LAWRENCE, Kan.—The question was not if Kansas would score whenever it got the ball on Saturday afternoon. The question was how long it would take the Jayhawks to score, which player would score it, and would said player be touched while scoring it.
Televisions in Nebraska were not safe on this day, at least not those televisions being watched by Husker fans with baseball bats in proximity.
There’s no other way to put it. This was one of the most humiliating days in Husker football history.
Been a lot of that going around lately.
The No. 8 Jayhawks made a joke out of Nebraska’s defense, scoring touchdowns on 10 straight possessions, not counting one at the end of the first half in which the Jayhawks took a knee to run out the clock.
The final score was 76-39.
No misprint. Your glasses aren’t foggy. Yep, 76-39.
The 76 points are the most a Husker defense has allowed, worse than the 70 allowed to Texas Tech three years ago in NU coach Bill Callahan’s first season.
The Jayhawks (9-0) put up 48 points in the first half. That’s the most a Nebraska defense has ever given up in a half, even more than the 42 Colorado put up in the 2001 debacle.
That Colorado game seemed like a day at the zoo compared to this.
After Nebraska stopped Kansas’ offense on three plays on its first series, the Jayhawks treated the Huskers like a Pop Warner team.
KU scored on seven plays, then six plays, then five plays, then 10 plays, then four plays, then 13 plays, then three plays, then eight plays, then five plays, then four plays.
It was 48-24 at halftime. It was 69-31 after three quarters. Callahan watched most of the second half with his arms folded.
Even as the score mounted, the Huskers kept throwing the ball. Receiver Maurice Purify had a career day, racking up three touchdown catches.
Making his starting debut, Nebraska junior quarterback Joe Ganz looked really good early, only to succumb to bad decisions late.
After getting the score within 48-31 in the third quarter, the Huskers turned the ball over on four straight possessions. Three of those turnovers were interceptions thrown by Ganz.
The game began innocently enough, with Ganz leading the Huskers to touchdowns on their first two possessions of the game.
Kansas had given up only 13 points in the all of its first quarters this season. Nebraska had 14, the first TD coming on a three-yard scramble by Ganz.
But the star quarterback on this day was KU’s Todd Reesing, who set a school record with six touchdown passes in a game. He is very likely to earn Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. That would be the fifth straight week a player has gained the award off a performance against the Huskers.
Of course, KU running back Brandon McAnderson could also be considered for the award. He had four rushing touchdowns on the day, which tied a school record.
The Huskers are now 4-6, tied with Iowa State for last place in the Big 12 North, losers of five straight. That hasn’t happened to Nebraska since 1958.
That Nebraska team finished the season 3-7. This Husker team can’t finish the season soon enough.
Reach Brian Christopherson at 473-7439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.