Hole for Maynard Smidt is a perfect fit... Big Lloyd Voss hunts some one down...
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln—Nebraska’s improving Cornhuskers smashed Colorado Saturday, 41 to 6, to hike their Big Eight record to 3-0 and set up a showdown with co-leader Missouri this week at Columbia.
A homecoming crowd of 37 thousand saw the Huskers register their highest point total and largest winning margin of the 22-game rivalry with Colorado.
And that was done without the services of the Huskers’ leading ground-gainer, Willie Ross, who suffered a shoulder separation a week earlier.
Colorado hustled 68 yards for a touchdown the first time it had possession, but that valiant effort amounted to little more than a pre-Halloween prank by the time the scoreboard lights flashed the final score.
Helping fill the gap caused by Ross’ absence were fullback Rudy Johnson, who netted 57 yards, and halfback Bobby Hohn, who added 54.
Also prominent in the ball-moving parade were Maynard Smidt, 30 yards; Kent McCloughan, 29; Denny Claridge, 27; Gene Young, 26; Fred Duda, 22, and Dave Theisen, 21.
It was a day of quarterback brilliance for the victors.
Duda, the rookie from Chicago, directed an N.U. comeback drive of 84 yards immediately after the Buffaloes had scored.
Showing promise of becoming Nebraska’s most artistic quarterback since Fran Nagle, Duda also steered the N.U. alternates 52 yards to a touchdown in the third quarter.
Claridge was the ringmaster on defense-riddling sweeps of 23 and 93 yards that were climaxed by touchdowns.
A fifth effort, covering 85 yards, was a joint effort by Duda and Claridge.
The coup de grace, coming when the outmanned Buffs were groaning and gasping in the final minutes, was a 43-yard aerial strike from quarterback Henry Woods to end Preston Love, a couple of fourth-string rookies.
Claridge on 6 of 11 passes to break John Bordogna’s N.U. career mark of 113 completions by two. Denny, back in fine form after seeing service only as a kicker the previous Saturday, added 64 yards to his own school pass-gain record, which stands at 1,638.
Duda found the target on 5 of 7 tosses for 67 yards.
Sophomore Tony Jeter was the most adept receiver, grabbing four for 51 yards.
WIth injured tackle Monte Kiffin sidelined, Nebraska also called for extra effort from its linesmen. The response is found in the fact that the Buffs’ vaunted bulldozer corps averaged only 2.7 yards on 36 carries.
John Dervin, junior guard from Chicago, made five unassisted tackles and helped on three others during his most effective afternoon as a Husker.
The most significant defensive play of the day was a combined throttler by guard Bob Brown, who was being watched closely by scout Will Walls of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and center Ron Michka.
Nebraska held a thin advantage of 7 to 6 early in the second quarter as the hulking Brown clamped quarterback Frank Cesarek in his patented bear hug.
When Cesarek dropped the ball, Michka, the scrappy Omaha senior, was there to claim it on the Colorado 23.
Six plays later, Nebraska had its second touchdown.
Claridge fumbled on a fourth-down dash around right end from the 19.
Several players touched the ball, but control was ruled Nebraska’s, since Claridge was last in possession.
Rudy Johnson slanted over right tackle for three, then Smidt slashed through the middle and angled to the right for the score.
The day was balmy, the victory sweet.
Coach Bob Devaney warned, however, that against Missouri this week his boys will be facing a team “definitely superior to anyone we’ve played so far.”
Fullback Larry Portis gouged out 20 yards in five line bucks as Colorado moved doggedly from its 32 for the game’s first points.
Cesarek completed three passes and the third, from the Nebraska 13, was the payoff. End Ben Howe caught it just before stepping across the back line of the end zone.
The Husker seconds took over after halfback Ted Vactor returned the ensuing the kickoff from the end zone to the N.U. 21.
THeisen grabbed the first big chunk of yardage, utilizing Duda’s scything block on Leon Mavity to go from his 38 to the Buff 48.
A good block by center Walt Barnes enabled Theisen to pick up another eight. When Dee Henderson stopped Johnson for no gain, it was third and two. Duda got three around his right end.
A 12-yard flip, Duda to Theisen, was followed by Smidt’s two plunges to the 12. Duda hustled around right end to the five, then followed Johnson’s block to the one.
Johnson got the touchdown with only inches to spare when he hurled himself into a mass of defenders. When Theisen delivered the first of five placements, Nebraska was on top to stay, 7 to 6.
NU Scores 2
Nebraska’s hammering defense kept Colorado on the far side of the 50 until midway in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Huskers were scoring twice.
No. 2 for Nebraska came after Michka’s recovery of the Cesarek bobble and was capped by Smidt’s shot from the six. No. 3 followed the second half kickoff, which Vactor fumbled before scampering out to a thunderous fate at the hands of Stan Irvine and Bill Harris on the N.U. 7.
The long drive that followed found the Huskers at their offensive best of the year.
There was power, speed, good faking, sharp blocking, and an effective mixture of plays by Claridge.
Two straight passes from Claridge to Jeter were good for 21 yards. The same duo clicked for 15 later in the series.
Hohn, Smidt, Johnson, Claridge and McCloughan all made rushing contributions.
With the ball inside the Colorado two, and Brown and Larry Kramer helping blast a hole, JOhnson smashed past two tacklers, a pair of linebackers and a defensive halfback on the Colorado left side.
Still in their period, the Buffs got past the 50 on a Cesarek-Bill Symons pass that covered 13 yards to the N.U. 48. However, Symons fumbled on the nxt down and Theisen recovered on the same yard line.
Duda took the Huskers all the way in five plays. The big strike was a Duda pass to McCloughan, who caught the ball on the enemy 32 and sped to the two before Mavity nailed him.
Theisen lost about a half-yard at the middle, but McCloughan raced around his left flank for the touchdown as Young hand-fought Howe in a delaying action.
Hohn, the surprising junior from Beatrice, sparkled on Nebraska’s first scoring sweep in the fourth quarter.
He caught one pass from Claridge and another from Duda, and shared ground honors with Johnson as the Scarlet rolled 50 yards to the Colorado 3 in nine plays.
From there, he scored on a pass from Claridge. Kramer’s block opened running space on the left side and Hohn’s speed was sufficient to leave Symons clutching a handful of air.
After Woods and Love collaborated for their long touchdown, Nebraska could claim full measure of satisfaction for the considerable misery it suffered in Colorado games of recent years.