#20 Nebraska 41
Kansas 20

Nov. 6, 1954 • Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan.

Huskers Pull Away From Aroused Foe


The cheers you are about to hear will be for Don Hewitt, the Husker end ... who gathers in this Don Erway pass for the second-quarter touchdown which puts Nebraska ahead to stay. LAWRENCE ROBINSON/THE WORLD-HERALD


LAWRENCE, Kans. — Nebraska ground out the staggering total of 416 yards on running plays Saturday but need a couple of late touchdowns to pull away from an aroused Kansas outfit.

The final score of 41:20 does not reveal that Coach Chuck Mather’s Jayhawks remained in the running until the final seven minutes of play.

Kansas was fighting hard to escape its eighth straight defeat of the year and fourteenth in a two-year period.

And the Huskers co-operated by playing ragged defensive ball and losing possession four times on fumbles.

Nervous Moments

The Huskers led by only 20-14 at the half and by 27-20 at the end of the third quarter.

With only a seven-point lead, Coach Bill Glassford had a right to be nervous, along with the Nebraskans in the Homecoming Day crowd of 23 thousand.

Kansas had the ball when the last period opened and showed signs of being able to tie.

But the Huskers stiffened and took the ball on downs on their 32 when three KU passes failed.

Soph Scores Clincher

After an exchange of punts, the Huskers ended the suspense by moving 78 yards in seven plays to boost their margin to 34-20 with 6:40 left.

Ron Clark made seven and nine yards on two carries to start the drive. But he was injured on the second thrust.

This gave Harry Johnson, Valley sophomore, a chance to run with the first team.

He promptly contributed a 17-yard run, then a few plays later ran the last five to the clinching touchdown.

Bonus Touchdown

A bonus score came a few minutes later after Center Bob Oberlin recovered Rex Sullivan’s fumble on the KU 30.

Willie Greenlaw ran 15 yards and Bob Smith added five before the second lineup came in to finish the drive.

Dennis Korinek made five yards and Don Comstock added four, setting the stage for Don Erway to sneak to the touchdown which doubled the score on the Jayhawks.

Smith, who gained 99 yards on 13 carries to Clark’s 100 yards on 11 tries, scored the first two Nebraska touchdowns.

45-Yard Pass Play

They came before and after the first KU points. Bob ran 13 yards for his first touchdown on the play following his 22-yard run.

And he kicked the point to make it 7-0.

But Terry McIntosh passed to Dick Blowey for 45 yards on the next play to the Husker eight.

Smith Dives Across

Blowey ran the eight on a second-down play and John Handley’s kick made it 7-7.

The Huskers roared back with a 59-yard advance in nine plays, Dan Brown going 24 for the longest gain on a keeper.

Smith dove the last foot for the touchdown. But his kick was wide.

That error let Kansas take a 14-13 lead early in the second quarter.

McIntosh swept end for 15 yards and the touchdown, and Handley’s kick put Nebraska behind by a point.

Erway Fools ‘Em

A little more than three minutes remained before intermission, when the Huskers regained the lead.

Korinek’s 31-yard punt return set the stage and Erway fooled the Kansans with a touchdown play

He tossed a pass of 21 yards to End Don Hewitt, who was open in the end zone. That made it 20-14 at the half.

The second half was only three minutes old when Nebraska increased it lead to 27-14.

Kansas Bounces Back

It marched 75 yards in only five plays, Clark running out of the arms of two tacklers on a 37-yard scoring dash.

Kansas quickly got back into the game when Lady Luck smiled and frowned on the Huskers on consecutive plays.

Clark intercepted a KU pass and fell on the Husker seven.

But on the next play, Ron bobbled a hand-off from Brown and Tackle Gene Vignatelli recovered — just seven yards from the Nebraska goal.

Strong Finish

Quarterback Bev Buller bootlegged the ball and ran to a touchdown on the next play.

And even though Handley’s kick was wide, the Jays trailed by only seven points.

It stayed that way for more than 10 minutes until the Huskers finished strongly against the tiring Kansans.

Coach Glassford rushed in all of his third stringers in the final moments, and Rex Fischer almost added a touchdown the only time he has carried the ball this season.

Downed on Three

With only 14 seconds left to play, Rex broke loose and ran down the sidelines as time ran out.

He hot-footed it for 48 yards. But Dick Sandifer brought him down on the three.

With the running plays going so well, Nebraska tried only four passes — but completed two of them for 35 yards and one touchdown.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)


Series history

Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.

See all games »


1954 season (6-5)

Minnesota Sept. 25
Iowa State Oct. 2
Kansas State Oct. 9
Oregon State Oct. 16
Colorado Oct. 23
Missouri Oct. 30
Kansas Nov. 6
Pittsburgh Nov. 13
Oklahoma Nov. 20
Hawaii Nov. 26
Duke Jan. 1

This day in history

Nebraska has played 16 games on Nov. 6. See them all »

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