Memorial Stadium, Lincoln — The University of Nebraska’s 13-6 victory over Iowa Saturday afternoon was a very pleasant accomplishment, from several angles.
It gave coach George (Potsy) Clark a warm glow inside. Because his pupils climaxed their season with four straight victories, after absorbing five defeats, which might have demoralized less courageous kids.
And the Huskers proved to 13,500 fans that they had made remarkable progress since early October.
How can anyone deny this when scores against Minnesota are considered?
The Gophers beat Nebraska, 61-7, exactly seven weeks ago. Just one week ago, Iowa beat Minnesota, 20-19. And on this day, Nebraska beat Iowa, by 13-6.
That’s pretty vivid proof of how well the Huskers improved during coach Clark’s one-year team as fill-in mentor.
The way the Huskers broke a 6-6 tie, which had stood since the opening quarter, was a reminder of old-time Nebraska power.
Starting in the third period and carrying over two plays into the last quarter, the Huskers marched 60 yards on running plays for the deciding touchdown.
A bit of luck came just before the drive.
Hawkeye Jack Kelso fumbled after a short gain, and the ball popped right into the arms of Husker Alec Schneider, who was on the ground. That gave Nebraska the ball on its own 40-yard line.
Cletus Fischer of St. Edward and Phil Young of Oakland, both freshmen, then put on a great running show, Fischer carried six times for 27 yards. Young took the ball nine times and went forward 28 yards.
That accounted for 55 yards, and the other five came on an offside penalty. The touchdown, a 4-yard smash by Young, was delayed a bit, at that.
The Huskers were checked momentarily and Bill Sloan came in to try and place a kick from the 20-yard line. His kick was low, but Iowa was offside. This gave Nebraska the ball on the eight, but it still was fourth down, and a yard to go.
Young rammed the middle of the line, on the last play of the third quarter. When they untangled, it was first down on the six.
The teams changed goals, but not the plan of attack. Young hit again, dug his cleats into the brown turf and got to the four.
On his next try, he zoomed through an opening and went over the goal line standing up. Sloan’s kick boosted the lead to seven points, and gave fans the feeling that now the Huskers would get nothing worse than a tie.
Coach Clem Crowe’s visitors tried hard to get what might have been the tying touchdown, too.
They were given the help of a couple of untimely penalties on the Huskers. But when the chips really were down, Nebraska held.
Johnny Hunter’s 25-yard runback of a low Husker punt, to the Nebraska 23-yard line, gave the Hawkeyes an opening. With good blocking, Art Johnson ran wide around right end to the 2-yard line.
With four downs to go, it looked like a sure score. But Willard Bunker, who played 60 minutes at left end, broke through to spill pass-minded Jerry Niles way back on the 16, and the ball was lost on downs on the eight when Bob Lipps spilled Hunter on fourth down.
A few plays later, Chick Story faked a punt and ran to the Nebraska 42, but a holding penalty nullified the gain and set the Huskers back on their own eight.
Iowa came back again after Story’s punt, but Golden fumbled a lateral and Lipps fell on the ball for Nebraska on the 13.
And here again a holding penalty hurt. Fischer ran 11 yards, but instead of the gain the Huskers were set back on their own 1-yard line.
An intentional safety might have been the wise decision here, with three minutes left. But Fischer ran out to the 16, Story’s punt went past midfield, and the final passing attack of the Hawks was futile.
And now back to these first-period touchdowns.
Iowa scored first, after four minutes, when Niles passed for 26 yards to Hunter. It was a running catch in the end zone.
Niles’ place kick for the point was over the bar, but Iowa was holding, and had to try again from the 17. It was short.
Less than two minutes remained in the first period when the Huskers pulled even. And it was solo work by the fleet Mr. Fischer this time.
He gained 16, 10 and two on three plays. Then, from the Iowa 42, he floated back to pass. He found no receiver open, and just as he seemed to be trapped by three Iowans, he circled around them and started down the east sideline.
After 20 yards, he cut back sharply toward the center, fooled a couple of opponents with a change of pace and didn’t let up until he was in the end zone.
Sloan’s kick was wide, so it was 6-6—where it stayed until that beautiful Fischer-Young march after the intermission.
Just before the half ended, Iowa almost scored. Niles passed to Kelso, who fell as he caught the ball on the Nebraska seven. But the clock was running out, and Niles sneaked for only two yards as the gun barked.
The Husker line did iron man work, except at right end, where Don Sailors shared duty with Schneider.
Bunker, guards Lipps and Freddie Lorenz, and tackle John Sedlacek had no relief. Tackle Roger Johnson and center Bobby Costello were out only for a couple of plays.
An instead of getting tired, these linemen were driving much harder than the Iowans in that rugged fourth quarter.
Yes, it certainly was a pleasant afternoon for all Nebraskans.
Nebraska is 29-18 all-time against Iowa.
|Iowa State||Oct. 20|
|Kansas State||Nov. 10|
|South Dakota||Nov. 17|
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