LINCOLN — The Cornhuskers opened a new coaching administration on a winning note Saturday. But 27 thousand fans went home realizing the road back to pre-war glory is a long one.
Bill Glassford's pupils sputtered to a 33-6 victory over South Dakota. They showed nothing to fan up any optimism about next Saturday's date with Minnesota.
The Huskers occasionally functioned well. But they had no sustained attack. Their defense was often leaky.
The heavy South Dakota forwards were a surprisingly good match for the Nebraska linemen. They were particularly pesky at charging through almost every time Fran Nagle tried to pass.
Nagle's expected effectiveness on forward passing fizzled out. Too many times Norm Bartholow, a 220-pound tackle, and his Coyote mates drifted in to hurry his throw or to smother him completely.
Nagle attempted 15 forwards. He completed only four, and one was intercepted.
Del Weigand, who guided the T formation most of the last quarter, outpassed Nagle with a record of three hits on six tries. And Sophomore Ron Clark clicked on his only effort.
But the Husker running plays gained 417 yards.
Bill (Rocky) Mueller, Gerry Ferguson and Don Bloom were the leading ground-gainers. They made most of their advance after being sprung through quick-opening plays inside the tackles.
Mueller had a net gain of 105 yards on 20 jaunts. Ferguson marked up an even 100 yards on seven runs. Bloom added 71 yards on nine trips.
Most spectacular play of the afternoon was turned in by Fergie, the 166-pound junior from Scottsbluff.
It came midway in the third period with Nebraska leading only 13-6.
Ferguson returned one of Jack Van Arsdale's punts 15 yards to the Husker 45-yard line.
Then on the first scrimmage play, he broke over the Coyote right guard and hotfooted it straight ahead. In a flash he was out in the open, with Tackle Dick Goeglein at his side.
They ran unmolested into the end zone for a 55-yard scoring run. Bloom, at 149 pounds the midget of the Husker squad, contributed two touchdowns.
Just before the first period ended he chalked up the first points of the year. He scooted through an opening outside left guard and darted nine yards to a touchdown.
Early in the fourth period Bloom took the spotlight again. He carried the ball to the 10-yard line on an 18-yard trip.
Two plays later, he went six yards to score, Dick Regier clearing the way with a vicious block.
A couple of linemen teamed to produce Nebraska's second touchdown for a 13-0 lead early in the second period.
The Coyotes tried a desperation pass deep in their own territory. Big Charley Toogood crashed in on the passer, Carl Andre, and was pulling him down when he got off a hurried throw.
Ardie Means intercepted the wobbly effort, and truck-horsed 24 yards to a touchdown.
The last Husker score came in the last few seconds of the game.
Ray Magsamen, the 26-year old war veteran, was the scorer. After three line plays had failed, Weigand passed to Magsamen in the end zone.
It was his third completion of the afternoon. He latched on to one throw from Nagle for a gain of 15 yards. The other was from Clark for 25 yards.
The visitors scored their only points in the second period after a 15-yard penalty and a couple of bobbled plays had set the Huskers back to within a foot of their goal line.
Ferguson's weak punt out of the end zone was taken by Van Arsdale on the Husker 22. The Coyotes quickly took advantage of their only scoring opportunity.
On the first play Van Arsdale passed and End Harvey Hanson used his 6-4 height to advantage. He reached up over Ken Fischer's outstretched arms to make the catch and stumble into the end zone.
Outside of the players mentioned in the scoring plays, Walter Spellman was the Husker standout. The former Creighton Prepper — who toiled with Husker B team a year ago — was at times brilliant on defense.
In fact, he out-Novaked rugged Tom Novak at backing up the line. Time after time, Spellman piled up South Dakota plays before they could get started.
The Husker blocking, though, wasn't as good as it was against the Freshmen last Saturday.
Nebraska is 14-1 all-time against South Dakota.
|South Dakota||Sept. 24|
|Kansas State||Oct. 8|
|Penn State||Oct. 15|
|Iowa State||Nov. 12|
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