Huskers Beat Irish, the Gipper, 7-0

By NU Athletic Communications
The 1917 Huskers knocked off Notre Dame, 7-0 in Lincoln, to hand the the Irish's George
The 1917 Huskers knocked off Notre Dame, 7-0 in Lincoln, to hand the the Irish's George "Gipper" Gipp a loss in his first game.
Photo by University Communications

This week in Husker History, we revisit Nebraska’s 7-0 win over Notre Dame in Lincoln, on Oct. 20, 1917.  The win was the Huskers’ second in three years over the Fighting Irish in the third game of what would be an annual series for 11 consecutive seasons. 

It was the second and final season that Nebraska was coached by E.J. “Doc” Stewart, who left for World War I with a career record of 11-4 and two Missouri Valley Conference championships.  Led by quarterback John Cook and halfbacks Hugo Otopalik and Paul Dobson, the Huskers would go on to a 5-2 record in 1917, including a 2-0 mark in the league. 

A late second quarter touchdown by Otopalik put the lone points on the board, after Dobson put the Huskers in position to score with a 12-yard run.  In the third quarter, the Irish drove to the Husker 8-yard line, before Otopalik intercepted a pass to slam the door on the Irish hopes. 

Along with being a great win for Nebraska, the game was notable because it was the Notre Dame debut of Irish legend George Gipp. The first Irish football player to gain All-America honors, Gipp gained 31 yards on 15 carries against NU. 

All-time, Nebraska is 11-4-1 on Oct. 20. Other significant games in Husker history include Nebraska’s scoreless tie with Kansas in 1923, on the day that Memorial Stadium was dedicated and also a 10-9 win over the No. 18 Jayhawks in 1973.


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