Record-breaking performances by quarterback Jerry Tagge and receiver Johnny Rodgers insured a 44-17 victory over Kansas State before a crowd of 42,300.
It was Nebraska's 20th straight win and 29th game without a defeat, dating back to 1969, setting the stage for the monumental showdown with No. 2 ranked Oklahoma at Norman on Thanksgiving Day.
The No. 1 ranked Cornhuskers went right to work against the Wildcats, who pressed at one point, 14-9, by driving for touchdowns the first four times they got possession of the ball. Tagge directed drives of 80, 94, 79 and 34 yards as the Huskers jumped to a 30-9 halftime lead.
Jerry had a sensational passing day, hitting 20 of 28 for 285 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 24 yards, giving him a total offense figure of 309 for a new Nebraska record. It also boosted him into the No. 2 spot in Big 8 history behind Lynn Dickey and enabled him to become the first Cornhusker to ever pass the 5,000-yard mark.
Rodgers was on the receiving end of 10 Tagge passes, including two TDs, and netted 125 yards. This performance enabled him to set a new season TD record (10), a new season reception record (45), a new career reception record (84), in addition to establishing new marks in season and career punt return yardage.
While it was dented for a season high of 17 points, Nebraska's defense held K-State to only 57 yards rushing and 179 yards passing to maintain its ranking as the top defensive team in the nation.
So armed with a 10-0-0 record, the Cornhuskers started priming for the trip to Norman and the historic meeting with the Oklahoma Sooners (9-0-0) to determine the 1971 Big 8 and national champion.
Kansas State 17
Nov. 13, 1971
Nebraska 14 16 7 7 - 44 Kansas State 0 9 0 8 - 17 First Quarter NEB - Johnny Rodgers 6 pass from Jerry Tagge (Rich Sanger kick) 9:21 NEB - Gary Dixon 2 run (Sanger kick) 1:21 Second Quarter KSU - Childs 8 pass from Dennis Morrison (kick blocked) 11:33 KSU - Georger 34 field goal, 8:43 NEB - Jeff Kinney 1 run* (Sanger kick) 5:37 NEB - Safety (Morrison fumbled out of end zone) 4:43 NEB - Dixon 2 run (Sanger kick) 2:27 Third Quarter NEB - Woody Cox 56 pass from Tagge (Sanger kick) 5:48 Fourth Quarter KSU - Calhoun 1 run (Morrison pass to Childs) 12:42 NEB - Rodgers 17 pass from Tagge (Sanger kick) 6:00 *set Nebraska career record with 29th TD NEB KSU First Downs 27 17 Rushing, Net 53-203 34-57 Passing, Net 285 179 Att.-Comp.-Int 30-20-2 46-23-1 Total Offense 488 236 Return yardage 14 4 Punts 3-38 5-43 Fumbles lost 1 2 Yards penalized 56 74 LEADING NU RUSHER: Jeff Kinney 98 LEADING NU PASSER: Jerry Tagge 20 for 28-285 MORE INDIVIDUAL STATS HERE ATTENDANCE: 42,300