Next stop, the end zone! That's Rudy Johnson (inset), leaving 'em sprawling behind... as he frisks to the first Nebraska touchdown. John Savage
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln—The Nebraska football juggernaut, fired by man power the heaviest and deepest in reserve strength for many years, crushed South Dakota State, 58 to 7, Saturday.
The Cornhuskers hit the Jackrabbits with everything but the gal posts to lead, 14 to 7, 37 to 0 and 58 to 0, at the quarters in one of the worst mismatches in Nebraska history.
A crowd of 31 thousand, which dwindled to around 10 thousand when the early drizzle became a light rain, saw one of the most convincing victories of any Husker club of the modern era.
57 Huskers Parade
Although coach Bob Devaney swept the bench to parade 57 players and used third, fourth and fifth-stringers the last quarter, South Dakota State closed with a minus 17 yards rushing.
Only a last minute desperation aerial attack, which produced the Jackrabbit touchdown enable South Dakota State to finish with a plus yardage of 32.
The 58 points was the top Nebraska production since Ernie Bearg’s 1927 club thumped Grinnel, 58 to 0.
Until reserve quarterback Ron Meyer flipped a touchdown strike to Ed Maras in the last two minutes the Huskers were on their way to the highest inaugural score since Fred Dawson’s 1922 shut out of South Dakota U., 66 to 0.
Brown a Bone Crusher
The Huskers emerged from the workout without a bruise. This means the Scarlet should be in good shape for the first real test at Minnesota Saturday.
South Dakota State was not so fortunate.
Quarterback Doug Peterson, who did about everything for the Jackrabbits, was carried off with a broken rib.
Peterson was felled by a vicious block delivered by Bob Brown, the 269-pound Nebraska guard.
Brown’s bone crusher was just a sample of the beefy bulwark which smothered the Jackrabbit backs.
Defensive highlights included a display early in the second quarter when Tony Jeter, Lloyd Voss and Larry Tomlinson on consecutive plays tossed SDS passer Peterson for losses of eight, 10 and five yards.
Kickers, Perfect, Too
The alternate unit also had its big defensive moment.
This was when Monte Kiffin, Lyle Sittler and John Koinzan simultaneously clobbered passer Meyer in the end zone for a safety to boost the count to 30 to 0.
Equally encouraging as the defensive performance was the ability of the first two varsity units to maneuver an opening game without the semblance of a fumble.
The bobbles, which set up the Jackrabbit touchdown, were by third and fourth stringers.
Rudy Johnson and Dave Theisen added to the perfect afternoon by going eight for eight in place-kick conversions. Theisen showed field goal possibilities, when he kicked from the 25 after a holding penalty had nullified the first attempt.
First Unit Dominates
The first unit scored five of the eight touchdowns. The regulars shoved the score to 28 to 0, then got the fifth to push the margin to 51 to 0.
The alternate unit, after being stopped twice deep in Jackrabbit territory, finally clicked late in the second period.
The Huskers rushed at will in spite of slippery sod.
Sophomore Frank Solich had the most difficulty. He had several touchdown tickets nullified by skidding.
Solich was the only back to show a minus yardage rushing. The other 17 averaged from one to the 19 for Ted Vactor’s long carry and 16 by Bob Hohn with four rushes.
Clever Fake Helps
Hohn got the long bite, a 51-yard touchdown run. A clever fake by sophomore quarterback Fred Duda to fullback Gene Young sprung the Beatrice junior. He ran the last 35 unmolested.
With a power offensive reminiscent of the steamroller days of Jumbo Stiehm, Fred Dawson, Bearg, Dana Bible and Biff Jones, Nebraska marched the opening kickoff to score without leaving the ground.
The quick thrust used only 3:20 with the Scarlet needing a third down try only once.
Rudy Johnson, darting through a yawning hole in the South Dakota State line, hustled 36 yards for the score. He dragged defender Wayne Rasmussen the last four yards.
In the 14 to 0 first quarter Nebraska gained 167 yards to a minus four for the Jackrabbits.
The score was 37 to 0 by halftime with the chart showing Nebraska owning 11 first downs to none by the visitors and gaining 270 yards while the Dakotans were being rolled back 22.
Early in the second period a well executed cutback with Willie Ross and Young applying the key blocks sprung Kent McCloughan from the five to make it 21 to 0.
A 36-yard pass play, Claridge to Larry Tomlinson, and 11-yard plunge by Young set up the score.
Ross, who also had difficulty keeping his footing, rambled 48 to the four to signal the touchdown which made it 28 to 0.
A personal foul advanced the ball to the two and Fred Duda executed a perfect pitchout to McCloughan on the first play.
Solich’s 44-yard kickoff return to the SDSU nine gave the alternate unit a chance. Young scored from the one for the touchdown which followed the safety and the Huskers rolled 37 to 0 at halftime.
The rout continued during the third period with Claridge sneaking from the one, Hohn running 51 and Duda working the keeper from the two to boost the count to the final 58.
As Devaney swept the bench, the final period became a weird mixture of fumbles, missed assignments and loose tackling.
In Husker territory the last 15 minutes, it was not until the final 1:50 that the Jackrabbits scored.
After a Husker neophyte had muffed a pass interception the Brookings squad shocked the Husker reserves with a version of the Oklahoma play which bothered the varsity last year.
Quarterback Meyer made the handoff to teammate Dave Glasrud, took the ball back and fired a pass to end Maras in the open.
The seven points and 10 thousand dollars was all the Dakotans received for their trip to Lincoln.
The Huskers toko 58 points plus probably 50 or 60 thousand dollars as their share of the gate.