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Kansas State vs. Nebraska game reportKansas State vs. Nebraska game report


Date: 11/13/99 22:15

Darren Howard, Kansas State defensive end

THE BEST AND WORST

  • Best: If one can win single-handedly in football, Eric Crouch did it against Kansas State. Of Nebraska's first 26 plays, Crouch ran nine times, passed seven times, gained 90 yards and scored two touchdowns. By halftime, Nebraska had run 45 plays. Crouch had 18 carries for 124 yards and completed six of 12 passes for 81 yards. He finished with 158 yards rushing and completed eight of 17 passes for 69 yards.

  • Worst: A toss-up between K-State's special teams and quarterbacks. The special teams had a field goal blocked, a punt blocked for a safety, fumbled a kickoff and let Nebraska have a 28-yard punt return and a pair of 23-yard kickoff returns that gave the Cornhuskers good field position. Not even David Allen's 54-yard kickoff return to open the second half could salvage it. Two series later, the Cornhuskers got a piece of another punt.

    K-State quarterbacks Jonathan Beasley and Adam Helm combined to go seven of 31 passing. Helm was sacked five times.

    DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN?

    Nebraska fullback Dan Alexander fumbled away the ball after an 8-yard gain. K-State safety Lamar Chapman recovered. It was the second straight week that Nebraska lost a fumble on the game's opening play.

    But after the Nebraska defense held K-State to a three-and-out, Kyle Vanden Bosch blocked a field-goal attempt for the second straight week. It was his third blocked field goal in two weeks.

    The block ended a string of 15 straight field goals for K-State kicker Jamie Rheem.

    BIG WIN FOR SOLICH

    Frank Solich didn't call it his most satisfying victory in two seasons as a head coach. But clearly, it was his best. The Cornhuskers had not defeated a team ranked as high as No. 5 Kansas State, and the triumph puts Nebraska in a position to win the North Division title.

    Oh, and as for the suggestion that he would be outcoached by K-State's Bill Snyder ... it didn't seem an appropriate subject to broach afterwards.

    "The timing of this victory makes it tremendously important," Solich said. "The fact that we defeated an undefeated team and the fact they were ranked very high are tremendous pluses for the program."

    NOTHING SPECIAL FOR K-STATE

    On the first four special-teams plays -- a staple of K-State victories this season -- the Wildcats were abysmal.

    There was the blocked field goal. A 28-yard return by Bobby Newcombe set up Nebraska at the K-State 44, and the Cornhuskers scored four plays later. On the ensuing kickoff, Terence Newman fumbled at the K-State 27, where it was picked up by Ralph Brown and returned to the Wildcats' 1.

    The defense came through, forcing a fumble on the next play. But after another three-and-out, Mike Ronsick's punt out of the end zone was blocked for a safety.

    "I saw him come through right at the last minute," Ronsick said. "I tried to hold the ball at the side, but he still got his hand on it."

    STILL SOMETHING OUT THERE

    Under the heading "it ain't over until it's over" K-State is not out of the title chase in the Big 12 North. With a victory over Missouri next week, K-State would finish with just one conference loss. Nebraska, off next week, finishes at Colorado on Nov. 26.

    And although it's not likely that the Cornhuskers will lose, strange things can happen -- just look at the scores around the country Saturday. The combination of a K-State win and a Nebraska loss would send the Wildcats back to the Big 12 championship game.

    "We can't let what happened last year happen again," said Mark Simoneau, referring to K-State's bowl loss after its undefeated season was ruined in the Big 12 championship game. "If we learned anything from last year, that should be it."

    Wide receiver Aaron Lockett said: "Just because we lose one, we don't want to lose two."

    WORTH NOTING

  • K-State didn't intercept a pass, ending its 17-game streak of getting at least one interception.

  • Crouch became the 50th player in Nebraska history -- and seventh quarterback -- to rush for 1,000 career yards.

  • Nebraska's 10 fumbles set a school record, breaking the mark of nine, set in the 1983 game against Penn State and matched in 1985 against Kansas. The Cornhuskers won all those games.

  • The 46-yard run by Dahrran Diedrick was the longest allowed by K-Sttae this season.

  • Wide receiver Quincy Morgan made three of K-State's eight receptions and gained 116 yards. It was his third 100-yard game of the season.

  • Rheem moved past Michael Bishop into 10th place on K-State's all-time scoring list with 140 career points.

  • K-State's 10-game road winning streak against Big 12 opponents ended. Nebraska is the last place the Wildcats lost on the road, two years ago.

  • K-State is 0-47 all-time against Associated Press Top 10 teams on the road.

  • Nebraska has held seven opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing this season.

  • K-State was three of 15 on third-down conversions.

  • Representatives from the Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Cotton Bowls were at the game.

    END ZONE

    While it may have improved his passing stats, Crouch's choice to catch his own pass in the third quarter may have been about the only bad decision he made all day.

    After his attempt was batted into the air, he grabbed it for a 14-yard loss on third-and-5.

    UP NEXT

    K-State wraps up the regular season next Saturday in Manhattan against Missouri. Nebraska has the week off. The Cornhuskers will play Colorado in Boulder at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 26.

    -- Kent Pulliam and Blair Kerkhoff/The Star

  • All content © 2000 The Kansas City Star