Husker kicker Brown exceeds all expectations with four field goals

By Todd Henrichs/The Independent

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kris Brown, who exceeded expectations by hitting 13 of 16 field-goal attempts as a freshman last season, says he is more confident this season.

It's showing up in the numbers of the sophomore place kicker from Southlake, Texas.

Brown hit a career-high four field goals in Saturday's 39-3 Nebraska win over Kansas State, including a career-long 50-yard attempt into the wind to end the first half.

"I think I'm more focused this year," Brown said. "There is no longer that fear or uncertainty. I know what it's like going out there to kick a field goal. That has really helped my confidence."

Brown added kicks of 45, 27 and 28 yards before missing from 34. Saturday's game marked the fifth time Brown has kicked three field goals in a game and moved him from 27th to 23rd in career scoring at NU. He ranks in a tie for fifth in career field goals with 20.

But what is more impressive is his consistency. Brown's first miss this season came after he successfully hit his first seven attempts.

"We met our goal for today. It was to hit 75 percent of our field goals," Brown said. "If I do that, than I feel like I've done my job."

Brown also did a number on K-State by consistently driving kickoffs through the end zone. After NU scores, K-State started drives just once outside its 25.

Defensive streaks

Michael Booker's third-quarter interception of Brian Kavanagh marked the 11th consecutive game in which NU has had at least one interception. True freshman Ralph Brown picked off Kavanagh with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter with an assist from Eric Stokes, who broke up the pass. Eric Warfield picked off Jonathan Beasley for the third pickoff of the day.

Nebraska has had two or more interceptions in three of four games this season.

The Husker defense also recorded three sacks today - one each from Terrell Farley, Jason Wiltz and Jon Hesse - marking the 32nd straight game in which the Blackshirts have recorded at least one sack.

300 a magic number

Nebraska rushed for 341 yards, marking the 71st straight game NU has won when rushing for 300-plus yards. Kansas State had 25 yards rushing against the Cornhuskers. The last year years, K-State has had negative yardage on the ground against Nebraska.

The Wildcats had zero yards of offense at halftime and had been outgained 338-18 by the end of the third quarter in Saturday's game. K-State is 1-19 when allowing more than 25 points in the 1990s and are 1-4-1 sine 1993 when scoring 20 or fewer.

Receiving records

Kansas State completed just eight passes, but Kevin Lockett extended to 37 his streak of games with a catch. The mark stands as a KSU record. Lockett has 169 catches for 2,470 yards in his career and needs 11 catches to surpass Michael Smith for K-State's all-time lead in the category.

With 35 catches and 729 receiving yards, Lockett can best the Big Eight Conference career marks of Oklahoma State's Hart Lee Dykes. Players who began their careers in the Big Eight Conference are eligible to break career records despite the fact that the league no longer exists.

Not as much red

Saturday's game drew the third-largest crowd in KSU Stadium history, but the throng of 43,915 included fewer Husker fans than usually make the trip to Manhattan.

It was estimated that about 5,000 NU followers attended the game, including the entire Husker Marching Band. In past years, over 10,000 Nebraska fans attended the game.

KSU, however, sold 34,000 season tickets this year. That ranks as third most in the Big 12 behind Texas and Nebraska.

Streak reaches 28

Not only was Saturday's Nebraska win its 28th straight over Kansas State, it also marked the 37th straight October victory for the Cornhuskers.

The game was the Big 12 Conference opener for Nebraska, but the win extended to 24 the number of consecutive Cornhusker league wins.

Nebraska won the last five Big Eight titles.

Thoughts diverted

Kansas State was without Bob Cope, its first-year defensive coordinator, Saturday. Cope is battling cancer and entered a Kansas hospital earlier this week.

"Everyone was concerned for his health," K-State punter Chad Romano said. "Everybody just wanted to go out and win for him."
© 1996 The Grand Island Independent
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