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October 31, 1999
Husker Game Report


Catch: Bobby Newcombe's game-winner was big, but for importance, the 63-yard completion from Eric Crouch to Matt Davison was huge. Nebraska needed something good to happen after sleepwalking through the first half, and it got it when Crouch and Davison hooked up on the first play of the third quarter.
Return: Newcombe highlighted a big day by Nebraska's return men with his 86-yard punt return. Newcombe and Joe Walker finished with 199 yards on eight returns, which should improve the Huskers' No. 52 national standing in punt returns.
Sack: Defensive tackle Steve Warren and linebacker Eric Johnson combined to drop Kansas quarterback Dylen Smith for a 10-yard first-quarter loss, stalling a drive that had started at the Jayhawks' 2-yard line that had carried to the Nebraska 30.
Hit: Kansas safety Carl Nesmith slammed the door on Nebraska's jailbreak screen with a bone-rattling hit on Newcombe. Newcombe caught a short pass from Crouch and was attempting to weave his way through Kansas' defense when Nesmith came calling, delivering a blow that sent Newcombe flying off his feet.


Tackling: Nebraska defensive back Keyuo Craver and Clint Finley had shots at keeping Kansas wide receiver Mike Chandler to a short to medium gain after he caught a pass from Smith in the fourth quarter. But Craver and Finley came up empty, and Chandler turned the play into a 77-yard touchdown that pulled Kansas into a 17-17 tie.
Blocking: Hey, whose man was No. 26, anyway? Kansas' Matt Jordan blew right up the gut to block Dan Hadenfeldt's punt in the first quarter. The ball ricocheted off Jordan and out of the end zone for a safety, giving Kansas' special teams the honor of being the first Jayhawk unit to score against Nebraska since 1996.
Trick play: Kansas lost an opportunity to build some momentum after its safety when Nebraska's Mike Brown intercepted a pass at the Nebraska 43-yard line. The play started with Smith's pitch to Henri Childs, who stopped and attempted to throw back to Smith. Childs' wobbly pass was easy pickings for Brown.
Hands: Kansas cornerback Muhammad Abdul-Rahim saw six points bounce off his fingers when he couldn't come up with an interception of a second-quarter Crouch pass. Abdul-Rahim had nothing but green in front of him but couldn't come up with Crouch's throw.


Nebraska: No new injuries reported. Kansas: Defensive back Chad Coellner (concussion).


Not that it means anything, but Nebraska's next three opponents beat Kansas 34-17 (Texas A&M), 50-9 (Kansas State) and 51-17 (Colorado).
The Huskers continue to kill themselves with untimely penalties (Is there ever a good time for one?), including a motion penalty right before a 41-yard missed field goal by Josh Brown, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the offensive line (presumably) that took the Huskers out of the red zone and forced them to settle for three points.
Oh, well, At least they got the plays in on time. Much of that had to do with less substitution and more signaling from the sidelines.
Nebraska defensive tackle Steve Warren continues to be one of the shining lights of this season. The senior is on the Outland Trophy mid-season list and is playing at an all-Big 12 level, as are Carlos Polk, Mike Brown and Ralph Brown.
The Huskers don't have an all-Big 12 offensive player, unless he steps up in the last three games. Which is entirely possible.
Not to point any fingers (this was a team-effort in lethargy) but the Huskers' offensive line seems to be going backwards after that big game it had against Iowa State on Oct. 9.
Let's not forget to give credit to KU Coach Terry Allen and the Jayhawks for a great effort. The Jayhawks really thought they could win. Not sure if that's a good thing for NU or not.
At halftime some press wag cracked, "Yeah, it looks like basketball season starts tomorrow . . . for Nebraska."
Much like Nebraska, KU did a marvelous job of building skyboxes without ruining the ambiance of the stadium. It's hard to mess up this stadium. KU still leads the league in campus and trees. They have the best trees around, especially this time of year.


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