Nebraska 27
Kansas 13

Nov. 3, 1945

Nebraska Breaks Loss Habit, 27-13



Huskers Find Stride, Clip Jayhawk Club

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln — There was joy in Cornhuskerland Saturday night.

The spark which touched off the victory fires was the University of Nebraska football team, which after being kicked for five games, suddenly found itself in a 27-13 triumph over the University of Kansas.

The game, producing alternately good and bad football, was a pleaser for the 15 thousand faithful who half filled Memorial Stadium on Homecoming Day.

Nebraska was ahead 14-0, going into the last half, and looked like a certain winner until the Jayhawkers dipped into their bag of tricks for a fancy assortment of reverses and passes in a wild fourth quarter, which produced four touchdowns.

During this weird finale, the Jayhawkers swept within one of the Cornhusker total only to have the Huskers whip out two quick touchdowns, which left no doubt as to their right to the spoils.

The defeat was a stiff jolt for the Kansans, who came on the field a favorite to whip Nebraska and thus achieve the first KU victory at Lincoln since 1916.

Oddly enough, Potsy Clark, who held the reins on the Huskers Saturday, coached that 1916 Kansas team, which beat Nebraska on old Nebraska Field.

Three Nebraska freshmen dug their cleats into pay dirt for the touchdowns, which rocked the Jayhawkers.

Cletus Fischer, six-man grad of St. Edward, had a 69-yard first-quarter sprint that started the Huskers on their winning way. Gerald Moore, burly Walthill fullback, netted the second score with a touchdown plunge in the second period.

Don Sailors’ recovery of Charles Conroy’s fumble gave Moore the scoring chance, early in the second period. Two tacklers jarred the KU safety and the alert Sailors covered for Nebraska on the Kansas 20.

Fischer was badly rushed and fired the ball out of bounds and took a penalty for intentional grounding of a pass. But he had better luck on his second attempt.

He hit Dick Skog and the Omaha freshman, whirling with the catch, hurried 10 yards to the Kansas six, from where Moore slashed across on a third-down plunge.

After the intermission, it was a different story, with Kansas controlling the ball and clicking on two touchdown marches, which for a time had the Husker defense falling apart.

The Jayhawkers came to life with George Gear’s interception of a hurried Fischer pass on the Kansas five.

Deep in their own territory, the Jayhawks suddenly whipped out an attack, which continued for 17 consecutive plays, climaxed by Schmidt’s end around sweep from their six at the start of the fourth period.

Schmidt’s score had nullified a gallant goal-line stand by the Huskers in the dying moments of the third period.

Schmidt’s touchdown was tonic for the Jays. They roared back from their own 22 with a 78-yard march, which required just seven plays to send Gear across from the one on a quarterback sneak. A 23-yard lateral, Gear to Roy Harmon, and a 23-yard sweep by Frank Pattee brought the Kansans to scoring position.

Bill Sloan, young Burwell frosh, booted perfect conversion placements after each touchdown. This was enough to keep the Huskers ahead, 14-13, after Dave Schmidt and George Gear had counted for Kansas during the early moments of that wild fourth quarter.

It remained, however, for Phil Young, yearling fullback from Oakland, to provide the points which clinched the victory.

Young ran 62 yards for the touchdown, which silenced the Jayhawker threat, 20-13. His smash from six inches out in the last minute made victory certain.

The afternoon performance produced two ball games in one.

The first half was all Nebraska with the Huskers scoring after 12 minutes.

The touchdown came after Kansas had bogged a Husker offensive to take the ball on the KU five after Bob Tegt’s placement attempt from the 19 had fizzled.

From the end zone, Frank Pattee, Kansas back who played good ball most of the afternoon, caught the Nebraska secondary asleep with a mighty punt.

The ball rolled to the Husker 45 and a clipping penalty on the play shoved Nebraska back to the 31.

The cheering from the small Kansas delegation was still in progress when the fleet Fischer suddenly found a hole in the left side of the Kansas line and was touchdown bound. At midfield, he picked up a shield of blockers and cut for the corner with yards to spare.

Ten and a half minutes remained when Norman Pumphrey kicked the conversion, which clipped the NU margin to 14-13.

The Huskers met the challenge and required only two plays to silence the Jayhawker threat.

Moore hiked the kickoff back to the Nebraska 38 and Young failed at the line.

On the next play, Young fumbled a low pass from center.

The slip appeared to catch the Kansas forward off stride and the Oakland frosh, picking up the ball, slipped through a wide hole and headed down the sidelines.

A half dozen Huskers dashed to his aid, with Sailors brushing Gear, the last Kansan, out of the way.

It was a 62-yard sprint — and the ball game.

The last touchdown was mere routine, the result of a frenzied KU aerial offensive which backfired.

After the Kansans had worked the air lanes to the Nebraska 44, Art Bauer, Shubert freshman, grabbed a Pattee pass in the flat and scampered 52 yards to the four before Harmon finally dragged him down.

Young was across on the third attempt and Sloan’s toe once again delivered.

In the closing seconds, Kansas took to the air, only to be stalled by Mack Robinson’s interception as the game ended.

While the Huskers were clicking the first half, the Nebraska line played well with tackle Johnny Selacek, center Bobby Costello and Freddie Lorenz, sharing the honors.

Bill Moore, Frank Burke and Schmidt were the KU line standouts.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.

See all games »


1945 season (4-5)

Oklahoma Sept. 29
Minnesota Oct. 6
Indiana Oct. 13
Iowa State Oct. 20
Missouri Oct. 27
Kansas Nov. 3
Kansas State Nov. 10
South Dakota Nov. 17
Iowa Nov. 24

This day in history

Nebraska has played 15 games on Nov. 3. See them all »

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