This, Jayhawks, is Sigler trickery ... because you don't know where the ball is going. Nebraska's Joe Orduna would score from three yards out. JOHN SAVAGE/THE WORLD-HERALD
LINCOLN — With two touchdown drives totaling one hundred yards, favored Kansas came from behind in the fourth quarter Saturday to knock down previously unbeaten Nebraska, 23-13, before the largest crowd in Big Eight history.
The mob of 67,119 saw Quarterback Bobby Douglass run for both scores that wrapped up the Jayhawks’ fourth consecutive victory of the season — and their first at Lincoln since 1961.
Although it was a game of breaks, untimely penalties and daredevil Cornhusker gambling, it was pure power football that carried Kansas 74 yards to the go-ahead touchdown with four minutes and nine seconds to play.
Douglass passed only three times on that drive. There were short completions to Junior Riggins and John Mosier. The third pass fell incomplete, but interference was called on Husker Dana Stephenson, who as battling the 6-foot-4 Mosier at the goal line.
That gave Kansas a first down on the one after the play had started as a first down on the eight. Considering K.U.’s momentum, one must be gracious enough to assume the visitors would have scored without the penalty call.
Chance for a Tie
Regardless, on the first play from the one, Douglass followed Tackle Larry Brown through the U.M. left side for six points that put Kansas on top, 15-13. Bill Bell’s conversion made it 16-13, giving Nebraska at least a chance to tie with a field goal.
However, Nebraska couldn’t muster a first and 10 scrimmaging from its 20 following a touchback on the kick-off.
It came up fourth and seven. On this overcast day, Coach Bob Devaney had a waxed moustache, a brocaded vest and nothing but wild cards up his sleeve.
He told the boys to run it on fourth down, with the ball just over their own 23. Joe Orduna broke fast on a sweep around the Husker left end, but he was stopped with a thud on the 26 by End John Zook, the perennial bogey man.
Now Kansas rushed to the kill.
Douglass reeled off seven yards, then Jerry Murtaugh tripped him after a five-yard gain. Mike Wynn held Douglass to a yard. Fullback Mike Reeves made two.
N.U. Throws Long
It was third and seven at the 10 when the flamboyant Douglass avoided a strong rush by Wynn and Dave Walline, and elegantly pedaled around his left flank and into the end zone.
Bell’s kick ran the tally to 23-13 with 1:11 to play. The game ended shortly after Dale Holt intercepted a long pass from Frank Patrick to Jim McFarland on the Kansas nine.
Nebraska came considerably closer to winning than the score suggests.
The Huskers, surprisingly, outyarded Kansas on the ground, 188 to 154, and shaded the visitors in total offense, 239 yards to 232. Kansas ran only two more plays than Nebraska.
Paced by Orduna’s 98 yards — and two touchdowns — and 74 yards by Dick Davis, the U.N. rushing game was sharper than at any time earlier this season.
Meanwhile, the Scarlet defense was doing a magnificent job on Donnie Shanklin. The fleet Texan had averaged a fraction over 16 yards on 17 carries prior to this initial conference test for both schools.
Nebraska forced Kansas to run Shanklin 16 times — and held him to slightly less than a 3.5-yard average. His longest burst was for 19 yards.
Shanklin as Receiver
Shanklin failed to rip Nebraska with his much-feared kick-returns, thanks primarily to Stephenson’s sky-high punts and his teammates’ speedy coverage.
Shanklin proved most dangerous as a punter, averaging 45 yards on two kicks.
Cornerback Al Larson was high man in the U.N. defensive statistics, making eight solo tackles and four assists. End Sherwin Jarmon and Tackle Bob Liggett each made two tackles behind the Kansas line.
Linebacker Emery Hicks was the busiest K.U. defender, taking part in 13 tackles — one more than troublesome Mickey Doyle.
Although sluggish in the early hammering, Nebraska snapped to life late in the second quarter.
Moving to make a fair catch of a soaring punt by Stephenson, Shanklin bumped into a teammate and dropped the ball. Husker Mel Brichacek was right on top of him. Orduna made the recovery on the Kansas 27.
On the first play, Orduna sliced through the U.N. right side, veered to he left and sprinted to a touchdown.
His 27-yard gem deserves a footnote. It was Nebraska’s first touchdown run of more than three yards in nine games — the first breakaway by the punch-along U.N. attack since Orduna scored from the 27 against Colorado a year ago.
N.U. Leads at Half
Also, his touchdown represented the only first-half points scored against Kansas this year.
A less pleasing surprise: Paul Rogers, who hadn’t missed on 11 straight placements, was wide to the left this time. Later the same period, Rogers also was wide on a field goal attempt from the Kansas 28. Another attempt, from the 43 in the third quarter, was blocked.
So the Nebraska margin at the half remained 6-0.
And Nebraska still hasn’t racked a third-quarter point this year.
It did give Kansas two points in the third, an intentional safety that had second guessers primed for action until Kansas fattened the final margin to 10 points.
With about six minutes gone in the second half, Kansas punted from the 50. Larson signaled for a fair catch, then decided to let the ball roll. It was pinned on the Nebraska one by Kansas.
Two plays took the ball out to the nine, but then Orduna stumbled over a prostrate blocker and Middle Guard Al Jakobcic caught him for a three-yard loss.
That made it fourth and five, so Devaney instructed Sigler to retreat to the end zone for a safety rather than kick from the end zone to Shanklin and company.
Kansas was set up for its first touchdown thrust later in the third after Hicks recovered a bobbled Sigler-Davis pitchback on the host 18.
On third down from the one, Shanklin swept left and dived across. Bell kicked the extra point, and Nebraska was trailing by 9-6 going into the final period.
Davis Paces Drive
The Huskers soon barreled 49 yards for a touchdown. The key gainer was a 20-yard dash to the five by Davis, who earlier had seen a 26-yard sparkler wasted.
Davis slammed for three, Sigler burrowed straight ahead for one. With Glenn Patterson and Ed Hansen in tackle tandem on the right side, Orduna hit that spot for a touchdown. This time Rogers’ kick was good.
Nebraska led by 13-9 with 9:58 remaining.
Because of people named Douglass and Shanklin and John Riggins and Mike Reeves, that was asking too much of the U.M. defense.
Still in position to bounce into the Big Eight title picture, Nebraska is at home against Missouri this week. Kansas will be host to Oklahoma State.