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Huskers impress KSU All-American Canty



BY KEN HAMBLETONLincoln Journal Star

MANHATTAN, Kan. One half of a defense didn't equal two halves of defense, according to Kansas State All-American cornerback Chris Canty.
"We played great defense in the first half and by the end of the second half it was all for nothing," he said. "Nebraska was there on defense the whole game."
Kansas State, ranked 16th in AP and 12th in the coaches poll, entered its game with Nebraska with a perfect record and a national ranking for the fourth consecutive year.
"We were up. We were ready, but Nebraska was maybe a little more up and a little more ready, I guess," Canty said.
Canty, who played receiver on offense, said he could feel the frustration the Nebraska defense caused the Wildcats' offense.
"Their defense confused our offense and their offense hung around long enough to break it loose with that long touchdown run at the start of the second half," he said.
Nebraska freshman I-back DeAngelo Evans scored on a 69-yard run with the second half just 57 seconds old.
"That long run broke us a bit," Canty said. "We were stopping them here and there on their options and pitches and shooooo I can't tell you what happened or why on that play. But it was big for them and bad for us."
Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder, whose teams have lost just five home games in the 1990s (two to Nebraska) said he had seen it all before.
"What we saw, we've seen in the past," he said. "I thought we played very well defensively in the first half. Offensively, I think we had zero yards at the half. That shows where we are at with that."
Kansas State had one of the best defenses in the Big 12 Conference. The Wildcats led the league in four of five defensive categories before the game.
"Nebraska did what it always does finds a crease, exploits a little weakness and gets a big play from one little mistake," said linebacker Travis Ochs. "We stopped them and let them have two field goals when we were with our backs at the goalline, almost.
"Then, they just out....beat us and kept getting to spots we didn't get to on the field," he said.
Offensively, the Wildcats managed just 86 yards of total offense on 52 plays. That final figure includes 57 yards after the final score of the game.
"There was never any rhythm to our offense and there was never any feeling that we couldn't get going," said Kansas State center Jason Johnson. "I guess Nebraska went through that with Arizona State.
"We gave a great effort and we all believed all along that we'd get going and get back into the game. We expected to win and we never lost confidence.
"But you know Nebraska just didn't give anything."
Kansas State quarterback Brian Kavanagh said Nebraska's speed on defense was hard to overcome. "I don't think they did anything we didn't expect or do anything we hadn't seen.
"I was never rattled and I don't think our confidence was ever shaken. But the blocked punts, the fact we didn't get our drives going and their great defense had us searching to get going all day.
"When you don't do what you're supposed to do, it's going to be hard on you."
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