Bernie Owen Field, Norman Okla., Oct. 24 — The first half was almost gone when Tackle Victor Schleich sprung his thick body upward and forward.
The ball, just fresh off Huel Hamm’s hot kicking foot, smashing against Victor’s chest and fell on the unseasonally green bermuda turf.
Guard William Cullen Bryant sprawled upon it as it bobbled on the Sooners’ 31.
From there the Huskers managed their only sustained offense and it won this twenty-second meeting with the Oklahomans by 7 to 0, for the Schleich boy kicked the after-point to Dale Bradley’s touchdown.
Bradley covered the necessary terrain with six consecutive carries, all of them behind sturdy blocking. His biggest gobble was 13 yards on a faked pass that sent him twisting and dodging through the scattered defenders. He boomed at left guard twice to get the final seven feet, as the clock showed one minute remaining.
Thus did the Sooners lose their home-yard inaugural for the first time in 18 autumns, and thus did the Cornhuskers make pretty certain that their game with Missouri in Memorial Stadium November 7 will settle ownership of the Big Six title.
The Sooners threatened a couple of times, once rather mildly in the opening quarter, when they made a short quick march to the Huskers’ 16 where a five-yard penalty forced a fourth-down pass that was incomplete, and again very seriously with a 74-yard drive that began in the third interval and carried into the fourth.
Fullback Hamm was the running, charging demon of the prolonged assault, that ended abruptly on the second play after the swap of goals.
Hamm the hero became Hamm the fumbler. As he drove hard at the Husker left side the ball slipped from his grasp, and Bradley, desperately determined to keep his touchdown good, possessed it on the six.
The Sooners messed around in enemy territory for a few minutes thereafter, but their spark was gone and they did odd things with the ball.
Hamm tried to pass with small success. An understudy named Don Fauble tried to pass, with results that were eloquently recorded by the numerals on his back — 00.
With time ticking fast away and the Sooners needing points, Hamm punted on first down.
Hamm tried a quick kick, which Gene Sim blocked and Hosa Hopp recovered on the Oklahomans’ 35. That act really ended the threat when five or six minutes remained.
The Sooners had no monopoly on strange conduct. The game was nearly over when Bradley rushed back 40 yards to his own goal. He dodged almost from sideline to sideline as he retreated but he finally managed to fire the pass, which was incomplete, but just the same a rescuer of the Huskers from what might have been an embarrassing and difficult position, brought on by the weird retreat.
All this should indicate the stern truth. Neither team had much of an offense. Both teams had strong lines, and the work of the forwards was generally commendable. There was scarcely a bumbler or a seriously weak spot in the ramparts up front. Husker veterans and Husker kids did a fine job, and just about the same can be said for the home lads.
Both sides are short of fast, hard-running backs. If Bradley and the smash-driving 195-pound Hamm could have collaborated in the same quartet the 20 thousand who watched might have seen some consistent and spectacular progress.
Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.
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