The cheers you're about to hear will be Husker fans... whooping it up as Ray Novak crashes for game's first touchdowns. Note fakes of Don Norris and Jim Cederdahl. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln—They played the same old tune over again before 34,500 well-chilled fans Saturday afternoon.
The second period again proved the downfall of Coach Bill Glassford’s Huskers as Kansas made the most of its opportunities for a 27-7 victory.
So Nebraska still is searching for a first taste of victory—and still wondering how to play football without that nasty second quarter.
Coach J.V. Sikes’ invading KU Jayhawkers scored three of their touchdowns in the second chapter.
Par for Course
That equaled par for the course, which was set by Texas Christian and Minnesota. And only a week ago Missouri convinced the Huskers with two touchdowns in the second period.
Actually, Nebraska’s forwards put on their best display of rugged, aggressive tackling and blocking this season.
They looked superior to Kansas in the line most of the afternoon—but that doesn’t change the 27-7 score.
Fumbling was the costly Husker error this time. Five times the Nebraskans gave up the ball by letting it slip out of fingers which were chilled by 28-degree weather.
Wind Plays Tricks
Two of those bobbles set up KU touchdowns. Another halted a Husker march on the enemy four.
It was a terrible day for football from the standpoint of players and spectators alike.
A 35-mile-an-hour wind howled out of the northwest and worked all sorts of tricks on passes and punts. And it chased many of the homecoming fans home prematurely.
The game actually wasn’t as one-sided as that score would indicate. Nebraska made 12 first downs to KU’s 13 and had a total net gain of 239 yards to KU’s 303.
Reynolds Stopped Again
Bob Reynolds again was practically stopped cold on his running plays. He had a net of only 27 yards on 16 carries—plus a couple of costly fumbles.
The big reason was that the KU forwards seemed to do their best crashing through whenever Bob had the ball.
But the nation’s leading scorer of last year did a lot more than carry the ball. He called signals and did full-time duty with the offensive unit.
And he was in action a good share of the time on defense, too.
Novak Takes Over
With Reynolds being checked, the main Husker gains were supplied by Ray Novak, soph from Omaha Tech who had his best day of the season.
Novak carried 17 times a total of 99 yards—and never was stopped for a loss.
Don Norris completed six out of 16 passes for 65 yards and Reynolds made good one of his two tosses for 15 yards.
On defense it was Jerry Minnick who led the way with some fierce tackling. And he had some good help from Bill Schabacker, Ed Husmann and Cliff Hopp in particular.
Bobble Sets Huskers Up
Kansas also had trouble holding the ball. But only one of three KU fumbles proved costly.
That came in the first quarter when Charlie Hoag let the ball get away and Minnick recovered on the KU 21.
Novak quickly took charge with some hard running. He bounced off tacklers for runs of 11 and 10 yards after Reynolds had lost two.
Then Ray cracked the last two yards for a touchdown.
Huskers Repay Favor
It made him the first Husker of the year to score a second touchdown—and gave Nebraska a 7-0 lead.
But the fumble favor was quickly repaid when the game moved into the second quarter.
Reynolds fumbled early in the period and George Mrkonic recovered on the Husker 20.
The Huskers stopped a couple of running plays for a loss of a yard. Then Hoag outfoxed the Nebraska secondary.
No Company for Schaake
The Husker defense moved in—and saw its error too late. End Bill Schaake was running along all alone in the end zone.
Hoag suddenly checked his run before reaching the line of scrimmage and whipped a 21-yard scoring pass to Schaake.
John Konek kicked his first extra point and that was the last time Nebraska was as good as even in the score.
Fairbury Youth Grabs Ball
A few minutes later Novak’s fumble was gobbled up by Orville Poppe, sophomore tackle from Fairbury, Neb., on the Husker 30.
It took the Jays 11 plays to go 30 yards. But Bob Brandeberry made the last seven for a tie-breaking touchdown.
Time was almost up for the half when one of Reynolds’ punts against the wind was carried back to the Nebraska 37.
Chet Strehlow was dropped for a nine-yard loss on the first pass effort. Hoag pitched another scoring throw on fourth down.
This time Konek ran back of Freshman Jim Yeisley and took a wobbly pass for 46 yards and the touchdown which made it 20-7 at the half.
A 60-yard scoring march by Nebraska was wasted early in the third quarter when Hal Cleavinger recovered a Novak fumble just four yards from the KU goal.
After KU had punted out Reynolds had butterfingers again and this time Nebraska gave up the ball on its own 36.
The third period produced no scoring though KU was marching on the Husker 10 when the last chapter opened.
Next Stop: Iowa State
Jerry Robertson passed to Schaake for half the remaining distance and Bud Laughlin dashed the other five for the final points.
The rest of the game was a futile exchange of punts and drives which didn’t click.
So six games are gone without a Husker victory—and four more tough hurdles loom ahead, starting with Iowa State next Saturday.