Nebraska State Historical Society Blog

The Huskers on Thanksgiving 1922 and The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame

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 Final game at Nebraska Field, November 30, 1922. NSHS RG2758-105-10

It was the final game of the season. Notre Dame came to Lincoln to face Nebraska in front of 16,000 fans who found unusual places to watch the game (see the photos below). It would also be the final time Nebraska would play on Nebraska Field as Memorial Stadium would be constructed the following year. The Fighting Irish showcased a roster which included Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden, who would later be known as the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame in coming years. Head Coach Knute Rockne and Notre Dame entered the game undefeated, posting five shutouts that season. Nebraska had one loss on their record and played the Thanksgiving Day game with heavy emotions. 

Team trainer Jack Best, who was 77, was carried wrapped in blankets from his office in Grant Hall to a taxi to Nebraska Field. With his health failing, he was then carried into the Nebraska locker room before the game. Best told the players that this game would be the last one he would see and that he wanted a win. Tears were on the players' faces as they emerged onto the field and Nebraska used that emotion to take the quick lead. The Cornhuskers slashed Notre Dame with big plays and went up 14-0 in the first half. The Fighting Irish would get 6 in the second half with other opportunities to score, but they could not overcome the Nebraska defense. Best got his wish as the Cornhuskers capped off the 1922 season with a 14-6 win against what would become one of the most iconic teams in college football history. 

This was the first of only two losses the Four Horsemen would experience in their entire college football careers. The second loss was to Nebraska in 1923. 

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Telephone poles also provided a good view.

 

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So did a tree just outside the stadium.

 

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By comparison, the top of the stadium awning was a veritable luxury box. But how did they get up there?

 

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A different photo from the same game provides a clue. See detail below. NSHS RG2758-102-740

 

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All that for a better view of this. NSHS RG2758-734

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