MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Nebraska football team lashed by two bruising defeats found competition in its own backyard most pleasant Saturday afternoon.
The Cornhuskers blasted Kansas State, 14-7, in the Big Eight inaugural for both.
The Scarlet ripped a page from the Cornhuskers book of tradition.
The Huskers mixed power with defensive finesse to shackle the Wildcats.
Never behind, Nebraska took the lead at 7-0 in the second quarter and remained the advantage, 14-7, in the third period.
As a clincher, the Huskers uncorked a fourth-quarter goal-line stand reminiscent of the Cornhuskers of old.
Leading, 14-7, the Cornhuskers held four times inside their four-yard line.
Nebraska’s defense was so tight the Cats got only two yards in the four plays.
Doug Thomas smothered a swing to the left. Bill Hawkins stymied a rush to the right.
The Nebraska line, which assisted in rolling back the two opening thrusts, smothered K-State plunges on the other attempts.
The ‘Cats never recovered from the shock as the Huskers punted out of danger, forced a fumble and drove into K-State territory as the game ended.
A pair of pass interceptions set up the first Nebraska touchdown.
Hawkins, who played pass defense like an outfielder, pirated the first pitch.
This was a wild toss by Dick Corbin that Bill hustled 16 yards to the Kansas State 46.
Hawkin’s theft stalled a K-State threat and paved the way for a second piracy by Charlie Smith, who made his varsity debut as quarterback.
Smith got an assist from Wildcat quarterback Corbin in his thievery.
Corbin, under heavy pressure which forced him back 15 yards to the five, refused to “eat the ball.” Instead he threw wild into the arms of Smith.
The Cornhuskers sophomore took off from the K-State 30 and was to the 15 when finally hauled down.
Nebraska needed only three plays to score.
On the third stab fullback George Cifra slanted off the K-State right end. He bowled over two would-be tacklers, bounced off a third and went over standing up. It was a 10-yard run.
Dick Prusia kicked the extra point.
Cifra’s score came with a minimum of effort as did the second Cornhusker tally racked up by Bennie Dillard.
The clock showed 6:16 left in the first half when Cifra hit pay dirt.
There was only time for a kick-off after Dillard darted across with the touchdown that gave Nebraska the winning margin.
While the Wildcats converged on the middle to stop a rush by Cifra, quarterback Harry Tolly slipped Bennie the ball.
The play started on the one. Bennie took the ball on the three and scooted toward the corner with nary a Kansas Stater laying a hand on him.
The winning touchdown came soon after Dick Prusia’s attempt from the K-State 26 was short.
Kansas State threatened only three times.
The first Wildcat bid was with 1:28 left in the first quarter when Ben Grosse’s field goal attempt from the 31 barely reached the goal line.
The last gesture was thwarted by the Husker goal line stand.
Between times the Wildcats got their only touchdown.
This was more the result of a momentary lapse on the part of Nebraska than any great performance by the ‘Cats.
The Huskers apparently were lulled to sleep by K-State’s miserable aerial attempts in the early quarters.
This third-period pitch by Corbin was the only pass with punch. It hit halfback Keith Wilson, who had raced past Husker Thomas.
The play covered 33 yards with Wilson sprinting the last 10.
From Nebraska’s standpoint the TD strike was downright embarrassing. Kansas State had fourth down with 17 to go when Corbin cut loose.
The error became serious when Don Zadnifk’s conversion rubbed out Nebraska’s 7-0 half-time advantage.
The Cornhuskers, however, lost no time answering the challenge.
Thomas roared the kick-off to mid-field. Jerry Brown smashed for seven and Gene Sandage slipped around end for 22.
This brought the ball deep into K-State territory. Nebraska never lightened the pressure until it had seven points.
Nebraska is 78-15 all-time against Kansas State.
|Washington State||Sept. 21|
|Kansas State||Oct. 5|
|Iowa State||Nov. 9|
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