Nebraska Routes K-State 73-31 In Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Joe Ganz threw for 510 yards and seven touchdowns to set school records and Nebraska scored on 11 straight possessions while ending a five-game losing streak with a 73-31 win over Kansas State on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (5-6, 2-5 Big 12), coming off last week's 76-39 embarrassment at Kansas, had the program's highest point total since Tom Osborne's unbeaten 1997 national championship team beat Iowa State 77-14.

It was the Huskers' first victory since they beat Iowa State on Sept. 29 and the first in four games since Osborne returned as interim athletic director. During their five game losing streak the Huskers were outscored 226-88.

The victory may have come too late to save coach Tom Callahan's job, but he at least gave Osborne something to think about. Callahan also may have been sending a message to Kansas State coach Ron Prince, who stole away quarterback Josh Freeman after the Huskers had secured a verbal commitment from him two years ago.

On this day, the Huskers looked like the Osborne teams of yesteryear that routinely throttled K-State. Callahan even called an option play for Ganz.

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4) hadn't given up so many points since a 75-28 defeat to Oklahoma in 1971.

Nebraska's maligned defense pressured Freeman all day, sacking him four times. The Wildcats had 428 yards, but most came after the game was out of hand.

This game was all about Nebraska's offense, whose 702 total yards were the most since the 1995 team had 776 against Iowa State.

Ganz, making his second start in place of the injured Sam Keller, completed 30 of 40 passes with no interceptions before leaving in the middle of the fourth quarter. His big day came after he threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in last week's blowout loss at Kansas.

Ganz's seven TD passes -- three to Frantz Hardy -- were the most since 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch threw for five against Iowa State in 2000.

One of the biggest rounds of applause for Ganz came not for a pass but for a play he made with his legs late in the third quarter. Instead of punting on fourth-and-20 from the K-State 46, the Huskers went for it. Finding no one open, Ganz took off running, picking up 23 yards for the first down.

Ganz converted another fourth down with a pass to Maurice Purify before throwing 7 yards to Terrence Nunn for a TD.

Nebraska scored almost at will after going three-and-out on its first series.

Cortney Grixby tied it 7-all with a 94-yard kickoff return, Nebraska's first for a touchdown since 1998.

The Wildcats went up 10-7 on Brooks Rossman's 31-yard field goal, and then the Nebraska defense clamped down.

Ganz passed 26 yards to Marlon Lucky for the go-ahead touchdown. He pump-faked once to his left and then threw to his right to Lucky, who picked up a block from offensive lineman Mike Smith on his way to the end zone.

Andre Jones returned a punt 43 yards to set up Ganz's 36-yard TD pass to Hardy, who also caught 8-yard and 39-yard scoring passes in the third quarter.

Alex Henery's 27-yard field goal, Lucky's 5-yard run, and Ganz's 23-yard pass to Todd Peterson put the Huskers up 38-10 at halftime.

Kansas State's offense went almost dormant after generating 168 yards on its first 23 plays. The Wildcats gained just 31 yards on their next 23 snaps against a Nebraska defense that had given up no fewer than 459 yards in any of its previous five games.

The game was all but over by the time K-State started moving the ball again in the second half.

Freeman completed 26 of 44 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

James Johnson led K-State with a game-high 129 yards rushing. Lucky had 103 yards and two touchdowns for Nebraska.


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