LAWRENCE, Kan. — Nebraska receiver Maurice Purify was taking no joy in his individual successes given the team embarrassment suffered against Kansas here Saturday.
It was a career day for Purify — seven catches, 158 yards, three touchdowns. It’d be a game worth celebrating if his team hadn’t just been drummed 76-39.
“You could have 200 yards, five touchdowns, you still didn’t win,” Purify said. “It doesn’t feel as good as a win does.”
Purify had a 60-yard catch and twice made spectacular touchdown grabs while working against KU’s standout cornerback Aqib Talib.
But Mo can’t play defense. And Nebraska had none of that.
“Worrying about the defense is not our job,” Purify said. “We can’t do everybody else’s job. We can only do ours.”
Purify admitted it was frustrating watching the Husker defense, which gave up touchdown drives to Kansas on 10 straight possessions.
“Not too many offenses can score every time they get the ball, so we know it’s going to be hard,” Purify said. “It’s a lot of pressure on us knowing we have to score every time we get the ball.”
Lucky record: Junior running back Marlon Lucky caught six passes, helping him set several records.
With 61 catches this year, he now holds the school’s single-season record, bettering Johnny Rodgers’ 55 catches in 1972.
Lucky also now has the record for receiving yards in a season and a career by a running back, moving ahead of Jeff Kinney. Lucky has 512 receiving yards this season and 898 for his career.
He broke all those records when he caught a screen pass in the first quarter and took it 62 yards for a touchdown. Lucky ended the day with 83 receiving yards, but just 15 yards rushing.
No complaints from Bill
One reporter asked Husker coach Bill Callahan if he thought Kansas ran up the score in any way Saturday.
“No, not at all. Gosh, no. They did what they had to do,” said Callahan, whose team gave up 69 of the 76 points in the first three quarters.
“(Kansas coach) Mark (Mangino) did a great job today. I think we put them in position to score when we turned the ball over on the short field. It seemed like they were on the short field all day, not only when we turned the ball over, but also on their ability to return the ball on kickoff returns.”
KU’s Marcus Herford broke the school record for most kick-return yardage in a game with 203 yards.
Staggering numbers: Before Saturday, the most points Kansas had ever scored against Nebraska were 40, produced against Callahan’s team in 2005.
The 27 second-quarter points KU scored Saturday were the most a Nebraska team had ever given up in a second quarter. Then the 21 third-quarter points by the Jayhawks tied for the most in a third quarter against the Huskers.
One positive note for Nebraska: The 39 points the Huskers scored were more than Kansas had given up combined in its five other home games this season (33).
Three-and-out: The best defense of the day for the Huskers came on their first series, when they forced Kansas to punt after just three plays.
But here’s an indication of how bad this season is going: That was the first time all year Nebraska forced a three-and-out on the opposing offense’s first series of the game.
Quick hits: Nebraska freshman Prince Amukamara just missed blocking a punt in the first quarter. He hurried the punter into a 22-yard kick, but wasn’t credited with a block. … Nebraska actually averaged more yards per play than Kansas — 6.6 yards to 6.4. However, the Jayhawks ran 17 more plays. … Husker quarterback Joe Ganz’s 405 passing yards were the third-most in school history. … Ganz connected on plays of 62 and 60 yards, the second- and third-longest plays by the NU offense this season. … Sophomore Menelik Holt had the first reception of his career, a 13-yarder in the second quarter. … Roy Helu’s 56 yards rushing were a career high. … Purify has 14 career touchdown receptions, which tie him for third in school history.
Reach Brian Christopherson at 473-7439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.