BOULDER, Colo. — Nebraska Cornhuskers found out the hard way Saturday that you can’t win football games on last week’s reputation.
Colorado’s aggressive Buffaloes gave a sound lacing to the team which had tied Indiana and beaten Minnesota.
The final reckoning of 28-19 was a richly-deserved margin for the baby member of the Big Seven Conference.
Blame it on the mile-high altitude, the 86-degree temperature or a natural letdown by the Huskers if you care to.
But even the four thousand native Nebraskans in the crowd of 25 thousand were more inclined to forget those elements, and admit the better team won.
It was a case of the good Husker offense finally being unable to offset the leaky defense.
Coach Dal Ward’s Coloradoan’s took a 14-0 lead and then remained in front all of the way. They simply had a potent mixture of passing and running plays which couldn’t be stopped.
Sophomore Bobby Reynolds gave Husker followers about their only genuine reason for feeling pleasant.
He scored all the touchdowns — his sixth, seventh and eighth of the young season — and marked up a total rushing gain of 145 yards.
It didn’t matter that Nebraska was close to the winners in team statistics, making 16 first downs to Colorado’s 16 and having a total gain of 345 yards to the Buffs’ 387.
The important thing was that the Husker’s got off behind, and never could catch up in their opening conference game.
Coach Bill Glassford summed it up pretty conclusively with these six words as he tried to smile in the dressing room: “Colorado had the better team today.”
That’s all he cared to say — for publication.
The storm signals were up when the first period ended, without scoring, but with the determined Buffaloes on the Husker 28-yard line.
On the very first play of the second period it happened.
Little Woody Skelton caught Zack Jordan’s pass near the 25-yard line and ran away from all Huskers on a neat bit of sidestepping.
Lee Venzke came in to kick the first of four straight points, and the 7-0 score wrote the pattern for what was to come.
In a very few minutes that margin had grown to 14-0. Jordan, who kept the Huskers baffled with his mixture of runs and running passes, flipped to End Chuck Moser for 18 yards, to the Nebraska 18.
Merwin Hodel, powerful and fleet 195-pound junior, then took over.
He suddenly crashed through center, and took off for the goal. He powered past the first defenders, then outran safety man Ron Clark for a touchdown.
After Venzke’s kick made it 14-0 the Huskers came to life offensively. Clayton Curtis, Laurel soph, came in for his first college play, and caught a pass from Fran Nagle for 15 yards.
A few plays later Reynolds broke downfield and took a Nagle throw on the dead run. He was forced out of bounds on the six-yard line after the play gained 42 yards.
On a third-down play following that effort, Reynolds dove for Nagle’s throw in the end zone for the touchdown that cut the margin to 14-6 at the half.
And it might have been a bit different if time hadn’t run out for the Huskers at halftime.
Clark intercepted one of Jordan’s pitches and ran back 38 yards before being forced out just 12 yards short of a score.
Tom Hancock then knocked down Nagle’s frantic pass as the gun ended the half.
But fans had hardly settled back in their seats after the intermission when Reynolds brought them to their feet with the day’s longest run.
On the second play from scrimmage, he broke off the Buff left tackle, fell in behind his blockers, then cut back for a beautiful 80-yard scoring run.
The Huskers were marching toward another score a bit later when Hancock intercepted a Nagle throw to stop the march on the 10-yard line.
The score remained 14-12 into the last period, and fans wondered if the home forces would fade as they did in the last period in losing games with Kansas and Iowa State.
But, no, it wasn’t to be that way this time. The Buffs made that plain early in the final chapter.
A 44-yard pass play was the convincer. Shelton ran behind Clark and fielded a long throw from Jordan. Ron managed to run him down 23 yards from scoring ground.
But, on the next play, Hodel took a little low toss from Shelton and drove all the way to the three. Then, on the next play, he simply carried most of the Husker defensive platoon with him as he drove to his second touchdown.
The winners got the extra touchdown they didn’t need on a break — or a bad gamble by the Huskers.
Nagle fed the ball to Rocky Mueller on a deep reverse. But it slipped out of the senior’s fingers, and bounced crazily into the end zone.
Big Dick Punches, 215-pound tackle from Wymore, Neb. fell on the ball for a touchdown. And Venzke’s kick made it 28-12.
It was all over then but the shouting — and some of the late yelling went for Reynolds.
He broke loose off tackle again, and was going to pay dirt when Dane Graves pushed him out on the 11, after a 34-yard scamper.
But Nagle then passed to Reynolds for his third touchdown, and Bobby kicked the nineteenth point.
Hodel wound up gaining 73 yards to Reynolds’s 145.
Nebraska is 49-20 all-time against Colorado.
|Penn State||Oct. 21|
|Kansas State||Nov. 11|
|Iowa State||Nov. 18|
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