LAWRENCE, Kan. - Nebraska got an early Halloween scare Saturday night from some guys dressed in Jayhawk costumes.That's when junior wingback Bobby Newcombe decided to put on his Superman costume a day early and come to the rescue with an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 49-yard reception for the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter."Without Bobby, I don't know what we would have done today," said senior linebacker Eric Johnson. "Bobby is one of the most underrated players in this country. Bobby is a great player. He is a play maker."The Huskers, 7-1 and 4-1 in the Big 12 Conference, needed Newcombe's heroics to offset a lackluster first half and an inspired Jayhawk team seeking to erase the haunting of 30-straight losses to its northern neighbor. It wasn't until the clock ran out on a scramble that NU players and fans could relax with a 24-17 victory."This is a big relief," said junior safety Clint Finley. "I am so glad that we won because KU played real hard and tough. We are lucky to come out with a win."NU was lucky indeed.The Jayhawks, 3-6 and 1-4, played like the other Big 12 team in Kansas Saturday night. Meanwhile, NU appeared to have a Texas hangover in the first half as the offense had just 69 yards of total offense and the defense gave up 184 yards of total offense. The 95th-ranked KU defense and 91st- ranked offense looked like a top-10 team in both categories.Freshman running back Matt Jordan gave the Jayhawks a 2-0 lead when he blocked Dan Hadenfelt's punt out of the end zone. The difference remained two points until KU tight end David Hurst tacked on a 22-yard touchdown reception with nine minutes and 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter.The catch capped off an impressive seven-play 79-yard drive in which quarterback Dylan Smith completed 5-5 passes for 58 yards. His accuracy caught NU players off guard, but not defensive coordinator Charlie McBride."Coach McBride was right when he said this wasn't going to be the same Kansas team we had played years ago," Johnson said. "They have a nice quarterback. The quarterback was throwing really well, and they were clicking on offense. They were doing things we hadn't seen on film. They really outplayed us that first half."Trailing 9-0 at half-time, Coach Frank Solich knew NU had its back to the wall and had to execute better in the second half. He challenged each one of the players to do better in the second half, Newcombe said.NU's fortunes appeared to change almost immediately in the second half as Eric Crouch hit Matt Davison on a 63-yard bomb on the initial play of the half. It set the Huskers up at the 20-yard line, but two plays later the fumble gods struck NU again as Dan Alexander coughed the ball up at the 10-yard line. Andrew LeClair recovered the ball at the 1-yard line.The offense walked slowly off the field, almost in disbelief at its misfortune. The defense, however, rose to the occasion, stuffing KU on three-straight plays. Then the special teams came up with a blocked punt by Gregg List. It set up NU at the 23-yard line.The Huskers moved the ball to the 8-yard line, but the Huskers killed themselves again with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It stopped the momentum, and NU had to settle for a 31-yard Josh Brown field goal.It was Newcombe's punt return later in the quarter that finally gave NU the break it was looking for, defensive tackle Steve Warren said."Bobby's return was a big momentum shift in the game," Warren said. "It seemed like we were in control after that."The Huskers added another score in the fourth quarter on a Crouch eight-yard run to take a 17-9 lead. But Kansas still had some tricks left in its goody bag of plays. On the first play after the NU touchdown, Smith continued to make big plays hitting Michael Chandler for a 76-yard bomb. Smith found Chandler again on the two-point conversion to tie the game at 17-17 with 11:44 remaining."It just felt a lot like last week, looking at yourself and saying, 'Damn, what is going on here?'" said defensive tackle Loran Kaiser about the touchdown.That set the stage for Newcombe's 49-yard game-winning touchdown catch."Great players make great plays," said Mike Brown. "He's a special player, and everyone knows it."While every NU fan may know about Newcombe's ability, throughout much of the season he has taken a backseat role to Crouch in terms of media exposure and big plays. But this silent assassin from Albuquerque, N.M., has been waiting to go off, and Saturday night he got his chance.It was a far cry from last week, when Newcombe almost vanished in the second half against Texas. The coaches didn't forget about him this week."Tonight a lot of opportunities came my way," said Newcombe, who finished with 89 receiving yards on four catches and 115 yards on two punt returns.As Newcombe walked off the field, he was greeted with chants of "Bobby, Bobby."But Newcombe wasn't the only Husker with a big game. Crouch completed 11 out of 20 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for one touchdown. Running back Correll Buckhalter rushed 22 times for 118 yards in his first start of the season."I knew he was going to have a big night because I knew he was going to start," said I-back Dahrann Diedrick, who also is Buckhalter's roommate. "I know if he gets the opportunity to start, he's going to make big things happen."After the game, the Huskers were thankful to escape another Halloween scare. But Newcombe pointed to games like this one as ones that could help NU later on in the season."I think the spirit of our team was strengthened tonight because of being down at half-time, then coming back and being ahead, then having them come back and tie us and then battling back again," Newcombe said. "We showed a lot of character."