Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 16 — After a torturous, muddy journey that alternately bore the dismal marks of a retreat and the gaudy aspects of a triumphant parade, the Cornhusker football progress wound up Saturday afternoon exactly where it started
A twilight touchdown that was gallantly earned gave the Boomer boys of Soonerland a 13-point tie.
Possibly there was an alliance with Justice on that pretty end sweep that put Al Mayhew into counting territory for the Nebraska team, desperately doing its darndest without Ray Richards and Clair Sloan, the rugged rallying points in every successful contest this season, certainly was not superior to the boys from Oklahoma who invaded the stinging northern sector of the Big Six conference keyed and eager for what to then was the cinematic encounter of the season.
The Cornhuskers got nowhere today, but happily, they didn't lose anything. They still are the only team undefeated in conference competition, but the stalemate today, coupled with the even term warfare earlier in the campaign against Missouri makes victory over Kansas State at Manhattan next Saturday and Iowa State here on Thanksgiving afternoon doubly imperative if the lads in scarlet are to retain possession of the championship.
On a playing floor that sawdust seemed to make only more of a treacherous, double-dealing, sticky giant mud pie, the tide of battle swung early to the boomer boys from the Redlands. It took them just four plays after receiving Steve Hokuf's inaugural kickoff to wham and heave their way into the promised land.
The 13 thousand on hand, almost to the last visiting Papa, there only to behold a Cornhusker conquest, began to decoy and lament the inconsiderate ways of the Sooners. Tackle John Lee made a portentous beginning by running back Hokuf's kickoff 12 yards to the Oklahoma 32-yard line. Halfback Guy Warren skirted Clif Morgan's end for three yards and the Captain Crider cracked center for a first down on his own 44-yard mark.
From there Warren heaved a 30-odd-yard pass to Halfback Buster Mills, a young man who was alone in doing things to the Huskers down in Norman last year. On that afternoon he caught a forward toss and raced down the sidelines for the only points the Sooners scored. But that didn't cause any worry a year ago, because the Cornhuskers finished with 44.
Today, however, no one had any points when Mr. Mills glommed onto Mr. Warren's heave, but the Sooners had six a very few minutes after Mr. Mills had completed a progress that, pass and run, netted 57 yards and put the ball on the Nebraska one-yard line. Only the superior speed of Captain George Farley prevented scoring on this play. He hauled Mills down from behind. This only delayed matters an instant, however, for on the very next play Cider vaulted Guard George Koster and came thumping happily down behind the goal line. Nebraska was off side when Mills' attempt to convert the extra point by placekick failed, so the Sooners got the added digit anyhow.
Nebraska's reaction to this costly business was productive of two touchdowns that came in rapid succession with Captain Farley covering the final few yards each time and until the fourth quarter rally, it looked as if the Huskers were to perform as they did at Syracuse. An early Orange touchdown only fired them with the commendable determination to take the lead as soon as possible and then hold it which they did.
But matters failed to eventuate so pleasantly today and the way those pesky Sooners acted up during the almost all the second and third quarters must have made Nebraskans regard that even score was a manifestation of bountiful generosity on the part of Lady Luck.
Nebraska had its big moments too, but they weren't quite so frequent as those that made the Sooners always dangerous. Neither team; however, failed to net much of anything as the direct result of a break or as the climax of a long run from scrimmage or the return of a punt many yards. Yet there were plenty of these thrilling maneuvers this afternoon. Will Witte and Red Young scintillated for the Huskers in long distance gallops, while Crider, Al Mayhew, who subbed early for Guy Warren and Buster Mills, not only shone in a series of brilliant, slashing assaults on the Husker line, but also performed well when loose among the Husker secondary.
The most obvious breaks to be capitalized were to Nebraska's advantage. One started the march to the first touchdown. This came shortly after the Sooners had seen seven points credited to them on the score board.
Buster Mills elected to punt with the ball snapped back from his own 20-yard line. Husker forwards broke through. The kick was partly blocked. Buddy McBride smothered it 32 yards from the Sooner goal and then on the first play rammed center for five yards. Farley hit the same spot for four more. Red Young was unsuccessful attempting to duplicate, but the colorful Mr. Ernest Quigley, who referred, subbed for him in an official capacity, pacing off five yards against the Sooners for being offside. That put the muddied red jerseys 16 yards from counting territory.
