard to gain a new lease of first and 10, and the Cyclones took the ball three yards from their last stripe. It was that way in the third period, too, although the Jones boys never got that close.
When the last quarter began a good many must have been willing to settle on a tie score. The Huskers couldn't do anything profitable in a consistent way, and the Cyclones, lacking Kisher, could do even less.
Then Paul Morin punted 49 yards. The ball sailed over little Plock's head. He sprinted back to retrieve it. He picked it up on his own 28 and ran toward the farthest sideline. Here was opportunity, the sort that can never be foreseen. The Huskers capitalized magnificently. Ahead of Plock, mates formed the protective shield, and up the field they pounded and scurried, bowling over Cyclones. Plock had to elude a very few.
The wholesale blocking — a team blocking team — cleared the way. Plock's race must be set down as 72 yards, but he traveled much farther than that. He took no chances. He went back and forth, giving his pals time to make his progress safe. He, like Amen, was untouched by rival hands.
Not long after John Richardson's attempt to place the kick the fourteenth point went wide, desperate Howard Medin tried to pass, deep in his own domain.
The Huskers had learned their pass defense lesson a good many minutes before. The Cyclones had been unable to use the airways successfully since they had brought them six points nearly an hour before. But there was nothing left for Howard Medin to do. So he dropped back to pass. A gang of Huskers rushed him. He tried to throw anyway. He threw off the side of his hand and the ball sailed toward the sidelines. Richardson lunged for it; spun around, juggled it — but held on. He was downed on the Cyclone 11. On a reverse, Andrews ran through a wide hole at left tackle. Two minutes were left when English kicked the extra point.
Nebraska is 86-17 all-time against Iowa State.
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