1955 Hawaii Football Team

On Sept. 17, 1955, in what is regarded as the biggest upset in UH football history, the Rainbows — as much as a 40-point underdog playing without its starting quarterback and with a travel squad of 28 players — trekked to Lincoln, Neb., and beat the Huskers, 6-0.

The year earlier, Nebraska blitzed UH, 50-0, at Honolulu Stadium.

Fullback Hartwell Freitas scored the game’s only touchdown.

“I stepped on top of our guard and dove over,” Freitas recalled in a 2002 Advertiser story. “I landed on my head and I was in the touchdown zone.”

Freitas, a senior who had played high school football for Saint Louis, then told sophomore place-kicker Don Botelho, a Roosevelt grad: “You better make that point or nobody’s going to remember you.”

But Botelho’s kick was wide to the right.

Nebraska vs. Hawaii“That was the only miss I ever had in my career,” Botelho said.

The game was played in 93-degree heat before a capacity crowd of 23,000 red-clad Husker fans.

UH used a nine-man front but Nebraska wouldn’t throw.

In the fourth period after UH took the lead, the Huskers were forced to pass while going against winds gusting at 26 mph and drove to the UH 26 before their drive stalled.

Nebraska had threatened once earlier, reaching the UH 7 on the opening drive of the second half. Halfback Skippy Dyer, the Rainbows’ best running back, cut down the Huskers’ best running back for no gain on fourth down.

That was practically the same team that gave us a dirty licking in Hawai’i” and went to the Orange Bowl the year before, said Ed Kawawaki, a running back who moved to quarterback after an injury to Fred Nagata and orchestrated the winning, 62-yard drive.

I think they were thinking about the game after us (against Rose Bowl champion Ohio State and Heisman Trophy winner Hopalong Cassidy). They weren’t paying attention to us and that was good for us.”

(From Honolulu Advertiser Warrior Beat)