LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- No matter how poorly Nebraska has played on
the road, it's nearly invincible at home. That is, until the Texas
Longhorns come to town.
Chris Simms passed for a career-high 419 yards, and Nathan
Vasher intercepted Jammal Lord's pass at the 1 yard-line in the
closing seconds to give No. 7 Texas a 27-24 win over Nebraska on
Roy Williams caught 13 of Simms' passes for 161 yards as the
Longhorns (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) handed the Cornhuskers (6-4, 2-3) just
their second home loss since Oct. 19, 1991.
The last loss was on Oct. 31, 1998, when the Longhorns came into
Lincoln and won 20-16, snapping Nebraska's school-record streak of
47 consecutive victories at Memorial Stadium. Since that defeat,
the 'Huskers had won their next 26 at home.
Until Saturday, Nebraska had won 74 of its previous 75 home
games. Texas, led by coach Mack Brown, is the only team to win at
Memorial in all that time.
"For a football team to come in here twice in the last 75 games
and be the only football team to win, that's just phenomenal,''
Brown said. "I've never been prouder of a group than I have been
Simms' performance overshadowed a career day for Lord, who ran
for 234 yards and passed for 98, including a 60-yard TD pass to
tight end Matt Herian that cut Texas' lead to 20-17 with 14:31 left.
Lord became the third quarterback in Nebraska history to run for
1,000 yards in a season, joining Eric Crouch, who did it last
season and Scott Frost, who hit the mark in 1997.
Texas appeared in position to run out the clock when Williams
was called for offensive pass interference, setting up a
third-and-22 from Nebraska's 27-yard line.
Simms was dumped after a 3-yard gain, and the Longhorns punted
to DeJuan Groce, who took the ball 44 yards up the right sideline
to the Texas 16 with less than a minute left. Three plays later,
Lord tried to hit split end Wilson Thomas on the right side, but
his pass was picked off by Vasher.
Groce said he was surprised that Texas kicked to him. "It was
my chance to make something happen,'' he said.
Nebraska coach Frank Solich said he was proud of his team.
"I feel badly for our players. I thought they played their
hearts out,'' he said. "They put themselves in a position to
With Texas clinging to a 20-17 lead late in the game, Groce was
flagged for pass interference on Williams to give the Longhorns a
first down at the Cornhuskers 22, with 4:43 left.
Texas' Cedric Benson scored from 3 yards out three plays later
to cap a 10-play, 81-yard drive that put the Longhorns ahead 27-17.
But Nebraska responded with scoring drive capped by I-back
Dahrran Diedrick's 2-yard run to pull the 'Huskers to 27-24 with
Lord now has 1,155 yards rushing on the season, breaking the
team record of 1,115 yards for a Nebraska quarterback set last year
by Crouch, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy.
Texas had a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter when Simms led
the Longhorns on a 17-play, 97-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard
touchdown pass to Williams. Simms completed 7 of 8 passes on the
But Nebraska responded with a four-play, 80-yard drive, capped
by Lord's 60-yard scoring pass to Herian.
Nebraska decided against kicking field goals on two fourth down
plays in the first half. Nebraska was stopped for no gain on both.
Solich took the blame for not trying a field goal to tie the
game after Groce's punt return.
"The decision ... is a very soul-searching decision,'' he said.
"If I had it to do all over, I would do it.''
Simms said the temperatures, which dropped into the 30s, did not
"I felt at home with the weather,'' he said. "Everybody
forgets that I'm from New Jersey.''