#3 Oklahoma 55
Nebraska 7

Nov. 20, 1954

Crushed Nebraskans Flounder Into Bowl

Touchdown No. 1 for the Sooners ... with Buddy Leake flipping to Max Boydston on a four-yard strike. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD

NORMAN, Okla. — Nebraska took a fearful 55-7 trouncing from Oklahoma Saturday.

But under the Big Seven agreement the Huskers still qualified for the Orange Bowl when Colorado downed Kansas State.

It’s the first time a team ever qualified for a bowl while being so routed.

The 56 thousand fans who saw Coach Bud Wilkinson complete an eighth straight undefeated Big Seven season were given a glaring example of the amazing spread between Oklahoma and the rest of the league.

Like Cat and Mouse

Oklahoma scored its biggest total in history against Nebraska, digging so deeply into its never-ending flow of reserves that the eight touchdowns were counted by as many different players.

The Sooners had a margin of 342 yards to the Huskers’ 106 on the ground and a spread of 235-56 on passing.

It was like a cat playing with a mouse — and yet the Huskers wound up as sole leaders of second place in the Big Seven’s final standings.

So Coach Bill Glassford’s pupils will go on to Honolulu next week and to Miami for New Year's Day — but they’ll never forget the lacing they took from the Sooners.

All Hell Breaks Loose

The four thousand Nebraskans in the near-capacity crowd were given reason to hope for an upset of close game when the Huskers pulled into a 7-7 tie late in the first quarter.

And Nebraska was showing signs of staying in the game when the Sooners were backed up for a loss of 15 yards on two straight early in the second period.

Then all hell broke loose following a Husker mistake.

Sophomore Don Comstock signaled for a fair catch on Max Boydston’s punt — but he misjudged the ball and bobbled the catch.

Breaks Husker Backs

Buddy Leake recovered on the Husker 25 and then, on a fourth-down play from the 21, Pat O’Neal passed to Tommy McDonald for the touchdown that gave the Sooners a 14-7 lead.

That broke the backs of the Huskers. And they never had a chance the rest of the way.

The only Husker touchdown had come on a 20-yard pass from Don Erway to Jon McWilliams, who was open in the end zone.

That had happened about six minut4es after Leake had passed to Boydston for four yards and the first Oklahoma points.

Just a Parade

But once the Sooners got back into the lead it was a parade of touchdowns.

Boydston, almost everybody’s choice as All-America end, made a beautiful running catch of one of Gene Calame’s passes for a 53-yard gain in the last minute of the first half.

That put the ball on the 19 and Leake ran to a touchdown on the next play after faking a pass to fool all the Huskers.

The mighty Sooners scampered to two more touchdowns in the third quarter and three in the last period.

Wyatt Scores Finale

By this time Coach Glassford was mixing in his second and third stringers, while Oklahoma swept the bench and used 42 hands.

The touchdowns came in this order:

Bob Herndon ran the last three yards of a 75-yard march to make it 28-7.

Bob Burris climaxed a 56-yard drive with a yard plunge for a 35-7 margin.

Jerry Tubbs ran nine yards for a 41-t lead after Calame had passed to Boydston for 16 yards.

Pat O’Neal scooted 30 yards and Bob Derrick ran the last three for the touchdown which made it 48-7.

Then to roll up the biggest total any Sooner team ever scored against Nebraska, Bob Wyatt took a pass from J. O’Neal for 14 yards and the final score with only 44 seconds left in the game.

No. 3 Justified

So the only conclusion was that Oklahoma’s No. 3 national ranking is justified — and the rest of the Big Seven is so far behind you need powerful field glasses to see ‘em.

But it’s nothing to cry about. Nebraska still is the loop runner-up and the Orange Bowl team.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 38-45 all-time against Oklahoma.

See all games »

1954 season (6-5)

Minnesota Sept. 25
Iowa State Oct. 2
Kansas State Oct. 9
Oregon State Oct. 16
Colorado Oct. 23
Missouri Oct. 30
Kansas Nov. 6
Pittsburgh Nov. 13
Oklahoma Nov. 20
Hawaii Nov. 26
Duke Jan. 1

This day in history

Nebraska has played 10 games on Nov. 20. See them all »

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