NORMAN, Okla. — A maneuver that has become as rare as republicans since the goal post were banished from the playing precincts and an unwilling and unwitting donation by the frenzied Sooners gave the Cornhuskers victory here Saturday afternoon by the rather curious total of 5 to 0.
That total insured the Huskers their third Big Six conference championship in the four years that Colonel Bible has been their teacher.
Late in the third period large Bernie Masterson swung his big foot against the ball which had been teed on the 15-yard line by Jack Miller. The resultant placement traveled far more than the essential 25 yards. It went sailing high and true over the center of the cross bar.
As matters turned out the three points that are always awarded for such an accomplishment would have been enough to win the game, but the way those Sooners reared and tore down the field for a painful spell made the Sooners unwilling and unwitting donation welcome many times over the sweating and apparently somewhat funked Nebraskans.
The Oklahomans made their gift in the final quarter. Little Ab Walker was chased out of bounds trying to run George Henry Sauer’s punt back into safer territory. Little Ab was not able to recover and inch of terrain. Steve Hokuf herded him over sideline just 22 yards from the Sooners’ own goal line.
It looked as if the desperate, straining Sooners were setting themselves to try something foxy. End Fred Cherry retreating into the backfield. Quarterback Dunlap called for the snapback from Center Paul Young.
Now, Center Paul Young is a highly regarded young man in these parts, and justly so.
But he had a very bad moment, at a very inopportune time. His snapback soared over Dunlap’s head, into the end zone.
End Fred Cherry galloped into the cross-hatched territory. So did End Steve Hokuf of Nebraska. Cherry got there first, and his prompt arrival saved the Sooners four points. He fell on the ball and Mr. Hokuf fell on him and it was safety and Nebraska had two more points.
Had Mr. Hokuf beaten Mr. Cherry in that short sprint Mr. Hokuf would have flopped himself on the defenseless ball and it would have been a Nebraska touchdown, set up and arranged by the enemy, decidedly against the enemy’s will.
Nebraska was unable to make any touchdowns on its own account. The Huskers were inclined to deal in conservative figures, and they worked like hell for the measly total they got.
For more than three-fourths of the playing time they shooed and shoved the obstreperous Sooners first up the field and then down the field, but once they had worked their way into the neighborhood of the goal line those Oklahoma kids dug in deep and refused to budge.
It was not the same Nebraska as outplayed the gaudy Panthers from Pittsburgh one week ago.
Especially so when the job was to go place when going places might net six points. When it was the Sooners’ assignment to try to make touchdowns the Huskers conducted themselves satisfactorily. The Sooners had only one chance. That came when the available time had dwindled to no more than a dozen minutes.
Fullback Dick Simms flared up and lugged the ball a good many yards, capping a series of short canters around end with a 12-yard swep that ended 17 yards from the Nebraska goal. There the Huskers braced themselves for three downs. On the fourth down Bob Dunlap decided to try to get himself a place kick to match Bernie Masterson’s. Bob kicked from the 17-yard line. The ball went shimmying through the air in crazy fashion, both too wide and too low.
The rest of the time the Sooners concerned themselves with checking the thrusts of George Henry Sauer, Bernie Masterson and Jack Miller and the perplexing dance steps of little Chris Mathis and Tater Fahrnbruch and, whenever it was absolutely necessary for them to do so, the Sooners were completely successful.
Now and then they had close calls, as for example, when little Christopher Mathis went swooping around end on a fourth down play to be chased out of bounds just one foot from a touchdown. Little Chris met a tartar this afternoon and it didn’t take long to recognize him, although he was in the disguise of a very little fellow. Doubtless Chris had expected that if he ever met a tartar the tartar would be big and bruising and boisterous.
Chris’ tartar is Ab Walker, who is three pounds lighter than Chris. Little Ab matched strides with the Cornhusker midget one more than one try at the flanks and more than once little Ab thumped Chris to earth for no gain or even a loss.
This Dick Simms was the only ball carrying fellow who was able to eel or whang his way through the invaders’ rampart, and while his solo performance in the fourth quarter, which ended so dismally with that slice from the field goaling tee, was momentarily disconcerting to the Huskers, Colonel Bible’s boys really never had much to fret about when Oklahoma had the ball. The Sooners’ aerial barrage was checked and turned back against them, principally by the efforts of Bernie Masterson.
The Nebraskans’ big worry was the way those Sooners smothered or exploded every goal line effort. Time and again they went charging and galloping down the field only to be checked when it seemed as if they were about to do something.
No, the Huskers weren’t themselves, despite the warnings of Colonel Bible that they were in for a very busy afternoon.
One reason was the Huskers themselves. Evidently they simply couldn’t picture Oklahoma bothering the team that had so effectively pestered Pitt.
Well, they got a taste of the same violent compound as they shoved the Panthers’ throats. The Sooners were fighting for a pieced of the Big Six title, and they fought valiantly. The Huskers outplayed them, and the Huskers deserved to win, but instead of meeting a team that covered up when they shouted “boo,” the Huskers were forced to battle as hard, if not harder, than they had battled in any other contest this fall.
Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.
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|Kansas State||Oct. 29|
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