Dick Davis is knee-high in eight yards in the second quarter ... with Lon Austin the closest Wildcat. Joe Buda, No. 52, has John Stucky, No. 66, under control. ED RATH/THE WORLD-HERALD
LINCOLN – There’s a new tough kid in the Big Eight football neighborhood.
Underdog Kansas State squared off here Saturday and thoroughly thrashed the University of Nebraska, 12-0, before a dismayed homecoming crowd of 65,986.
It was this lopsided: The Wildcats built a 319-146 superiority in total offense while holding the sockless Cornhuskers to a threadbare 78 yards on the ground.
Kansas State had lost 14 straight conference games; hadn’t won a league test since its 17-14 decision over Oklahoma State in the next to last game of 1964.
It was K-State’s first triumph over Nebraska in nine years and its first conquest at Memorial Stadium since a 23-6 verdict over Bill Jennings’s 3-7 team of 1958.
Only once before in Coach Bob Devaney’s seven N.U. seasons had a Cornhusker team been shut out. That was the 10-0 jolt at Kansas U. last year.
The K-State stunner was engineered by its second-year headmaster, Vince Gibson, who was hired at Manhattan after constructing outstanding defenses at Florida State and Tennessee.
Although the post-game handshake as abandoned several years ago in the Big Eight Conference, Devaney made the gloomy trek to give Gibson well-earned congratulations.
Kansas State knocked the Huskers off balance on its first offensive play of the game, a 47-yard pass from Quarterback Lynn Dickey to End Dave Jones.
That was the “big play” the Huskers had been warned about. It carried to the Nebraska seven-yard line. On first down, Bob Best threw Larry Brown for a loss of two. Then Al Larson broke up a Dickey pass to Cornelius Davis.
On third down, Dickey shot the ball to Mack Herron in the end zone for a touchdown.
The 6-foot-4 Dickey and the 5-foot-5½ Herron make a most unlikely killer tandem, but that they were throughout the game.
Sophomore Dickey completed 15 of 28 passes for 217 yards. Herron caught five for 81 and added 21 yards rushing. Tailback Larry Brown was the winners’ leading ground-gainer, picking up 73 yards on 21 carries.
A couple of Mexican-American athletes also made junior contributions to what will be regarded as an historic chapter in K-State grid history.
Max Arreguin, former football captain at Lillis High in Kansas City, Mo., kicked field goals of 28 and 50 yards to push victory out of Nebraska’s reach.
A fellow newcomer, Defensive End Manuel Barrera from Alice, Tex., was the mightiest tackler on the field. The junior college transfer made half a dozen unassisted stops, two of them in the Nebraska backfield.
Kansas State spokesmen had said their numerous sophomores no longer were playing like sophomores.
They cited the recent 35-20 loss to Oklahoma. With 11 minutes remaining, K-State trailed by only 20-28 and had a first down on the Oklahoma 25. The big play wasn’t forthcoming, but the showing shored up the Wildcats’ self-estimation.
The Cats weren’t easily discouraged in the Nebraska game, which opened with a 35-degree temperature and was dampened by snowfall throughout the last half.
They were penalized 125 yards, but came back scrapping following each of the assessments. Also, they were able to shake off the discouragement of three lost fumbles.
Looks Like Meylan
John Stucky summed up the over-all performance, which produced K-State’s first conference victory in five tires and improved its season record to 3-5.
“We are just starting to jell as a good ball club. It has taken a long time, but we finally made it.”
Stucky plays middle guard and wears No. 65, the identification which Nebraska Wayne Meylan made famous during All-American seasons.
Stucky looks like Meylan on at least one occasion, crashing through the N.U. line to flatten big Frank Patrick for a six-yard loss.
So formidable was the Wildcat defense, Nebraska got no farther than the enemy 39 the first half and failed to move beyond the 31 the last half.
Kansas State’s margin easily could have been larger.
As play moved into the second quarter, the Cats were on a 47-yard drive that reached the Nebraska 17. Consecutive penalties for clipping and pass interference found K-State punting on fourth-and-38.
Fiala Stands Out
Later than period, clipping nullified an apparent touchdown by the speedy Herron. He had dashed 63 yards on a punt return.
Still before intermission, a Dickey-Herron pass netted 30 yards and a first down on the N.U. 19. The threat expired on a similar play. Herron fumbled when tackled hard by Larson. Husker Adrian Fiala, turning in perhaps his best day of the season, recovered just inside the Nebraska two.
The Nebraska attack sputtered pitifully most of the time.
Quarterback Ernie Sigler passed nine times before notching a completion. He was two-for-18 at the finish. Substitute Patrick hit on five of 10 for 48 yards, but lost over 30 on the ground.
Patrick’s air total was helped by tremendous catches by Guy Ingles and Jim McFarland during a fourth-quarter surge that reached the K-State 41, then fizzled at the 50 following a deficit tackle, a fumble and a fourth-down pass that missed.
Nebraska’s best producer on attack was Fullback Dick Davis. The senior gather 65 yards in 18 tries.
Twelve times Nebraska got possession of the ball but couldn’t muster a first down.
The Cornhuskers are 5-3 for the season and 2-3 in the Big Eight, with what could be a roughhouse finish taking them to Colorado and Oklahoma.