Nebraska 13
Oklahoma 0

Oct. 10, 1931 • 2 p.m. Central
Memorial Stadium •Lincoln, NE
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1931 George Sauer pick six vs Oklahoma

George Sauer sprints toward the north end zone to put the game out of reach as the stadium’s clock shows about 1:25 remaining. It was a welcome innovation by Nebraska to have the clock display the official time. · The Nebraska State Journal ·

Fourth quarter                       
NU: George Sauer 47 run              
   (Bernie Masterson kick)           
NU: Sauer 70 interception return     
   (kick failed)                     

                           OU      NU
First Downs ............... 6       7
Rushing Yards (Net) ...... 32     140
  Yards Gained ........... 62     196
  Yards Lost ............. 30      56
Passing Yards (Net) ..... 101       0
  Comp-Att-Int ....... 6-18-4   0-8-2
Total Offense ........... 133     140
Punts-Average ......... 21-39   17-47
Punt Return Yards ........ 13     110
Kickoff Return Yards ..... 27      35
Fumbles-Lost ............ 2-1     5-1
Penalized-Yards ......... 1-5    7-45

The Huskers break up a Sooner pass. Four Oklahoma aerials were picked off. · Cornhusker yearbook




Soph Sauer bails out Huskers

In his first varsity home start, George Sauer delivered a pair of stunning fourth-quarter plays to lift Nebraska to a 13-0 win over Oklahoma.

The sophomore fullback broke open a 0-0 game with a 47-yard touchdown run and then a 70-yard interception return for six more points.

George Sauer

Up until those late fireworks, the teams seemed headed for a scoreless deadlock. As the Omaha World-Herald’s Frederick Ware put it, “Three quarters of the contest was waged between the 25-yard lines, and during this time the kind of activities that delight the customers were few and scattered.”

But then came the fourth quarter. A few minutes into the period, Nebraska got the ball on the OU 47 after a Sooner punt. On the first play, Sauer took a direct snap in the backfield and followed Everett Kreizinger’s block up the middle.

Sauer “pried open the Sooner line at right guard, shook his hula hips at most of the secondary defense and began a prance in double-quick time that ended 47 yards from where he began,” Ware wrote. Sauer eluded Oklahoma’s Guy Warren at about the 15 with a move that left the Sooner safety sprawled on the turf.

Bernie Masterson’s extra point made it 7-0. Plenty of time remained, but the Huskers continued to keep Oklahoma at bay with a stout defense and strong punting from Sauer and John Roby.

Then the Sooners mounted one last assault. Taking over at its 25, Oklahoma used a half-dozen plays to drive all the way to the Nebraska 31.

Under two minutes remained. Seeking to extend the drive on fourth-and-1, OU’s Marvin “Swede” Ellstrom fired a short pass. Sauer zeroed in on it and plucked the ball from the air. Then it was clear sailing as Sauer dashed downfield untouched and crossed the north goal line for the second time.

  • The teams combined for 38 punts, including 21 by the Sooners. Both numbers are likely Memorial Stadium records.
  • Sauer’s performance was a sample of things to come from the Lincoln High product, who would earn All-America honors and enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Sauer administered the daggers to the Sooners, but also instrumental was defensive line play that “forced Oklahoma to forsake her running attack,” according to the Daily Nebraskan. The DN singled out linemen Hugh Rhea, Charles Justice, George Koster and Warren DeBus for outstanding work.
  • The game started in low-90s heat, but a deluge of rain and hail at halftime and into the third quarter cooled things off some — and made for a slippery field and ball.
  • The win avenged the 1930 Huskers’ 20-7 loss in Norman.
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