FORT WORTH, Tex. — Those magnificent defensive Black Shirts kept setting 'em up in the other guys' alley Saturday, enabling Nebraska to hand Texas Christian its worst whipping of the season, 29-0.
Quarterback Frank Patrick hurled a pair of touchdown passes and reliever Al Fierro pitched another.
But it was alert play by the persistent Black Shirts that gave the Huskers position for each of those stabs. The defenders also made possible a 23-yard field goal by Bill Bomberger and scored one touchdown outright on sophomore Ken Geddes' 39-yard sprint with an intercepted pass.
The Texans apparently feared the worst. Only 16,656 fans turned out for the contest between the Big Eight hustlers and the winless Southwest Conference cellar club.
The TCU ground game was smothered from start to finish.
Although the hosts had averaged 121 ground yards a game against Iowa, Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Texas A. and M., on this sunny, breezy day it was limited to 40 yards — 15 in the first quarter, six in the second, none in the third and 19 in the fourth.
Nebraska's advantage in total yardage was 377 to 115, with Fulback Dick Davis alone accounting for greater gains than the losers' air-ground production.
The powerful junior from Omaha carried 22 times for 106 yards, lifting his Husker-high total for six games to 430. He caught one pass for 21 yards and a touchdown.
Nebraska forced 11 punts by TCU, stole three passes and recovered all three of the hosts' fumbles.
The Huskers still were far from supersmooth on the attack, although they did produce their first two scored within a span of 57 seconds. They lost two of six fumbles and suffered two interceptions.
Far more serious, as Nebraska returns to Big Eight combat against Iowa State this week, is the fact End Denny Richnafsky may be shelved by a strained leg muscle, and Dana Stephenson, the plucky, all-purpose sophomore, is believed lost for a couple of weeks with a shoulder separation.
Stephenson returned nine punts against TCU, kicked eight times for a 35.1 average — with one boomer of 64.
Richnafsky caught three passes and scored the opening touchdown.
Nebraska got off to a confidence-shaking start when Ted Fay sidetracked a Patrick pass on the third N.U. play.
Nebraska still sputtered, though, and kicked on fourth down.
The obliging Wynn moments later recovered another fumble, this by Kenny Post, to give Nebraska possession on the TCU 19.
By now, Patrick was carrying a loaded gun.
He shot Davis through the middle for 12 yards, and rang up two more strides on plunges by Ben Gregory. Third and five at the five.
Patrick faked to Davis at the line, then rolled out to his right and fired to Richnafsky, who was deep in the end zone behind Mike Hall. Bomberger added the extra point.
Three plays later, Danny Carter's pass was intercepted by Geddes, The Boys Town vulture. Geddes' five-yard return gave Nebraska the ball 21 yards from the TCU goal line.
The foe was lured in the wrong direction as Davis raced into the end zone and Patrick tagged him with a first-down touchdown pass. Nebraska made this one look ridiculously easy.
The clock had showed 8:09 to go in the opening quarter when Richnafsky scored. Now it showed 7:11 after Davis' second touchdown of the season.
Bomberger was wide on the placement attempt — as he was after No. 3.
Meanwhile, Nebraska was wasting its best drive of the day — a 62-yard advance that carried into the second quarter and to the TCU 13. Joe Orduna's fourth down plunge for less than a yard was inches short.
Defensive Back Stephenson lugged a punt 19 yards to the Texas Christian 47 with 1:21 to go in the first half.
Orduna darted to the 43 before Patrick connected on two passes to Tom Penney and one to Denny Morrison for a first and 10 on the 15. Davis swirled around his left end for another 10.
With Ernie Sigler of Dallas holding on the 13, Bomberger knocked in a field goal to bring the intermission lead to 16-0.
The third period was chock full of hijinks. In the early going, savage defensive play by Wynn, Jerry Patton, and Wayne Meylan shoved TCU into a fourth-and-25 embarrassment at its own nine-yard line.
Donnie Gibbs got the Frogs out of the muddle with a 67-yard punt.
The next time around, TCU made a rare appearance on Nebraska's side of the 50 when Quarterback P.D. Shabay passed to big Ross Montgomery for 33 yards to put the ball at the N.U. 25.
TCU Eyes Rare Score
Texas Christian hasn't scored a touchdown at home since the final game of 1965, and it was slavering for one now.
On fourth down with eight to make from the Husker 23, Shabay passed to Montgomery, who had inveigled his way into the end zone.
But the apparent bullseye never arrived. Marv Mueller, the senior safety, exhibited impeccable timing as he leaped high and batted down the ball at the goal line.
Less than a minute later, TCU again had possession and Shabay again threw to Montgomery. This time Geddes thwarted the 6-3 receiver. The 6-1 rookie took the ball on dead run at the foe's 39 and streaked unchallenged to his first varsity touchdown.
The scoreboard showed time had elapsed in the third period when TCU streamed for time-out just before a fourth-down punt by Nebraska. TCU wanted N.U. to have to kick into the gusty wind.
Officials said TCU beat the clock. So Stephenson dropped back. He fumbled the snap from center and was caught for a big loss. However, the officials had not been in proper position when the play started.
So Nebraska tried again against the wind. Stephenson's punt sailed only 22 yards. Billy Fondren returned it four to the TCU 36. The entire episode proved inconsequential.
There were two fumbles in three plays as Sigler got his chance at quarterback early in the fourth quarter. Tackle Terry Shakelford of TCU recovered the first, Husker Joe Armstrong the second.
Fierro Given Chance
Coach Bob Devaney next called on Fierro a native of Big Spring, Tex. Fierro, the best distance passer on the squad; fired one deep that might have produced a touchdown had sophomore End Sherwin Jarmon not halted his downfield run prematurely.
After a short burst by Mike Green and another incomplete pass, Armstrong bailed out the Huskers with a 50-yard punt.
Then sophomore Safety Randy Reeves, Stephenson's replacement, gave Fierro another opportunity to sparkle. The former Omaha Benson athlete recovered a TCU fumble at midfield with 1:13 to play.
Fierro passed to Green for 13, but Nebraska was jolted by a 15-yard penalty. Futility seemed to be the byword as Green recovered his own fumble after reaching the TCU 46.
Enough of this. Fierro passed to Buster Yannon, a 5-foot-10 sophomore back, who made the catch on the 21 and kept hoofing for six points worth of glory.
For the first time this year, Nebraska had scored in every quarter of a game. Despite a five-yard penalty, Bomberger made the conversion from the 15.
Ten seconds later, Nebraska walked off the field with its fourth triumph in six starts. Not a bad mark for a team that's rebuilding.
|Yards per carry||1.2||3.4|
Nebraska is 6-1 all-time against TCU.
|Kansas State||Oct. 7|
|Iowa State||Nov. 4|
|Oklahoma State||Nov. 11|
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