Memorial Stadium, Lawrence Kans. — Nebraska's hitless Huskers were at their worst Saturday as Kansas triumphed, 31-0.
The defeat was the fourth consecutive setback the Scarlet has suffered at the hands of the Jayhawkers.
This was the most humiliating defeat for Nebraska during the series which started in 1892.
The 31-point total for K.U. was the most scored against the Huskers during the present century and the margin was the greatest in the 66 games between the rival institutions.
Although Kansas Coach Jack Mitchell during the last seven minutes swept the bench, the Cornhuskers at no time looked as if they were going to find pay territory.
The K.U. mentor dipped into his reserve tank for a hastily assembled fourth team. He even called on a lad whose name wasn't in the program. Yet the aggressive Jayhawkers continued to pressure the frustrated Cornhuskers.
Even the momentary shift of Thunder Thornton to halfback and the insertion of John Faiman, calculated to bring the Scarlet out of its offensive shell, failed to do much more than get the Husker attack up to the line of scrimmage.
Against the steady parade of Jayhawker defenders, Nebraska could negotiate only five first downs and make only 26 yards net rushing and 23 passing.
The Nebraska offensive was so frustratingly futile that by the time Kansas had racked up its 31 points the Nebraska ledger showed only 14 net yards — 11 rushing and three by passing.
Adding further to the Nebraska embarrassment before 28 thousand fans was the performance of Hugh Smith, K.U. halfback who two years ago was having difficulty getting off the Nebraska bench as a reserve.
The transplanted Husker didn't dent the score column, but his play at left half was so devastating Coach Mitchell never had to call on his injured ace — Bert Coan.
Smith ripped the left side of the Nebraska line for 45 yards, took one pass for five and hit a teammate with one of his two pitches.
Ineptness of the Nebraska backs may have been due to the fact that on defense they worked overtime backing up a weak line.
It simply wasn't Nebraska's afternoon and the Cornhusker forwards, who couldn't hold the more aggressive Jayhawk linemen when the enemy had the ball, leaked consistently on defense.
The Jayhawker offensive, maneuvered by the brilliant John Hadl, who alternated between quarterback and halfback, rushed to 196 and connected on 12 of 15 pass attempts for 102 yards.
For the first eight minutes the offensive maneuvering of the rival teams — which smacked of old Oklahoma — appeared identical except for the yardage margin peeled off by the K. U. backs.
After this early feel-out, Mitchell reached into his bag of tricks.
His assortment of fancy stuff against Nebraska helped to silence critics who, following Oklahoma U. tie and 14-7 squeaker past Oklahoma State, were growling the Jayhawkers had no offense.
The Jayhawkers gave advance notice of the outcome by forcing two Nebraska fumbles soon after the opening kick-off.
This was the second time Nebraska had possession and Pat Fischer saved the first bobble by recovering on the Nebraska 21 after the ball had popped from Noel Martin's arms.
Fischer wasn't so lucky on the next play. His hand-off never reached Clay White. Jayhawker Larry Lousch retrieved the pigskin on the Nebraska 21.
Nebraska's Ron Meade almost tossed a wrench in the K.U. machinery by promptly forcing a Jayhawker fumble.
When Roger McFarland recovered his miscue for no gain and Fullback Doyle Schick could get only six, Mitchell rushed in his ace placement specialist.
It was John Suder's educated toe from the 21, which moved Kansas ahead, 3-0, and gave the senior from Cincinnati his seventh successful field goal — an all-time Kansas record.
A few minutes after the first points were run up on the scoreboard, Nebraska was back in heavy trouble.
A weird snapback from the usually reliable Don Fricke cut the grass rolling back to punter Archie Cobb.
This left Cobb with the only alternative of running, something the sophomore from Georgia cannot do.
Swarmed by a Jayhawker horde, Archie yielded to Kansas on the Nebraska 30.
A clipping penalty only momentarily delayed the eager Kansans.
With Hadl eating up yards on consecutive passes to Smith, End Sain Simpson and Halfback Curtis McClinton, the Jayhawkers hurried to a first down on the Nebraska one. They were forced back to the seven when Fischer and Dennis Stuewe smeared McClinton on the last play of the first quarter.
Kansas needed only three plays to bag the touchdown.
The killer was a sensational pitch-out and reverse lateral a la six-man football in which ex-Cornhusker Smith collaborated with Hadl.
Hadl pitched to Smith running to the right. With the Nebraska defense rushing over to smear him, Smith suddenly whirled and pitched a lateral to the deceptive Hadl who had gone toward the other sidelines.
With a clear shot at the goal Hadl slipped on the one.
Fullback Schick made up the deficit with a fourth down plunge. Suder boosted the count to 10-0 with a conversion — the first of four.
Kansas went to rest ahead by 17-0 after an 83-yard drive with Smith, McClinton and Hadl doing the heavy chores.
After Smith's inside reverse was good for 11 to the Nebraska 11, the Jayhawkers moved in quick on a rollout which had Hadl racing around the Husker right end to score standing up.
Kansas drove 55 yards for its third-quarter touchdown, Hadl lofting a soft pass to Simpson, alone in the end zone for the score.
The Jayhawkers had McFarland at the control for the final touchdown. This march started from the K.U. 38 without so much as a fourth-down situation.
Third-string Fullback Fred Bukaty, a co-captain who is having his difficulties, got the score on an easy pitch-out from the two.
Until late in the fourth period Nebraska had negotiated only two first downs.
These were during a 29-yard drive when the score was 3-0.
With Bennie Dillard, Clay White and Martin carrying, it appeared the Husker might go places.
Then Larry Allen, Kansas end, smeared Fischer while Pat was trying to pass.
Fischer's flop made it fourth and 17 for Nebraska.
Then came Fricke's weird snapback and the K. U. quickie.
In the closing minutes Nebraska had a final chance while trailing, 0-31.
Jim Huge, Holdrege sophomore returning after a long lay-off, gave the Huskers hopes of escaping a skunking when he recovered a fumble by Con Keating, K. U. third-string quarterback from Columbus, Neb., High.
Nebraska took over on the Kansas 28, moved to the 20 with Pat Clare, then saw three Faiman passes fail.
Nebraska 3-5 for the season, has Oklahoma State for a Parents' Day game at home Saturday, then winds up at Oklahoma the following week. The Huskers are 1-4 in the conference.
Kansas, with Colorado (home) and Missouri (away) left, is 5-2-1 for the season and 4-0-1 in the Big Eight.
This was the first time Kansas has been able to beat Nebraska four years in a row and the first time since 1944 the Jayhawkers have shut out the Huskers.
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
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