Rose Bowl

#2 Stanford 21
#7 Nebraska 13

Jan. 1, 1941 • Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

"Nebraska toughest club we met"

The Rose Bowl filled with 90,000 fans just before kick off THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is the streamlined machine age, but they paid off on the old Model T.

Operating this baffling offensive formation the Stanford Indians wrote the final chapter in one of football's brightest success stories with a 21-13 Rose Bowl victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Before a crowd of 90 thousand which packed the mighty bowl deep in the Arroyo Del Seco from rim to rim. Stanford made certain of its rights to the nickname "Cinderella Boys."

They're Gamesters

Lower than the low a year ago, as was their coach, Clark Shaughnessy, the Indians topped off their nine straight Pacific Coast wins with a triumph over a Nebraska team that outmanned and outweighed them.

In scoring over the rough and tough Cornhuskers, the Indians showed everything their backers said they possessed. In quick succession, they thrilled the customers with courage, speed and savvy.

They twice came from behind to show their gameness, they outran the Nebraska mammoths to exhibit their speed of foot, and they made the burly Cornhuskers play bull to their matador to show that brains and alertness still count, for something.

Francis Scores First

The game was one of the most spectacular ever played in the Rose Bowl, with both teams shooting the works from the opening gun.

Nebraska was the first to fire both barrels, and with some 15 thousand citizens of that state yelling from the stands, pushed across a touchdown in the first five minutes to take a 7-0 lead.

The game was scarcely five minutes old when the Cornhuskers, using power plays off the tackles, swept to a touchdown. They marched 42 yards in seven plays with fullback Vike Francis piling over for the score and kicking the extra point to give them a 7-0 advantage.

The first quarter still had two minutes to run when Stanford tied the score. After a fumble had stopped their initial drive which carried to Nebraska's 22, the Indians launched another attack which swept 47 yards to score.

Kmetovic Speeds

This drive furnished the tip-off on Stanford's superiority. The Indians showed that they could run around the Cornhuskers and the defense they had set against the T formation flankers and man-in-motion.

Pete Kmetovic, far and away the best back on the field, started this blitz when he took a lateral from Frankie Albert and went to Nebraska's 19. Pete sneaked through for 10 more and Hugh Gallarneau, a streak of lightning, hit the middle on a split buck and went over, Albert converted to tie.

The Indians, who had all the best of it in ground gaining, opened the second period by running through and around the Cornhuskers to reach the nine-yard line. The drive came to an end when Albert's try for a field goal from the 15 was wild and wide.

Rohrig to Zikmund

Nebraska kicked out and when Albert fumbled and Zikmund recovered on Stanford's 33, the Cornhuskers were ready to take the lead again.

On the first play after the fumble, Herman Rohrig passed to Zikmund, who took the ball on the one-yard line and fell across for a touchdown with two Stanford defenders hanging to his legs.

Rohrig's kick was blocked and the score was 13-7.

From this point on the Stanfords assumed command.

Stanford went 65 yards for its second score. After moving to the Nebraska 42 with running plays, brilliant little Albert, who took 59 1/2 minutes of pounding from the Nebraskans, whipped a pass that hit Gallarneau's arms on the Cornhusker 10. The shifty back dodged a tackler and went across standing.

It's Kmetovic Again

The T formation baffled Nebraska in the third period. Midway in this quarter the Indians drove to a first down on the Cornhusker's one but a magnificent goal line stand staved off the touchdown.

Then came the most brilliant play, when Nebraska kicked out from behind its own goal line Kmetovic took the ball on his own 40 and scored. Stanford's blocking was terrific. Kmetovic seemed trapped on the west sideline, but he reversed his field, and, with the Stanfords bowling over the Nebraskans like tenpins, swept to the other sideline and raced down it without a hand touching him.

Albert kicked his third extra point and everyone knew Nebraska's bid was finished.

Jones Lauds Indians

The fourth period saw Nebraska try everything in the book to no avail. If they passed, Stanford anticipating such an attack, intercepted the aerials. If they ran, the light but mobile Stanford line piled on their backs and smothered them.

Coach Biff Jones of Nebraska accepted the defeat in good grace.

"Stanford is a beautiful team, one of the fastest, smartest I have ever seen. I would pay scalpers' prices to see the Indians play Minnesota."


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 0-1 all-time against Stanford.

See all games »

1940 season (8-2)

Minnesota Oct. 5
Indiana Oct. 12
Kansas Oct. 19
Missouri Oct. 26
Oklahoma Nov. 2
Iowa Nov. 9
Pittsburgh Nov. 16
Iowa State Nov. 23
Kansas State Nov. 30
Stanford Jan. 1

This day in history

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