LINCOLN — A Colorado juggernaut, bowling the Cornhuskers over like tenpins, crushed Nebraska 27-0, Saturday afternoon.
It was the worst defeat suffered by the Cornhuskers in the 16-game series. The margin was largest since Nebraska thrashed the Buffaloes 31-0, 54 years ago.
The loss, eighth in nine games, left coach Bill Jennnings’ hapless Huskers facing a last difficult assignment.
They must upend Oklahoma at Lincoln next week end to escape the worst win-loss season in Nebraska history.
The defeat left the Scarlet (1-4) in the Big Eight cellar when Kansas State (2-4) upset Missouri, 23-21.
It appeared the Cornhuskers sophomoric efforts to defend were more lack of savvy and tackling ability than any particular finesse on the part of the C.U. offense.
A chilled crowd of 27 thousand — smallest Lincoln turnout for the modern series — watched Saturday’s sad proceedings.
This crowd had dwindled to around 12 thousand when the final gun popped.
As the game assumed rout dimensions the students joined in the parade to the exits.
Typical of the support was the performance of four lads who paraded the running track with a large banner.
They started with “Back the Big Red,” then when Colorado started romping switched to “Bruce Russell for Prince Kosmet.”
This bit of campus high jinx for Nebraskans enlivened — at least slightly — a cold and dreary afternoon.
The frozen fans saw a Cornhusker team leak disastrously defensively.
While roaring to 27 first downs and 479 yards, Colorado kept alive its reputation of being a yard-gaining team with low touchdown potential.
Before intermission the Buffaloes reeled off 288 yards and 16 first downs, yet had only 20 points.
After the rest period the Buffaloes thundered to 11 first downs and 189 yards but had to settle for a lone touchdown.
Long range kicking by Nebraska’s Harry Tolly, who averaged 39.1, and the sputtering of C.U.’s multiple offense bothered the Buffs more than Nebraska’s defense.
It could have been the fancy-Dan stepping of Bob Stransky, Big Eight rushing leader, the speed of Eddie Dove, one of the league’s better sprinters, and the surprise plunging of George Adams, a prize sophomore from Cheyenne, Wyo., which baffled the N.U. defense.
Colorado’s best offensive thrust was the 99-yard drive which produced the 20-0 score. This broke the Huskers’ backs.
The parade started after a Tolly kick and clipping penalty had shoved the Buffs back to the Colorado one.
Howard Cook, another Wyoming back in Buff togs, got his team off the hook with a 14-yard sweep to the 15. He started deep in his end zone, shook loose a Nebraska tackler who appeared to have wrapped up a safety, then eluded three more scarlet jerseyed Nebraskans.
This same Cook raced for 10 yards more, then 10 plays later pitched to 6-5 Boyd Dowler, another Boulder import from Wyoming, for the touchdown.
There were only 11 seconds left in the second quarter when Dowler gathered in the 10-yard pay-off pitch.
This long drive hardly came as any surprise.
They had been forewarned of the outcome by a two-touchdown Colorado splurge during the first quarter.
The Buffs scored two of the first three times they got the ball.
Stransky got the first tally after 7 minutes.
The Buffs hustled 76 yards in nine plays. Stransky’s one-yard scoring plunge was preceded by his 27-yard sprint down the sidelines.
With only a minute left in the first period Cook swept from the eight for the second TD. This was a 73-yard surge fired by Adams and Dove.
Colorado rang up its final touchdown 12 minutes after the intermission. The Buffs needed only nine plays to cover 57 yards.
Sub quarterback Ralph Herbst, a junior from Highland Park, Ill., caught the Huskers asleep and worked a keeper to run ten yards unmolested.
Nebraska never was able to do anything offensively until Colorado had the hay safely in the barn.
During the first half the Cornhuskers gained 44 yards.
The Scarlet went the first 24 minutes without a first down and didn’t have possession in C.U. territory until near the end of the second quarter.
The lone first-half chance came when Jerry Brown ran to a first down on the Colorado 34.
The Huskers got four yards on two plays, then were set back to mid-field by a pass interference penalty.
It was then Tolly’s punt forced the 99-yard C.U. touchdown march.
After intermission Nebraska got to the Colorado four, 34 and 31 before folding. The Huskers had the ball on the Buff 35 as the game ended.
This late penetration was the result of a well-executed draw play which sprung Brown for 25 yards.
The sprint gave Brown a 7.6 yard average on 13 rushes. This was high for the matinee.
The league leading Stransky averaged 5.8 with 17 carries. Teammates Cook (6.3) and Ray Engel (6.9) beat him.
Colorado coach Dal Ward substituted freely, using 25 players the first quarter.
Nebraska’s Jennings tried to keep the pace but ran out of manpower early.
Nebraska is 49-19 all-time against Colorado.
|Washington State||Sept. 21|
|Kansas State||Oct. 5|
|Iowa State||Nov. 9|
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