With a Nebraska and Big 8 record crowd of 67,119 looking on, the Cornhuskers and the Kansas Jayhawks collided in a tremendous conference opener.
And despite a brilliant Nebraska effort, the powerful Jayhawks — who had been averaging 51 points a game — pulled out a 23-13 victory.
It took a back-to-the-wall drive in the final quarter for the Jayhawks to win.
Nebraska led at the half, 6-0 on Joe Orduna's sensational 28-yard run, and the Cornhuskers again led 13-9, after falling behind 9-6 in the third quarter, with only 9:58 left in the game.
But Bobby Douglass drove the Jayhawks 73 yards to score the cinching TD with only 4:09 left in the game. Nebraska's fourth-down gamble late in the game failed at the Husker 23, setting up a gratis tally in the final minute to provide the final margin.
Nebraska's tough defense shut out the point-happy Jayhawks until 7:04 was left in the third quarter. And then the Jays got on the board through a gift as Nebraska elected to take a safety rather than punt from the end zone with a 6-0 lead.
The Jayhawks got more help a short time later when Dick Davis fumbled at the NU 19. Six plays later Kansas led 9-6, but the Huskers refused to buckle.
Getting possession at the KU 49 early in the fourth quarter, the Huskers marched to a go-ahead TD in 11 plays, Orduna going the final yard.
But victory hopes were dashed as the Husker defense could not stop Douglass & Co. during a time-consuming, 14-play drive that supplied a clinching 16-13 lead.
Disappointment, of course, but a great effort had been made against a great Kansas team that was Orange Bowl-bound, and the Cornhuskers were 3-1.
SEASON STATS | NU ROSTER
Oct. 12, 1968
Kansas 0 0 9 14 — 23
Nebraska 0 6 0 7 — 13
NU — Joe Orduna, 28 run (Paul Rogers kick failed), 4:47
KU — Intentional safety, Ernie Sigler, 7:04
KU — Donnie Shanklin, 1 run (Bill Bell kick), 2:04
NU — Joe Orduna, 1 run (Rogers kick), 9:58
KU — Bobby Douglass, 1 run (Bell kick), 4:09
KU — Bobby Douglass, 10 run (Bell kick), 1:11
First Downs ...... 15 15
Rushing Net ...... 188 154
Passing Net ...... 51 78
Total Offense .... 239 232
Leading NU Rushers: Joe Orduna 98, Dick Davis 74.
Leading NU Passer: Ernie Sigler 5 for 9—37 yards