Nebraska 21
Syracuse 0

Oct. 29, 1927 • 2 p.m. Central
Memorial Stadium •Lincoln, NE
1st2nd3rd4th F 
Glenn Presnell run
Nebraska halfback Glenn Presnell picks up a first down. | Daily Nebraskan
First quarter
NEB: Glenn Presnell 6 run
    (Dan McMullen kick)
NEB: Presnell 1 run (McMullen kick)
Third quarter
NEB: George Farley 7 pass from Dutch Witte
    (John Brown kick) 

                           SYR      NEB
First downs ............... 10       16
Rushing yards (net) ....... 44      272
  Yards gained ............ 49      274
  Yards lost ............... 5        2
Passing yards (net) ...... 120       21
  Comp-Att-Int ....... 11-35-7    3-7-0
Total offense ............ 164      293
Punts-Average .......... 14-44    11-47
Punt Return Yards .......... 8      109
Fumbles-Lost ............. 0-0      3-3
Kickoff Return Yards ..... 108        0
Penalized-Yards ........ 11-55    14-70
Field Goals .............. 0/0      0/1



Presnell, Huskers turn Orangemen blue

It was the Glenn Presnell Show as Nebraska used its superior running and punting games — plus a stifling defense — to put away a pass-happy Syracuse squad, 21-0.

Nebraska’s all-conference senior halfback rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns in the first half before letting his backups take over in the final 30 minutes.

Presnell also proved adept with his kicking leg, befuddling the Orangemen with virtually unreturnable punts. Nebraska’s 10-yard advantage in net punting average helped keep Syracuse at bay.

Harold Baysinger did most of the ball-slinging for the Orangemen, completing 11 of 28 passes for 120 yards, but seven were intercepted. (That ties Lynn Dickey’s seven picks in 1970 for a Memorial Stadium record.)

Baysinger’s passes traveled as far as 70 yards in the air, according to newspaper accounts. Five of his interceptions occurred in the fourth quarter as the Orangemen tried again and again to get onto the scoreboard. His arm strength and perseverance earned him an ovation from Husker fans as he left the field at game’s end.

Presnell’s touchdowns came on runs of 6 yards and 1 yard. In the third quarter, a 7-yard pass from Willard “Dutch” Witte to George Farley completed the Huskers’ scoring after John Brown returned a punt from midfield to the Syracuse 30.

That score capped a brief sequence of highs and lows for Witte.

With the Huskers near midfield and holding a 14-0 lead, Witte put a scare in the home crowd by throwing an apparent pick-six. Luckily, a Syracuse offside penalty nullified that, but Witte on the very next play turned the ball over to Syracuse on a fumble.

Now on defense, Witte immediately redeemed himself by intercepting a Baysinger pass. As if that weren’t enough, Witte’s punt a few plays later pinned the Orangemen at their own 3. That quickly led to a Syracuse punt, Brown’s return and the Witte-to-Farley touchdown.

  • Taking part in Nebraska’s harvest of interceptions were guard Clarence Raish, end Leon Sprague, and backs John Brown, Dutch Witte, Willard Bronson and Harold Peaker (2).
  • All but 21 of the Huskers’ 293 net yards came on the ground.
  • Nebraska rushed for 272 yards, including 161 in the first half.
  • Syracuse got the ball on the Nebraska 31 in the second quarter when Presnell’s punt hit the back of a fellow Husker, but the Orangemen lost yardage from there and punted.
  • Despite the zero on the scoreboard, the Syracuse passing game was a “constant threat” that “had the Huskers worried every moment the Orangemen were in possession of the ball,” wrote the Lincoln Star’s Cy Sherman.
  • It was by all accounts a robust crowd, but newspaper estimates were anywhere from 23,000 to 27,000.
  • The rulebook of this era called for a 5-yard penalty for throwing incompletions on consecutive plays. Syracuse drew the penalty twice and Nebraska once.
  • Syracuse’s captain, fullback Ray Barbuti, missed the game with an injury. He would win gold medals in the 400 meters and the 4×400 relay at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.
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