Huskers take down
It was an upset that rocked the gridiron world, as the New York Times put it. Astonishing, said the Associated Press.
in Biff Jones debut
Minnesota, on a quest for a fourth consecutive mythical national championship, met its match on an 82-degree October afternoon in Lincoln. Playing tough and opportunistic football, the Cornhuskers stunned the Gophers, 14-9, in the Nebraska coaching debut of Maj. Lawrence McCeney Biff Jones.
Minnesota ran up a three-to-one advantage in yardage, but Nebraska kept the Gophers out of the end zone for the final 55 minutes and cashed in on two key turnovers.
Nothing about the games opening minutes portended trouble for the visitors. Minnesota marched 63 yards in 4½ minutes for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead. That, however, would be the last of the easy going for the Gophers. Jones changed the Huskers defensive alignment, moving tackle Fred Shirey off the line and into an extra linebacker position. On offense, Nebraska played it cautious and frequently punted before fourth down.
Early in the second quarter, one of those punts paid off in a big way. Gopher safety Bill Matheny coughed up the ball on a hit by Husker end Lloyd Grimm, and center Charley Brock recovered on the Minnesota 24. Quarterback John Howell connected with Grimm for a key first down at the 13. Facing fourth and a foot moments later at the Minnesota 4, Howell followed the blocking of Brock and guard Lowell English into the end zone. After Englishs conversion kick, Nebraska led 7-6.
To the delight and amazement of the frenzied home crowd, thats how the score stood through the second and third quarters, but the third period ended with the Gophers deep in NU territory. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Horace Bells field goal from the 23 put Minnesota back on top, 9-7.
Dreams of a Nebraska upset faded as NUs next possession went nowhere, but again it was a punt that changed the Huskers fortunes. Minnesotas Harold Van Avery fumbled the kick, and Husker fullback Bill Callihan recovered at the Minnesota 40.
Straight to the air went the Cornhuskers, First came a 20-yard strike from Harris Andrews to Elmer Dohrmann, then an incompletion, and then the clincher: Andrews dropped back to the 35 — 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage — and fired a deep pass over the middle. Callihan caught the ball in stride behind a leaping Gopher defender at the 10 and scooted into the end zone untouched. With Englishs PAT kick, it was NU 14, Minnesota 9.
As the game clock ticked down, Minnesota desperately went to the airways, but Andrews twice picked off Gopher aerials to end Minnesotas threats. The second interception came with 5 seconds left, and Lincoln erupted in revelry that would last all night long.