Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 13, 2000)
in big ones
MANHATTAN, Kan. —Yuck.
That about sums it up - Kansas State 29,
Nebraska 28. The weather, the offenses, the
penalties, the play call
mg, the quarterbacks, the
postgame press confer
ences, the slimy shoe
some K-State fan left
behind in the goalpost
melee, the walk back
through the muddy uni
verse of KSU s parking
Well, that is save Samuel
Randy Moss’s college McKewon
" clone Quincy Morgan,
who did more for his NFL
draft stock on Saturday night than he ever could
' have dreamed. He’s a top-10 pick now, maybe
the No. 1 receiver taken.
Plenty was written about Jonathan Beasley
surviving a miserable showing to mount one
last spectacular drive through the sludge. But
Morgan, with seven catches for 199 yards, was
the straw that stirred KSU’s drink.
There was a time that the same tag was hung
on the Comhuskers’ Eric Crouch. Forget being
the leader of NU, Crouch was NU. He was tough
as a stiff wind, indomitable and a herky-jerky
option wizard. And now,
with two years experience as
a starter, he was ready to
assume the role as the Big
Game Guy, like Frazier,
Frost, Berringer and Gill
Guess what? Yuck.
couldn’t have looked worse
on Saturday night - two
completions, a 2.5 yards per
carry average and 81 total
Yes, Crouch could’ve
played worse. But these
aren’t the standards a poten
tial Heisman lYophy candi
date should be held to.
Oklahoma’s Josh Heupel
riddled KSU and then,
against Texas A&M a few
hours earlier, he won with
out his best stuff. Crouch must’ve left his on the
bus. Or maybe in Marysville.
Well, fine. But where was the average
Crouch? KSU's Bill Snyder pinned down No. 7
when he described stopping him as assignment
football - stop him early and stop him for good.
Make Crouch distribute, like a point guard who’s
told to shoot and is forced to pass.
And let’s get right at it because KSU most
certainly did - Crouch is a below average pass
er, both in accuracy and decision making. He’s
at 46 percent for the season. For a guy averaging
13 passes a game, that is six completions. In
three games against ranked teams (KSU, OU,
Notre Dame) this season, he passes at a 38 per
cent clip (21-55) with a three interceptions and
He isn’t helped by a Nebraska offense that
calls for two fakes and a 20-yard swing pass on
the team’s second-to-last offensive play on
Saturday. What is Frank Solich thinking about?
Much better was the fourth-down pass play,
which simply required a pitch-and-catch that
Crouch threw a touch high. It was still one of his
But it isn t just about Crouchs passing. The
option offense that NU once thrived has all but
disappeared. There was one pitch to an I-back
on Saturday, and it was so forced, it nearly
became a turnover.
Crouch, whether entirely by design or his
own volition, has turned into the one-man veer
offense he once was in high school The remain
der of the offense has atrophied because of it So
His primary skill is to barrel into the line and
hopefully blast toward daylight. On his longest
run Saturday night of 11 yards, he came within
one man of doing it But it’s a risky proposition
to wait for that to happen. By the grace of K
State’s own inept handling of fine field position
did Nebraska even have a chance to win it
Afterward, Crouch, as usual, didn’t make
excuses, attributing K-State’s success at stop
ping the run to a "guessing game.” Crouch, with
one year remaining, has a chapter left to move
Short of sprouting wings in flight, his per
formance against 3-7 Colorado and the follow
ing bowl game will not help him write it There
wifi be no late season "rebound,” no matter how
the state newspapers spin it, and no erasing the
It seems clear his bravado in last year’s Fiesta
Bowl was a premature gauge of his skills, arid
when his stats ballooned against Iowa, Missouri
and Iowa State, the perception, again, was off.
Shake out the crumbs, and you see No. 7 was
off in two of the three games he was genuinely
needed in this season. And Nebraska, the pre
season No. 1 team, has a possible date in Dallas
to attend to.
The weather for the Cotton Bowl around
New Year’s is not too pretty. Wet, cold, rainy,
muddy. And by God, it’s at 10 a.m., prime time
for mist and dew.
Yuck. ' ¥ *
You stop Crouch, and you stop
Nebraska. We keyed on him and took
him out of the game.”
