1:00 PM ET, November 5, 2005
Memorial Stadium, LAWRENCE, KS
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- The streak is over -- and those crazy Kansas fans wasted little time celebrating.
After losing 36 games in a row to once-mighty Nebraska, Kansas went out and routed the Cornhuskers 40-15 on Saturday, sending thousands of fans onto the field at Memorial Stadium for a raucous party that included tearing down the goal posts.
"It's awesome. It's awesome," Jayhawks linebacker Kevin Kane said. "They beat us 36 years in a row and we changed it. Nothing's better than this right now."
Midway through the third quarter, several thousand Nebraska fans among the stadium-record crowd of 51,750 began quietly filing out.
The loss was the third straight for the Huskers (5-4, 2-4), and came two days after coach Bill Callahan was reprimanded by the Big 12 for his apparent throat-slashing gesture at an official in a loss to Oklahoma.
A year ago in Callahan's first season, their proud record of consecutive bowl trips ended at 35 in a row.
Now another link to the glory days of Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, who from 1962-97 coached the program to 356 victories and five national championships, has been severed.
Simply seeing the streak end was not in itself embarrassing, said Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor.
"It was embarrassing in the way it happened," Taylor said. "You don't want to go on the road and lose 40-15 to a team with a losing record. That doesn't speak well for the team."
Fans stormed the field despite pleas to stay in their seats by Max Falkenstein, who has broadcast Jayhawk games for 60 years.
"I know this doesn't make me very popular in Memorial Stadium right now," Falkenstein said over the public address system.
Mark Simmons caught two touchdown passes and Jon Cornish ran 72 yards for another score as Kansas (5-4, 2-4) ended the NCAA's second longest losing streak against an opponent in an uninterrupted series. The record, still current, is 41 wins in a row by Notre Dame against Navy.
"It was a great day for our football team," Kansas coach Mark Mangino said.
The Jayhawks scored seven different ways and have two 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver in one game for the first time in 25 years.
"Having all those oldtimers come up and thank you for the first win since '68 -- it's such an incredible feeling," linebacker Banks Floodman said. "To be able to give that back to the fans and let them celebrate and have so much fun, and to be able to witness something lots of people haven't been able to witness their entire lives.
"Yes, it was one of the best feelings I've ever been a part of."
Midway through the fourth quarter, many of the several thousand Nebraska fans began quietly filing out.
Six different Kansas coaches -- Don Fambrough, Bud Moore, Fambrough again, Mike Gottfried, Bob Valesente, Glen Mason, Terry Allen -- had come and gone with nothing but losses against the Huskers.
"We didn't make the plays that we are capable of making," Callahan said. "It's very disappointing."
Said Kane, "We finally took that step where we beat the powerhouse Nebraska. I know they're not the Nebraska of old, but they're still Nebraska."
Jason Swanson threw two touchdown passes to Mark Simmons; Cornish had the 72-yard run; Darren Rus returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a TD; Eric Butler tackled Taylor in the end zone for a safety; Kane returned an interception 40 yards for a TD, and Scott Webb kicked a 21-yard field goal and six extra points.
"The jubilation in the locker room was unprecedented," Cornish said. "We have never celebrated so hard and been so happy about one victory."
During its run against Kansas, Nebraska had routs of 54-0 in both 1979 and '80 and 70-0 in 1986. From 1971-74, the Huskers outscored the Jayhawks by a combined 177-9.
Nebraska got a turnover on the Kansas 16 and scored on Cory Ross' 1-yard touchdown run to close the margin to 17-15 midway through the third period.
Two plays later, Cornish sped 72 yards up the middle to give the Jayhawks a 24-15 lead over a team they hadn't beaten since Lyndon Johnson was president.
A few minutes later, after Kyle Tucker's punt put the Huskers on their own 5, Butler sacked Taylor and Kansas led 26-15.
Then, Swanson hit Simmons with a 12-yard TD pass for a 33-15 lead. Swanson also hit Simmons with a 40-yard touchdown pass on Kansas' first possession.
Clark Green had 100 yards rushing and Cornish had 101 while Simmons caught six passes for 100 yards.
The Huskers had only 32 yards of total offense until Taylor hit Terrence Nunn with a 30-yard TD pass.
The melee on the field was somewhat dangerous even for players.
"I've got bruises from getting hit by them, not from getting hit in the game," Kane said. "It was great."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-12||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-1|
|TD||10:45||MARK SIMMONS 40 YD PASS FROM JASON SWANSON (SCOTT WEBB KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 51 yards.
|TD||1:15||DARREN RUS 20 YD BLOCKED PUNT RETURN (SCOTT WEBB KICK)||2||14|
|FG||4:46||SCOTT WEBB 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 73 yards.
|TD||1:47||TERRENCE NUNN 30 YD PASS FROM ZAC TAYLOR (JORDAN CONGDON KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||6:19||CORY ROSS 1 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 16 yards.
|TD||5:35||JON CORNISH 72 YD RUN (SCOTT WEBB KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:33||MARK SIMMONS 12 YD PASS FROM JASON SWANSON (SCOTT WEBB KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||5:23||KEVIN KANE 40 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (SCOTT WEBB KICK)||15||40|