1941 Rose Bowl

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1941 Rose Bowl
27th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Nebraska 7600 13
Stanford 7770 21
DateJanuary 1, 1941
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPPeter Kmetovic
Rose Bowl
 < 1940  1942

The 1941 Rose Bowl, played on January 1, 1941, was an American football bowl game. It was the 27th Rose Bowl Game with the #7 ranked Cornhuskers taking on the #2 ranked Stanford Indians. At the end of the 2017 college football season, this game stands as the only meeting between these two football programs.[1] The final score was a 21–13 Stanford victory.[2] This was the Cornhuskers' first bowl game.


Nebraska Cornhuskers[edit]

The Nebraska Cornhusker football team was 8–1 going into the Rose Bowl and was ranked seventh in the nation with their one loss of the season to top-ranked Minnesota. After the announcement of the Rose Bowl acceptance, the celebration that followed lasted for 24 hours in Lincoln, according to newspaper reports. University classes were canceled, and students stormed the state capitol, demanding that the governor lead the singing of the school song, "There Is No Place Like Nebraska." The team had two All-Americans: Warren Alfson and Forrest Behm and was led by coach Biff Jones.

Stanford Indians[edit]

The 1940 Stanford football season started with a new football coach, Clark Shaughnessy, who would bring a revolutionary football style called the T formation. This new style of playing was filled with tricks, fakes and pitchouts that helped the Indians to a perfect 9–0 regular season and a nickname of the "Wow Boys". The new features of the style involved quarterback Frankie Albert taking the snap from right behind the center.

Game summary[edit]


First quarter[edit]

NEBR - Vike Francis 2 run (Francis kick).
STAN - Hugh Gallarneau 9 run (Frankie Albert kick).

Second quarter[edit]

NEBR - Allen Zikmund 33 pass from Herm Rohrig (kick blocked).
STAN - Gallarneau 41 pass from Albert (Albert kick).

Third quarter[edit]

STAN - Pete Kmetovic 39 punt return (Albert kick).

Fourth quarter[edit]

No Score

Highlight of the game[edit]

The highlight of the game is often considered to be one of the best plays in Rose Bowl history. The Indians drove from their own 23-yard line to the Cornhusker one-yard line before a valiant goal-line stand by Nebraska denied Stanford the end zone. Stanford had four cracks at the end zone from the one-yard line, but the Cornhuskers held each time.

After taking over on their own one, Nebraska opted to punt on first down. Then came the play of the game. Kmetovic took the punt at the Cornhusker 40-yard line and dashed and darted his way to the end zone, giving Stanford an insurmountable 21–13 lead.[3]


Note: Both schools report slightly different stats, these stats are from Nebraska's records[4]

Stanford Nebraska
First Downs 15 9
Rushing Yards 202 58
Passing Att-com-int 13-6-2 14-4-0
Passing Yards 68 85
Total Offense 375 128


This game is generally considered the clincher that convinced football pundits that the T formation style was the offense of the future.

The game retains a special place in Cornhusker history and future Hall of Fame Coach Bob Devaney used to joke that he'd been in the state several years before he found out the Cornhuskers had lost the 1941 Rose Bowl game.


This game is described in detail by David Dodge in his mystery novel, Shear the Black Sheep, published in 1942.


  1. ^ "Title Unknown".
  2. ^ "Title Unknown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  3. ^ "1941 Rose Bowl recap, Stanford version -- HuskerPedia". Archived from the original on May 12, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  4. ^ http://www.huskerpedia.com/games/1940/10stanford.html

External links[edit]