Nebraska 16
Iowa State 0

Oct. 4, 1952 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.

Sluggish Huskers Calm Cyclones for 16-0 Win

Nebraska's George Sifra runs for a 42-yard touchdown against Iowa State. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln — Nebraska’s football forces ground out a 16-0 victory over Iowa State Saturday for their third straight triumph.

The Huskers mastered the Cyclones to start their Big Seven campaign on the right foot.

But the 37 thousand fans had no reason to think that Nebraska is going to be a factor in the title race — not off this showing.

Actually, the Huskers were dull and sluggish compared to their second-half play at Oregon a week ago.

Averages Take Dip

They lacked the aggressiveness and drive which marked their play in the Northwest. And they were short of the necessary punch to cash in on three scoring opportunities.

Although they scored a shut-out, Coach Bill Glassford’s pupils didn’t live up to the pre-game averages which had placed them high in the nation in both offense and defense.

Nebraska had a net gain of 390 yards, compared to the 414 average for the two previous games.

And the Huskers let Iowa State gain 209 yards, to mar a previous defensive average of 147.

Cifra Run Sparkles

Bob Reynolds had a net gain of 85 yards on 17 carries.

But his scoring was limited to four points — one extra-point kick and a 17-yard field goal in the last period for insurance points.

George Cifra wound up outgaining Reynolds, with 103 on a dozen carries.

The hard-driving Cifra contributed the day’s most thrilling single performance, a 42-yard run for the second Husker touchdown.

Hits Like Truck

The clock showed only five minutes left to play in the third period.

Quarterback John Bordogna broke Cifra through the center . But Defensive Halfback Bob Mellgren stood right in his path.

Cifra didn’t bother to do any fancy dodging. He just kept his head down and ran full steam right into Mellgren.

The Cyclone bounced off as if hit by a big truck — and Cifa rambled on to the end zone with further barriers.

Bordogna Sneaks Over

That made it 13-0 and settled any strain the Husker fans might have been harboring with only a 7-0 advantage.

The only point of the first half had come on an 80-yard Nebraska march. It featured a 24-yard run by Bordogna on a bootleg play and his 25-yard pass to George Mink.

The ex-Benson High end made a great jumping catch while surrounded by Cyclone foes. That gave Nebraska the ball on the IS 14.

Cifra bowled ‘em over in two plays to reach the two. Then, when the Cyclones looked for Cifra again, Bordogna sneaked to a touchdown.

Schabacker Shines

Early in the second period, Nebraska seemed headed to another score after Bill Schabacker, the defensive standout all afternoon, gobbled up a fumble by Dick Cox on the 31.

But the Husker attack sputtered and the ball was lost on downs on the nine.

Early in the third quarter Nebraska was on the march again. But the ball was lost on downs on the 27.

And still another drive failed, after Cifra had turned in his 42-yard scoring dash.

Thayer Pirates Pass

This time the Huskers had reached the 11 and Iowa State was showing signs of fatigue.

But the ball squirted out of Cifra’s hands as he broke through tackle and fell into Mellgren’s fingers.

Cyclone Bid Halted

The Cyclones gambled at this point in the last quarter and Bill Thayer intercepted one of Dick Mann’s passes to give Nebraska another chance.

Thayer ran back 19 yards with the pirated pass to the IS 29. But it finally came up fourth down on the 11-yard line.

At this point Reynolds dropped back to the 17 and kicked a field goal to finish the day’s scoring.

The visitors made their best scoring bid after the next kick-off. But they couldn’t escape a shutout.

They gained 55 yards on a mixture of runs and passes. But they finally lost the ball on downs on the Husker six with only two minutes left.

Nebraska’s defensive strategy against the well-known Cyclone passing attack was to invite short flips — and then drop the receivers.

Still Saving Tricks

As a result, Iowa State completed 12 out of 18 throws for 124 yards — but no points.

The Huskers had to punt only once. And for the third straight week they were content to stick to plays between the tackles, from the straight T.

So they’re still saving tricks for later foes.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 86-17 all-time against Iowa State.

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

Nebraska has played 18 games on Oct. 4. See them all »

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