Nov. 10, 1923
Notre Dame 7
Notre Dame ...... 0 0 0 7 - 7 Nebraska ........ 0 7 0 7 - 14 Second quarter NU: Dave Noble 24 run (Herb Dewitz kick) Fourth quarter NU: Noble 20 pass from Rufus Dewitz (R. Dewitz kick) ND: Bill Cerney 23 pass from Harry Stuhldreher (Stuhldreher kick) ND NU First downs .............. 12 10 Rushing yards (net) ...... 48 208 Passing yards (net) ..... 190 20 Comp-Att-Int ...... 15-37-4 1-9-3 Total offense ........... 238 228 Punts ............... 12-37.5 7-46.3 Punt return yds .......... 76 10 Fumbles-Lost ............ 3-1 5-2 Yards penalized .......... 20 62
UPSET OF THE YEAR: Nebraska, winners of just one of its first four games, rose up and defeated mighty Notre Dame in Lincoln, dealing the visiting Irish and their Four Horsemen backfield their only defeat for the second consecutive season.
During a punt-filled first quarter, the closest either team came to scoring was when Nebraska missed a field goal from the Notre Dame 32-yard line. But opportunity knocked on the periods final play – a shanked punt that gave the Cornhuskers the ball on the Irish 33. After three plays, NU faced fourth and one. It was no surprise that halfback Dave Noble – known as Big Moose – got the ball, but he crossed up the Irish by feinting to the center of the line and then circling the Notre Dame left end for a twisting, 24-yard touchdown run.
In the third quarter, Nebraska missed a golden opportunity when John Choppy Rhodes returned a fumble more than 60 yards, only to fumble the ball into the end zone when he was tackled from behind. Early in the fourth quarter, however, the Cornhuskers boosted their lead to 14-0 with a 20-yard pass from Rufus Dewitz to Noble to cap a drive that started at the Irish 42. Big Moose carried a would-be tackler on his back into the end zone.
Notre Dame entered the game as arguably the nations best team, but the Irish rushing attack was stymied by the Cornhuskers, aided by their rising star at tackle, sophomore Ed Weir. Notre Dame resorted to passing game, and the visitors lone score didnt occur until the games final seconds. The gun sounded after the ensuing kickoff, and the seasons biggest upset was in the books.
FROM THE LOCAL PAPERS: The Lincoln Stars Cy Sherman wrote: The glories of the days of Chamberlain, Rutherford, Westover, Bender, Shonka, Frank and Flippin, Husker heroes of former years, were born anew as Coach Dawsons well rounded gridiron machine, at last coming into its own, overpowered and shattered the Hibernian peril. The Omaha World-Herald also described it with flair: The moleskin warriors from the wheat plain of Nebraska went wild with fight and played the game with the savage attack that had been smoldering in their hearts for many weeks. The OWH praised the booming punts of Verne Lewellen and dubbed him Long Distance Lew.
LINEUPS Notre Dame Pos. Nebraska Chuck Collins ...... LE ......... John Rhodes Joe Bach ........... LT ............. Ed Weir Harvey Brown (c) ... LG ........ Jay Berquist Adam Walsh ......... C .... Harold Hutchison Noble Kizer ........ RG ...... Ross McGlasson Gene Oberst ........ RT ....... Henry Bassett Tim Murphy ......... RE ....... Rob Robertson Harry Stuhldreher .. QB .. Verne Lewellen (c) Dutch Bergman ...... LH ......... Herb Dewitz Don Miller ......... RH .......... Dave Noble Elmer Layden ....... FB ........ Rufus Dewitz SUBSTITUTIONS Notre Dame: Gene Mayl for Murphy, Jim Crowley for Bergman, Clem Crowe for Collins, Rip Miller for Oberst, John Weibel for Brown, George Vergara for Kizer, John Noppenberger for Bach, Red Maher for D. Miller, Ed Hunsinger for Mayl, John McMullan for Noppenberger, Bill Cerney for Layden, Bergman for Crowley, Max Houser for Bergman, John Wallace for McMullan. Nebraska: Roland Locke for Noble, Emil Hen- drickson for Weir, Ladimer Hubka for McGlasson, Cecil Hartman for R. Dewitz, Joe Westoupel for Hutchison, Eugene McAllister for Robertson, Melvin Collins for Rhodes, Elbert Bloodgood for H. Dewitz. OFFICIALS Walter Eckersall, University of Chicago, ref- eree, H.G. Hedges, Dartmouth university, umpire; B.L. McCreary, University of Oklahoma, field judge; J.J. Wyatt, University of Missouri, head- linesman. NOTE Game stats and distances of scoring plays vary from source to source due to the era's lack of standardization. The account you see here relies most heavily on the Lincoln Star's game coverage (Cy Sherman story, stats and play-by-play), which itself contains internal inconsistencies. According to some newspaper accounts at the time, it was Red Maher, not Bill Cerney, who scored the Irish's TD. Some modern accounts of the game have the order of Nobles touchdowns reversed, but it is clear from the Stars play-by-play that the rushing TD came first.