Missouri 26
Nebraska 6

Nov. 7, 1942

Huskers’ Defense Riddled by Mizzou


Tiger Bob Steuber made the Huskers look silly as he waltzed across the goal all alone after taking a lateral from Fred Bouldin early in the second quarter ... the inset shows the dashing Mr. Steuber at closeup. THE WORLD-HERALD


Tigers Prove Suckers for Passes, U.N. Can’t Halt Steuber, Loses 26-6

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Nov 7 — If two more defenseless coveys of college football boys ran over each other panting and fagged on this historic play yard, your correspondent’s memory fails to capture their identities — and he has been on hand for most of the exercises since the play yard’s grand unveiling in 1923.

The reckoning, Missouri 26, Nebraska 6, might indicate otherwise, but few, if any, among the 25 thousand who watched in the bright still autumn sun will be inclined to disputation.

The Cornhuskers were at the season’s low in manpower. Yet they marched the also-crippled Tigers in first downs at 15.

They netted 325 yards to the Tigers’ 390.

They completed 16 of 31 passes and they needed only Allen Zikmund’s speed and Jack Hazen’s long stride to turn more of those completions into touchdowns.

Hazen managed his team’s six points. He took a throw from Roy Long and covered the necessary 29 yards for the first scoring when the game was nine minutes old. A minute or so later he was clipped, and became a spectator for the rest of the afternoon. Zikmund, with Vic Schleich a cocaptain for the day, looked on throughout.

The Tigers are suckers for forward passes. Sixty-seven strikes now have been pitched against them this term and, as chronicled, 16 of them were the product of the patched-up Husker offense.

But the gullibility was by no means balanced, and the accounts for the Big Six defending champions’ 26 points and merited victory.

The Huskers, who had looked pretty commendable on defense in other games, even when defeated, were even bigger suckers for lateral passes thrown off the T.

The lateral off the T was the simple basis of the Tigers’ onslaught.

They used little else. They didn’t have to.

Prof. Presnell’s kids never did learn to not go chasing en masse after the first back to take the ball from the quarterback. They could not have been more accommodating.

The first back to take the ball threw it laterally, generally to Robert Steuber. And Steuber unmenaced raced ahead for vast yardage.

Steuber was supposed to have been so crippled that a few minutes would constitute his playing limit. Steuber played most of the 60 minutes. Had he not done so, it might have been very bad for Missouri--to quote the opinion of C.E. (Old Companion) McBride of the Kansas City Star, in which your correspondent concurs.

Steuber was that essential.

It was almost miraculous, though, how several other reportedly injured Tigers managed to handle themselves with vehemence and profit — on the offense. As examples, we mention Fullback Fred Bouldin and Center Jefferson Davis, who went briskly into action after Jack Keith suffered a broken arm and stayed brisk for long intervals.

It was even more miraculous how the Tigers seemed to stake their all on offense — which as this fray was concerned, meant on hasty, tall, brawny Master Steuber.

If Oklahoma masters ways and means of stifling laterals off the T, Mizzou may discover it didn’t clinch another title by licking the Huskers.

Mizzou’s air game was a puny and sad thing to behold, even though the single one of five throws that was completed helped produce the first touchdown at the second quarter’s start.

Steuber tossed to End Bert Ekern for a first down on the Husker 30, and it was about the only deviation from lateraling during the drive that covered 63 yards, and ended with Steuber making the defensive secondary look very foolish as he caught a sidewise throw from Bouldin and waltzed around the right flank as Bouldin drew Huskers to him by realistically faking a plunge.

The defensive secondary continued to look very foolish. Less than two minutes after recess Ralph Carter fielded a lateral from Harold Adams, the ball-handling quarterback, faked another lateral to a mate, held tight to the ball, and raced 65 yards to the second touchdown with the Huskers harmlessly elsewhere.

Midway of the last quarter Steuber streaked through a quick opening and without challenge galloped 54 yards. A few minutes later Carter set up the last score by the same maneuver.

He scampered 25 yards to the Husker 18 before Howard Debus grabbed an arm and yanked him down. He got up and scampered an encore, for 11 this time, and again Debus employed the identical corner lot tackling technique. With five minutes left, Ed Gerker plunged over from the one. Steuber’s two touchdowns and two successful place kicks out of four boosted his season’s point making to 97.

The Huskers hopes and offensive skill were well-concentrated in white-headed Roy Long. He threw nearly all the passes. On a third quarter drive he ran or threw 17 of 18 plays. Four of nine passes were complete. But the drive pfutted when Bouldin intercepted a pitch in the end zone — one of the four the Tiger’s grabbed, and this one at a very opportune time.

In the second quarter Long was the power in another advance that carried 51 yards to the Tiger four. There Schleich prepared to place kick, and a five-yard penalty for delay didn’t change the plan.

But it did make Victor’s boot inadequate. He kicked from the 16, instead of the 11, and the ball was short — just about five yards short.

But as things turned out, a place kick wouldn’t have helped anyway. Two serious casualties were suffered by the Tigers. Right End Jack Lister joined Keith on the broken-arm list. Both were able to return to Columbia with the team.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 65-36 all-time against Missouri.

See all games »


1942 season (3-7)

Iowa Sept. 26
Iowa State Oct. 3
Indiana Oct. 10
Minnesota Oct. 17
Oklahoma Oct. 24
Kansas Oct. 31
Missouri Nov. 7
Pittsburgh Nov. 14
Iowa Pre-Flight Nov. 21
Kansas State Nov. 28

This day in history

Nebraska has played 20 games on Nov. 7. See them all »

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