That’s right. All those option quarterbacks and blinding fast tailbacks running behind seemingly steroid-induced lines never produced more than 70 points in a game against the Jayhawks, with the high-water mark coming in a 70-0 victory in 1986 – Bob Valesente’s first year as Kansas coach.
But the Jayhawks weren’t the only ones to show up offensively in a game where the teams scored 115 combined points and amassed 1,056 offensive yards.
“Obviously, our kids continue to play well,” said Mark Mangino, Kansas coach. “Our offense, everything was just clicking today. Putting up 76 points against anybody is very difficult.”
Nebraska started off the scoring after stopping Kansas on its first possession and rushing Kyle Tucker into a 22-yard punt. The Cornhuskers then drove 46 yards in 10 plays, finishing off with a Joe Ganz touchdown run. The Jayhawks wouldn’t punt again in the game.
Kansas responded with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Todd Reesing to Kerry Meier, before Nebraska countered with a 62-yard pass from Ganz to Marlon Lucky. Kansas came right back with three scores – two Brandon McAnderson runs with a 26-yard pass from Reesing to Jake Sharp, opening up a 28-14 lead.
Nebraska pulled to within seven on a 19-yard pass to Maurice Purify before Kansas scored three more touchdowns, on a five-yard pass to Marcus Henry, a one-yard McAnderson run and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dezmon Briscoe. The Cornhuskers added a 27-yard Alex Henery field goal
The two teams combined for 32 first downs, 665 yards and 72 points at the half. It didn’t stop there though – Nebraska came out and scored to start the half on a one-handed 14-yard catch by Purify, pulling the game to 48-31. The ‘Huskers would get no closer. Kansas scored the next four touchdowns, including touchdown passes of 14 and seven yards from Reesing to Briscoe, followed by an 11-yard Sharp run. McAnderson finished KU’s scoring with a six-yard run.
As a matter of fact, Kansas scored touchdowns on 10 straight possessions after going three and out on the first possession, not stopping until Scott Webb missed a 51-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Kansas’s lead at that time was 69-31.
Nebraska added a late touchdown on an eight-yard pass to Maurice Purify.
Reesing finished 30 for 41 for 354 yards and six touchdowns, setting KU’s single-game and season touchdown mark in the process. He now has 23 on the year.
“Todd Reesing put the ball right on the money when he needed to,” Mangino said. “He played extremely well. He played lights out.
“Based on what he has done to this point, both physically as a player and mentally, I think he would have a chance to surpass the great ones that I’ve had or been associated with at those two other programs,” Mangino said.
McAnderson led all runners with 119 yards and four touchdowns, while several receivers – Henry finished with 101 yards and a touchdown, Briscoe added 52 yards and three touchdowns and Fields chipped in 55 yards – had big games. As a team, Kansas passed for 354 yards and rushed for 218 yards. Even special teams got into the act – Marcus Herford’s 203 return yards even set a KU single-game record.
The fans also set a new attendance record, packing Memorial Stadium and most – with the possible exception of the Nebraska fans – staying through the whole game.
Ganz completed 25 of 50 passes for 405 yards, four scores and four interceptions. Purify, who had 117 yards at the half, finished with 158 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas held the Cornhuskers to 79 rushing yards, including just 15 on eight carries for Lucky, though he did catch six passes for 83 yards. The Kansas defense also forced five turnovers, four in the second half.
“We did not anticipate them throwing the ball as much as they did,” Mangino said. “They haven’t done that all year.”
Mangino credited the coaching staff with making adjustments in the second-half to cut down on Nebraska’s offensive success.
The Jayhawks moved to 9-0 and 5-0 in conference play with the victory, while Nebraska fell to 4-6, including a 1-5 mark in the Big 12. The last time the ‘Huskers suffered a five-game skid was 1958. Kansas will next travel to play Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
NU – Joe Ganz 3 run (Alex Henery kick), 9:04 1Q
KU – Kerry Meier 13 pass from Todd Reesing (Scott Webb kick), 6:38 1Q
NU – Marlon Lucky 62 pass from Ganz (Henery kick), 4:58 1Q
KU – Brandon McAnderson 2 run (Webb kick), 3:16 1Q
KU – Jake Sharp 26 pass from Reesing (Webb kick), 1:00 1Q
KU – McAnderson 9 run (Webb kick), 10:34 2Q
KU – Maurice Purify 19 pass from Ganz (Webb kick), 9:44 2Q
KU – Marcus Henry 5 pass from Reesing (Webb kick), 8:30 2Q
KU – McAnderson 1 run (Webb kick), 2:43 2Q
KU – Dezmon Briscoe 13 pass from Reesing (kick failed), 1:16 2Q
NU – Adi Kunalic 27 FG, 0:12 2Q
NU – Purify 16 pass from Ganz (Henery kick), 11:39 3Q
KU – Briscoe 14 pass from Reesing (Webb kick), 8:17 3Q
KU – Briscoe 7 pass from Reesing (Webb kick), 5:45 3Q
KU – Sharp 11 run (Webb kick), 3:34 3Q
KU – McAnderson 6 run (Webb kick), 11:12 4Q
NU – Purify 8 pass from Ganz (Nate Swift from Ganz), 4:26 4Q