Memorial Stadium, Lincoln - Yes, Oklahoma won its first game in history at Lincoln Saturday, and the score of 26-7 was about what had been expected.
But the Nebraska kids gained a good bit of satisfaction out of their closing game. They were distinctly outclassed by the Sooner first stringers, but weren’t outfought. And in the last quarter they proved conclusively to the slim crowd of 3,500 that they were better than the second string lineup of the Big Six champions.
The respect which these green Huskers earned from the Sooner players probably was the most important thing about the game.
W.G. “Dub” Wooten, veteran end, expressed this feeling between halves when he rubbed his bruises and said: “ If you don’t think those Huskers are tough as hell, you’re crazy as hell. They never give up.”
And the Huskers never did quit trying. They got as much of a kick out of finally scoring in the fourth period as some teams do in winning. They wanted to protect their record of having scored in every game since the Minnesota opener, and they did it three minutes after Coach Dewey “Snorter” Luster took his tired regulars out following their fourth touchdown on the second play of the last quarter.
Forward passing and some great never-give-up receiving covered 69 yards for the Husker score.
First Buzz Hollins tried to pass and threw it far and high. A couple of Sooners tried to bat it down but Rich McDermott was in the right place at the right time, and grabbed it on the Oklahoma 37-yard line. The play had started on the Husker 31, gained 32 yards.
Teddy Kenfield, who had limped to the bench twice with his injured leg, came back in at this point and Hollins changed from a thrower to a receiver. The freshman from Valley reached for a pass the same time Oklahoma’s Lloyd Meihert reached.
They both seemed to get their fingers on the ball, but Hollins won the argument. He swung free - and had the ball tightly in his arms as he fell on the 19.
Then Hollins took a short pass over the middle of the line on the dead run, and was dropped three yards short of the goal. On the very next play he lowered his head, took the ball and drove straight into the line. It gave, and he scored standing up.
That was like a moral victory for the Huskers, and they showed their appreciation by messing up the Sooner reserves’ running attack the rest of the way.
For this the first three quarters Bob “Old Folks” Brumley put on a great show of offensive power and versatility. When he got past the line of scrimmage he seemed to be running two directions at the same time.
Tacklers would go to one side and get set, and high-stepping Brumley would be gone the other way. A 26 year-old warhorse in his fourth year of college play, he was a stand out on a field of youngsters.
The Huskers showed a bit of drive at the start, but were guilty of a couple of fumbles in the first 10 minutes which offset a couple of bobbles by Brumley before he got his fingers warmed up. The second Husker fumble, by Clark Beaver on the first play after he came in for Kenfield, gave the Sooners the ball 28 yards from the Husker goal.
Derald LeBow did some calm accurate passing for the first points. He flipped one to Brumley to the side, and Old Folks skipped merrily down the sideline, finally stepping out on the 12. Then LeBow passed to Wooten, who made the catch on the three and fell over for the score.
The champions then added a touchdown in each period.
A beautiful forward-lateral was the big push of the second period. LeBow threw to Wooten, and he wheeled and fed it to Brumley. It was a 25-yard gain to the Husker 15. LeBow then passed to Brumley for nine yards and on the following play Brumley slid off tackle for the remaining six.
LeBow was hurt on the last play of the half, and saw no more action. But that only made Brumley more valuable. He kept running in the third period, also took over passing and signal-calling chores.
One of Hollins’ punts was blocked and rolled out of bounds on the Husker 35 to set up the third score. Brumley personally wrecked the Husker line in the next few plays. He twisted and squirmed 17 yards on one off-tackle thrust and then the rest of the distance in smacks of two and three yards each.
The fourth touchdown was well set up before the third period ended, on Brumley’s passes. One went to End Merle Dinkins to the 24, and another to Sparkman to th 12.
On the first play of the last quarter Brumley passed to Dinkins on the two, and on the next Meinert went across. That finished the day’s work for Brumley and his mates - who had need only two substitutes in their 46 minutes.
Nebraska made nine first downs to the winners’ 14, gained 154 yards to 393. And the idea of which boys did best was shown by the Sooners’ talk at their after game dinner.
They praised the play by Bill Hill and Frank Hazard, in for the full 60 minutes. And they liked the hard work of all four ends - Bert Gissler, Bob Schneider, Mel Sherman and McDermott, as well as Center Randall Salisbury and Backs Kenfield, Hollins and Earl Eager.
Not much of the general public was there to show its feeling, because there were three soldiers for every civilian in the smallest crowd ever to witness a game in this stadium. But a scene on the field for a few minutes following the game was a pretty good example of how fans felt about these Huskers.
Several dozen kids from the Knothole section surrounded the Huskers and collected autographs on scraps of paper. To the,, a Nebraska football player with the spirit of this outfit still is a hero, win or lose.
Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.
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