CARTIER FIELD, SOUTH BEND, Ind., Nov. 15 — Rockne, master of football, greatest craftsman of all time, tonight swung into place the keystone of his victory arch, and on the keystone is engraved “Nebraska.” Below the name is to be read this legend in abbreviation: “N.D. 34, Neb., 6.”
There are other stones in the arch, and they bear the names of Princeton, Wisconsin, Army, and Georgia Tech. There are small holes still unfilled at the bases of the emblem of conquest, but these are minor openings, and will be filled by the work of Rockne’s apprentice craftsmen.
Not many days ago it was told to Rockne by travelers that his arch would not be erected this season, that out of the west would pour an invading horde which objected to the sculpturing of “Nebraska” on the keystone.
“But I have this keystone,” thundered the master of masters. “I will have it, for without it my efforts for the year all will be in vain. The stone which I have fashioned for this monument will remain but stones, if I do not fashion the great centerpiece which will hold them in place.”
As had been foretold, the invaders came, they challenged Rockne’s intentions, they went forth bravely into battle. Confidently they launched attack, then they wavered, were repelled, rallied and for a fleeting moment there were hearts that beat high in hope of victory, but only for a fleeting moment. Like a blizzard after blooming time, the strategies of the masters were unleashed to strike cold and wither the hopes of the invaders whose ensign is the scarlet. At will, literally at will, Rockne’s hordes drove, hammered, decoyed their adversaries back, back and back. Never after that first spurt was there sign of Nebraska’s Cornhuskers on this Saturday before the greatest throng ever to witness a football struggle at South Bend. They suffered the worst defeat in all the years of their rivalry with the team that wears the Blue.
More than 20 thousand wedged and jammed in stands, 5 thousand others who stood or sat on every available space, saw Rockne in one day avenge, yes, more than avenge, defeats that the past two years have sent his conquerors of all the east and south back from the Cornhusker capital conquered by the Scarlet warriors who rule in the mid-west.
Tonight Notre Dame stands where Notre Dame deserves to stand, where it had stood all this season, as the greatest football even in the republic, possibly the greatest football eleven of all time.
Rockne hasn’t only a marvelous backfield, the smoothest, most beautifully functioning quartet ever assembled, but he has just such an entire first eleven. He has a second eleven that against Nebraska seemed able to accomplish everything of which his first eleven was capable and that is saying all the cunning movements, all the tremendous driving attacks, all the crafty navigation of the air that is known to football. He has too, Don Miller, as mighty as Grange and cleverer. He has too Layden, who late in the game beat Nebraska at its own traditional style of play—plunging. In a series of consecutive charges at the right of center he advanced the ball more than thirty yards for a touchdown.
Before Layden’s feat the Notre Dame scoring had been either directly on a passing play or on short end runs or plunges immediately following a breath-taking pass to the great Miller or his almost equally talented mate, Crowley, a pass which the quarterback genius Stuhldreher always hurled with expert rifleman accuracy. There had been intermittent attacks at the line, which had brought more than usual success; then Layden essayed the consistent smashing game, and found little to smash.
Nebraska played as a weak team, almost disorganized at times, at others seemingly pitifully helpless, confused by the bewildering pyrotechnics that broke so dazzlingly and so blindingly for them. No, it is hard for a Nebraskan to say, but it is true, this statement: Notre Dame had to beat Nebraska today to keep a clean a wonderful season’s record, to avenge two consecutive defeats, but Notre Dame deserves little credit for overcoming such opposition as that which they were met at Cartier field this afternoon. The second team could have done the feat despite the break at the start of the first quarter which but Douglas Myers over the goal. That Nebraska touchdown was almost a fluke. Nebraska as Nebraska played prior to making it and continuously thereafter, deserved not one point.
These figures tell concisely and clearly how inferior was the team that came from Nebraska.
Notre Dame tried eleven passes and completed eight for 101 yards; Nebraska completed one of seven for twenty yards. But you say, passing is Notre Dame’s specialty.
Then, here are the scrimmage figures: Notre Dame made 465 yards, and Nebraska made fifty-six.
Nebraska made three first downs, all of them in the first half. Notre Dame made twenty-four.
Nebraska returned one punt of the five received. The return was for two yards. Notre Dame essayed return of three kicks for seventeen yards.
Almost alone on the defense after Harold Hutchinson was forced from the game, like a captain that sticks by his sinking ship, Edwin Weir fought fiercely and unceasingly. When a Notre Dame Player was “nailed” it was Weir who nailed him. Before the injury to Hutchinson in the third quarter, the star center, playing at tackle, and in his first game since the Illinois battle of October 4, was a worthy partner of his captain.
On the offense there was John Rhodes. He alone could pierce the solid wall of Blue. He did it, but two or three men can’t win a football game, or even play at close competition.
Locke, the fleet Cornhusker, sent into the game in both the first and second halves was tackled for losses on every attempt to skirt the ends. He did hurl the only completed Nebraska pass.
“Doug” Myers tried hard, but for that matter so did every regular and substitute who entered the game, but one can try and accomplish very little.
Nebraska’s team was everything that those who really knew in advance had said of it. It was willing and it was green, the young men got a whole term of schooling in one afternoon, however. They possibly can apply this experience another day.
Many an optimo said at the start that Nebraska, if given an early break, would gain all the confidence that would be needed to win against Notre Dame. To beat Notre Dame a team would have to have something else besides confidence. Of primary importance would be knowledge of something more mature than elementary style football, the plays of the prep schools and colleges. It would have to be drilled to perfection, and there have been but few hard sessions for Nebraska this season. There was no real drill the two weeks before Notre Dame game.
As if to disprove the assertion of the optimist, Nebraska soon after the opening kickoff received a “break” that enabled it to score. After the score Nebraska received nothing but a beating intensified.
Although it had been announced that Rockne, taking no chances of having his team defeated by Nebraska a third consecutive time, would send in his famous first eleven at the start of the game, the time for the kickoff found the second machine on the field.
This second machine started after the famous Notre Dame manner, and a few minutes of play found Nebraska fighting desperately near its own goal but having the advantage of possessing the ball. Bloodgood kicked. It was a beautiful punt, as were many of the Beatrice boy’s efforts.
The second stringer recovering it was forced further back before he was downed. On an early play Notre Dame fumbled, and Nebraska recovered. Then, Nebraska, after a short advance through the line fumbled. Notre Dame took the ball near its own 5-yard line. Notre Dame tried rushing for three downs and for one of the few times failed. Layden, the first of the first stringers, was sent in to kick. He poised with the ball and fumbled. Joe Wostoupal broke through and recovered. Rockne immediately called out his four horsemen, as the eastern critic would say, but speaking more accurately, he did not do that. He called out a whole calvary, of which the horsemen were but four.
It was John Rhodes who put the ball on the six-inch line. Then Myers went over.
Don Miller figured prominently in every Notre Dame score with the exception of that one made by Elmer Layden. It was Miller who swung so rapidly around the ends that he was past the Nebraska line before the line could get started. It was Miller who received most of Stuhldreher’s bull’s eye shots, and it was him who twice went over the goal line. Twice Layden went over, once as the culmination of his smashing attack, once on an assault off center when it was necessary to make but a short distance to tally. Stuhldreher, too, scored on such a play as this latter one.
Nebraska is 8-7 all-time against Notre Dame.
|Notre Dame||Nov. 15|
|Kansas State||Nov. 22|
|Oregon State||Nov. 27|
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