LINCOLN — When you waste five scoring opportunities you can't expect to win football games.
Nebraska's Cornhuskers lost the ball five times within the 13-yard line Saturday afternoon and Kansas scored a 27-13 victory.
A homecoming crowd of 36,600 enjoyed the perfect weather, but felt somewhat let down at the Huskers' lack of a scoring punch.
The Jayhawkers pulled away in the second half, after coach Bill Glassford's pupils scored first and had a 7-7 deadlock at the half.
The margin was in favor of Nebraska from every angle except the scoring-and that's the only one that counts.
Nebraska made a net of 212 yards to KU's 168 by rushing. The Husker margin on passing was 176 to 76.
The Husker linemen outcharged their Jayhawk rivals most of the time, too.
But the difference was that Nebraska muffed five of its scoring chances, while Kansas walked through the door every time it opened.
The only Nebraska scoring maneuvers were on forward passes. Both were perfectly-placed long throws by Fran Nagle.
The game was only five minutes and 45 seconds old when Nagle faded back from the KU 28-yard line for a last-chance flip on a fourth down.
Ralph Damkroger ran past Bud French and made the catch in the end zone for the game's first points.
The other scoring pass went to Sophomore End Frank Simon of Burchard. This was a third-period play which started from the KU 46-yard line.
Simon stretched out to the full length of his 6 feet, 2½ inches to make the catch on the dead run as he crossed the Kansas 35-yard line.
That put him out in the clear and he didn't let up until he had raced into the end zone.
Nagle completed only two other passes during the game. But both were long ones and gave him the amazing total of 176 yards on four successful throws.
But the Huskers couldn't match their long-range scoring success when they drove down close.
They lost the ball three times on downs ... on the three, 10 and 13-yard lines.
And twice interceptions ended threats close to the Kansas goal. Once, KU took the ball this way on the two-yard line, once on the 12.
When the Huskers went into the second quarter with a 7-0 lead, the happy Husker spectators began to think about victory.
But a blocked punt-one of those sudden, sickening things-abruptly changed their feelings, early in the second period.
Coach Glassford had Ron Clark out for a needed rest and Gerry Ferguson was back to punt near mid-field.
End Orbin Tice came roaring in to block the kick. The ball bounced into the open, and the other wingman, Charles O'Neal, scooped it up. There was no Husker near him, so he just jogged 52 yards.
Bill Rinehart's place-kick made it 7-7.
It was a crushing blow, but the Huskers came back strongly to bid for another touchdown before the intermission.
Bob Schneider fielded a Nagle throw on the enemy 36-yard line, and ran to the five before Dean Wells tackled him.
The Kansans grew tough at this point, stopping two running plays and two passes to take the ball on the 10.
But Tom Novak's interception of one of Jerry Bogue's passes gave the Huskers new life, 47 yards out.
Nick Adduci and Clark shared ball-carrying roles, and the Huskers soon had a first down on the five-yard line.
Then two quick strokes of luck went against Nebraska and spoiled the scoring chance.
On one down Nagle made a successful pass to Dick Regier, but he was beyond the end zone when he made the catch and was no good.
On a running play, a Kansas lineman was plainly offside. Almost everyone in the press box saw him. But Linesman Harry Easter didn't.
The Huskers thought it was no play and eased up as Adduci was thrown for a three-yard loss.
But the lineman didn't call the penalty, and instead of having the ball on the one-yard line with two downs to go, the Huskers were back on the five.
Johnny Amberg then intercepted Nagle's pass on the two and KU kept the ball until time ran out for the half.
Tackle Bob Mullen was out with a head injury when Kansas made two quick touchdowns in the third period to break the tie.
French ran back a punt to the Husker 31, and Mullen was knocked out making the tackle.
Two plays later, French smashed through a hole in the line and hotfooted it to the Nebraska three-yard line. After Forrest Griffith contributed two yards, French went across for a 13-7 lead.
Within a few minutes the Kansans added the clincher. Bogue neatly faked a hand-off to shake French loose from the 11-yard line for his second touchdown.
Rinehart's second kick made it 20-7. But the Huskers got back into the game on Simon's touchdown before that third period was over.
The home boys continued to gain consistently until they really needed it.
Early in the fourth quarter, they lost the ball on downs on the 13.
After a punt, they came right back again. A Nagle-Simon pass was good for 26 yards and Nebraska worked to a first down on the two.
An offside hurt, and the Huskers couldn't get across in four tries, handing over the ball on the third.
Once more they came back to threaten, but Guard Carl Ellis intercepted a Nagle pass on the 12.
A 28-yard punt return by French set the stage for the last KU score, with six minutes left in the game. The runback was to the Husker 49.
The winners went all the way from there, Bogue passing to Bill Schaake for the last 14 yards.
The win made history. It was the fifty-sixth game in this traditional series — but the first time Kansas ever won three in a row.
And it left Nebraska with only two wins for the year. So the Huskers must beat Iowa State or Colorado to better their victory production in each of the last two years.
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
|South Dakota||Sept. 24|
|Kansas State||Oct. 8|
|Penn State||Oct. 15|
|Iowa State||Nov. 12|
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