LAWRENCE, Kans. — Nebraska’s football forces threw balance instead of individual punch at Kansas Saturday. And they came out with a 33-26 victory.
Instead of Bob Reynolds being a one-man scoring show as he had been in past games, the five Husker touchdowns were marked up by as many different players.
It was an offensive circus that delighted a crowd of 39 thousand which sweltered in 70-degree windless weather.
The attacks so outdid the defenses that not a single punt was required in the first half.
The yardage figures tell the tale of the game. Nebraska punched to 372 yards on the ground and added 134 on six successful passes out of seven tries.
Kansas gained 336 yards on the ground but only 74 on five good passes out of 17 efforts.
And that’s probably the real reason for the Husker victory over the slightly-favored Kansans. It was pass defense — something Nebraska wasn’t supposed to have.
It was Ron Clark who sparked the aerial defense. Time after time he knocked down throws just when receivers were ready to wrap their fingers around the ball.
Ron saved the game by his brilliant pass defense on the last two plays Kansas tried. Time was running out, but K.U. had the ball near the middle of the field and was only seven points behind.
A good pass might have led to a tie score. But Clark was equal to the occasion. He jumped high to knock down Chet Strehlow’s throw in front of Aubrey Linville. Then Ron intercepted Charlie Hoag’s throw and fell on the Husker 25 — to save the game.
Although he was held to one touchdown and three extra points, Reynolds contributed the longest runs of the game.
It was a brilliant 50-yard advance in the third period. But it wasn’t a scoring play. Hal Cleavinger came in from an angle to bring Bob down on the 16-yard line.
Reynolds boosted his season’s scoring total to 81 points, and added 156 rushing yards to his high rushing total.
He had a slight margin in net gain by running over the Kansas aces, Hoag and Wade Stinson.
Hoag made 121 yards and Stinson 135 — 48 on a run to the first touchdown before the fans hardly had settled in their seats.
Nick Adduci had another fine day, too, running for 133 yards on 20 carries.
The Huskers were jolted and stunned quickly after the opening kick-off. K.U. got its first points on the second scrimmage play.
Stinson was exploded through a quick opening, profited by some good blocking, and suddenly broke into the clear. He ran 48 yards for the touchdown.
And before seven minutes had been played, the frisky Jayhawks had themselves a 12-0 lead.
They marched 64 yards this time, John Amberg powering the last 10 and carrying tackler Clayton Curtis with him the last few steps.
This quick turn of affairs brought the Huskers to life. They went 69 yards to a touchdown after getting the kick-off.
Adduci crashed the last yard for the score, after his 20-yard thundering run off tackle had carried to the two-yard line.
The next Husker march started from exactly the 50-yard line, where Bill Maxe recovered Chet Strehlow’s fumble.
Fran Nagle’s passing soon took over. He pitched to Frank Simon for a first down on the 14. After a short gain and a penalty for backs in motion, the Huskers were on the 17.
Dick Regier then ran into the end zone and took Nagle’s throw in the deep corner, just before he ran out of bounds.
Reynold’s kick gave Nebraska a lead for the first time, 13-12, and that was what Coach Bill Glassford thought was the turning point.
“Kansas had a fine team — the best running attack we have faced this year,” Coach Glassford said in the dressing room. “We won the game when we came back from a 12-point deficit to take that 13-12 lead.
But the Huskers didn’t lead all the rest of the way, at that. Hoag’s 30-yard scoring run, made on a fine cutback, gave K.U. a brief 19-13 margin in the second quarter.
But Nebraska took the next kickoff and marched 79 yards without losing the ball.
Reynolds tossed a 14-yard pass to Simon on the series, and then a few plays later Junior Simon from Burchard made one of the finest catches of his career. The play started on the K.U. 29.
Nagle threw to the fast-moving Simon, who seemed well covered by Safety Man Dean Wells.
Frank waited until the proper moment, then leaped away from Wells and made the catch as he crossed the five-yard line.
His momentum carried him across for a touchdown as the last minute of the half opened. Reynolds kicked the point straight and true, to give the Huskers a 20-19 lead at the intermission.
Only one touchdown was added in the third period. The Huskers missed one chance when Nagle fumbled a hand-off to Adduci, and Tackle S P. Garnett recovered for K.U. on the Kansas seven-yard line.
But that break was offset a bit later when Bill Maxe and Rex Hoy teamed on a great defensive act.
Maxe batted Strehlow’s pass into the air, and Hoy caught it on the fly. The senior lineman saw a clear path to the goal 55 yards away, so he went all the way.
The other Husker score came early in the last period, Reynolds making the last four yards, soon after his long dash to the 16.
That made a 14-point margin. But the Jayhawks had one push left.
Linville took Hoag’s pass to the one-yard line, then Stinson plunged over his tackle mate, Mike McCornack, for his second touchdown.
Three and a half minutes remained. But Clark’s pass defense spoiled the rest of the K.U. threat.
So the Huskers boosted their Big Seven standing to .500 and now look forward to three home games in a row, against Missouri, Kansas State and Iowa State, before the climax at Oklahoma.
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
|Penn State||Oct. 21|
|Kansas State||Nov. 11|
|Iowa State||Nov. 18|
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