NORMAN, Okla. — A record-breaking touchdown sprint of 93 yards by Larry Naviaux was the consolation prize Saturday as Oklahoma overwhelmed Nebraska, 40-7, to wrap up its twelfth consecutive Big Eight Conference campaign without a defeat.
Orange Bowl Queen Nanita Green was a in the throng of 45 thousand. When she returns to Miami today, the pert blonde will have an impressive story of power, speed and versatility to tell the Miami promoters.
Coach Bud Wilkinson called on 54 players who amassed 447 yards while prancing about the field with a fancy assortment of flankers, “lone-some” ends, passes, pitch-outs, sweeps and line assaults.
The Sooners disjointed Nebraska with three touchdowns in the first quarter but never could induce the Huskers to toss in the towel.
Bill Jennings’s lads thus close with a 3-7 record, which is a two-victory improvement over the coach’s inaugural year.
Naviaux’s sensational run came in the opening minutes of the third quarter and eradicated an Oklahoma threat mounted by a drive that had covered 48 yards to the Nebraska 21.
Jimmy Carpenter tried for the touchdown with a pass to end Joe Rector.
But Naviaux, who had sparked the upset over Pittsburgh a week earlier, speared the ball on the seven and dashed toward the sideline. With tackle Jim Lawrence and end Ross Coyle heading the pursuit, the Lexington senior outraced the pack.
It was a shocker for a crowd that was lazing in balmy, 70-degree weather.
It was, in fact, a piece of effrontery unmatched in Oklahoma football history. The longest previous interception runback against an OU team was Johnny Gattis’s 81-yard effort for Oklahoma State in 1944.
The official statistician got an argument from press row when he claimed Naviaux covered only 89 yards. Authorities said they would double-check the play today when viewing the game movies.
Nebraska didn’t have many bright moments against the nation’s fourth-ranking football power.
The rushing net was only 80 yards with fullback Dick McCashland contributing 22 on seven carries. Nebraska picked up another 27 yards while completing four of a dozen passes.
The best penetration was to the Oklahoma 25 in the second period.
With Harry Tolly at quarterback, the Scarlets churned from the Oklahoma 46 to the 25. With fourth down and a yard to make at that point, Tolly fumbled on a wedge and McCashland recovered on the 25.
A field goal attempt in the third period fizzled.
George Harshman kicked from the Sooner 37 on fourth down. End Wahoo McDaniel Stormed in to block the ball and tackle Jere Durham recovered on the 40.
Quarterback David Baker turned in a saucy job of ball-handling as Oklahoma received the opening kick-off and blasted 55 yards to a touchdown in a dozen plays.
Fullback Prentice Gautt, who totaled 110 yards in a great performance, was the mainspring but scoring honors this time went to halfback Brewster Hobby, who followed three blockers around left end from the six.
No. 2 was registered by the alternates.
Even more efficient, they whipped out 51 yards in five plays and sent Jakie Sandefer over from the one.
Nebraska helped out with a personal foul, the penalty moving the ball from the 16 to one without Sooner strain.
Wilkinson hurried his regulars back onto the field—”to slow down the pace,” somebody cracked. If that was the idea, these hustlers missed their cue.
They needed five plays to sweep from their 45 to the Nebraska 26. Wilkinson then jerked them in favor of the alternates, who went the rest of the way in five more shots.
This time Nebraska twice offered a helping hand, delay costing five yards and an offside advancing the ball from the four to the one. Quarterback Bobby Boyd bolted over from there.
Thirteen seconds remained in the period when McDaniel’s placement hiked the count to 21-0.
For these 15 minutes, the Sooners could show 143 net yards rushing to Nebraska’s minus four.
Strangely, because of a combination of penalties and aggressive defensive work by the Huskers, Oklahoma’s yardage melted to 137 by intermission.
Guard Dennis Emanuel once threw Boyd for an eight-yard loss, end Johnny Bond tagged Baker for a deficit of two and center Don Fricke chipped in with a pass interception as the Sooners were shut out in the second quarter.
Following NU’s failure to make good on the field goal attempt, Oklahoma boomed 60 yards to a touchdown with nine minutes elapsed in the third period.
The pay-off came on fourth down, the ball on the nine.
Sandefer rolled out, then passed to Dick Carpenter, who slipped behind two defenders in the end zone.
A 64-yard quick kick by Tolly put Oklahoma in a hole later in that quarter. Dick Carpenter got only a three-yard return, Naviaux pinning him on the 11.
The Sooners got off the hook in one play.
Jimmy Carpenter passed to Hobby for 20 yards. Working their fast break to perfection, the Sooners surged to the one in nine plays and Hobby lunged over right tackle for the score.
Nebraska had enough spunk to hold O.U. on the 10 early in the fourth frame but three punts later the conference champs cranked up for a 59-yard drive culminated by Johnny Pellow’s trot around right end from the four.
A savage block by Ronnie Hartline paved the way.
Hartline’s kick for conversion was no good and the winning margin settled at 33 points—exactly the sum predicted by Soonerland bookies.
Oklahoma had expertness of execution in just about everything it attempted but speed was its greatest weapon.
That was graphically demonstrated in the second quarter when Harshman lofted a 50-yard quick kick. Jimmy Carpenter was caught short but raced back and took the ball over his shoulder.
Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.
|Penn State||Sept. 20|
|Iowa State||Oct. 4|
|Kansas State||Oct. 11|
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