Huskers Finish Strong in Win Over Jayhawks
The win was Nebraska's 20th straight victory over Kansas at Memorial Stadium dating back to 1968. The victory also made the Huskers (6-4, 3-3 Big 12) bowl eligible. Kansas fell to 6-4 overall and dropped to 3-3 in league play, falling into a second-place tie with Nebraska in the Big 12 North Division standings.
In the fourth quarter, Helu and Suh both shined to highlight terrific performances from both players. Helu rushed for 78 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter. He finished the victory with a game-high 115 yards rushing and a game-high eight catches. The eight catches were a career high, while his 176 all-purpose yards were also a career high, fueled by his second straight 100-yar rushing game.
Suh also added a touchdown in the fourth quarter when he lined up at fullback and caught his first career pass for a two-yard touchdown that put Nebraska up by 10 with less than six minutes remaining. The Portland, Ore., native was all over the field on Saturday, recording a career-high 12 tackles, including four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one quarterback hurry.
In addition to the play of Suh and Helu, the battle of two of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks did not disappoint either. Senior Joe Ganz completed 28-of-37 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, while Kansas' Todd Reesing connected on 15-of-30 attempts for 304 yards and three scores.
In the first half,
Those missed opportunities loomed large late in the second quarter after Reesing found Briscoe for a 53-yard touchdown strike that put Kansas in front 14-7.
When the Huskers got the ball back, they once again drove quickly down the KU 35. The drive appeared to stall before Ganz found senior Nate Swift for a 10-yard pick up on a 4th-and-5 play. Three plays later, Ganz found junior Chris Brooks down the middle for a 25-yard game-tying touchdown. The touchdown reception was the first of Brooks' career.
The NU defense then forced its first 3-and-out of the game and a 15-yard punt return by Swift set the Husker offense up at the
In the second half,
The Husker defense forced a punt on the Jayhawks’ next possession, but Swift fumbled the return and
The Huskers quickly regained the lead for good on the strength of an eight-play, 78-yard touchdown drive. Ganz threw for 62 yards on the drive, while Helu found the end zone on a 10-yard run.
Helu found paydirt again the next time he touched the ball. After forcing a
Helu marched the Huskers downfield again on their ensuing possession, ripping off a 23-yard run to set NU up inside the KU 30. Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the 24, Ganz found Swift running wide open for a 22-yard gain. Two plays later, Ganz found Suh, a defensive lineman who lined up at fullback, for a two-yard touchdown pass.
Another defensive lineman made a big play on Kansas' next possession, as Zach Potter intercepted his second pass of the season to set Nebraska up at the KU 22. NU then executed a nifty fake field goal attempt on 4th-and-8 from the 20 before Ganz found Swift for a 14-yard touchdown pass, his third of the game.
Trailing 45-28, Kansas mounted a nine-play, 75-yard run that was capped by a Reesing 14-yard touchdown scramble with 2:15 remaining. The Jayhawks then recovered an onside kick, but lost 12 yards on four plays before the Huskers ran out the clock.
Nov. 8, 2008
Memorial Stadium (
Attendance: 85,486 (296th Consecutive Sellout)
First Quarter (
NU - Mike McNeill 4 pass from Marlon Lucky (Alex Henery kick), 4:47
KU - Kerry Meier 28 pass from Todd Reesing (Jacob Branstetter kick), 3:17
Second Quarter (
KU - Dezmon Briscoe 53 pass from Reesing (Branstetter kick), 4:39
NU - Chris Brooks 25 pass from Ganz (Henery kick), 2:17
Third Quarter (Nebraska 24, Kansas 21)
NU – Henery 35 field goal
KU – Dexter Field 11 pass from Reesing (Branstetter kick), 4:32
NU – Roy Helu Jr. 10 run (Henery kick), 0:08
Fourth Quarter (
NU – Helu 52 run (Henery kick), 14:01
KU – Jack Sharp 7 run (Branstetter kick), 9:56
NU – Ndamukong Suh 2 pass from Ganz (Henery kick), 5:58
NU - Nate Swift 14 pass from Ganz (Henery kick), 3:48
KU - Reesing 14 run (Branstetter kick), 2:15
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