LINCOLN — The Huskers coasted to a 49-21 victory over Kansas State Saturday.
And they uncorked a new backfield dazzler to share the individual spotlight with Bob Reynolds.
The 29 thousand fans didn’t mind sitting in 44-degree weather. Because they saw the kind of a free-scoring circus they had expected.
They saw Reynolds establish two all-time Big Seven records. And they cheered Senior Don Bloom for the two longest and most spectacular runs of the day.
Reynolds zoomed to three touchdowns on runs of 22, 22 and 15 yards and kicked five extra points.
That 23-point chore boosted his season’s total to 126 points.
That seven-game achievement is a record for the conference, topping the mark of 121 points which Bob Steuber of Missouri made during a 12-game season in 1942.
And the Grand Island sophomore gained 141 yards on 15 carries, for a season total of 1,151 yards.
That’s a Big Seven mark, too. Steuber having run for 1,098 yards in that long 1942 season.
But Bloom, the little 149-pound package of dynamite was the surprise hero. He took over with two sudden, explosive, shocking dashes down the field.
Oddly, they came on the last play of the first half and the first one of the second half.
The Huskers had taken the ball on downs on their 10-yard line with only 30 seconds to go before the intermission. So Fran Nagle tried to make the 90 yards quickly with passes.
Reynolds took a toss and got up to the Husker 30. Then Fran called for a throw to Bloom, who has done most of his playing this year on defense.
Peewee Don made an incredible one-handed catch just before he reached the middle of the field. As time ran out, he tried desperately to run all the way for a touchdown.
But Harold Robinson, Kansas State’s fine center, pursued him and made a last-chance diving tackle.
Bloom rolled into the end zone. But officials declared him down on the two-yard line.
There wasn’t time for another play. So Bloom’s great run was all in vain.
But, a few minutes later when the second half opened, fate decided Bloom had been cheated — so justice prevailed.
Bloom caught Ken Johnston’s kick-off on the 12-yard line, and took off toward the sidelines.
He fell in behind some good blocking, and got up past midfield, where he seemed trapped.
Like Reynolds’s run of a week ago, Bloom suddenly changed direction, then ran back 10 or 15 yards to shake off a wall of tacklers.
He reversed the field for a second time, waited for his mates to pick up the blocking pattern, then shot down the sidelines all the way.
It was an 86-yard run — the finest of this game little guy’s college career. And it supplied the crushing blow to a tiring opponent.
All this happened after Bloom was carried off the field on a stretcher in the early part of the game after he had the wind knocked out of him, making a tackle.
Coach Bill Glassford swept the bench in the last half, letting all 43 of his able-bodied players see action.
That’s why a modern high-scoring Husker point total was missed. The 49 made the highest Nebraska score in any game since a 53-0 victory over South Dakota in 1945.
But the Huskers maintained their third-place standing among all the nation’s major colleges in total rushing yardage.
Their average for the first six games had been 335 yards. But, this time, they ran for a total of 438 yards.
They added 158 yards on seven good passes out of 11 attempts — for a day’s grand total of 596 yards.
The Huskers made ground so easily they didn’t have to punt until the fourth quarter, when the third and fourth-stringers were given some combat duty.
Clayton Curtis tried the only kicks, and had a puny average of 10 yards when both boots went off the side of his foot.
But that didn’t matter. Because the Huskers were deliberately holding down the score anyway.
They didn’t even show any worry when Kansas State took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter.
The defense leaked badly as Coach Ralph Graham’s Wildcats moved 71 yards for the first touchdown. Dick Towers running the last 19 with the game only three minutes and 15 seconds old.
Bill Mueller, doing limited duty on a bad ankle, made up for first one a few minutes later when he raced 29 yards.
And the second KS score was something of a gift, after the Huskers failed on a gamble.
With four down and three to go deep in their own territory, the Huskers tried to fool the Wildcats. Reynolds faked a punt, and ran.
But he was swept out of bounds short of a first down, giving the ball to the enemy just 37 yards from the goal.
Accepting the gift with thanks, the Wildcats moved the 37 yards in six plays, Frank Hooper sneaking the last couple of yards for a 14-7 lead.
Nebraska came back in the second period to move 67 yards in 11 plays, Reynolds cutting neatly inside the opposing left end for the last 22 yards.
His kick made it 14-14, and just a few minutes later a safety let the Huskers take a 16-14 lead.
Hooper faded way back from his 15-yard line to try a pass. But, when he threw from the end zone, Referee Bat Shunatoma ruled it was intentional grounding.
That called for a return of the ball to the place from where it was thrown. Since that was in the end zone, it became a safety and two points.
And the Huskers quickly made it 22-14 when Nick Adduci scored from three yards out, after Frank Simon took a Nagle pass for 31 yards.
That’s the way the half ended. Then Bloom’s run turned into a 29-14 matter after the rest period.
The Wildcats marched 65 yards for their last score at this point, Bill Wall running the last six.
But the Huskers made it 27 points for the third period when they sent Reynolds on scoring runs of 22 and 15 yards.
The first was at his favorite left end spot. But the other fooled the enemy.
The Wildcats were massed to stop a play at the usual Reynolds path. But Nagle sent Bob skipping through a hole at center — and he made the 15 yards despite the barriers in his path.
Just before that long third period ended Nagle sneaked to the last touchdown to climax a 48-yard march, after Reynolds had run a punt back across the 50-yard line.
The last quarter was scoreless, as the tired Wildcats managed to battle on fairly even terms with some Huskers who were playing in their first game.
The victory made it five wins and a tie in seven starts, for the best Husker record since the Rose Bowl season of 1940.
Iowa State comes up next Saturday. Then there’s the big finale at Oklahoma.
Nebraska is 78-15 all-time against Kansas State.
|Penn State||Oct. 21|
|Kansas State||Nov. 11|
|Iowa State||Nov. 18|
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