MANHATTAN, Kans. — Nebraska bounced over the second hurdle in the drive toward a third consecutive Big Eight football championship Saturday, walloping Kansas State, 41 to 0.
Held scoreless the first quarter, the Cornhuskers amassed 21 points the second period — then coasted the second half.
The rout of the Wildcats was the easiest of the all-victorious first half of a 10-game campaign.
It was the Huskers’ third straight shut-out.
Coach Bob Devaney stripped the bench of the 40 players permitted by conference traveling regulations.
Sophomore Ben Gregory joined the merriment by flipping a surprise pass for 23 yards. The toss almost sprung Larry Casey, a reserve end. It set up the fifth touchdown.
A disappointing crowd of 20 thousand, which shrunk from a capacity of 22 thousand when the bleachers failed to sell, were permitted only one interesting quarter.
This was the first fifteen minutes during which the officials gave the Huskers more trouble than the K-Staters.
First of all, the officials ruled there was no interference with opportunity to make a fair catch when a Wildcat punt struck a Kansas State player in the back.
The stripe-shirted men overlooked a near-by Nebraskan and ruled no Husker in position to make the catch.
A couple of minutes later, they nullified a 26-yard scoring sprint by Quarterback Fred Duda. A clipping penalty left the Huskers with second-and-fifteen, too much to solve.
During the sputtering first half, Nebraska’s attack was hobbled by poor pass receiving.
Reliable Frank Solich muffed one in open field. The usually dependable Freeman White butter-fingered another after the intermission.
With Kansas State unable to maneuver into field position, it was evident early the only question disturbing the peace of the Cornhusker faithful was when would the Huskers finally get started and what would be the final score.
Devaney’s club gave the answer in the closing minutes of the opening quarter.
K-State punter Bob Ballard was kicking high to avoid runbacks of the highly respected Nebraska Safety Larry Wachholtz.
The Cats swarmed the North Platte junior on the Nebraska 37 just before the Husker offense finally meshed into gear.
With Duda keeping the Wildcat defense off balance on a wide variety of plays, Nebraska moved quickly into scoring position.
Passes to White and Harry Wilson ate up substantial yardage. A pitch to sophomore Dennis Richnafsky was good for 13 and a first down on the 26.
A fourth-down pass to White on the last play of the first quarter brought a first-and-10 on the K-State 11.
The hard running Wilson, whose power drives bruised the Cats the first period, needed one play of the second quarter to start the Scarlet scoring parade.
With Jim Osberg, Pete Tatman and Tony Jeter opening the hole, Wilson sped through the wall. He bounced off a K-State linebacker and knifed into the end zone.
Wachholtz place kicked the first of his three conversions.
The second score came six minutes later after a short kick gave Nebraska possession 33 yards out.
The Huskers covered this distance in three plays. Duda pitched to Wilson for 16, then Solich for 16 more.
It appeared Solich had the tally, but officials said he was six inches short.
This merely delayed matters as Tatman smashed for the score.
Nebraska got its third touchdown of the opening half next time in possession of the ball.
This march covered 47 yards and required 11 plays. A 14-yard pass to White, a 13-yarder to Solich and nifty running by Wilson brought the ball to the one.
Duda sneaked for the six points.
Bob Churchich relieved Duda at quarterback after the intermission, but it wasn’t until midway in the third quarter that he put together a scoring offensive.
Sophomores Gregory and Charlie (Choo-Choo) Winters provide the power for this 85-yard march.
Churchich passes to Richnafsky and Jeter were big gainers. Wilson provided the excitement by picking up a wild pitch-out on a bounce and scooting eight yards to a first down.
Winters got the score from a yard out. Duncan Drum’s placekick conversion failed, and Nebraska went into the final period out front, 27 to 0.
Nebraska scored twice in the final period and was a few yards short of another touchdown at the final whistle.
John Strohmyer’s recovery of a K-State fumble near midfield set up the fifth score. The surprise pass by Gregory to Casey moved the Huskers 23 yards to the seven and Winters went over from the one.
Wayne Weber was at the controls during the sixth scoring offensive.
Marv Mueller, a Columbus sophomore, gave the subs a chance when he picked off a Wildcat pass and ran 14 yards to the Kansas State 25.
Tatman, Gregory and Winters carried to the 13 in three plays, Weber carried to the two on a keeper and Tatman went in for the score.
The Cornhuskers paraded to 27 first downs, matching the total racked up at Iowa State’s expense. They held K-State to seven, the same total the Cyclones gained.
Nebraska backs ran and plunged to 250 yards — the same rushing production as against Texas Christian — but not as large as that against Iowa State and Wisconsin.
Through the air, the Huskers surprised by shellacking the Cats, 184 yards to 71. This is the best aerial display by the Scarlet this fall.
Before the intermission, the Huskers led 15 to 3 in downs, 119 to 36 rushing, and 103 to 18 passing.
Before the intermission, K-State crossed midfield only in the last 30 seconds.
A Vic Castilla-Lodis pass carried to the Nebraska 45. On the next play, the Cats were set back to their 45 when Coach Doug Weaver protested an out-of-bounds call on a pitch to Art Strozier.
While trailing, 21 to 0, in the third period, Kansas State got the ball on the Husker 36 on a short Al Kuehl punt from the end zone.
Four pitches by Castillo were wild.
The K-State pitcher, the league’s leading yardage passer going into the game, hit only three of 15 tries for 36 yards.
Defensive End Bill Matan as the K-State sparkler.
The Huskers were without starters Ron Kirkland at halfback and Defensive Ends Bill Haug, Langston Coleman and Mike Grace.
Haug is lost for the season. Kirkland, Coleman and Grace could be back for Colorado at Lincoln Saturday.
Main concern Saturday evening was the shoulder of Co-Captain Mike Kennedy. The sturdy linebacker cracked up late in the second quarter.
Mueller stepped into the Husker statistical spotlight.
Mueller ran 14 yards with a pirated pass during the fourth quarter. The longest previous non-scoring run this season was 10 yards by Kuehl against Iowa State.
Wachholtz, expected to set a modern season Husker punt return record, Saturday failed to get a yard.
K-State punter Ballard was kicking high and his mates had plenty of opportunity to get downfield. The Huskers rushed the Cat kicker who had several close calls after receiving wild snapbacks.
|Yards per carry||2.1||4.0|
Nebraska is 78-15 all-time against Kansas State.
|Air Force||Sept. 25|
|Iowa State||Oct. 2|
|Kansas State||Oct. 16|
|Oklahoma State||Nov. 13|
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