Huskers silence Cats offense

Nebraska is still Nebraska


Nebraska linebacker Terrell Farley tackles K-State punter Chad Romano during K-State's fourth possession near the end of the first quarter.

Two weeks ago, Nebraska's football team was left reeling following a 19-0 shutout at the hands of Arizona State. Nebraska players, coaches and fans were left asking what happened.

Saturday, Nebraska forced K-State to try on the shoes the Cornhuskers wore following the loss to the Sun Devils, handing the Wildcats a 39-3 bashing. This time it was Wildcat players, coaches and fans who asked what happened.

And the answer was simple.

"They stopped us again," starting quarterback Brian Kavanagh said.

While it might be easy to point fingers at Kavanagh and to suggest backup quarterback Jonathan Beasley should have been substituted in earlier than the end of the third quarter, there were many things that went into the Nebraska domination of K-State for the 28th consecutive time.

"We sure helped them today. That's obvious. But they're such a good defensive football team, and they've proved that time and time again," Coach Bill Snyder said.

What they said

"We went out and got whipped today. I didn't think this team could have gotten whipped any more."
Brian Kavanagh
K-State quarterback

"The worst thing about this loss? We lost. We thought we were prepared."
Mario Smith
K-state free safety

"You feel like you're invcincible. That's how I felt today. I didn't feel like I could have been beaten or stopped today."
Deangelo Evans
Nebraska running back

"Arizona State was a fluke. That won't happen again. We are the best team in the nation, period."
Michael Booker
Nebraska cornerback

"I never lost it. I was fighting until the last minute. Not one offensive lineman quit until he walked off the field."
Ross Greenwood
K-State offensive guard

Kavanagh completed only five of 19 passes and threw two interceptions.

"I think Brian made some decisions he'd like to have back -- I would like to have back," Snyder said. "He didn't play well, and he is aware of that."

Kavanagh was sacked three times, the first on the second play of the game, when linebacker Terrell Farley zipped through the K-State offensive line and flattened Kavanagh before he even had a chance to look for a receiver.

In essence, the Huskers figured out K-State's offense.

"Their quarterback had no idea what we were doing," said Nebraska defensive back Eric Stokes. "We had heard all week about how good their defense was, but we wanted to show everyone how good we were, and we wanted to do it in their home state."

With a running game that couldn't move the ball, Kavanagh was forced to throw. Senior wide receiver Kevin Lockett said the time just wasn't there.

"He was getting some pressure," he said. "Sometimes if Brian had another second, we would have been more successful than we were."

But senior center Jason Johnson was quick to point out the fault was not all Kavanagh's.

"Brian, he's our leader on offense. He's always confident, and we've always believed he's going to get the job done. There's not one guy. It's all of us.

"Brian's job is to get us into the best play possible, and from what I could see, that's what he did," Johnson said.

The offensive line was responsible for preventing those sacks. Although it's the largest offensive line in recent Wildcat history, averaging 299 pounds per lineman, it was still dominated by the Husker defense.

"Nebraska has great schemes and great personnel," Johnson said. "We've got to bounce back."

Kavanagh said he agreed.

"They have a great defense, and they showed it today," he said.

Was he prepared for that great defense?

"I was real confident going into this game," he said. "I've never been more prepared for a game in my life. We have to bounce back. There are no gimmes from here on out."

This item was published on Monday, October 7, 1996

Copyright 1996, Student Publications Inc. All rights reserved.
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