Hawaii 6
Nebraska 0

Sept. 17, 1955 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln

Eager Hawaii Shocks Sluggish Huskers, 6-0

This is just one sample of how things did NOT click for the Huskers. A lateral from Erway to Cifra goes awry ... and Greenlaw salvages the football — but loses one yard. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

LINCOLN — The University of Hawaii handed Nebraska a shocking 6-0 defeat Saturday and sent 23 thousand fans trudging home trying to recall if the Huskers ever had made a more dismal football opening.

It didn't seem possible that the Huskers were beaten by the same school which took a 50-0 whipping from Nebraska last fall.

Coach Henry Vasconcellos of the Rainbows warned he had a much better club than a year ago but he was resigned to the fact he didn't have the man-power to give Nebraska much of a game.

Superior From Start

But the eager Hawaiians got an early jump on the Huskers and looked superior all the way.

It wasn't so much that the Hawaiians were better than last year but more that the Nebraskans were worse — much, much worse.

The visitors, instead of being a soft touch, gave the Huskers a painful lesson in blocking, tackling, and running.

They did everything better and they didn't let a lack of reserve strength bother them a bit.

Instead of wilting in the 94-degree heat, the Hawaiians seemed stronger at the finish.

Little Backs Scamper

Hawaii used only 21 players. Nebraska used 24.

The big heroes were a couple of 160-pound halfbacks who ran past the big, sluggish Huskers all afternoon.

First, Skippy Dyer kept showing up the Nebraskans. Gaining 63 yards on nine carries.

When Dyer went out with a leg injury, Bill Taylor, a 5-8 freshman just out of Honolulu High, took over to make the Huskers look silly.

It was a 36-yard run by Taylor which set up the game's only touchdown, just nine minutes and 20 seconds before the final gun.

Dazed and Disorganized

Taylor broke loose through the right side of the Husker line and streaked down the east sideline.

It looked like he might go all the way but Willie Greenlaw angled in and dropped him out of bounds on the six-yard line.

The Hawaiians were fired up now and the Huskers were dazed and disorganized.

Ed Kawaawaki messed up a hand-off play and looked around for some help. But no Husker charged in. He stepped easily to the one-yard line.

Then Hartwell Freitas, senior fullback, plunged for the touchdown.

Passing Strategy Misses

It didn't matter that Don Botelho's kick was wide because that was the ball game.

The Huskers made one last desperate bid.

Rex Fischer got back 31 yards with a punt to the Hawaii 37, with a little more than four minutes left.

But Nebraska's decision to try for a victory on passing back-fired.

Don Erway and George Harshman each tried two passes but none connected and Hawaii had possession again when the game ended.

Stall Six Yards Short

The Huskers made only one other scoring bid. That was in the third quarter when a march of 74 yards ended six yards short of the goal.

Greenlaw's 20-yard run was the biggest push and set up a first down on the 14-yards line.

But the next four running plays gained only eight yards and the ball was lost on downs on the six.

The statistics show that Hawaii earned its victory. The visitors had an edge of 12-10 in first downs and a margin of 300-219 in total net yards.

Better in All Ways

The Hawaiians simply mastered Nebraska by being a much better team in all ways—despite a reputation of being a small-time football outfit.

Mentioning a date at Oho State next Saturday afternoon is like sentencing the Huskers to the electric chair.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 5-1 all-time against Hawaii.

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 10 games on Sept. 17. See them all »

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