Beating the Four Horsemen

The “Four Horsemen” of Notre Dame — Elmer Layden (from left), James Crowley, Don Miller and Harry Stuhldreher — were considered the great backfield ever assembled. But in their three years, Notre Dame lost only two games — both to Nebraska in Lincoln.

the Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska played many college football greats in the 20th century, but the Huskers’ success against the “Four Horsemen” of Notre Dame is among the most memorable.

Harry Stuhldreher, James Crowley, Don Miller and Elmer Layden were regarded as the greatest backfield ever. The “Four Horsemen” lost just two of the 30 games they played together, and both losses came at the hands of Nebraska. In 1922, the Huskers won 14-6 in Lincoln, then defeated the Irish 14-7 in Lincoln the next season.

Cy Sherman of The Lincoln Star wrote of the 1923 game: “Notre Dame, rated as the ‘wonder team’ of all the pigskin realm, was overwhelmed by a powerful, smashing Cornhusker eleven. … The vaunted ‘Irish’ offensive, which has smothered the Army mule and twisted the tail of Princeton’s tiger, was turned back and made impotent by the scarlet-jerseyed athletes in Nebraska moleskins.”

— Julie Koch