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Huskers Drop Contest at Kansas State

By NU Athletic Communications
Freshman Brandon Jackson recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns for the second straight game at KSU.
Freshman Brandon Jackson recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns for the second straight game at KSU.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Manhattan, Kan. - The Nebraska football team fell behind by 14 points early in the first quarter and was unable to overcome a strong rushing performance by Kansas State in a 45-21 Wildcat win in front of 52,234 fans at Wagner Field on Saturday afternoon.  With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 Conference play, while Kansas State improved to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the league.

Quarterback Allen Webb, starting in place of KSU's regular starter Dylan Meier who sat out with an injury, carried 34 times for 147 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Darren Sproles added 135 yards and two scores on 22 carries.  The Wildcats rolled to 294 rushing yards against the Huskers.

The Wildcats outgained NU, 418-222, on the afternoon, including a 294-106 edge in rushing yardage.  KSU also carried a major advantage in time of possession and total plays, as KSU controlled the ball for 37:53 and ran 84 plays, compared to a 22:07 time of possession and just 46 total plays for the Huskers.

Despite KSU's control statistically, the Huskers trailed just 24-21 midway through the third quarter after NU strong safety Daniel Bullocks returned a botched Wildcat punt snap 10 yards for a touchdown.  But the Huskers could get no closer, as the NU offense stalled throughout the second half.  NU went into the fourth quarter trailing 31-21, before committing turnovers on four consecutive possessions, as KSU pulled away down the stretch.

Freshman I-back Brandon Jackson provided several highlights for the Huskers by rushing 11 times for 57 yards, including a pair of touchdowns.  Quarterback Joe Dailey suffered through one of his roughest days as a Husker by completing just 3-of-12 passes for 116 yards and one interception.  He also committed a pair of fumbles.

Kansas State opened the game with a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took 3:31 and culminated with a 13-yard touchdown run by Webb.

After forcing the Huskers to go three-and-out on their first drive of the day, the Wildcats extended the lead to 14-0 with an 11-play, 49-yard scoring drive that took five minutes, capped by Webb's second touchdown run of the day.

The Huskers got a spark on a shovel pass from Dailey to Ross that went for 63 yards and set up Jackson's 20-yard touchdown run.  The four-play, 86-yard drive took 1:15 and cut the Wildcat lead to 14-7 with 3:32 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats pushed the lead back to 14 points on a one-yard scoring plunge by Sproles with 12:12 left in the second quarter.  Sproles' drive capped a 14-play, 79-yard drive that took 6:20.  KSU's drive was extended by a roughing the passer penalty on a pass that was intercepted by Nebraska's Daniel Bullocks in the end zone.

Nebraska responded quickly again, as Dailey hit Terrence Nunn on a 55-yard strike down the middle of the field to set up Jackson's second touchdown run of the day on a two-yard plunge with 8:43 left in the first half.  Jackson's run capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive that took 3:29.

The Blackshirts got their first stop of the day on KSU's ensuing drive, but the Husker offense was unable to capitalize.  Kansas State added a 40-yard Joe Rheem field goal in the closing seconds of the first half to push its lead to 10 points at 24-14.

After Nebraska stalled on its initial drive of the second half, Sam Koch provided a highlight with a career-long 59-yard punt that buried the Wildcats at the 10-yard line.  Andrew Shanle stopped the Wildcats on the ensuing driving with a sack of Webb.  On Kansas State's punt, the snap hit the KSU upback and was scooped up by Daniel Bullocks who sprinted 10 yards for a touchdown to cut the Wildcat lead to 24-21 early in the third quarter.

The Huskers return to action next weekend with Homecoming at Memorial Stadium against Missouri.  Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. with television coverage provided by FSN.


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