Folsom Field, Boulder, Colo.—A 23-point third quarter explosion disintegrated Colorado as Nebraska picked up its sixth victory by beating the Buffaloes, 31-6, Saturday.
Until the Cornhusker bomb burst Colorado appeared within reach of an upset.
Then within 10 minutes the Scarlet offensive struck with such ferocity the Herd was so badly stampeded Husker Coach Bob Devaney swept the bench.
The win kept Nebraska among the nation’s few undefeated teams and sent the Cornhuskers all-victorious into next Saturday’s important homecoming engagement with Missouri.
Trailing, 6-0, at halftime, Nebraska for the third consecutive week came from behind.
During the 10-minute surge, the rampaging Cornhuskers threw the book at the Buffaloes.
The Scarlet ran, plunged and passed to three touchdowns, scored a safety and kicked, then passed two conversions.
Except for the 10 thousand Nebraskans perched in the end of the horseshoe, the homecoming crowd of 35,500 sat stunned as the Huskers took command.
The Nebraska delegation whooped it at the start of the third period and were still cheering when the Scarlet got its fourth touchdown. The finale came seconds before the students ripped out the goal posts.
Jim Huge, Holdrege senior end, lighted the fuse which rocketed the Huskers.
Huge gave his team life when he recovered a C.U. fumble when rugged line play forced the ball to pop from the arms of Colorado’s hard working sophomore Fullback Bill Symons.
Nebraska took over on the Buff 28 after 4 1/2 minutes of the third period.
A few minutes earlier a Nebraska drive from the second half kick-off had gotten nowhere but this time the Huskers were not to be denied.
The eager Nebraskans needed only one play to spring Rudy Johnson for the tying touchdown.
Rudy, on his 28-yard sprint, was escorted through the line, then scooted past the secondary before the Buff defenders knew what was going on.
John Faiman’s toe gave Nebraska the go ahead point.
Nebraska got the second touchdown the next time it got hold of the ball. This was an 80-yard drive which required only six plays.
Mike Eger, senior end, got the big bite when he grabbed a heave from Quarterback Dennis Claridge, who wasn’t having one of his better afternoons throwing the football.
Eger stumbled to the Colorado 45 and three plays later Claridge shot across on a keeper from the 31.
This was a spectacular run in that five yards from the goal the Nebraska quarterback lost the ball.
Denny retrieved it in midair and without missing a stride continued into the end zone unmolested.
Faiman’s conversion attempt was blocked.
This misfire had serious dimensions until a minute later Larry Tomlinson, O’Neill junior, gave the Huskers a comfortable nine-point cushion.
Tomlinson spilled C.U. passer Frank Cesarek in the end zone for a safety.
Forced back to its own two by a fumble the first play after Faiman’s kick-off had landed in the end zone, Colorado was attempting a third-down desperation pass.
Husker linemen who had been pressuring Cesarek rolled back with Buff wall and Tomlinson made an easy kill.
The safety sent the tiring Buffaloes into full rout and in two minutes Nebraska had the insurance touchdown.
This was an 11-yard pass from Claridge to Bill Comstock, Scottsbluff senior.
Comstock’s catch was a routine grab and came four plays after Willie Paschall’s brilliant 34-yard return of Colorado’s free kick following the safety,
The extra-point conversion was weird.
Faiman, set for a placekick, watched the snapback soar far over his head.
Warren Powers, scheduled to hold for the kick, and Faiman joined half a dozen Buffs in the race for the ball.
Faiman made the recovery around the C.U. 35 and, spotting End Dick Callahan alone at the five, threw for the easy two-point conversion.
Forty-two seconds remained in the third quarter when the Huskers had the count shoved to 23-6.
Coach Devaney used the remaining 15 minutes to school his reserve linemen and give a refresher course on pass defense to his secondary.
Before the final gun Gene Young, junior fullback, whose hard running gave the Buff middle a long afternoon, engineered a touchdown.
This was a closing minutes drive from mid-field with Young gaining 12, 18, 17 and then plunging across from two yards out.
Until the third quarter left Coach Bud Davis’ out-manned Buffaloes badly befuddled Colorado had command.
Out-downed and out-gained the first half, C.U. rode into the intermission out front, 6-0.
The Buffs drove 32 yards in four plays, sending Symons across from the one.
Oddly, it was not the feared Colorado passing offense but an aerial blunder of Nebraska’s own making which gave Colorado its only chance.
This was a Claridge pitch which Dick Melville, a C.U. sophomore fullback from Michigan, picked off and hustled 37 yards to the Nebraska 32.
The Huskers promptly fell for the old screen pass which Leon Mavity converted into a 26-yard scamper. Symons scored on a third and one situation.
While Colorado was making the most of its lone opportunity, the Cornhuskers were sputtering and stuttering through two quarters of the worst football they have played this year.
The Scarlet muffed a good first quarter opportunity.
A drive from opening kick-off to the C.U. 18 faded when Claridge’s keeper was a foot short of a first down.
A second threat went out the window when Kent McCloughan, chasing a wild C.U. lateral, knocked the ball out of bounds.
After giving Nebraska possession on the Bluff six, the officials reconsidered and gave Colorado the ball at that spot.
After the scoreless first quarter the Scarlet blew three chances the second period.
Soon after the second period opened tremendous rushing pressure by Larry Donovan, Bob Brown and Lloyd Voss threw the Buffs back 22 yards in the three plays.
This gave Nebraska the scoring chance stymied by Claridge’s wild pitch which set the stage for the C.U. score.
Just before halftime a Nebraska drive wilted nine yards out when Claridge’s fourth-down keeper was a foot short.
Ten seconds before the intermission a 30-yard, fourth down pass by Claridge rolled off the fingertips of Huge when the Holdrege senior was all alone at the two.
The Buffs had Willie Ross, top Husker rusher, shackled, but they couldn’t handle smashes through the middle by Young and Powers.
Johnson’s fancy stepping around the ends or Claridge’s power options and keepers also bothered the home team.
Symons and Mavity, with an occasional punch by Bill Harris, gave Colorado surprising strength on the ground.
The Buffs gathered 18 first downs, most scored against Nebraska this year. Nine were by passing.
Co-captain Dwain Carlson, who got the opening flip choice for the sixth time this year, led the Husker defense with 11 stops, two unassisted. Al Fischer and Ron Michka got eight each and Eger, Noel Martin, John Kirby and Donovan five each.
Al Hollingsworth, junior lineman from Omaha North, was a big thorn in the Husker flesh during the opening minutes. Almost single-handed, he turned back the first Husker threat.
Hollingsworth, End Ken Blair and Linebacker Dan Grimm, sidelined by an ankle injury late in the third period, were main C.U. defenders.
Saturday’s victory evens the series at 10-10-1.
|Yards per carry||2.2||6.3|
Nebraska is 49-20 all-time against Colorado.
|South Dakota||Sept. 22|
|Iowa State||Oct. 6|
|North Carolina State||Oct. 13|
|Kansas State||Oct. 20|
|Oklahoma State||Nov. 17|
|Miami (FL)||Dec. 15|
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