Nebraska 16
Colorado 16

Oct. 25, 1952 • Folsom Field, Boulder, Colo.

Aroused Scarlet Club Ties Colorado, 16-16

Bob Smith scoots for six yards to the Colorado 18-yard line. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

Parts of this game recap are illegible.

Folsom Field, Boulder, Colo. – Nebraska’s keyed up Cornhuskers played by far their finest football of the year to tie Colorado, 16-16, in a dramatic struggle Saturday afternoon.

The 30,600 fans were limp at the finish – exhausted more by the tension of the game than by the 77-degree heat.

The Huskers apparently had the game won, 16-10, in the dying moments, and then let it get away from them.

The Buffs put over the tying touchdown with only 1:33 left, and even then the Huskers weren’t ready to settle for anything less than victory.

Reynolds’ Kick Misses

They roared back down the field, and finally Bob Reynolds attempted a field goal from the 22-yard line with only 16 seconds left.

Bob’s kick was high enough but veered off just a little to the left and was wide by a few yards.

So Coach Bill Glassford’s aggressive Nebraskans had to be content with a deadlock – which was mighty unsatisfactory to the more than four thousand fans from home, since Colorado was a 13-point favorite.

Momentary Lapse Costly

The lead changed four times before Coach Dal Ward’s Buffs managed the tying score.

Colorado led, 7-0, then Nebraska took a 9-7 lead at the half. Colorado moved back in front, 10-9, then the Huskers led, 16-10.

It was a momentary lapse by the Huskers after they had taken the 16-10 lead which let Colorado manage the tie.

On the next kickoff the ball went to Carroll Hardy and the sophomore streaked 84 yards down the sidelines, finally being stopped just nine yards from the Husker goal when Andy Loehr made a diving block.

Tricky Play Works

Still the Huskers weren’t easy to convince.

Three times Zack Jordan’s passes fell incomplete due to fine rushing by the Husker linemen and good covering of the receivers.

Then on fourth down, Jordan put over a tricky play.

He ran far over to his right, then whirled and passed to Roger Williams, who had lingered over to the left.

Roger raced into the corner of the end zone for the tying points – and then failed to kick the extra point which would have meant victory.

Huskers Win Statistics

If statistics tell the true winner of a deadlocked game, then Nebraska had all the best of it.

The Huskers made 16 first downs to 12 for Colorado and had a big margin of 427-266 in total net yardage.

Nebraska’s attack was alive and deceptive all the way, as 10 out of 19 forward passes were completed for 203 yards to balance the running plays.

And Johnny Bordogna wasn’t the only passer. Three others – George Cifra, Ray Novak and Jim Cederdahl – pitched at various times.

Husker Fans Stunned

The Husker line was superior to the Buffs most of the game, especially the sturdy defensive platoon.

At the very outset, Husker fans were stunned by the quickness with which Colorado grabbed a 7-0 lead.

Only 3:16 had been played when Fullback Ralph Curtis suddenly broke through the line, then cut over to his left and darted 48 yards to a touchdown with Jordan supplying the key block.

Nebraska came back with a 79-yard march. But it lost the ball on downs on the 10-yard line.

Boll Blocks Punt

Then the Huskers got their first two points on a safety on the first play of the second quarter.

Big Don Boll rushed in to place his 248 pounds in front of Jordan when he tried a quick kick.

The ball bounded back into the end zone and Jordan got to it ahead of any Husker to make it a safety instead of a touchdown.

It was the first time Jordan, the nation’s leading punter, has had a kick blocked in three years of college play.

Bordogna Sneaks Over

Later in that second period the Huskers marched 80 yards, with eight running plays and three out of five passes.

Loehr made a great catch of a toss from Bordogna for 40 yards and Cifra flashed a brilliant one-handed catch to place the ball on the five.

Cifra made two. Then Bordogna sneaked for the touchdown.

Reynolds came in to kick the point and 1:50 later the half ended with Nebraska ahead, 9-7.

Kicks First Field Goal

The Huskers made a gallant goal line stand to take the ball away from the Buffs on the four-yard line in the third period, only to give the ball right back to the enemy.

Novak fumbled as he rammed the line and alert Don Branby recovered just 16 yards out.

Again the Huskers stopped the running and passing efforts. So Williams tried the first field goal of his career.

It was straight and true from the 19-yard line to give Colorado a 10-9 lead in the fourth period.

Novak Busts Through

Then the Huskers put on another beautiful sustained drive, good for 85 yards.

Novak went the last 18 yards on a neat quick opening play that sprung him through the middle of the line.

He raced untouched into the end zone amid the screams of the Husker fans and the groans of the Buff followers.

And when Reynolds kicked his second point, Nebraska led, 16-10, with only 2:11 left.

A Warning to Mizzou

Everyone knew that Nebraska could win if the Huskers could just hold the Buffs for one series of plays and make them kick. ...


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 49-20 all-time against Colorado.

See all games »

1952 season (5-4-1)

South Dakota Sept. 20
Oregon Sept. 27
Iowa State Oct. 4
Kansas State Oct. 11
Penn State Oct. 18
Colorado Oct. 25
Missouri Nov. 1
Kansas Nov. 8
Minnesota Nov. 15
Oklahoma Nov. 22

This day in history

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