Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind. — The Cornhuskers were convincingly whipped but not humiliated as Notre Dame scored a 31-0 victory before 56 thousand fans here Saturday afternoon.
Coach Bernie Masterson’s Nebraskans actually played better ball in this revival game than in their previous three starts this fall.
Their passing attack was a complete flop, but their running plays clicked for nine first downs and a net gain of 149 yards. They muffed two scoring chances after getting first downs on the Irish 17 and 23-yard lines.
What was most pleasant for the three or four thousand fans who came along from Nebraska was the team’s sudden fighting spirit.
The Huskers played like they meant it this time, running hard, blocking and tackling vigorously.
Coach Frank Leahy paraded 43 players and it may have been a charitable gesture that he used Johnny Lujack, the All-America quarterback, only 15 minutes.
However, the Huskers held Lujack to two pass completions in six throws. One was for only two yards, the other for 36, and one Lujack flip was intercepted by center Tom Novak.
In mentioning the inspired Husker play, the name of Novak, the day’s game captain, comes first.
Tom, who visited the Notre Dame campus and almost enrolled here after returning from the Navy, was terrific as a linebacker.
Once he made three consecutive tackles to hold the Irish to a gain of four yards and force a punt. One of Tom’s vicious tackles put fullback John Panelli out of the game with a dislocated elbow.
It was Novak’s early interception of a Lujack pass which gave Nebraska the first scoring threat. Tom lumbered back to the Irish 37-yard line.
Two plays later a costly offside penalty stopped the Huskers. Fullback Dale Adams drove to the Irish 23-yard line, but the play was nullified by the penalty.
Then Del Wiegand fumbled trying to get off a hurried pass, and captain George Connor recovered way back at midfield.
The other Nebraska scoring bid came in the second quarter when the Huskers advanced as far as the 17.
Adams, Bill Moomey and Bill Mueller made steady gains, but Wiegand’s change to a passing attack backfired. Twice he was smothered before he could throw, and Notre Dame finally took over on downs on the 30.
“I think we definitely have improved,” coach Frank Leahy said after game.
“Well, they didn’t run us off the field anyway,” was coach Masterson’s comment, “and the rest should be easier.”
The Irish touchdowns were made by five different players — one in each quarter, with an extra one thrown in near the finish after a Nebraska fumble.
Before being injured, Panelli drove eight yards for the first period points.
Terry Brennan’s 22-yard scamper to the Nebraska 7-yard line set up the second score. Mike Swistowicz made the rest of the distance in three trials.
The third period was rapidly running out before Notre Dame made its third touchdown.
Coy McGee’s sparkling 35-yard runback with one of Jack Pesek’s punts carried the ball to midfield.
Lujack then came back into action, and passed to Swistowicz to the Husker 14. Mike added a yard, then the hard-running McGee made the touchdown on a quick-opening play.
In the last period the superiority of Irish reserves told on the Huskers.
Notre Dame was set back to its 9-yard line on a slipping penalty on a punt return, then marched 91 yards for a touchdown.
Emil Sitko contributed a 33-yard run and Frank Tripucka, Lujack’s understudy, completed four passes. The last was to Douglas Waybright for 15 yards and a score.
Bill Moomey’s fumble was scooped up by center George Strohmeyer 27 yards from the Nebraska goal late in the game.
Sub-back Bill Gay teamed with Sitko to make the 27 yards. Emil got the points from 10 yards out after taking a lateral pass.
Wiegand was injured in the last period, and Dick Thompson came in at quarter. But on the second play he re-injured his leg, and Del came back to finish.
Nebraska is 8-7 all-time against Notre Dame.
|Iowa State||Oct. 11|
|Notre Dame||Oct. 18|
|Kansas State||Oct. 25|
|Oregon State||Nov. 29|
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