In the places of these regular backs, Dr. Hauser used a combination of sophomores and juniors for whom Joe Silovich and Dick Luckenmeyer set the pace. At intervals Vic Kulbitski spelled the beginner Bob Kula at fullback, to supply a steadying influence.
Dr. Hauser employed his linemen in a fairly normal fashion. Dick Wildung and his mountainous mates were active often. But the Doctor did go into the No. 3 lineup for relief men with pretty apparent confidence.
And well he might have been confident, because the Huskers never menaced very seriously Prof Presnell was conversation-minded too, what with the opportunity imminent to salvage something by doing well in the Big Six campaign. Rather than risk the injured Kirwin Eisenhart, he used Guard Wayne Stranathan as Wally Hopp’s relief at fullback.
The doubt still persists that the Cornhuskers will be very assertive when possessing the ball in reasonably difficult games this term, but that’s another story, and has nothing to do with their competent barricading against Gopher running plays.
This barricading failed only once, when the game was six minutes along. The line didn’t check Master Luckemeyer, who is a youth regarded with high expectation by Dr. James Kelly, the Minnesota track coach.
The secondary didn’t check him either. He whooshed through the left side and streaked 40 yards to the first touchdown, to which Garnaas placekicked another point to make the reckoning 9 to 0.
Less than two minutes before Luckemeyer’s lope, the Gophers gained their first two points on an automatic safety. Tackle Paul Mitchell blocked Howard Debus’ punt, and the Impact of the blocking knocked the ball backward some 24 yards into the end zone and out of bounds.
The Gophers made it 15 points soon after the second half kickoff, and in doing so demonstrated that their victims’ pass defense wasn’t as formidable as their protection against assaults aground.
Silvoch capped a drive that began on his own 31 where he had returned to Vic Schleich’s kickoff by pitching to End Herb Hein.
Throw and run covered the 23 yards necessary to cap profitability the 69-yard march.
The play also caught the left side of the Husker secondary drowsing. Hein wasn’t challenged. Both when he made the catch and as he strode goalward he was all alone.
This time Schleich spoiled Garnaas’ placement, and save for interruptions perpetrated by fumbles, the Gophers from then to the game’s end found themselves confronted by a defense which, aided by the kicking of Dale Bradley and Debus, effectively smothered their attempts to increase their total.
It was defense which fittingly gave the Huskers their two points when the third period was nearly over
— defense plus Bradley’s surprising and accurate quick kick which traveled 64 yards and cut the sideline just ahead of the goal flag.
The Gophers had possession on their one-foot line — or maybe six-inch line. Bob Sandberg tried to punt from the extremity of the end zone. Ed Nyden leaped high, batted the ball back across the zone and out of the field. The two points for Nebraska were automatic.
The Huskers’ most discernible bid for a touchdown followed forthwith, and continued into the last period. Debus plowed back 20 yards to the Gopher 43 with Silovich’s free kick.
Passes failed and Debus had to punt. The ball bounced across the sideline four yards from the Gopher goal. Debus rammed back 14 yards to the Gopher 38 with Silovich’s return punt. Smashes and passes carried the attack to the 14, where John Billman dumped Fred Metheny short of a first down after Fred had fielded Debus’ pitch.
A little later another short drive ended with an incomplete fourth down pass on the Minnesotans’ 25. Six times the Huskers fumbled, and four times the Mighty Men recovered. But at no time did the recoveries pay a profit. Twice, in the first quarter, they ended in foozled field goals, with Kula failing both times.
Just before intermission Bob Hary fell on Bradley’s bobble and this enabled the gophers to start goalward, but time ran out as Metheny downed Bill Johnson on the six.
Nebraska is 25-33 all-time against Minnesota.
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