Mania Central |
| This Week |
The Team |
| Join Husker Express |
Husker Chat |
Video Highlights |
| The Schedule |
The Mall |
The Tradition |
The Big 12 |
Brown has career-best
BY CURT McKEEVERLincoln Journal Star
MANHATTAN, Kan. Nebraska Sports Information officials added Jamel Williams
to a list of NU football players being touted for national honors after
the linebacker had a big game against Arizona State a couple weeks ago.
Saturday, during the Cornhuskers' 39-3 whipping of Kansas State, the list
Sophomore kicker Kris Brown booted four field goals to give the Cornhuskers
key points against a savvy defense, then kept the Kansas State offense pinned
back by sending five of his eight kickoffs either through the end zone or
far enough back that they were unreturnable.
"We knew coming into this week the kicking game was going to be a tremendous
part of the game," said Brown. "We felt we had to win the kicking
game if we were going to win, period."
Brown, who made 13 of 16 field goals last year, started his best, single-game
performance with a 45-yarder on Nebraska's first possession
of the contest. His kick marked just the second time this season Kansas
State had allowed points in the first quarter.
Brown added a 27-yarder with three minutes left in the quarter, and one
from 28 yards with 2:48 left in the first half. That gave the Cornhuskers
a comfortable 15-3 lead, but after the NU defense forced a punt, Brown added
to the Wildcats' anguish by nailing a 50-yarder into a strong breeze on
the final play of the half.
"That was a really big one," Brown said. "Obviously, we don't
have anything to lose, there's only three seconds left, (but) it was just
a psychological boost for us because it really just gave us the momentum
going into the second half."
Brown barely missed hitting a fifth field goal when a 34-yard try in the
third quarter missed just right. The four-for-five outing left him seven
for eight on the season.
So what's the secret to that success? Simplicity.
"I don't mess around with stuff like that, I just go kick the ball,"
said Brown after being asked to talk about how he deals with different angles,
wind conditions and distances on the field. "Really, it's such a simple
thing to do, it's such a simple skill you've just got to strike the ball
and swing through the ball.
"I think the more you put into every kick, the more complicated it
becomes, the more things could go wrong. So I just wanted to go out there
and strike the ball real well and stick it through the uprights. Fortunately
that's what I did except for one, and I'll bounce back from it."
Before he attempts field goals, Brown goes through a ritual of picking out
his spot for the holder, looking beyond the uprights for an aiming
point and stepping off his stride.
Then, "I just take a really deep breath," he said. "And after
I look up and start my steps I never look back up again because really there's
no use I know where I'm going to kick the ball."
While that formula has worked to help take some steam out of Nebraska opponents,
Brown deviated from another normal routine in an effort to try and crank
up some of his teammates.
During two-a-day practices in August, he joined some defensive linemen in
getting his hair buzzed cut.
"Unity is something we talk about a lot here and I guess some of the
defensive players decided they wanted to shave my head. I didn't want to
at first. . . (but) it was one of those things that I want my teammates
to know I'm going to do everything I can to get my job done and give it
all I've got. This is just a way for me to show them that I'm just as crazy
as everybody else."
With a leg like Brown's, no one's complaining.
"At least I've got the defensive line's respect," he said.
If he keeps going like he has been, that list, too, will grow.
"Jesse (Kosch) and I believe we're the best punter and placekicker
in the nation," Brown said. "I said at the beginning of the year
I wanted to do better than last year. Right now I'm on track."
| This Week | | The
Team | | Join Husker Express | |
Husker Chat | | Video
| The Schedule | | The
Mall | | The Tradition | | The Big 12 | | Mania Central