CAMP RANDALL STADIUM, Madison, Wis. — Improved Nebraska used a pummeling defense and a sharpened attack Saturday to rout Wisconsin, 31-3, for its fourth straight victory.
The shirtsleeve crowd of 52,428, including some 35 hundred Nebraskans, saw the Cornhuskers turn in their best game of the season.
It was a performance that compared favorably with Southern Cal’s workmanlike job in the only previous Wisconsin loss (38-3). Nebraska rolled up 383 yards compared with the Trojans’ 390, yielded 216 where the West Coast club had given up 191.
The N.U. Black Shirts scrapped with deadly effectiveness as the temperature climbed to 80 degrees.
Co-Captain Larry Wachholtz’s defensive platoon recovered three Wisconsin fumbles, intercepted four passes, blocked a punt and ran up 12 points of its own.
The Black Shirts also set the stage for all of the attack unit’s scoring. Here is the log on the slam-bang play:
First quarter — Langston Coleman hit Badger quarterback John Ryan, whose fumble was recovered by Carel Stith on the Wisconsin 29. After Nebraska drove to the 11, Wachholtz came in to kick a 27-yard field goal, tying the school career record of seven field goals held by Vic Halligan and Ron Meade.
Second quarter — A hard tackle by Wachholtz forced fullback Wayne Todd’s fumble, which Marv Mueller and Rick Coleman claimed on the Nebraska 36. Quarterback Bob Churchich piloted the Huskers 64 yards in seven plays, with Ben Gregory taking a well-timed pitch-out around right end to score from the nine.
Third quarter — Langston Coleman’s fumble recovery put Nebraska in business on the Wisconsin 20. The Huskers drove to the three, but lost possession on a bobbled Churchich-Harry Wilson hand-off.
However, the Black Shirts were not in a forgiving mood, and bow-necked stops by Kaye Carstens and Jim McCord forced a Badger punt a few minutes later.
This time the defenders did the total job, springing middle guard Wayne Meylan into the backfield. The remarkably fast 239-pound junior blocked Don Schaffner’s punt, then grabbed the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Later in the same period, Meylan’s terrifying rush resulted in a puny 18-yard punt by Schaffner, the ball sailing out of bounds at the Husker 41.
Churchich fed the ball to Pete Tatman three straight times for 18 yards. He passed to Denny Morrison for 14. After Wilson picked up two, Ben Gregory slammed for four and 10. Wilson leaped over prostrate linebacker Sam Wheeler and drove straight ahead for a seemingly easy six points.
If the Big Ten press still hadn’t discovered Meylan, the Bay City, Mich., husky gave those flinty-eyed writers another opportunity with about nine minutes to play.
He and sub linebacker Barry Alvarez stormed toward the harried Ryan, who barely got his pass away. The wayward pitch was derailed by another alternate linebacker, Len Janik, whose three-yard advance gave Nebraska a shot from the Badger 37.
It was Wayne Weber’s turn to crack the whip as quarterback.
The eighth play called by the Hastings redhead found Paul Critchlow bagging the second touchdown of his N.U. career. It came on a plunge through the right side from less than a yard out.
Wachholtz’s conversion was his sixth point of the day.
Nebraska’s long-sought backfield speed came off the bench in the person of sophomore Dick Davis during the final scoring sweep. Davis carried twice, for 16 yards and 10.
He lugged once more on Nebraska’s game-ending series, getting five yards. For the game, it was three chances, 31 yards, a 10.3 average.
The final bid uncovered a page from the Husker future book. Joining Davis in the 31-yard drive that was halted by the gun were quarterback Ernie Sigler, whose only pass was completed to end Miles Kimmel; Critchlow, who carried twice, and Mickey Ziegler, who chipped in with a seven-yard run.
Thoroughly squelched by Wisconsin a year ago, Wilson this time led Husker ground-gainers with 86 yards. He also caught a Churchich pass for 25, raising his total-offense figure for four games to 295. Wilson was used both at halfback and fullback.
Gregory had an excellent day as he took up slack in the absence of injured Ron Kirkland. Gregory averaged 5.8 yards for 11 — the most proficient showing by any runner in the game.
The Uniontown, Pa., junior also caught Churchich passes for 16, two, five and 19 yards. As the Black Shirts would be certain to point out, Gregory was borrowed from his usual post at cornerback.
On his touchdown burst, Gregory blew through a would-be tackle by Gary Reineck near the two. A couple of other defenders, Tom Schinke and Bob Grossman were making futile clutches as Ben powered into the end zone.
Churchich, who had one streak of seven consecutive completions, gave a good demonstration of how he has become the most productive passer in Cornhusker history. He hit 10 of 13 for the day, good for 117 yards. His 26-game career records include 150 completions for 2,149 yards.
Wisconsin made four penetrations of Nebraska territory — to the 15 and four in the first half, to the 34 and 48 in the second half. The threat at the 15 culminated in a 33-yard field goal by Schinke.
Sophomore Ryan had his busiest day as a passer, but Nebraska’s consistent rush, led by ends Jerry Patton and Coleman and middle guard Meylan, helped hold him to 10 completions in 26 attempts.
The losers’ only runner of consequence was fullback Todd, who hammered 11 times to net 35 yards.
Galiant in the futile defense were linebacker Bob Richter and cornerback Reineck, each taking part in 15 tackles. Ends Bud Dyer and Eric Rice also made some important stops in clutch circumstances.
Nebraska will resume its Big Eight title defense in a homecoming game with Kansas State Saturday. Wisconsin, now 2-2, is at home against Northwestern.
|Yards per carry||2.3||4.2|
Nebraska is 4-9 all-time against Wisconsin.
|Utah State||Sept. 24|
|Iowa State||Oct. 1|
|Kansas State||Oct. 15|
|Oklahoma State||Nov. 12|
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