With a 39-3 loss to the Cornhuskers and a glitch in the offense's strategy, the Wildcats got a bitter taste of losing to a Big-12 rival and one bad case of

Frustration

story by SHANA NEWELL


photo by JILL JARSULIC, Collegian
Brian Kavanagh rests his head on his hand during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. Kavanagh was replaced by second-string quarterback Jonathan Beasley the last play of the third quarter. Kavanagh and the Wildcat offense remained under the thumb of Nebraska much of the game.

For the first time since 1992, K-State was manhandled.

In a 39-3 loss to Nebraska, the Wildcats recorded their lowest offensive output since a 54-7 loss to Colorado in 1992.

Nebraska held the Cats to just 86 yards of offense, 79 of which came on the ground. All of them came in the second half.

The defensive showdown most people expected was what the 43,915 fans at KSU Stadium, the third-largest crowd in school history, saw. At least until late in the second quarter, when the Huskers scored 12 points in the last 4:49 of the half.

"What they did, they did very well," Coach Bill Snyder said. "What we did, we did very poorly."

Nebraska won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. K-State chose to receive and defend the north goal, forcing the Wildcat passing and kicking games to play against the wind -- a decision Snyder later said might have been a poor one.

Although the defense held on for the majority of the game, K-State's offense and the punting game suffered throughout.

On its first possession, K-State was forced to punt without getting a first down, even with the aid of an off-sides penalty against Nebraska on the first snap.

Nebraska capitalized on a 43-yarder by punter James Garcia and an eight-yard return by Octavius McFarlin. With good field position at K-State's 47-yard line, the Huskers were held by K-State's defense to a 45-yard field goal by place-kicker Kris Brown.

photo by JILL JARSULIC
Coach Bill Snyder talks to linebacker DeShawn Fogle on the sideline during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.
On its second possession, K-State again drew Nebraska offsides to give the Cats their first down of the game. But the drive could not be sustained, and Garcia was in to punt again. Under pressure from the Husker special teams, Garcia punted out of bounds for a 29-yarder.

photo by CARY CONOVER
Ballons pour into the air as 43,915 fans wait for the start of the football game.
"There was a little bit of wind, but I wouldn't blame my performance on it," Garcia said. "It's my job to get through the ball, and I didn't do a very good job today."

The Huskers went four and out on their next possession to give K-State the ball at the Wildcats' own 20-yard line. Three plays later, backup punter Chad Romano was sent in. Romano had kicked well in practice, and Snyder said he deserved the opportunity to kick.

But that opportunity resulted in a miscommunication and another Husker field goal.

Garcia said a miscommunication on his part had him holding the ball longer than he was supposed to. Before he could kick the ball, linebacker Terrell Farley had Garcia on the ground. Nebraska found itself with first and 10 at K-State's own 14-yard line.

"I just had a brain letdown," Garcia said. "It was my fault."

K-State's defense had another impressive stand at the 8-yard line, forcing Brown to kick his second field goal to give Nebraska a 6-0 lead.

"I thought we played very well defensively in the first half, but offensively I think we had zero yards," Snyder said. "That shows where we were with that."

K-State's only scoring came courtesy of a field goal from true freshman Jamie Rheem.

A 22-yard return on an interception by strong safety Clyde Johnson and a 15-yard Husker penalty set the Wildcats up for a scoring opportunity at Nebraska's 31-yard line. But two incomplete passes by starting quarterback Brian Kavanagh and a tackle for loss to running back Mike Lawrence forced the Wildcats to settle for a field goal.

With 11:36 remaining in the game, Rheem hit a 51-yard field goal to cut the Husker lead to 6-3.

The running game was nonexistent for the Wildcats throughout the game.

The Wildcats' leading rusher? True freshman backup quarterback Jonathan Beasley led the Wildcats' running game after coming in for mop-up relief late in the third quarter. Beasley rushed for 40 yards on five attempts and was three of nine in pass completions with an interception.

Kavanagh finished the game with only five of 19 completions and two interceptions for 34 yards. He was sacked three times for 21 yards in losses.

The loss was the 28th consecutive loss to Nebraska for K-State as the Wildcats fall to 4-1 in the season. They fell to No. 22 in the Associated Press poll, while tumbling from No. 12 to No. 21 in the USA Today/CNN Coaches poll.


For more about the K-State-Nebraska game please see today's Sports section



This item was published on Monday, October 7, 1996

Copyright 1996, Student Publications Inc. All rights reserved.
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