Nebraska 21
Iowa State 7

Oct. 5, 1963 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln

1 2 3 4 T
Iowa State 0 7 0 0 7
Nebraska 7 0 6 8 21

Cyclones Blow Hot for Half, Then NU Plays Freeze-out

Tackle Lloyd Voss... a desert sheik. Bob Covik, Lincoln... musical shade. Richard Hotze, Indianola... popular young man. But at this particular moment... cold drinks go begging. Tom Allan

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln—Embarrassed by a half time deadlock, Nebraska played freeze-out during a 93-degree third quarter to capture its Big Eight football opener, 21 to 7, over Iowa State Saturday.

This was not a Cornhusker powerhouse that could methodically dismantle its underdog opponent.

It was a team that was outrushed and outpassed during the first two quarters, which closed with a surprising 7 to 7 tie.

Cyclones Overpowered

When Nebraska finally began to roll, however, the Iowans were convincingly overpowered.

The final total yardage figures gave Nebraska a fat advantage of 321 to 184. The chart also showed that Cyclone backs were thrown and hogtied for a minus 69 yards and a net ground gain of 133.

“Their boys are just too big,” said Clay Stapleton, the losing coach.

That was patently clear during the Huskers’ remarkable ball control exhibition during the third quarter.

Aroused at Last

At last aroused to the point where they could begin to play up to their potential, the Huskers permitted Iowa State to initiate only four plays during that period. One was a punt.

Following a gambling 16-yard kickoff return from his own end zone by Bob Hohn, Nebraska swept 84 yards to the go-ahead touchdown and that was the game.

The comeback was directed by quarterback Denny Claridge, energized by Rudy Johnson, and Willie Ross, and brought to full fruition by high-powered line play.

The first sour note for Nebraska was sounded immediately after Iowa State was forced to punt in the opening minutes.

On the first N.U. play from scrimmage, Mike Cox dumped the pass-minded Claridge for a 10-yard loss. On fourth down, there was still 13 yards to make.

Voss Provides Escort

Moments later, however, Cyclone Tommy Vaughn couldn’t control a pitchout, and Husker end Dick Callahan claimed possession just inside the Iowa State 10.

Claridge got over the two on a rollout around his left end, butting Dave Hoover for a few bonus yards in the process. Dave Theisen was about half a foot short of a touchdown but Bobby Hohn trotted in behind right tackle Lloyd Voss for the score.

Rudy Johnson’s seventh consecutive placement kick of the year put Iowa State in a seven-point hole.

Later in the first period, Iowa State, aided by a pass interference ruling, fought from its 39 to the Husker nine.

Huskers Get Tough

Nebraska got tough at that point.

Chuck Doepke threw quarterback Larry Switzer for an 8-yard loss. Larry Tomlinson batted down a pass by Switzer. Bob Jones bulldogged Switzer for a 3-yard deficit.

A fourth-down pass from Ken Bunte to Dick Limerick carried to the six—and N.U. had held.

With six seconds remaining in the period and the ball on the eight, Nebraska stopped the clock to keep the advantage of a wind that was gusting up to 20 miles and hour.

Seven or eight yards deep in his end zone, Claridge lofted a tremendous punt. It sailed 70 yards or better, then dribbled into the Cyclone end zone.

Hustling Tomlinson arrived a second too late to pin the ball in enemy territory.

Listed officially at 72 yards, the kick actually traveled about 110 yards.

Early in the second quarter, Nebraska mounted a push of 40 yards but couldn’t make its aerial game work in the clutch and relinquished the ball on the Cyclone 11.

The visitors still thought they were in contention. They proved it with one of the shaggiest plays in the book.

They battled from their 11 to the Husker 46, but were shoved back to their own 30 for holding. When a Bunte pass fell incomplete, the Cyclones lined up for a punt, with third down and 24 to make. It wasn’t an unreasonable proposition.

Right Side Unprotected

Sophomore Steve Balkovec—a rookie from Omaha who was to average 46 yards on five kicks—was deep in punt formation. However, the snap went to Hoover, who broke through his lightly defended right side, angled close to the sideline and rambled all the way to the end zone on a well-paced, hard-driving effort. End larry hannahs contributed the best supporting block.

Limerick’s kick pulled the Cyclones into a tie that Nebraska couldn’t shake in the remaining four minutes and 47 seconds of the half.

The ticker-tape report of that Iowa State achievement no doubt produced raised eyebrows in press boxes from coast to coast.

And it must have produced harsh language in the N.U. locker room.

Nebraska showed impressive muscle from the very beginning of the second half of this contest before an estimated 37 thousand perspiring fans.

The 84-yard scoring sweep was the product of disciplined fury. Johnson opened with a 6-yard thrust, Ross added five, Hohn sped for three, Johnson chalked up 10.

Then came a momentary flutter.

Hannahs held Hohn for no gain at the Cyclone 48 and Johnson fumbled on the next play. As the ball rolled free, Nebraska’s Bob Brown and Iowa State’s Vaughn pounced with a combined 461 pounds.

Vaughn got in the best early grab, but Brown wound up with the ball on the 43.

Ross plucked five yards before Claridge faked a power shot to the left and rambled 30 yards through the right side on a keeper.

Hoover stopped him on the eight. Johnson and Ross each bit off three yards before Hannahs, a rampaging 200-pound senior from Circleville, O., snagged McCloughan for a 2-yard loss.

Master Claridge put an end to the suspense by sweeping right for a touchdown as Johnson smacked down Hoover—and an official—at the goal line.

This time Johnson’s kick was errant but that mattered little. The Huskers had established command.

After giving the Cyclones their three runs and a punt, Nebraska got off another 11 plays before the quarter ended. On the first play of the final period, Theisen’s field goal effort was off-target from the 27.

An interception by Callahan on the N.U. 35 set up the final touchdown. The preliminary ingredients were a 5-yard sprint by Maynard Smidt, a 10-yard pass from Claridge to Callahan, an 11-yard romp by Ross, and a 36-yard boomer by McCloughan.

The latter was keyed by a great block by guard John Kirby.

Hoover pulled McCloughan down on the three, but that reprieve was short-lived. Claridge hoofed around his right end and across the goal line as Johnson took out Cox.

Ross got his first points of the year on a two-point run that found him winning a bumping contest with Vaughn at the goal line.

Iowa State had two more opportunities with the ball but its attack was consistently jammed by Nebraska’s overwhelming linemen.

Nebraska will be aiming for a 4-0 record in its home game with the Air Force Academy this week. Iowa State, now 1-2, must face Kansas University at Lawrence.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Box score (PDF)

Game stats

Opp NU
Penalty yards 103
Rush yards 133 279
Rush attempts 44 53
Yards per carry 3.0 5.3
Pass yards 51 42
Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-12-2 3-6-0
Yards/Att. 4.3 7.0
Yards/Comp. 10.2 14.0
Fumbles 1 0

Series history

Nebraska is 86-17 all-time against Iowa State.

See all games »

1963 season (10-1)

South Dakota State Sept. 21
Minnesota Sept. 28
Iowa State Oct. 5
Air Force Oct. 12
Kansas State Oct. 19
Colorado Oct. 26
Missouri Nov. 2
Kansas Nov. 9
Oklahoma State Nov. 16
Oklahoma Nov. 23
Auburn Jan. 1

This day in history

Nebraska has played 17 games on Oct. 5. See them all »

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