In the first game of the storied series between Nebraska and Notre Dame, Guy Chamberlin led the Huskers to a 20-19 victory that came down to a missed extra point in the final moments.
Notre Dame struck first, scoring in the first seven minutes on a drive highlighted by Dutch Bergmans 40-yard run.
After the ensuing kickoff, Chamberlin connected with Ted Riddell on a 37-yard pass play, and Chamberlin then ran the remaining 20 yards for a TD. Tim Corey's point after gave Nebraska a 7-6 lead, as Notre Dame had missed its PAT.
Notre Dame retook the lead, 13-7, before halftime on a touchdown set up by a blocked punt.
In the third quarter, the Cornhuskers went to the airways and tied the score on Chamberlins 24-yard reception from Loren Caley.* Chamberlin was roughed up after the play by Notre Dames Stan Cofall, but no penalty was called. Coreys kick was no good.
Nebraska pulled ahead in the fourth quarter on a fourth-down pass from Caley to Ted Riddell. Corey kicked the PAT that would prove to be the difference.
Trailing 20-13 and needing to score, Notre Dame unleashed a passing game of its own, with Jim Phelan connecting with Cofall for 38 yards and then Bergman providing the touchdown on a 10-yard run. What happened next would be widely second-guessed: Notre Dame coach Jesse Harper sent in a well-rested substitute, John Miller, to attempt the game-tying PAT in place of Corey. Millers kick sailed wide, and all that was left was the ensuing kickoff, which Nebraska fielded to seal its 20-19 victory.
HMAX NOTES: The Omaha World-Herald said the Cornhuskers could have won handily if only they had relied less heavily on their running game. The Omaha Bee, on the other hand, said that only the tender glances of Dame Fortune made it possible for Coach Stiehms men to register the victory. ...
Each team used just two substitutes. ... Notre Dame assistant Knute Rockne had scouted the Huskers and told his players that Guy Chamberlin always wet his fingertips when he was going to pass. Chamberlin crossed them up by wetting his fingertips on running plays, too. ...
Attendance was estimated at 8,000, a big crowd in that era. After NU took the lead in the second quarter, hats were thrown into the air and on the field, and the game had to be delayed a few minutes until order was restored and the field cleared, wrote referee Walter Eckersall. ... It was Notre Dames only loss of the season. ...
From Notre Dames archives: As was to become the tradition, the visitors arrived early on the day before the game and stayed at the Hotel Lincoln. The tariff was $2.50 per room for two men, two beds and a private bath. [Coach Jesse] Harper requested fish and eggs for both lunch and dinner for his team on Friday, noting I hope you will be able to get us some nice fresh fish.
* Some stories describe this play as a run
Links to coverage:
Lincoln Star: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Walter Eckersall commentary
John Tobin commentary
Daily Nebraskan: 1, 2, 3
Omaha Bee (damaged): 1, 2
Husker Press Box
Tim Corey's memories (1932)
Babcock book segment
Photos: Action | Crowd
Notre Dame 19
Notre Dame ....... 6 7 0 6 - 19 Nebraska ......... 0 7 6 7 - 20 First quarter ND - Dutch Bergman 10 run (Leo Stephan kick failed) Second quarter NU - Guy Chamberlin 20 run (Harold Corey kick) ND - Stan Coffal 3 run (Stephan kick) Third quarter NU - Chamberlin 24 pass from Loren Caley* (Corey kick failed) Fourth quarter NU - Ted Riddell 30 pass from Caley (Corey kick) ND - Bergman 10 run (John Miller kick failed) Note: Sources disagree on details of the game, including the distances of the scoring plays. Nebraska's last touch- down, for example, may have covered any- where from 12 to 36 yards. *Some stories describe this play as a run ND NU First downs ............... 11 11 Yds gained from snapback.. 214 243 Yards lost ................ 80 65 Passing yards ............. 37 105 Comp-Att ................ 2-6 5-8 Kick/punt return yds ..... 100 35 Kickoff/punt yards ....... 275 260 Referee: Birch, Earlham college. Umpire: Eckersall, Chicago university. Field judge: Ver Wiebe, Harvard university. Head linesman: Caldwell, Marquette uni- versity.