Pittsburgh 21
Nebraska 7

Oct. 15, 1955 • Pitt Stadium, Pittsburgh

Pitt's Power Attack Smothers Nebraska

Who? Rex Fischer (inset). Where: Behind those two Panthers. What? It's a three-yard touchdown. Why? To put Nebraska ahead, 6-0. When? In the first quarter. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

Huskers Played 'Best Game' but Still Couldn't Halt Big Foes

PITTSBURGH — Huge old Pitt Bowl, site and symbol for power football in the old days, offered a throwback game here Saturday.

Pitt's Panthers used a brute strength offense without any trimmings to wallop Nebraska, 21-7, before 21,006.

It was a performance which satisfied coach Bill Glassford a lot more than it did Johnny Michelosen, the winning coach.

"We played by far our best game," Glassford said. "Those Pitts were just too big and too strong. They overpowered us, especially in the line."

A better game than the Huskers played at Ohio State?

Played Hearts Out

"Yes. The boys played their hearts out today. They gave out with all they had and it wasn't good enough," the Huskers coach declared.

Glassford then discussed the game in more detail. The pass game failed, he admitted. He offered no diagnosis, except that "maybe they were rushing us too much."

It was the charitable view. A number of times the Nebraska pitchers were just too jittery, firing the ball when off-balance.

Strong Defense Wanted

Michelosen singled out the off-balance pitching, which missed the target badly at times, as the key to Nebraska's downfall. The Pitt coach talked with careful restraint and appeared only mildly pleased.

He agreed fully that pure strength decided the competition. The reason he juggled backs, he said, was to get maximum defense.

Ambrose Bagamery and Ray DiPasquale aren't necessarily fourth stringers because they were not listed on the three-deep lineup, he declared.

Three Huskers Respected

"Baggy has been hurt. He and DiPasquale are two of my best defenders," Michelosen stated. "I tried to have them in there, especially when Don Erway and Willie Greenlaw were passing.

"We respected the Huskers and were afraid of those two men as well as Don Hewitt."

The Huskers ran into foul luck on the first play. LeRoy Butherus starting left end, was forced out by a mangled hand. He has three dislocated fingers.

Later Bob Berguin, No. 2 center, was carried off with a strained knee.

Attack Not Fancy

Pittsburgh bruised and bullied the Huskers almost at will early in the game. There was nothing fancy about the attack. Pitt quarterbacks aimed mostly for the center of the line and everything went.

It was sound but undramatic football. The same quarterbacks tried a few lacy maneuvers in the second quarter and probably lost a touchdown.

It didn't matter, since the Panthers were even, 7-7, with less than five minutes of the first quarter left. It was 14-7 six plays and about three minutes later.

Post Recovers Fumble

A long pitch by Erway early started things off on a false note. It was the top thrill for even the home fans.

Nebraska lost the coin flip but got the ball immediately when Joe Walton fumbled the kick-off. Doran Post recovered, 43 yards out.

Erway used only two buildup plays before flipping to Jon McWilliams in a bold gesture.

Ball Goes 50 Yards

The ball sailed 50 yards through the air. McWilliams had no blockers but got to the Pitt seven anyway. An end sweep, a slant off tackle and then a sweep around the other end produced the Huskers' startling score.

Rex Fischer carried only three yards by crow flight but much more actually. His cutback was letter perfect.

Pitt needed only 16 plays to get even—16 plays of pounding at the weakening Husker flesh. The siege was relieved only twice by a pass or an intended one.

Pete Changes Mind

The first time Pete Neft dropped back he changed his mind. He skipped around end for 16 yards to reach mid-field. Later he fished for receiver Walton in the end zone and was foiled by Fischer.

Lou Cimarolli ground over guard for 13 yards and then dove over a little later. It was a 75-yard offensive.

Harry Johnson's fumble led directly to the second Pitt score. After John Cenci grabbed the ball the Panthers had only 26 yards to march.

Aerial Clicks

Pitt had a fresh set of backs on the scene. Bob Grier and Nick Passodelis spearheaded a four-play assault on the guards and tackles.

The 180-pound Passodelis made the score. It came 48 seconds before the first quarter ended.

The bone-rattling football continued unabated but it was late in the third period before the home crew got its third touchdown. A 10-yard pass, Neft to Walton, caught Nebraska's backs out of position to climax the 65-yard drive.

Further Scoring Balked

Before the clincher, George Harshman and Greenlaw teamed for some effective Husker gains. But there was never any indication that Nebraska could stick in either a pass or a trick maneuver to keep the defense honest.

The Nebraska drives bogged down because of this. Pitt's inability to use such devices as the draw play, plus savagely intent defense work by the Huskers balked further scoring.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 6-15 all-time against Pittsburgh.

See all games »

1955 season (5-5)

Hawaii Sept. 17
Ohio State Sept. 24
Kansas State Oct. 1
Texas A&M Oct. 8
Pittsburgh Oct. 15
Missouri Oct. 22
Kansas Oct. 29
Iowa State Nov. 5
Colorado Nov. 12
Oklahoma Nov. 19

This day in history

Nebraska has played 18 games on Oct. 15. See them all »

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