Memorial Stadium, Lincoln — Between world wars the University of Iowa just couldn’t outscore Nebraska at Lincoln. But all things must end sometime. This football streak ended Saturday.
This time the Hawkeyes forgot muscles made sore by seven weeks of futile action in the Big Ten. They forgot their aches and pains long enough to defeat Nebraska, 33-13 — their first triumph of the season and their first at Lincoln since 1918.
The Iowans’ offensive from the T formation simply was executed with too much speed for the young, light Husker linemen. After being up against more rugged and robust lines all season, Coach Slip Madigan’s boys found it pleasant to be up against kids of their own class. So they made the most of it.
Their main weapon was sending Bill Gallagher, a 190-pound freshman from Davenport, through on quick-opening plays. It was an easy thing to do, the way the Hawk linemen opened holes. When Gallagher was brought down it was by the Husker secondary. The forwards saw him flash past time after time - or rather heard him roar through after they had personally been rendered helpless.
Gallagher actually scored only one touchdown, but his constant gaining led to both first half scores and his return after the intermission turned the game into a runaway after the Huskers pulled up to trail by only 14-13 for a couple of minutes in the third quarter.
It was a triumph for the few boys who have done most of the playing all year for Iowa. Don’t let the long list of names in the official substitutions fool you. Practically all of them didn’t get off the bench until the final two or three minutes, many of them getting in only for the last few seconds.
Center Bill Baughman, Ends Dave Danner and Bill Barbour, Guards Stanley Mohrbacher and Bob Liddy, and Tackle Jim Cozad played most of the way again. They looked awfully tired between plays. But when the ball was in play they still had too much for the Huskers.
At the outset it looked easy for the visitors, though they didn’t score until 13 minutes had been played. The scoring drive was a personal act by Gallagher. From the Nebraska 45-yard line he carried the ball on six consecutive plays for 44 yards to the one-yard line.
Just to cross ‘em up, quarterback Roger Stephens sneaked over for the score while the Huskers were looking for Gallagher.
In the second period Gallagher led a goalward drive which carried to the six-yard line, but his mending back began to hurt and he was taken out for the rest of the half. When he left, the attack bogged down and Iowa lost the ball on downs on the 11. But it wasn’t long until fans learned the Hawks were good enough even without Gallagher.
Hank Terrell, a fleet 170-pound halfback, raced 34 yards to make it 14-0. Reserve Nebraska Backs Gordon Baker and Pat Rooney had shots at him as he dashed along the east sideline, but he slipped out of their arms and kept going.
Before the half ended, the Husker fans in the crowd of nine thousand took hope when a pass provided their big thrill. The ball was on the Iowa 45. Teddy Kenfield had missed on a pass to long Bert Gissler on the previous play, and eyes turned to Gissler when he went down again.
But this time GIssler was a decoy, Ken Hollins went roaring down the middle, and found the pass in front of him at about the 20-yard line. He took it at full speed and seemed headed for the end zone, but was brought down by Terrell less than a yard short. Kenfield sneaked over on the next play while Hollins caught his breath.
Early in the third period, Hollins, the rapidly-improving yearling from Valley, was in the spotlight again. Gallagher had punted out on the nine-yard line, and an offside set the Huskers back to the four. Hollins stood in the end zone and the crowd sat tight, fearing a blocked kick. But Hollins punted low and long, over the head of safetyman Howard Larson. The ball rolled dead on the Iowa 26 — about 80 yards from the scrimmage line.
The plays later Nebraska had possession again. Stephens tried to lateral to Terrell, but Gissler was in fast from his left end station. He batted the ball into the air, reached out his long arms to catch it, and the Huskers were on the Hawks’ 18-yard line.
Hollins made a beautiful off-tackle rush to reach the five, pivoting away from two different tacklers. But an offside hurt and on fourth down the ball was 10 yards away.
Morris Galter was in at quarterback at this point. He faked a pass to Hollins in the corner of the end zone, turned and threw a left-handed one to Bob Schneider of Nebraska City on the other side. Schneider took it on the three and fell over for a touchdown.
Bill Hill missed the kick, and Nebraska trailed by, 14-13, but there was a feeling that the Iowans might be so tired they would fold. A Husker win looked possible at this moment.
But that one-point margin last less than a minute. Larson took Hill’s kickoff on his 13-yard line and broke down the middle. Good blocking downed a lot of Huskers, and when Larson cut over to the west side at about the 50-yard line, he was roaring along like a streamliner.
He outraced a few more enemies, then cut back to the middle and had nobody in his path to the goal. Gus Eager came up from behind and made a bold dive, but just touched Larson’s legs. It threw him off stride just enough to let Hollins came up and dove for a tackle on the 23-yard line.
It was a 64-yard runback, and served as a wonderful tonic for his weary mates. Six plays later Gallagher plunged to a touchdown that ended Nebraska’s hopes. That made the score 21-13 when Barbour kicked his ninth straight extra point, and it might have ended like that except for some reckless Husker play and some breaks which helped Iowa score two unnecessary touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Once a sub back, John Stewart, ran 29 yards to the Husker four-yard line and for a moment fans had a fadeback to the days of great goal line stands by rugged Nebraskans. Four times Terrll and Gallagher tried the line, and four times failed to reach the last stripe.
Nebraska took the ball on downs half a yard from the goal, but Hollins’ punt out was partly blocked and Iowa was on the 11-yard line again. Three plays gained only a yard but a holding penalty gave Iowa a first down on the one-yard line. Stephens eased over for the score and Barbour finally missed a point.
The last score was a gift. Kenfield tried to run the kickoff back from the end zone and was downed on the 13. Then he tried a dangerous lateral to Rooney and the green sub fumbled. He recovered but was on the one-yard line. Kenfield then gambled on a pass instead of a punt from the end zone.
It was intercepted by Tom Hughes, former Creighton Prep back who had just entered the game. Hughes took it to the four-yard line and Terrell ran over untouched on the next play.
Barbour kicked a point which would have made the score 34-13, but Iowa was holding and he had to try again with the scrimmage line 17 yards out instead of two. It was too far, and his kick was low.
The statistics show how effective were Gallagher’s fast-starting drives. He carried 23 times for 135 yards — an average of 5.9 yards a smash. In fact, he started so fast that Iowa drew a number of penalties for backfield in motion.
And a lot of other times it could have been called.
But, Iowa richly earned a belated taste of victory. After all, the Huskers have had that pleasure twice, anyways.
Nebraska is 29-17 all-time against Iowa.
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