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November 3, 2007
No. 8 KU scores 76 against reeling Huskers
LAWRENCE, Kan. — No. 8 Kansas is having so much fun in the present, the Jayhawks can't be bothered with their mostly forgettable past.
For Nebraska, the present keeps getting worse.
Todd Reesing threw a school-record six touchdown passes and Kansas clobbered Nebraska 76-39 on Saturday. The Jayhawks kept themselves in the national championship picture while rolling up the most points ever scored against the hapless Huskers in their 117-year football history.
It was only the second victory for Kansas in the last 39 games against Nebraska, which appears to be coming to pieces in the fourth season of embattled coach Bill Callahan.
"People continue to look at the past history, and the past records teams have had against us," said Reesing, who was 30 of 41 for 354 yards. "That has no effect on us. It's a whole new season. You can't just look in the past. Our team doesn't. We're a whole new team."
Reesing shattered Kansas' single-season record with 23 touchdown passes and directed touchdown drives on 10 straight possessions as the Jayhawks (9-0, 5-0 Big 12) went to 9-0 for the first time since 1908.
Nebraska (4-6, 1-5) lost its fifth straight for the first time since 1958 while interim athletic director Tom Osborne watched from a pressbox suite. Osborne, who coached Nebraska to three of its five national championships, replaced Steve Pederson when Pederson was fired following a 45-14 loss at home to Oklahoma State. Osborne spoke briefly to Callahan following the game but declined to meet with reporters.
"There's really no words to explain this loss. They out-executed us in all phases today," said Callahan. "We are just going to keep working. As coaches, we are just going to keep working, coaching, and motivating. We need to help the players get through this because this is a tough time for us."
Kansas coach Mark Mangino admits the Jayhawks are exceeding even his expectations.
"I thought we had a chance to have a really good football team," he said. "Those kids have stepped up and developed and here we are."
Brandon McAnderson ran for 119 yards and tied a school record with four rushing TDs for Kansas, which was picked fourth in the Big 12 North.
"Coach Mangino has instilled an attitude us this is KU 2007," McAnderson said. "When you put it like that, history doesn't matter. Put up against us, there's been a lot of history how, `You guys haven't won road games, you haven't beaten them, or them.' There's all kinds of stats about when you can't do something. But history doesn't matter."
The previous record for points given up by Nebraska was 70, to Texas Tech on Oct. 9, 2004 - Callahan's fifth game as coach.
"You would never think a team would score 76 on you," Nebraska safety Bryan Wilson said. "We came in with a good scheme. We thought we could take advantage against them in some areas."
The average score in Kansas-Nebraska games from 1971-2000 was 47-7 and only once since 1974 had Kansas even come into the game with the better record. Yet, this year the unbeaten Jayhawks were 20-point favorites.
Playing before a Memorial Stadium record crowd of 51,910, Kansas scored on its last seven possessions of the first half and its first three of the second.
In what must be another embarrassing note for Nebraska, Reesing could be in line to become the fifth player in a row named Big 12 offensive player of the week after playing the Huskers.
Reesing, a sophomore who has not thrown an interception in his last 128 attempts, still has not lost as a college starter. He threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Kerry Meier, 26 yards to Jake Sharp, 5 yards to Marcus Henry and 13 yards to Dezmon Briscoe as Kansas roared to a 48-24 halftime lead, setting a record for most points against the Huskers in the first two quarters.
Virtually as unstoppable in the second half as he had been in the first, and playing until only a few minutes remained on the game clock, Reesing connected with Briscoe on touchdown strikes of 14 and 9 yards in the second half. McAnderson scored on runs of 2, 9, 1 and 6 yards.
"It was obviously one of those games you're never going to forget," Reesing said. "Any time you can score over 70 points on a great team like Nebraska, it's unbelievable. We're ecstatic."
Joe Ganz, making his first start at quarterback for Nebraska following the season-ending injury last week to Sam Keller, was 25-of-50 for 405 yards and four touchdowns but was also intercepted four times.
Maurice Purify caught seven balls for 158 yards and three TDs.