McBride and Farley netted two yards each through center. Red Young circled left end to be brought down five yards from the goal with four fresh downs in which to make that distance. Captain Farley did it on two plays both through the middle of the line. Witte was sent in for Harold Peaker. His attempt at placement was wide and Oklahoma still led, but the Huskers stayed ambitious long enough to gain the lead before the quarter closed.
Another break gave the Nebraskans the ball on the Sooner 26-yard line. Crider foozled the slippery oval after plunging three yards and Witte recovered there. Young passed to the Dutchman for a six-yard gain, Crider avenging himself in a measure by pulling him down near the 19-yard line. Two plunges by old Durable Farley advanced the ball three yards but a penalty set it back five. It was time for something cute. The resourceful Witte was equal to it, and eager. William dropped back to pass and a fierce flying squad of Sooners advanced almost as fast as he retreated. Just as one closed in to throw him for a costly debt, Dutch heaved the ball to Guard Jim Gilbert, who was playing on the end of the line and therefore was eligible. James caught it and eluded opposition until he advanced four yards from the goal. Heavens and short sprints had totaled 22 yards and Nebraska had four downs to go as many yards. Good old Captain did it on the first, shoving aside Guard Ewing, who was inclined to be argumentative. This time Farley kicked goal and it was 13 to 7 for Nebraska.
It stayed that way until the final quarter despite advances by both teams, despite more breaks, despite brilliant runbacks of punts and a Husker passing sortie that flared brightly and then faded. It stayed that way in spite of recurrent Sooner assaults on the Husker line that looked unavoidably fatal—?until something happened, often something that was just downright lucky for the Huskers. The center of the Red line wavered and wilted often. Euds Morgan and Hokuf made some fine tackles, were generally brave and able in their conduct but every now and then they were unable to drive in sweeping runs by Crider and Mills. Early in the second quarter Crider recovered a fumble on the Husker 27-yard line.
Warren and Crider smashed to yard line and the sky seemed fittingly overcast. Then a 15-yard assessment for holding was more than a forward pass, Warren to Crider, could overcome, and Nebraska took the ball on downs on its 16-yard line. The suspense lifted for but a moment however, for Mr. Mills zigzagged his way right back, lugging Witte's punt 34 yards through Nebraska tacklers who had the right idea but failed to employ it. His progress was finally arrested on the Nebraska 26-yard mark. The Sooner backs resumed their devastating plugging a five-yard penalty gave them help they didn't seem to need. then Mayhew fumbled the snapback from center for an irreparable loss and Nebraska immediately took the ball on downs.
Vic Scherzinger, just off the hospital roster, decided that the location was dangerous to his cause so he broke through the center and eluded all the secondary but the safety man for a 32-yard gallop that carried Nebraska deep into Sooner territory. The ball was 25 yards from the Sooner goal. The stands demanded something tangible forthwith and the Huskers tried to satisfy but a 15-yard levy for holding ruined that attractive little scene. The Huskers completed three successive forward passes but couldn't make quite enough yards to overcome the penalty and they lost the ball on downs just before the half ended.
The Sooners were generally on the offensive all during the third quarter, and the lunging assaults of Crider, Mayhew and Mills were more than the Nebraska defense could withstand. They carried the battle deep into Nebraska territory and succeeded pretty well at keeping it there, but their greatest accomplishment during the period was to set things up for a score early in the fourth quarter, Mayhew plugged to a first down on the Nebraska 24-yard line as the pistol popped.
Mayhew opened the final period with a pass to Cider that was completed behind his own scrimmage line. He shot one to Mills, however, on the very next play, and Mills advanced to the 25-yard line before they pulled him down. Crider cracked the middle of the Husker line wide open and shot through the yawning gap for a nine-yard gain. Then he pried the same spot wide enough to proceed two more yards. Another lunge and he had given himself and mates a first down five yards from the registering stripe. Ge added a yard over left guard and the Mayhew, behind beautiful four-man interference, swept around right end and planted himself upright in the end zone. The stands were tense as Mayhew prepared to place-kick, A sigh of relief and relaxation echoed across the field like a giant's whisper as the boot went awry.
The score was tied and so it remained during the 11 minutes left, although both teams tried desperately to do some good.
Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.
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|Kansas State||Nov. 23|
|Iowa State||Nov. 28|
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