Nebraska 32
Minnesota 12

Sept. 26, 1959 • Memorial Stadium, Minneapolis

Nebraska Line, Backs Smash Gophers, 32-12

Nebraska's Roger Brede recovers a Minnesota fumble. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Nebraska roared to one of the most convincing victories in Cornhusker history Saturday.

The Huskers whipped Minnesota, 32-12.

This was the sixth time the Scarlet has triumphed in the 36-game series and the third time here.

The 20-point spread was the widest margin the Cornhuskers have enjoyed over the Gophers.

A crowd of 50,951 came in a rain and sat in humid weather to watch a game which to a Minnesotan was as dark as the skies overhead.

The thrashing was more decisive than the score.

Minnesota excelled only on the scales.

Nebraska answered the Gopher weight superiority with aggressiveness.

The Scarlet forwards whipped the huge Minnesota line to a frazzle. They beat the Gopher huskies to the punch so consistently the Maroon wall leaked offensively and defensively most of the afternoon.

Scarlet backs also had a field day.

The Husker artillery riddled Minnesota for five earned touchdowns—two through the air and three on the ground.

The attack struck at the flanks instead of the middle as against Texas last week when the Huskers were shut out, 20-0.

Clay White and Pat Fischer romped merrily, using a clever repertoire of sweeps, flankers, and reverses.

White rambled to two touchdowns and took a pass for a third.

Fischer was on the scoring end of a pass.

Harry Tolly added insult to Gopher injury by sneaking through the huge Gopher wall to the end zone.

Minnesota backs, except for the first few minutes, sputtered and tumbled. They plodded through a weird mixture of plays which continually backfired.

Behind 6-0, after 12:40, Nebraska moved in front to stay with 8:27 left in the second quarter.

Minnesota pressed at the half, 13-12, hung on at 19-12 until late in the third quarter, then collapsed completely.

The Gopher rout was so complete Nebraska’s secondary was grabbing Gopher passes like outfielders.

Nebraska won with its first-half comeback and saved the game with a great display of defensive strength after the intermission.

Minnesota got only two first downs the second half.

The second-half Nebraska statistics don’t show a great defensive play by Don Purcell, Omaha Benson sophomore end.

Purcell spoiled a touchdown kick-off return by Sandy Stephens, Minnesota sophomore starting quarterback smoothie.

After Stephens broke ahead of the pack, Purcell swept across from the far side to drag the Minnesotan out of bounds on the Nebraska 10.

Stephen’s run covered 78 yards. It came when the Gophers were pressing, 19-12.

Purcell’s teammates backed his great play with a goal-line stand that held on the two-yard line.

That was the turning point of the game.

Minnesota, stunned by the tight Husker defense, never again mustered a serious threat.

Only during the first 13 minutes did Minnesota look like the Gophers of old.

Starting from their 29 and spearheaded by the 200-pound Thomas Robbins and 203-pound Stephens, the Gophers powered deep into Nebraska territory.

The first drive ended with a fumble that Husker Roger Brede covered on the Nebraska three.

This brought the Huskers only temporary relief. From midfield, the Minnesotans hustled back to the Nebraska 18.

Stephen’s 18-yard pitch and end Dick Johnson’s leaping catch with two Husker defenders within reach gave Minnesota a 6-0 advantage.

Tom Brown missed the conversion attempt.

Tolly, who enjoyed a fine afternoon, gave Nebraska its chance to tie and go ahead.

Tolly’s jarring tackle jolted the ball from Dave Mulholland’s arms after the latter fielded a pass from quarterback Larry Johnson.

Fischer recovered on the Minnesota 33. Five plays later Nebraska was ahead, 7-6.

Tom Kramer engineered the thrust with two passes to Fischer. From the 33, he hit Pat on the 24 and the Westside grad drug a tackler out of bounds on the 12.

Two plays later, Tom hit Fischer on the two and Pat bucked across for the touchdown.

Ron Meade, a Minnesota sophomore in Nebraska uniform, delivered the successful place-kick conversion which looked bigger as the matinee was along.

Stephens, whose early passing had been wild, saw Husker Noel Martin pick one off in the flat on the first play after the kick-off.

With Purcell delivering a nice block, Martin got to the Minnesota 16.

Tolly sneaked across on the fourth play after Carroll Zaruba had gained important yardage on sweeps.

Nebraska headed for a 13-6 half-time advantage until, with 53 seconds left on the clock, a Kramer pass went haywire.

Thrown for a 13-yard loss on a first-down try, Kramer threw off balance on his second attempt.

The ball went directly into the hands of Minnesota’s Stephens, who sprinted unmolested 55 yards.

Gopher Jim Rogers obliged by missing the conversion and the happy Huskers went to rest still ahead, 13-12.

A Stephens fumble recovered by Nebraska’s George Haney on the Minnesota 16 gave the Scarlet an early third-quarter chance.

Except for a one-yard plunge by Don Fricke, it was a Clay White show. The Toledo, O., junior scored from the four through a wide hole in the left side of the Gopher wall.

Meade’s kick missed but the Huskers led, 19-12.

Nebraska made it 26-12 on White’s 34-yard cutback after Stephens had been jolted by Brede, Roland McDole recovering on the Minnesota 47.

White sneaked around the left flank, then cut for the corner as the surprised Minnesota defenders watched.

Tolly hit White with a three-yard, fourth-down pass for the last touchdown.

Nebraska needed six plays to march from the Minnesota 18 after Tolly pirated a wild Gopher pass and returned 14 yards.

The victory sends Nebraska 1-1 into a three-game stand during which Oregon State, Kansas U. and Indiana visit Lincoln.

Next Saturday’s assignment is Oregon State, which will be playing its third straight weekend on the road.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 25-33 all-time against Minnesota.

See all games »

1959 season (4-6)

Texas Sept. 19
Minnesota Sept. 26
Oregon State Oct. 3
Kansas Oct. 10
Indiana Oct. 17
Missouri Oct. 24
Oklahoma Oct. 31
Iowa State Nov. 7
Colorado Nov. 14
Kansas State Nov. 21

This day in history

Nebraska has played 14 games on Sept. 26. See them all »

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