With a fair amount of static that this could be the Legend’s final season, I felt it appropriate to take a look at what I feel are the ten biggest wins between both of his tenures. I tried to choose the best games that both had a significant impact on the program and in Bill’s coaching career. Starting August 23rd, I’ll be adding the next game in the countdown every day until kickoff. Enjoy.
November 11th 2000 – #16 KSU 29, #4 Nebraska 28
The Snow Game.
That’s how it will forever be remembered in EMAW lore.
It was the first matchup back in the Little Apple since KSU had knocked off the Huskers in 1998 for the first time in nearly 40 years (more on that later in the countdown). Many postulated that the series would promptly return to the norm, with Nebraska once again dominating regardless of location (they had already throttled KSU 41-15 in Lincoln the prior fall). This game would dispel that theory.
NU (who’d been the nation’s top ranked team in the preseason) had been averaging close to 500 yards per game on offense coming in, but were stonewalled for three quarters by one of Snyder’s most talented defenses – managing just 105 total yards. Quarterback Eric Crouch (who’d been quite good against the Wildcats the previous two years) went just 2-13 for 39 yards and a pick. Meanwhile, KSU was able to move the ball against the Cornhuskers’ “Blackshirt” defense (as it was known in those days). Running back Josh Scobey would get the purple on the board in the opening quarter with a 1 yard TD (after hanging on to an errant pitch from quarterback Jonathan Beasley). In the 2nd quarter, Beasley – anxious to allay all memory of his putrid 3-19 performance in Memorial Stadium the season before – then hit his favorite target Quincy Morgan for a 49 yard score on a slip screen over the middle, with Morgan simply outrunning the entire Nebraska secondary and handing the Cats their first lead of the ballgame. That combination would be far from done.
Both teams managed little in the 3rd, with the only two scores coming on field goals from KSU kicker Jamie Rheem. The Huskers would quickly answer back in the 4th, as bruising running back Dan Alexander (who wound up with 130 yards on the evening) notched consecutive scoring runs of 19 and 45 yards to put the Big Red back in front, 28-23. The Wildcats would get the ball back with just under 7 minutes remaining, and after converting a third down with his legs, Beasley would once again find Morgan (7 catches, 199 yards) for the final time of the night – this time on a crossing route over the middle for a 12 yard TD as the snow began to cascade down onto the turf.
After a failed 2 point conversion, the Huskers had one last chance to make something happen. However, Dyshod Carter would knock down a 4th down throw in KSU territory intended for receiver Matt Davison – igniting a wild celebration in the snow from both players (Derrick Yates’ photo above is one of the most iconic in KSU history) and fans (the goalposts came down, of course).
The win was important as it signaled that Snyder and the Wildcats were no fluke and had staying power as the primary roadblock for the Cornhuskers in the Big 12 North and as a player on the national scene. It also sent them to their second league title game appearance in three seasons.
***Game highlights can be found below***
Jake is also a writer at www.big12country.com. Find his other stuff plus much more by clicking the link.