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The 1953 season opener against Oregon was the national game of the week on NBC-TV.

Some reports would have you believe it was first-ever telecast of a college football game or Nebraska’s first-ever commercially televised game, but neither is true. All 1949 and 1950 home games were aired by WOW-TV, and the Huskers’ 1951 game against Colorado was broadcast regionally, mainly in the Midwest. (That happened eight weeks after the first national telecast of any college game.)

The 1953 Oregon game did have the distinction of being the first NCAA-regulated football game telecast, for what it’s worth. Another noteworthy game is the 1939 Nebraska-Kansas State game in Manhattan, believed to be the second college football telecast during TV’s experimental era. That game might have been seen on just one television set, in the press box.

Oregon 20
Nebraska 12

Sept. 19, 1953
Lincoln, NE
Oregon       13   6   0   0  –  20
Nebraska      0   6   0   6  –  12

First quarter
UO: Cece Hodges 1 run (kick failed) 12:15
UO: Dick James 11 run (George Shaw kick) 2:25
Second quarter
NU: Rex Fischer 4 run (kick failed) 7:25
UO: Ted Anderson, 56 run (Holland kick) 6:40
Fourth quarter
NU: Ennis Korinek 68 pass from Fischer (kick blocked) 13:40

                     ORE      NEB
First downs ......... 12       12
 By rushing ......... 12        9
 By passing .......... 0        3
 By penalty .......... 0        0
Rushes-yards .... 43-251   48-135
Passing yards ....... 21      137
  Att-Comp-Int ... 6-2-1   10-6-0
Total offense ... 49-272   58-272
Punts-average ..... 6-31     6-30
Fumbles-lost ....... 2-1      4-3
Penalties-yards ... 6-80     4-30

Attendance: 31,000

ORE: James 9-76, Anderson 2-61, Albright
     10-43, Hodges 10-32, Gaffney 7-17, 
     Shaw 3-16, Van Leuven 2-6 
NEB: Fischer 18-72, Smith 7-21, Korinek 
     2-20, Bordogna 11-18, Yeisley 4-16,
     Rolston 3-11, Novak 3-6

ORE: Shaw     2/5,  21 yards, 0 INT
     Holland  0/1,   0 yards, 1 INT
NEB: Fischer  4/5, 118 yards, 0 INT
     Bordogna 2/4,  19 yards, 0 INT
     Smith    0/1,   0 yards, 0 INT

ORE: Reed 1-12, Hodges 1-9
NEB: Korinek 2-97, Yeisley 2-16, Yeager 
     1-14, Gohde 1-10

      Nebraska                  Oregon
Weddle, Yeager ..... LE ...Reed
Connor, Oberlin .... LT ...Reeve, Stiner
Glantz, Machisic ... LG ...Sweitzer, Hedgepeth
Oliver, Britt ...... C  ...Pheister, Lowe, Weber
Bryant, Wagner ..... RG ...Patera, Nelson, Mutschler
Minnick, Kitzelman.. RT ...Tucker, H. Johnson, Laird
Schabacker, Harris.. RE ...Barnes, Berrie, Mobley
Gohde, Reeves ...... QB ...Shaw, Holland
Bordogna, Fischer .. LH ...James, Anderson
Smith, Korinek ..... RH ...Albright, Gaffney
 Rolston, Kennedy
Yeisley, Novak ..... FB ...Hodges, Van Leuven

Game recap

High snaps from center on Nebraska's two opening possessions set the tone as Oregon converted Husker miscues into a quick 13-0 lead and coasted to a 20-12 upset victory in Lincoln.

The first bad snap gave the Ducks the ball at Nebraska's 16. Fullback Cece Hodges punched it in from the 1 yard line five plays later. The game was not yet 3 minutes old.

Nebraska drove to near midfield on its subsequent possession, but a clipping penalty and then a bad snap on fourth down gave Oregon the ball at the Husker 11. Oregon's Dick James ran it in from there on a sweep to the right, and the Huskers trailed by 13-0.

Nebraska put together a 63-yard drive in the second quarter to make it a 13-6 game, with Rex Fischer going 4 yards for the TD. But Oregon answered less than a minute later with Ted Anderson's 56-yard run off right tackle to make it 20-6.

After a scoreless third period, lighting struck early in the fourth for Nebraska as Fischer found halfback Ennis Korinek all alone at the Oregon 41. The 68-yard pass play made it a 20-12 game.

Later in the fourth period, a Bob Wagner interception near midfield gave the Huskers a chance to salvage a tie, but Nebraska stalled after getting inside the Ducks' 25. Oregon ran out the clock from there, driving all the way to the NU 2 before the Ducks' Walter Gaffney was caught on an end sweep for a 7-yard loss by George Gohde and Jim Yeisley on the game's final play.

NOTES: It was a rough outing for NU center Jim Oliver. In addition to the two bad snaps, he was flagged for being downfield illegally on Nebraska's final offensive play. ... The teams logged identical totals of first downs (12) and total yards (272). ... Oregon's only lost fumble was on a punt return. NU recovered at the Oregon 28 but soon fumbled it right back to the Ducks at the 15. ... Oregon averaged 5.8 yards per rush vs. the Huskers' 2.8.