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Sunday, November 6, 2005

Nebraska bemoans lopsided loss

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Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor didn't pull any punches.

Sure, it hurt that the Cornhuskers had lost and that their 36-game winning streak against the Jayhawks had ended. But what stung even more was how badly Nebraska had lost.

"It was embarrassing," Taylor said after Kansas' 40-15 victory Saturday. "You don't want to break a streak like that. There's a lot of tradition at Nebraska, and we didn't want that streak to come to an end."

What also was disappointing was that many traditional Nebraska strengths were a no-show at Memorial Stadium.

The vaunted "Blackshirt" Nebraska defense was torched for 428 yards and 40 points - the most ever for a Kansas team in the series' 100-year history.

"I just have to take my hat off to Kansas," Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks said. "They played their butts off today."

The defensive unit also gave up numerous big plays - including a 72-yard run from Jon Cornish and a 40-yard strike from Jason Swanson to Mark Simmons.

"The pride of Nebraska is playing on the road and taking your 'A' game with you and knowing what the challenges are," Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said. "I just didn't see it."

The Cornhuskers also saw their traditionally strong rushing offense go nowhere against the Jayhawk defense.

Though the coaching staff emphasized running the football, Nebraska averaged less than a yard a carry with 22 total attempts for 21 yards.

"They're one of the top defenses in this conference," Callahan said, "and there's a reason why they're winning. It's because of their defense."

Callahan said he was most impressed by Kansas' front four, which kept constant pressure on Taylor. That especially was the case in the fourth quarter, when Nebraska frantically tried to play catch-up.

"Their rush is as good as any rush we'll see in the Big 12," Callahan said. "That's a talented group."

Nebraska has yet to find its stride in road games under Callahan. In the coach's two seasons, the Cornhuskers have compiled a 1-7 record away from Lincoln.

"It's not good. It's God-awful in my opinion," Callahan said. "That's the heart of the matter. We have not won on the road since I've been here at Nebraska. It's disturbing to me and bothers me."

But not as much as it bothered the Cornhuskers not only to lose, but to lose in a blowout.

"It's disappointing," Nebraska I-back Cory Ross said, "because we pride ourselves on finishing every game and fighting."

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