Iowa 27
Nebraska 0

Sept. 26, 1942

Hawks Avenged, Humble Huskers: Tom Farmer Chief Villain in 27-0 Rout

Fumbling, Bumbling Nebraskans Never Threaten in Debacle

Iowa Stadium, Iowa City, Ia. Sept. 26 — The Cornhuskers first exposure to warmtime football this windswept afternoon turned out to be 30-odd minutes of almost-unadulterated errors, embarrassment, and simplest humiliation.

This unhappiness was inflicted by a passel of Iowans who appeared to take vast delight in parading their odds-on superiority, and in pleasantly baiting and teasing the flustered and frustrated lads across the line until their faces matched the flaming hue of their battle shirts.

By 27 to 0 the merry, hell-raising, air-minded Hawkeyes larruped the Huskers and thereby produced, besides their first victory in the eight games played since 1930, several very gratifying and perhaps significant by-products to-wit:

Their biggest winning margin over a Nebraska team since 1899, when the score was 30 to 0.

The most overwhelming larruping suffered by a Nebraska squad since the 40-0 annihilation administered by one of Doc Sutherland’s pre-reformation Pittsburgh outfits in 1931.

The eighth Iowa victory in the series which began in 1891. Nebraska has won 20 games. Three were ties.

Nebraska never even whispered a threat to take command of the goings-on today.

Nebraska almost never made a serious scoring gesture. When Nebraska did, fumbles and bumbles and addled conduct the like of which no modern Nebraska team has been guilty — not even at Pitt in 1931 — ended the aggressiveness abruptly and turned it into a joke at which the happy Hawkeyes could laugh joyously.

By their all-around superiority, the Hawkeyes dictated the proceedings almost throughout. This superiority became increasingly manifest as the contest became less and less of a contest.

During the first 20 minutes of the first half it looked as if Iowa’s edge, which ultimately would produce the winning points, rested in the right and left arms of Tommy Farmer.

Tommy pitches with either.

This afternoon he resorted to the deception of his south side but once. The right did better than well enough.

The passes he threw in orthodox fashion were more than the Huskers could handle. The Huskers grew pretty frantic and confused trying to do so.

It was just a question of time until Tommy would stick on a touchdown label.

The time came with three minutes left before recess.

An offside penalty gave the Hawkeyes a first down 37 yards from the line. Tommy faded back, and still moving, tosses to Ted Curran, who connected on the 23, near the east side line.

Four Nebraskans bore down upon Curran. He eluded them all, and none touched him as he followed a swift zigzag course into the end zone. Then Tommy demonstrated that his feet also were crammed with talent by place kicking the extra point.

The Hawkeyes used the third period to demonstrate beyond all possibility of challenge their almost equal advantage on the ground. Only two passes were tried, only one was completed in the series of a dozen plays that carried the battle zone 63 yards for their second touchdown.

The assault presented Ted Curran in the roll of master of a deadly and deceptive change of pace.

It presented the panting members of the Husker defense in widely assorted grotesque attitudes of rolling, tumbling, falling men who missed.

They’d lunge, they’d dive and Master Curran wasn’t there. He was usually several yards ahead.

The sophomore fullback, Chuck Uknes, also caused considerable embarrassment and bother during this drive, but it was largely Curran’s show. It was Curran who danced through a wide gap at right tackle to cover the last three yards in two strides. And nobody touched him either.

Vic Schleich blocked Farmer’s place kick and the reckoning remained at 13 to 0 until Farmer took over again in the final quarter. He was aided and abetted by Curran, who seemed tireless, but passes produced both the touchdowns. Three out of four touchdowns was Tommy’s production record for the afternoon and the feat surely earned him a place on the honor roll.

Curran must have been pleasing Eddie Anderson with his manner of whisking around the Husker ends. He likely would have had a touchdown through this manner alone had he been given a little more time. He’d get the ball, the Scarlet wingmen would bust straight in, and there he’d be yards outside them and running like everything.

Farmer wanted a quicker job after Curran had done a series of lefts and rights. The Hawks were penalized 15, back to the Husker 35. So Tommy faded once more and threw. End Bill Burkett connected on the run about 27 yards out and kept going.

Fred Metheny dived. Burkett was a good three yards ahead as Fred hit the unsympathetic turf. That was Nebraska’s sole challenge. Burkett scored standing. Again somebody blocked Farmer’s kick, but Uknes recovered the bobbling ball and ran it across to up the total to 20.

It stayed there only a few minutes, until Dale Bradley fumbled and Burkett recovered on the Husker 31. Ben Trickey skirted right end in perfect imitation of Curran for 11 yards.

Then Farmer threw to Trickey. He fielded the ball almost on the line, and like the other touchdown-catchers wasn’t bothered as he ambled across. This time sub Jim Youel did the kicking job successfully, and it was 27 to 0, with 45 seconds left.

Maybe a more alert, better coordinated, less confounded and less fumbling Husker team could have made real threats of the opportunities that came their way. This afternoon’s children didn’t.

Twice Allen Zikmund dropped passes that didn’t look hard to capture, and both times the blond sprinter had a clear field ahead. Several times fumbles by Bradley capped with painful anticlimax of defensives that had been promisingly begun.

Sent into the proceedings when the Hawks, barring a miracle, were beyond pursuit, Howard Debus presented some impressive line busting, but he also made an expensive, highly accurate pitch into the hands of Hawkeye Parker.

Iowa’s line wasn’t supposed to be a very authoritative or cohesive unit. That wasn’t apparent during this encounter. Seldom were the Huskers able to wreck the designs of the black-jerseyed forwards or, emphatically, the black-jerseyed backs either.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 29-18 all-time against Iowa.

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

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