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.
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.
|Yards per carry||3.0||5.3|
Nebraska is 86-17 all-time against Iowa State.
|South Dakota State||Sept. 21|
|Iowa State||Oct. 5|
|Air Force||Oct. 12|
|Kansas State||Oct. 19|
|Oklahoma State||Nov. 16|
Nebraska has played 17 games on Oct. 5. See them all »
©2019 BH Media Group