AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Bret Meyer threw for a career-best 345 yards
and three touchdowns to lead surging Iowa State past Nebraska 34-27
Saturday and into a tie for first place in the Big 12 North.
Iowa State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) had been stuck in a 13-game
conference losing streak in mid-October but now has won three
straight. If the Cyclones win their final two games, at Kansas
State and home against Missouri, they'd become the North champions
and play in the Big 12 championship game for the first time.
It was Iowa State's second victory over Nebraska in three years,
but only the third since 1978.
Trailing 34-14 in the fourth quarter, Nebraska (5-4, 3-3) drew
within seven on Brandon Jackson's 1-yard touchdown run with 5:01 to
play. The Cornhuskers got the ball back two minutes later, but Tim
Dobbins' interception with 2:45 left ended their hopes of
completing the comeback.
Iowa State fans stormed the field after the final play and
several climbed the north goal post, rocking the steel structure in
a futile attempt to bring it down.
Nebraska's defense wasn't nearly as stout and took a step back
after appearing to re-establish itself in a 24-3 victory over
Missouri a week ago. The Cornhuskers are 0-3 in Big 12 road games,
giving up an average of 49.7 points and 469 yards.
After managing only 192 yards in a 13-7 victory over Kansas a
week ago, Iowa State amassed 283 by halftime Saturday and had 466
for the game.
Meyer, a redshirt freshman, accounted for most of it, throwing
touchdown passes of 4 yards to Ben Barkema, 17 yards to Todd Blythe
and 77 yards to Jon Davis. Under frequent pressure from Nebraska
blitzes, Meyer usually managed to scramble out of trouble and
finished 17 of 38 with one interception.
Blythe, also a redshirt freshman, had eight catches for 188
yards -- all in the first half. The touchdown catch was his ninth of
the season, breaking the school record he had been sharing with
Tracy Henderson (1983) and Ty Watley (1997).
Davis' over-the-shoulder catch of a perfectly thrown ball from
Meyer and sprint to the end zone gave Iowa State its 34-14 lead
with 1:58 left in the third quarter. Nebraska quarterback Joe
Daily, inconsistent to this point, then got it going.
His 46-yard completion to Mark LeFlore, who fell down with an
open field in front of him, put the Cornhuskers at the ISU 28 and
set up Jackson's 6-yard TD run. Dailey then led a nine-play,
60-yard drive that Jackson capped with his second TD, and now the
Cornhuskers had a chance.
They got the ball back at their own 31 with 2:55 play, but
Dobbins picked off Dailey's underthrown pass on the next play and
ran it back to the Nebraska 30. Meyer's 1-yard sneak on
fourth-and-1 at the 21 enabled the Cyclones to keep the ball and
run out the clock.