CBS SportsLine wire reports
Oct. 4, 1997
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska delivered a big dose of reality to Kansas State.
Kansas State (3-1) had averaged 440 yards and 42.7 points in beating Northern Illinois, Ohio and Bowling Green in non-conference play. But the Wildcats were in over their heads against Nebraska (4-0) in the Big 12 opener for both and lost to the Cornhuskers for the 29th straight time.
So what did it prove?
"This goes to prove that Nebraska is a good team," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said.
Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost agreed.
"I think we're a good team. I'm not afraid to say that," said Frost, who ran for 98 yards and a touchdown. "I think we're as good a team as is out there."
NEBRASKA, WHICH BEAT WASHINGTON in its previous game, was so dominating that with 5:30 left in the third quarter, Kansas State had only 76 yards -- none rushing -- and Nebraska led 41-6, thanks to a third-quarter touchdown blitz by Green.
"I don't know that these were our two toughest games. They're all tough," Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. "But this was a nice hurdle to have behind us. If we get a few things ironed out, we'll be pretty good before it's all over."
Nebraska certainly looked good Saturday night, especially Green.
Green, who carried 20 times, sprinted 25 yards for Nebraska's first touchdown and scored three times within six minutes in the third quarter, going 7, 59 and 50 yards. The Cornhuskers needed only eight plays to get those touchdowns.
"In the early stages of the third quarter, we let our defense get away from us," said Snyder, whose defense was on the field for 19 of the 30 minutes in the first half.
"That many snaps takes a toll on the defense," he said. ``Plus the offense is not on the field as much as you like."
Frost scored on a 4-yard run and set up Green's second touchdown with a 23-yard pass to Vershan Jackson. The defense capped the victory as Joe Walker returned an interception 71 yards for a TD with 5:34 left, then recorded a safety when quarterback Michael Bishop fumbled a handoff in the end zone.
Kansas State, which hasn't beaten Nebraska since 1968, drove 61 yards for a touchdown on its first possession. It didn't reach the end zone again until Eric Hickson's 13-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
The Wildcats finished with 260 yards, much of it against Nebraska reserves, and rushed for only 98 yards. They had been averaging 268 yards a game on the ground. Nebraska had 473 yards.
"They still don't know if they can beat us or not," Nebraska defensive tackle Jason Peter said of the Wildcats. "They still have that in the back of their mind. When we jumped on them early, it was a real positive thing for us."
KANSAS STATE WAS HURT EARLY by a roughing-the-kicker penalty after forcing Nebraska to punt from its 22. Nebraska was leading 7-6 when defensive back Keith Black barreled into punter Jesse Kosch, giving the Cornhuskers a first down at the 38.
Nebraska got a 31-yard field goal from Kris Brown on that drive and went on to a 20-6 halftime lead.
Eric Warfield's interception of a pass tipped by teammate Ralph Brown set up Kris Brown's 32-yard field goal that made it 13-6, and Bobby Newcombe's 28-yard punt return put Nebraska at the Kansas State 43 a little more than two minutes later.
Frost kept for 6 yards on fourth-and-2 at the K-State 35 and scored on a 4-yard keeper three plays later.
Nebraska drove 80 yards in 10 plays on the game's first series, Green going the final 25 yards up the middle untouched.
Kansas State answered with an eight-play scoring drive, only two of which gained more than 1 yard. Bishop hit Everett Burnett for 19 yards and connected with Burnett for 46 yards from the Nebraska 47.
Hickson dived into the end zone two plays later. It would be a long time before the Wildcats found the end zone again.
"They made a lot of key plays and stopped us in our offensive backfield," said Bishop, who was 8-of-24 for 162 yards and one touchdown. "We just didn't execute like we had to."
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