Missouri 10
Nebraska 6

Nov. 1, 1952 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.

Rugged Tiger Defense Jolts Sluggish Huskers

Off and running – and almost away. That's the story here ... as Bill Thayer draws Husker cheers by returning the second-half kickoff 61 yards to the Missouri 25. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

Parts of this game recap are illegible.

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln – Missouri tossed a surprisingly rugged defense against a sluggish Nebraska offense Saturday and carried off a 10-6 victory to stay atop the Big Seven standings.

Four times the Huskers were stopped cold by the tight Tiger defensive platoon and had to hand the ball over on downs on the five, 13, 14 and 22-yard lines.

The Husker points came after Missouri had clinched the game by turning a Nebraska fumble into a third-period touchdown, then adding a fourth-quarter field goal.

In fact, Missouri was within six seconds of scoring its third consecutive shutout in Big Seven play for the year.

As time was running out, injured Johnny Bordogna came back into the game with Nebraska in possession on its own 37-yard line.

From the spread formation, Bordogna faded back, shook off a couple of would-be tacklers, then ran over to his right.

He finally passed as far as he could – with Sophomore Andy Loehr standing back of all Tiger defenders.

Short Kickoff Works

Loehr made an easy catch on the 15-yard line and set out for the end zone with Bob Schoonmaker in hot pursuit.

Schoonmaker wrapped his arms around Loehr at the five-yard line. But Andy’s momentum carried him on across the goal line.

It didn’t matter much that Bob Reynolds’ extra-point kick failed.

The Huskers then worked a short kickoff and George Gohde recovered the ball on the Mizzou 48-yard line.

But there was time for only one more play and Bordogna was smothered before he could pass.

Just a Grim Reminder

So the short kickoff only served as a grim reminder that a similar trick a week ago might have protected a 16-10 lead for a Nebraska victory at Colorado.

A sudden turn of tide gave Missouri its touchdown to break the scoreless deadlock near the end of the third period.

The Huskers had taken the ball on their own 31-yard line after a punt by Bill Fessler.

On a handoff from Bordogna, Ray Novak let the ball squirt out of his hands.

Merrifield Scoots Over

Alert Ed Merrifield came dashing up, caught the ball in the air and ran 30 yards untouched to a six-pointer which stunned the 39 thousand fans. Paul Fuchs kicked to make it 7-0.

That sudden turn left the Huskers dazed. Their defense weakened and the Tigers marched 70 yards down the field in a bid for another score.

When the Husker line stiffened, Fuchs finally booted a field goal from the 20-yard line for the clinching points.

It looked like Nebraska’s second loss of the season was going to be exactly like the 10-0 defeat at Penn State, until the last frantic toss netted the Huskers six points.

Huskers Win Statistics

Nebraska had an edge in statistics. But that was scant consolation for the loss.

The Huskers had a 15-13 edge in first downs and a margin of 310-237 in total net yards.

They even held Missouri to 53 yards on five out of 13 passes – but that didn’t matter either, in the final reckoning.

Coach Bill Glassford even consented to let mending Reynolds carry the ball a few times in the last half and to pass more often.

Two Reynolds Passes Click

Bob wound up with a net gain of only four yards on five carries and he completed two of eight passes for 28 yards.

Nebraska made 193 yards on 10 ...


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 65-36 all-time against Missouri.

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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