"Yeah," says Brownson, a man with shaggy good looks, "except I would win the girl every time. On the field, it's different."
All of Nebraska's backs can run and pass. Schneiss threw a 17-yard touchdown pass against Southern Cal, and Orduna threw one for 14 yards against Minnesota. "It took a minute for the ball to come down," says Orduna, "but somehow Guy Ingles was there to catch it." Ingles, the split end, is one of Devaney's sleepers. He is only 5'9" and 158 pounds, and Devaney was the only major coach willing to gamble on him. Now he is the school's alltime pass receiver but only No. 2 on the team this year, behind Rodgers, the quick little sophomore who is expert at sweeping the ends and going out for the long ones. His early touchdown run against Kansas State, following Jerry Murtaugh's interception of Dickey's first pass, gave the Huskers instant momentum.
"It was a play we had put in especially for this game," said Rodgers. "I was so happy when I got into the end zone I wanted to do it again."
"With that field position I thought we could pop one right off," said Tagge, who earned the starting nod over Brownson and quarterbacked until victory was certain. "I just told Johnny Rodgers to take it and follow Bob Newton's block."
So give the offense its due, but the game really belonged to the Black Shirts. Tackle Dave Walline, the man who put Missouri's best runner, Joe Moore, out for the season, had a lot to do with stopping Kansas State's runners. With Nebraska leading 24-7 in the third quarter, another Black Shirt, Joe Blahak, intercepted on the Nebraska 17 and returned the ball to the State 30. Seven plays later Orduna scored. On the first play after the ensuing kickoff Blahak intercepted another pass, which he returned 21 yards to the State 12. This time it took all of three plays for Nebraska to score, Tagge passing to Schneiss. By now Kansas State's Purple Pride was a purple pulp, but the Black Shirts were not finished. Early in the fourth period John Adkins' fumble recovery led to another Orduna touchdown, and on the first play after the kickoff Monster Man Dave Morock intercepted and returned the ball 43 yards for a touchdown. At this point nobody would have been surprised to see Dickey take off his white shoes and wave them in surrender.
"The Black Shirts sure took care of ol' White Shoes, didn't they," said Bob Newton.
News of the Ohio State and Notre Dame scores touched off a lot of hugging and shouts of "We're No. 1" in the dressing room, and don't snicker, maybe they are. Right now the Cornhuskers look as powerful as Texas and as quick and well balanced as Notre Dame. If they do not get to the top this season, however, wait till next year. Only Murtaugh, Walline and Morock will be lost from the Black Shirts, you see, and down on the freshman team are plenty of athletes, including a fast-dealing quarterback from Las Vegas. Which means hold onto your red cowboy hat and your GO BIG RED button. They will be in style for a long, long time.