LINCOLN — Thirty-nine thousand fans Saturday saw the Cornhuskers completely ground to bits by one of the greatest football teams ever to play in Lincoln.
Oklahoma's amazingly efficient Sooners made their fifteenth consecutive triumph a 48-0 rout of Coach Bill Glassford's Nebraskans.
Modest Coach Bud Wilkinson had expressed a fear a day or two ago that his Sooners might suffer a let-down against Nebraska.
But if there was any letdown — even for a moment — it wasn't detected by any member of one of the largest crowds in Husker history.
The Big Seven champions simply ran over, around and between the Huskers at will.
The Sooner line charging and downfield blocking was so perfect that it didn't make any difference whether Nebraska tried a four or eight-man line — or something in between.
Oklahoma's split-T attack kept springing fast-starting runners loose, outside of the tackles or inside.
It was the same whether Coach Wilkinson had his first, second or third-stringers in action.
In recording their widest margin in the 29-year history of this traditional series, the Sooners amassed an amazing total net gain of 471 yards. All but 35 were on rushing plays.
And the margin of superiority was just as wide when Oklahoma was on defense.
Nebraska had a total net gain of only 38 yards — 34 of it by passing.
The Huskers did manage to run for gain of 83 yards, but 79 of it was wiped out by losses. Most of the set-backs were when Fran Nagle was smothered before he could pass.
On most occasions two or three big Sooner forwards wrapped their arms around Nagle before he could even raise his arm to throw.
To demonstrate the balance and deepness of this Oklahoma clan, the seven touchdowns were scored by seven different players.
End Kenny Tipps calmly kicked six of the seven extra points. He, himself scored one of the touchdowns, the only one which was made on a pass.
It was the third score, the one which made the margin 21-0 at the half.
Tipps broke into the clear in the end zone back of Del Wiegand, and fielded the 15-yard throw from Darrell Royal with the greatest of ease.
The other touchdowns were scored by Lindell Pearson, George Thomas, Leon Heath, Claude Arnold, Dick Heatly and George Brewer. Some were on long runs, some short.
The first quarter was nearly over when Pearson went over from the three-yard line for the first points.
And only five minutes remained in the half when Thomas went the last few inches to complete a 73-yard advance.
Slightly more than two minutes were left before intermission as Tipps made it 21-0.
But things happened quickly in the second half, after fans had settled back in their seats to talk about the grand display of massed high school bands.
Heath skipped through a wide hole in the line, and rambled 41 yards to his touchdown.
Before the third period was over, sub quarter Arnold sneaked the needed foot to his points.
Two more six-pointers were added by reserves in the last period, when thinness of the Husker squad was painfully apparent.
Heatly went nine yards for his score, and Brewer ran across from slightly more than five yards out.
The only time Nebraska fans dared to think about the possibility of a Husker touchdown came before any scoring had taken place.
Oklahoma had taken a Husker punt on its 20, and Royal fumbled when Ralph Damkroger tackled him hard.
Art Bauer cuddled around the loose ball, and Nebraska suddenly had a first down on the Sooner 10-yard line.
But the joy in the stands was stifled in a hurry.
On the first play, Bill Mueller fumbled the ball into the air.
Ed Lisak, defensive fullback for the Sooners, latched onto the pigskin before it hit the ground, and started hot-footing it toward the far-away north goal.
He was almost away for a touchdown, but End Frank Simon finally chased him out of bounds at the Husker 22. It was a 70-yard run.
Never again did Nebraska get anywhere near the Oklahoma goal.
Ron Clark's punting was consistently good, causing the Sooners to need more distance for their scores.
And the visitors showed their respect for the Ravenna Sophomore's runback reputation. They elected to use weak, wobbly kickoffs to linemen instead of booting the ball to Clark.
They punted only once to Ron all afternoon. Clark was one of the better Husker defensemen too, until he was carried out on a stretcher after suffering a head injury in the last quarter.
He was taken to a hospital for over-night observation but wasn't thought to be seriously injured.
Aside from Clark's play, about the only bright spot for the Huskers was Mueller's running. He carried 12 times for 31-yards, which is not bad against a club as good as Oklahoma.
And little Don Bloom earned some cheers when he displayed speed to run down a Sooner who was in the clear.
Nolan Lang, an Oklahoma transfer from Auburn, took a lateral early in the fourth quarter, and was roaring toward the goal with no one blocking the way.
But Bloom set off in pursuit. After Lang had covered 69 yards, Bloom drove him out of bounds on the nine. It was a courageous gesture, even if Oklahoma did score on the next play.
Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.
|South Dakota||Sept. 24|
|Kansas State||Oct. 8|
|Penn State||Oct. 15|
|Iowa State||Nov. 12|
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