(23) Iowa State 20

(3-1, 1-1 away)

Nebraska 27

(4-0, 4-0 home)

Coverage: ABC

3:30 PM ET, October 1, 2005

Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE), Lincoln, NE

1 2 3 4 2OT T
#23ISU 0 3 10 0 720
NEB 3 0 7 3 1427

Top Performers

Passing: Z. Taylor (NEB) - 431 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: G. Coleman (MONT) - 20 CAR, 65 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Ross (NEB) - 8 REC, 131 YDS, 2 TD

Taylor sets passing records in double-OT win

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense finally is up and running.

Actually, it's up and passing.

Zac Taylor finished a record day with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cory Ross in the second overtime to give Nebraska a 27-20 victory over No. 23 Iowa State on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) avoided losing to Iowa State (3-1, 0-1) for the first time at home since 1977 and finally found some offensive spark after muddling to wins in their first three games.

Taylor completed 36 of 55 passes for 431 yards on a day the Huskers all but abandoned their running game. He set school records for completions and yards.

"It's the greatest feeling in the world coming off that field," Taylor said. "Luckily we got the win, and we had to throw the ball to do it. I'm just glad Coach Callahan had faith in our passing game."

The Huskers had come into the game 108th in the nation in passing and 107th in total offense. But with Iowa State using a lot of man-to-man coverage, Callahan called on Taylor to pick apart the Cyclones with short passes to 10 different receivers.

During one stretch of the first half, Callahan called 18 straight pass plays.

"We decided we were going to continue to press on with the passing game," Callahan said. "We saw some things we wanted to do in the passing game and we felt confident in our pass protection. The circumstances surrounding the game dictated that we throw a little bit more."

In typical West Coast style, the running back played a key role in the passing game.

Ross set a school receiving record for a running back with eight catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. His biggest gainer was a 70-yard touchdown off a dump pass in the third quarter.

"We won today, and I don't care how I get my yards," said Ross, who ran for 32 yards on 15 carries. "The West Coast offense is one of those where you can throw it 50 times. You never know what's going to happen."

Taylor's most important pass also might have been his easiest, as he found Ross alone in the flat on the winning touchdown with no defenders within 10 yards of him.

The Cyclones picked up 10 yards on their first two plays of their second overtime possession. But Bret Meyer passed incomplete, ran for no gain and was off-target with his final two passes, prompting the players on the Nebraska sideline to storm the field in celebration.

The teams matched touchdown runs in the first overtime, with ISU's Greg Coleman scoring from 10 yards and Ross from 1.

"This was a 15-rounder and then some," Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "In the end Nebraska made more plays than we did."

Iowa State, the defending co-champion of the Big 12 North, lost for the first time in five road games.

"The way it came down to double overtime and with all the chances we had to win it, this one is going to sting," receiver Todd Blythe said.

Nebraska was in position to win in regulation after driving to the ISU 10 with under two minutes left. But on third-and-6 Taylor was caught in the backfield by DeAndre Jackson and fumbled. Jackson recovered, but Iowa State could do nothing offensively and had to punt.

"That's a critical mistake," Taylor said. "We always stress not having turnovers in the red zone, and it was just a bad play. As soon as the ball came out, it was the worst feeling in the world. Fortunately we were able to overcome it."

The Huskers got the ball back with 20 seconds, and Taylor took a knee to force overtime.

Meyer was 23 of 41, with an interception, for 317 yards, and the Cylones netted only 57 yards on the ground.

The Huskers went into the fourth quarter down 13-10 after Bret Culbertson's 32-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

But Jordan Congdon tied it with a 23-yard field goal after Iowa State stopped Taylor a yard short of the goal line on a third-and-3.

Ross' long touchdown broke a 3-3 tie in the third quarter, but Iowa State responded with a five-play, 80-yard drive that Meyer finished with a 2-yard pass to Walter Nickel.

Despite starting the season 3-0, Nebraska fans had become impatient with the West Coast system after the Huskers scored a total of only three offensive touchdowns in wins over weak opponents.

Going against the Big 12's worst rushing defense, the thought was that Callahan would keep the ball on the ground.

He did just the opposite. The Huskers' 25 rushing attempts -- which gained only 36 yards -- tied the school record for fewest in a game.

"Bill Callahan knows what's doing," McCarney said, "so we weren't surprised when they came out throwing the ball all over the place."