Kansas State safety
K-State slips by N U
Weather, sloppy play douses the Huskers'national title hopes
BY SAMUEL MCKEWON
MANHATTAN, Kan. — As far as goalpost
demolitions go, the assault on the north end
zone apparatus at KSU Stadium Saturday
night won’t take its place among the more
inspired celebrations of college football lore.
Purple-clad Kansas State fans screamed
and danced for a bit following the No. 16
Wildcats’ 29-28 upset of No. 4 Nebraska. They
rocked on one side, eventually tearing it
down, before basically calming down and fil
ing out - pretty weak stuff.
It was just as well, as the game that pre
ceded it - a KSU win that all but assured it a
spot in the Big 12 championship game - was a
poor man’s version of a classic football game,
complete with a field slicked by sleet and
snow and sloppy play to match.
And yet, despite bearing no resemblance
to the vibrant, emotional K-State victory here
two years prior, Saturday’s game once again
whittled itself down to one final Husker drive
to determine the winner. NU started at its
own 22. Two minutes and 52 seconds
And the winds of weather were frowning
on the Comhuskers’ chances. A wet snow had
just begun to blanket the field after KSU’s
Jonathan Beasley hit wide receiver Quincy
Morgan with a go-ahead, 12-yard touchdown
pass a minute earlier.
During the failed 2-point conversion and
ensuing television timeout, Wagner Field
moved into winter-wonderland stage. The
record 53,811 people at KSU Stadium rattled
their pompoms. The field had a layer of slush
“It was tough in terms of footing,” said
Coach Frank Solich, who lost his fifth Big 12
road game. “There was a fair amount of slip
“I couldn’t even run out on the field at the
end without almost losing my footing,” I
back Dan Alexander said.
Likely unable to execute several of its
option plays because of the slippery surface,
NU's final drive ended as many did during
the course of the game - in futility.
After quarterback Eric Crouch completed
his second pass of the game to tight end
Tracey Wistrom to advance the ball to the
Nebraska 38, the Huskers’ hopes died on the
next four plays, as two rushes gained four
yards and two Crouch passes fell to the slush
So ended a game that also doused any
hopes NU had contending for the national
championship. Dropping to 8-2 overall and
5-2 in the Big 12, Nebraska also forfeited its
shot at the Big 12 title. It now needs Kansas
State (9-2, 5-2) to lose to Missouri next week
to have any shot at playing in Kansas City,
“There were way too many mistakes to
play a really good football game,” Solich said.
"You can’t hurt yourself.”
Nebraska did so in spades for nearly three
quarters, watching an early 14-7 lead, gained
off a blocked punt touchdown return by
Keyuo Craver and a short touchdown drive
aided by penalties, dissipate with each
thwarted offensive possession.
Over the second and third quarters, NU
gained 54 total yards. It had seven consecu
tive drives end without a first down, two of
which ended in turnovers, another in a
missed Josh Brown 28-yard field goal that
could’ve provided the margin of victory.
Crouch was ground to a halt, amassing
only 81 total yards for the contest and com
pleting only 2 of 13 passes.
“They were slanting a little bit,” Crouch
said of the K-State defensive line. “Football is
Record Points Prev. Rank
Florida St. (1)
kind of a guessing game. K-State guessed
Of his passing, Crouch said: “(KSU
defenders) were in the right spot at the right
times, and all those deep balls are low per
Meanwhile, KSU's offense, and especially
wide receiver Morgan, who finished with
seven receptions for 199 yards and two
touchdowns, heated up.
Please see LOSS on 11
ABOVE: Nebraska strong-side linebacker Scott Shanle brings down K-State tight end Shad Meier after a gain of nine yards in the third quarter with K-State leading 23-14.The
Kansas State offense passed for 234 yards against the Blackshirts.
RIGHT MIDDLE: Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch gets a block from Willie Miller before pitching the ball. Crouch had 42 yards rushing and 39 yards passing.
RIGHT BOTTOM: Nebraska l-back Dan Alexander puts Wildcat linebacker Warren Lott on the ground before running for a touchdown in the third quarter. Alexander rushed for
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