The Last Time K-State Won In Lincoln

The headline in the Nov. 10, 1968, Manhattan Mercury blared, "Pride." Purple Pride, to be exact!


Editor's Note: Kansas State's last victory at the University of Nebraska came on Nov. 9, 1968. Here are some of the memories of that game from some of the headliners of 36 years ago.

The headline in the Nov. 10, 1968, Manhattan Mercury blared, "Pride."

Purple Pride, to be exact.

Coach Vince Gibson's Purple Pride, as Kansas State University defeated the University of Nebraska on the day before, 12-0.

"I still remember seeing Lou Keck and some of our other fans after the game and they had that unbelieving shock on their face," said Gibson, who today lives in New Orleans, where he works with a travel agency, Spectacular Sports Special. "It was our first big win. We had some of our people in shock and awe over that game."

Gibson was in his second year with the Wildcats and had inherited a K-State team that had not defeated Nebraska in the eight previous years, scoring just 43 points during that span.

But there's more:

•The win snapped a 25-game Big 8 losing streak.

•The skunking was the first for KSU since a 21-zip win over Missouri in ... 1955.

•It was only K-State's fourth win in its last 37 starts.

When told this week of the streaks that he helped end three-plus decades ago, quarterback Lynn Dickey said, "I honestly had no idea. I guess I was just young, dumb and stupid. To me, it was just fun to play in the game."

In a time when freshmen were not eligible to play, Dickey says he does remember when a fellow-frosh came up to him in practice one day and said, "Did you know the varsity hasn't won a conference game in three years? At the time, I wasn't aware of it. What kid nowadays wouldn't be aware of that."

To be honest, Dickey said, "It probably wasn't until I was in Houston (in the NFL) four or five years later that it dawned on me that beating those guys was a pretty big deal."

After the game when asked what he might do with the game ball, Gibson said, "We don't know what we'll do with it. We haven't had too many of these things."

To be honest, this Bob Devaney-coached Nebraska team was unranked at the time and finished the season just 6-4. But at the time it didn't matter.

"It was a win that gave us that belief that we could win the big one," said Gibson, whose 1968 Wildcats finished 4-6.

A sophomore at the time, Dickey, who now works for Mechanical Breakdown Protection in Kansas City, said, "It's funny coming from Kansas, but it was the first game that I had ever played in snow and was certainly the biggest stadium I had ever played in. I remember coming up for warm-up and seeing all that red."

Playing in drizzle, turned to sleet, turned to a dash of snow, as Dickey remembers, "On the first play I hit a long pass to Dave Jones down the right sideline. He didn't score, but eventually Mack Herron caught a touchdown pass, but we missed the extra point."

After that, it was a defensive struggle.

"I think we held them to 100 yards," said Gibson, who was just 46 yards off — NU had 78 rushing yards and 68 passing.

The only other scores in the game came in the final stanza on field goals of 28 and 50 yards by Max Arreguin.

"Our defense really stuffed the run and really played a good game," said Dickey. "But we weren't moving the ball up and down the field, either."

As a matter of fact, Herron was held to just 21 rushing yards on eight carries, while Larry Brown led the Wildcats with 73 yards on 21 carries.

Dickey was 15-of-28 for 217 yards, while a pair of NU quarterbacks — Ernie Sigler (2-of-18) and Frank Patrick (5-of-10) — were dreadful, completing just 7-of-28 passes for 68 yards.

Then an assistant to Cornhusker head coach Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne said, "It was our Homecoming and they spoiled it. They also returned a punt that was called back or it could have been 18-0. It wasn't a fluke win."

The most interesting fact of the game was that K-State was called for 11 penalties totaling 125 yards, while Nebraska was not flagged once.

Dickey said the win was sweet, but added that it really didn't kick in until he saw how the coaches were acting.

"Dean Pryor (ends coach) recruited that area and on the bus ride home he was just goo-goo," laughed Dickey.

On Dickey quarterbacking the Wildcats to victory, Gibson reflected, "He was cocky, but a winner. He had so much confidence; he knew he could beat anyone.

"I remember when he asked me if he could wear those white shoes. I thought he was nuts, but told him, 'If you have the guts to wear them, I'm all for it.' "

Laughing Gibson said, "It was probably after the Nebraska game that he asked me if he could wear white shoes."

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