LAWRENCE, Kan. — Francisco de Coronado wasn't too far off when he traveled north from Mexico in 1541, searching for the wealth of the mythical kingdom of Quivira. He discovered Kansas instead of Nebraska.
Nebraskans know that Quivira is located in the Cornhusker state. They crowned their king and queen Friday night in the coronation at Ak-Sar-Ben.
Saturday afternoon, the subject of Quivira displayed their wealth — in football talent — by dispatching Kansas University, 56-0, for the most decisive Husker victory in the 79 years of the neighborhood rivalry. The total was one point more than the winning tally last year in Lincoln.
The Huskers found their ground game floundering (28 yards on 27 carries) in the first half, but who needed ground troops with Dave Humm and later Steve Runty in the backfield?
The quarterbacks established Nebraska passing records for the second week in a row. Humm tossed four scoring strikes to pull him out of the tie with Jerry Tagge and Bob Churchich at three in one game.
Humm, who completed 16 of 31 passes, and Runty, who had three for seven, combined for 360 aerial yards, breaking their own mark of 329 set last week against Missouri.
The 38 passes were the most attempted by the Huskers this fall, which should be intercepted as a credit to the testiness of the Jayhawks' defense against the run. The Huskers improved in the second half when KU inspiration waned, but the visitors still wound up with their lowest rushing production of the year — 171 yards on 50 carries.
But more about the most superb aerial showing in Nebraska history. Humm, who again overcame a slow start (two-for-nine this time) accounted for 281 yards, nine yards shy of Frank Patrick's 1967 record. He ran his touchdown pass total to 11.
But it was obvious early that the offense could afford to make some mistakes — which they did in the early going — because the Blackshirt defense would give the attack team all the time it wanted.
The defense established itself as one of the most stingy Husker teams of all time by shutting out a third straight opponent. The last N.U. team to log a triplicate was the 1967 squad.
Bill Janssen's squad can now take aim at the four straight whitewashes by the 1937 team, but the season will end without giving the Blackshirts a chance at the 10 in a row by the 1902 Huskers, which is a frivolous thought, anyway, with five Big Eight foes remaining.
Captain Janssen was his team's leader for the first time, with seven tackles. Balance in the swarming defense was evident in six tackles by Monte Johnson, Rich Glover and John Bell, five by Terry Rogers and four by Bill Sloey, Tom Ruud, and Zaven Yaralian.
Sloey, who replaced injured linebacker Jim Branch in the first quarter, distinguished himself by recovering two fumbles, intercepting a pass, breaking up a pass and making one tackle for a six-yard loss.
Kansas, which tried three quarterbacks in vain, was limited to 32 yards rushing on 45 attempts and completed only five of 23 passes for 31 yards. Nebraska's advantage in total offense was 531-63 yards.
The best Kansas could offer in the way of a threat was in the first quarter when Eddie Sheats blocked a Rich Sanger punt and Steve Towie recovered on Nebraska's six-yard line. Incredibly, that play was greeted by a couple of oranges tossed on the field by K.U. fans. Kansas is ineligible to play in any bowl, let alone the Orange Bowl, because of an NCAA probation.
From the six, Robert Miller gained two yards, Randy Borg spilled Jerome Neooms for a loss of one and Dave Mason made a sham of the threat by intercepting a Bob Bruegging pass in the end zone.
That was about all the Jayhawks could muster in the way of a challenge. The biggest cheers from the predominantly Kansas crowd of 50,500 went to substitute halfback Billy Riggins who accounted for all three KU first downs from scrimmage (another was via penalty).
The initial first down came on the last play of the first half when Riggins ran for 16 yards.
The scoreless first quarter reminded of last spring's Ron Stander-Joe Frazier heavyweight championship fight in Omaha. While it lasted, it was a war — with little finesse — as the outmanned Jayhawks carried the battle to the Huskers.
The knockout came 3:36 into the second quarter on fourth and four. Husker coaches in the press box, noting that Jayhawk cornerback Mike Burton had come up fast and nearly intercepted twice on sideline passes, called the play.
Split end Frosty Anderson faked the down and out pattern, then took off for the end zone. Humm's pass was perfect on the 30-yard touchdown pray to open scoring.
But while Stander, the Council Bluffs heavyweight was allowed to go home after his kayo, Kansas had to stick around to the end — although the Huskers must have had a home-game feeling when some 15,000 red-clad rooters became the majority in the last quarter.
Before it was over, substitute receiver Anderson had scored again on a 47-yard pass play from Runty and he was joined in touchdown doubles by flanker Johnny Rodgers and I-back Dave Goeller.
Rodgers got the second in a four-touchdown spree in the second quarter when he combined with Humm on a 72-yard pass play. — the longest thrust of the 5-1 season. It should be noted that Rodgers, who left his white shoes at home, didn't turn around until he was well into the end zone.
Rodgers scored his ninth touchdown of the season just before he retired early in the third quarter when he cut inside right end for four yards to make it 35-0.
Goeller, the busiest of the Huskers with 13 carries, scored twice in the second quarter on a four-yard run and 10-yard pass from Humm.
The other Husker touchdowns were contributed by Bob Revelle, his second of the season, on a 30-yard reception from Humm and sophomore I-back Jeff Moran on a two-yard high dive.
The opportunism that has been a characteristic of the Blackshirts was most apparent in the second quarter when the four touchdowns delivered a severe blow to KU's gumption.
Sloey recovered fumbles at the Jayhawk 12 to set up Goeller's first score and at the 21, followed two plays later by Humm's 10-yard touchdown swing pass to Goeller.
Nebraska also was handed good field position for the seventh touchdown when Marc Harris managed only 17 yards on account from his five-yard line. A pass-interference penalty and two Moran punches into the line got the score.
Fullback Bill Olds started the longest scoring drive of 80 yards — when he broke for 50 yards on the first play on the second half. A 27-yard Humm-to-Rodgers pass set up the short touchdown run by Rodgers.
Bob Devaney had used all 49 players (saving apparent redshirt quarterback Terry Luck) who were available by early in the third quarter. Thirty-eight had checked in by the end of the first quarter and 47 by the half.
Nebraska, which has now outscored four opponents by 281-14 since the UCLA loss, returns to Lincoln Saturday to play Oklahoma State, winner over Baylor Saturday.
Kansas will take a 2-4 record into its home contest with Iowa State.
|Yards per carry||0.7||3.4|
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
|Texas A&M||Sept. 16|
|Oklahoma State||Oct. 28|
|Iowa State||Nov. 11|
|Kansas State||Nov. 18|
|Notre Dame||Jan. 1|
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