LINCOLN — They buried a jinx here Saturday afternoon. Kansas pulled out a last-minute 13-7 victory over Nebraska.
And Otto Schnellbacher, 24-year-old senior end, was the man who carried both front handles of the casket at the funeral ceremony.
With Passers Ray Evans and Bill Hogan carrying the other end of the corpse, Kansas laid to rest a jinx which had kept the Jayhawkers from winning at Lincoln in the previous 31 years-more than the lifetime of the current teams’ players.
But this was no runaway for Coach George Henry Sauer’s unbeaten Kansans over a disorganized Nebraska team. No, not by a long shot.
The 37 thousand Homecoming Day fans saw Coach Bernie Masterson’s Huskers suddenly come to life in the second half, take a lead and hold it until 40 seconds before the final gun.
The real drama-and the big letdown-of the day came in that final minute. The scoreboard showed Nebraska ahead by 7-6.
Kansas had marched 53 yards on straight rushing plays. The ball was on the nine-yard line.
Changing suddenly from a running attack to a pass effort, Quarterback Hogan faded back to throw.
Schnellbacher rushed into the end zone and cut for the side. Hogan’s pass was perfect-ahead of the runner.
Dale Adams, the Husker defender, tried desperately to get between the ball and the receiver.
But Otto stretched to his full 6-3, took the ball on the dead run-and the jinx was buried.
But hold on, there. Don’t blame Adams. For it was 18-year-old Dale, from Randolph, the youngest man on the Husker team, who almost clutched the victory for Nebraska.
It was in the third quarter. The Huskers had lost the ball on downs after one steady march of 67 yards, but came knocking back to the Kansas 40-yard line.
Then Adams contributed one of the neatest runs seen on this historic field in many a moon.
He broke through on a quick-opener and scooted down the east sidelines. Schnellbacher and Lynn McNutt apparently had him trapped near the 20-yard line.
Then Adams changed his pace and direction, cut back beautifully toward the middle of the field, and ran into the end zone to the accompaniment of wild cheering.
Bob Patton came in to placekick, and Nebraska had a 7-6 lead with 1½ minutes left in the third period.
From then on it was a question of whether the tiring Huskers could hold the margin-and they came within a minute of doing it.
The first half was all in favor of Kansas, though the score was only 6-0. The same Schnellbacher made the first points, too.
Five minutes before the half ended, Evans threw a 15-yard pass right into Otto’s hands. He made the catch on the 35, and set sail for the far corner.
Dick Hutton, in hot pursuit, made a last-hope dive near the goal line, but Otto lumbered into the end zone for six points.
Yes, there were plenty of breaks. Most of them, it seemed, went against the Huskers.
Kansas might not have gained the ball for the winning drive, except for a partial fumble by Jim Myers on a fourth-down plunge which needed only a yard.
And once Nebraska gave the ball to K.U. on the seven-yard line. A wild-bouncing punt hit Cletus Fischer on the leg and was recovered by Kansas.
A backfield-in-motion penalty nullified Fischer’s 13-yard scoring junket in the third period.
Right after this the hard-charging Nebraska line gave a sample of what it can really do.
Ralph Damkroger, Carl Samuelson and Charley Toogood spear headed a defense which set K.U. back on the 14 on fourth down. Fambrough’s field goal attempt from the 21 was low, and the partisan fans still had hopes.
But the Huskies, who were supposed to take a good licking and show no spirit, had no apologies to make for their play in this game.
After making no first downs and a gain of only 28 yards in the first-half, they wound up with seven first downs to K.U.’s 11, and a gain of 187 yards to the Jayhawks’ 265.
For one thing, the T formation quarterbacking was much improved. Dick Thompson was able to go the entire distance on offense for the first time.
Now the Huskers will have two weeks to get ready for their next date with Oklahoma. And this fine bid against Kansas may cause a let-up in the howling of the wolves.
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
|Iowa State||Oct. 11|
|Notre Dame||Oct. 18|
|Kansas State||Oct. 25|
|Oregon State||Nov. 29|
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