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Kansas still perfect antidote to Husker losses
Sports opinion

November 03, 2000

Go on, get up. Rise and shine, Husker fans.

Wipe away those tears. Open the blinds. Spike down a few Nuprins. Cook yourself some pancakes. Take a nice, cold shower. It's a brand new day.

So, NU lost. So, they stunk it up ... big time ... enough to make you vomit profusely.

But get over it. Get over your Oklahoma hangover. It's over. Damage (and not significant damage, mind you) done. Welcome to your 2000 version of the Husker football loss recovery program.

Step one: the Kansas game.

Ah, Kansas. In this ever-weather-changing season that brings sneezes and sniffles and NU losses, the word is the perfect medicine to soothe the soul.

It seems to be a trend. Two years ago, it was Texas A&M; that put you in rehab. Last year, it was those damn Horns.

But remember the weeks after? The Huskers got to play Kansas. They didn't play well in either of those games, but managed to win both, 41-0 and 24-17 - the latter a heart-stopping comeback in Lawrence that gave an eventual 12-1 team the shot in the arm it needed.

And gave you a reason to get out of bed again.

Kansas has been a wonderful wound healer over the years. The last time KU beat the Huskers was in 1968. That also happened to be the same year NU last lost a homecoming game - a 12-0 klunker to lowly K-State.

Saturday's game will mark the 10th time since 1969 that NU faces Kansas after a loss.

The average score of those games?

Nebraska 37, Kansas 8.

And believe me, there have been a fair share of 70-0, 54-2, 63-7, 63-10 games.

Before the Texas teams-Oklahoma curse, there were two heartbreakers to Colorado in 1989 and '90. KU had the pleasure to get beaten severely, 51-14 and 41-9, the week after. After Florida State shocked Lincoln in 1980, the Huskers put a 54-spot shutout on the Jayhawks.

Of course, you all know it's soothing to be dominant in such a rivalry, as well. In the nation's longest continuous rivalry, NU has won 82 of the 106 games since 1906, including each of the last 31.

Nebraska has shut out KU 30 times along the way and have 12 homecoming victories over the Jayhawks. Lest we forget some other memorable poundings from the '80s and '90s. I think my favorite was the 1996, 63-7 classic.

Ah, Kansas. How soothing.

Of course, in the spotlight, NU players and coaches do all but tell you to take this history baloney and shove it where the post-loss sun don't shine. They could care less about last year's KU and NU game, or the year before that and the year before that, and, wait a second ...

Actually, they do remember last year's KU game.

They remember it quite vividly. They remember how they hung their heads all week from the Texas lost and almost forgot about Kansas.

They remember going nowhere for three quarters until Bobby Newcombe's 86-yard punt-return touchdown and 49-yard winning touchdown reception pulled them out of the Black Hole of Holiday Bowl Death.

The consensus among them this week after OU: Their hangover didn't last so long this time. The pieces are picked up ... and Kansas, though mediocre in all phases of the game, is no pushover.

Just once again the poor souls who catch NU in rehab - very angry rehab. It has been 10 years since the Huskers have lost back-to-back games - and that was the most god-awful NU squad this side of '68.

That's no fluke. This coaching staff knows how to wake its players up after losses. They don't take them well, and they don't let them happen the next week.

"Anytime you are in a program where losses come sparingly, that they are non-existent to a degree, then it is very difficult to accept the loss and come back off of it," Coach Frank Solich said.

"Fortunately, we have recruited the kind of players that have great character. There should be no lack of drive on our end of it to get it done. We are not worried about losses. We want to win."

Yes, Kansas runs a spread offense that will be tough for the Huskers to stop after OU burned them. Yes, there are problems in all three NU phases of the game. Yes, KU has a chance.

But, face it, Kansas: Now that K-State has beaten NU after a 30-year drought, you're the oldest dog on Nebraska's leash. And you're on a choke collar following Husker losses. You had your chance last year.

Hangover done. Recovery underway.

I'm a sucker for history.

Nebraska 37, Kansas 8. end of article dingbat


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Kansas still perfect antidote to Husker losses
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