December 8, 2022

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This week in historical past (1998): The 30 12 months drought involves an finish

Willie the Wildcat performs the Ok-S-U skit in the course of the fourth quarter of the KSU-Nebraska recreation Saturday, November 14, 1998, from the highest of the Dev Nelson Press Field in Invoice Snyder Household Soccer Stadium. The Wildcats defeated the Cornhuskers 40-30, the primary time in thirty years. The victory propelled Ok-State to be ranked No. 1 for the primary time. A record-breaking 44,298 had been in attendance. (Archive picture by Clif Palmberg | The Collegian)

Within the Nineteen Nineties, Kansas State had one of the crucial profitable packages in faculty soccer. The workforce received 87 of 118 video games performed, rating twelfth for many wins by a school soccer program that decade. Additionally they reached 11 bowl video games in a row from 1993 to 2003.

Sadly, the workforce may by no means discover their technique to the highest of the convention because of the dominance of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. From 1969 to 1997, the Cornhuskers received each head-to-head matchup over the Wildcats. By the point the Nineteen Nineties rolled round, Nebraska was constantly the most important impediment for Ok-State.

In 1995 and 1997, Ok-State received double digit video games, going 10-2 in 1995 and 11-1 in 1997. Nevertheless, powerful losses at Nebraska in each seasons destroyed their convention title aspirations.

With Colorado being one other nationwide energy within the Massive 12 Convention, many noticed Ok-State because the third-best workforce within the convention behind the Cornhuskers and the Buffaloes.

Getting into 1998, change arrived at Nebraska. After 25 legendary seasons in Lincoln, longtime head coach Tom Osborne determined to retire from teaching after profitable his third nationwide title in 4 seasons. The workforce additionally misplaced many star abilities like quarterback Scott Frost, operating again Ahman Inexperienced and defensive ends Grant Wistrom and Jason Peter who all went to the NFL following the season.

Regardless of the Cornhuskers beginning the 1998 season profitable their first 5 video games, they misplaced their sixth recreation to Texas A&M and later misplaced to an unranked Texas workforce at house, their first loss in Lincoln since Sept. 1991.

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In the meantime, the Wildcats had been rolling beneath head coach Invoice Snyder, profitable their first eight matchups. This included a victory over No. 14 ranked Colorado in early October — their first win in Boulder since 1973.

The Wildcats returned many key starters from their 11-win 1997 workforce with junior linebacker Mark Simoneau, junior defensive finish Darren Howard, senior receiver Darnell McDonald, junior operating again and punt returner David Allen and senior quarterback Michael Bishop. Bishop went on to turn into the primary Heisman Trophy finalist within the historical past of this system in 1998.

Getting into the Nebraska recreation on Nov. 14, 1998, Ok-State was ranked No. 1 within the nation for the primary time ever. 

Nebraska struck first, driving 80 yards on their opening possession which was capped off by an 8-yard landing go from quarterback Eric Crouch to Sheldon Jackson. 

Ok-State responded, scoring on a 8-yard run from Bishop. Sadly for the Wildcats, the Huskers scored ten unanswered factors and took a 17-7 lead halfway by way of the second quarter.

Needing to reply, Ok-State scored a landing proper earlier than the half as Bishop ran in a two-yard landing to make the rating 17-14.

Within the third quarter, Ok-State took their first lead of the day as Bishop hit McDonald for an 18-yard landing, giving the Wildcats a 21-17 lead. Nebraska continued to play powerful, turning 5 Ok-State compelled turnovers into 17 factors on the day.

The Wildcats later took the lead as Bishop hit McDonald for an 11-yard landing within the fourth quarter, placing Ok-State up 33-30 with simply over 5 minutes left.

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The Cornhuskers failed to reply to the Ok-State offense, and the Wildcats protection secured the victory when Jeff Kelly recovered a fumble and returned it 22 yards to finish a 40-30 victory for Ok-State. 

Following the sport, followers rushed the sector at KSU Stadium and tore down the goalpost which they famously carried by way of the streets of Aggieville following the matchup. The win clinched Ok-State the Massive 12 North Title, although they did in the end lose to Texas A&M, the South Division winners, three weeks later within the Massive 12 Championship.

Bishop completed the day with 306 passing yards and two touchdowns by way of the air and two extra on the bottom. McDonald hauled in two touchdowns within the victory with 183 receiving yards.

The Wildcats would by no means come wherever near a Nationwide Championship following the 1998 season, regardless of profitable the Massive 12 in 2003 and 2012. The Cornhuskers moved to the Massive Ten Convention in 2011 and haven’t performed the Wildcats because the 2010 season.

For one second in 1998, Ok-State made historical past towards their longtime rivals in a memorable season, defeating one of many goliaths of the time.