LINCOLN — Nebraska is two hours away from a perfect football season following Saturday’s 42-to-6 obliteration of grossly overmatched Kansas University.
The homecoming game at Oklahoma State this week and the Thanksgiving Day meeting here with Oklahoma U. are the only remaining test for Bob Devaney’s 8-0 Cornhuskers.
Nebraska made Kansas its fifth straight Big Eight victim with one of the most overwhelming power shows of the Devaney regime.
Paced by Halfback Ron Kirkland’s hardest-driving day, N.U. punched out 419 ground yards. Another 91 in the air ballooned the total—offense figure to 510.
Kirkland galloped for 147 yards — and a 14.7 average — as Kansas absorbed its worst lambasting of the series since a 53-to-2 Husker frolic in 1940.
The Huskers’ muscle was only surpassed by their audacity this hazy, breezy afternoon.
In the second quarter, shortly after a 70-yard Bill Lynch punt had rolled dead on the N.U. three-yard line, the hosts found themselves inches short of a first down on their own 13.
It was fourth down; they held a 14-point advantage.
Instead of punting, Nebraska put the ball in the hands of its smallest back, Frank Solich, and sent him into the line.
The 158-pounder made it, and on this particular day you could add the comment “of course.”
Later, Coach Jack Mitchell was to say of his pulverizing conquerors:
“I had no idea that any team in the nation could take that ball and whip us like that.”
The game was witnessed by a red-garbed throng of 53,910 which pushed the home-attendance total to a record 268,605 for five dates. That even tops the old six-game mark.
Larry Wachholtz slipped into the record book; his six conversions from placement giving him a season total of 30. That matched the production of Owen Frank in 1910.
Nebraska scored with speed, power and the pass as Kirkland, Ben Gregory, Freeman White, Harry Wilson, Dennis Richnafsky and Charlie Winters contributed touchdowns.
The Black Shirts, paced by the tackling of Bill Johnson, Wachholtz, Len Janik, Rick Coleman and Walt Barnes, yielded a meager 24 yards rushing to Kansas the second half.
Kansas earned its six points. With little Bill Fenton passing sharply, the Jays showed their mettle by moving the ball 80 yards to get on the scoreboard.
The sequence opened with a 21-yard toss to Sim Stokes; finished with Fenton squirming over from the two.
The 150-pounder took quite a mauling but ran or passed 33 times during the afternoon in a rare exhibition of courage and durability.
Nebraska didn’t need a single third-down effort on its opening touchdown sweep of 61 yards. Kirkland kicked up a storm around the N.U. right end to score from the five.
He went over after being hit by Ward Coleman.
The second touchdown of the first quarter bore the able of Gregory. He tore through the left side from the three as Tony Jeter headed a thundering phalanx of blockers.
On the first play after the next kick-off, K.U. Fullback Dick Bacon sped 49 yards to the Husker 40. Kaye Carstens and Bill Johnson pulled him down, and the Black Shirts eventually killed the threat on the 24.
Late in the second quarter, Lynch’s 70-yard punt made Nebraska scrimmage from its three.
Quarterback Fred Duda then was at his self-assured best, pushing N.U. out of the hole and sparking the regulars the full 97 yards.
In addition to Solich’s pugnacious fourth-down plunge, there was a Duda-White pass capped by a lateral to Wilson, a 40-yard breakaway by Kirkland and a 13-yard finisher on which Duda passed to White and the big end shrugged off a tackler with eclat.
The 21-to-6 lead at intermission didn’t calm the Huskers. In fact, they came growling back with some of their most furious blocking and running.
They drove 74 yards after accepting the second-half kick-off. White contributed the most dynamic block of the game, with Ward Coleman the victim, as Duda passed to Wilson for the initial first-and-10.
Effective running by Gregory and Wilson was coupled with Duda passes to Solich and Gregory as Nebraska hurried to the 10 in spirited fashion.
Wilson made it from there, circling his left end and then putting on a burst of speed that seemed to turn the defenders into stone.
Late in the third period, Quarterback Bob Churchich engineered a 58-yard surge that featured the trench work of Gregory and Winters. At the K.U. eight, Churchich rifled the ball to Richnafsky as the rookie end sped across the goal line.
Carstens intercepted a Fenton pass moments later, returning it 32 yards to the Jayhawk seven, where ponderous Bob Hudspeth felled him.
On first down, Winters churned through the Husker right side. Flaunting his raw power, he trampled Bruce Peterson and Bill Lynch.
Their prostrate forms were symbolic of the destruction wrought by this ambitious Nebraska team.
|Yards per carry||3.8||6.3|
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
|Air Force||Sept. 25|
|Iowa State||Oct. 2|
|Kansas State||Oct. 16|
|Oklahoma State||Nov. 13|
Nebraska has played 16 games on Nov. 6. See them all »
©2019 BH Media Group