LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska generated momentum for the Big 12
championship game with a 37-14 victory over Colorado that showcased
power, passing and panache.
Brandon Jackson was the power, running 34 times for 142 yards
and a touchdown Friday.
Zac Taylor passed 249 yards and two touchdowns on a
The panache? Four trick plays, including one that resulted in a
touchdown pass to a guy who normally plays defensive end.
Now the 23rd-ranked Cornhuskers (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) prepare their
first Big 12 title game since 1999. Nebraska, which went 5-0
against North Division opponents, will play Oklahoma or Texas next
Saturday in Kansas City, Mo. The Huskers came into Friday's game
having already secured their spot in the title game.
"We dominated the North, and that was one of our goals,"
Taylor said. "No matter how it happened, we got to the Big 12
championship game. All our goals are still in front of us."
Taylor threw touchdown passes to Terrence Nunn and Brandon
Jackson to tie Tommie Frazier's school career record of 43. Taylor
finished 19-of-28 and ran his season total to a school-record 2,789
yards. He set the record of 2,653 last year.
The Huskers posted their 35th nine-win season in 38 years -- and
first since 2003 -- and ended a streak of four straight wins by the
road team in the Nebraska-Colorado series.
Colorado (2-10, 2-6) lost its 14th straight game against a
ranked opponent and ended up with the third 10-loss season in its
program's 117-year history. The Buffaloes were 1-10 in both 1980
"Life is something you have to learn from," Buffs coach Dan
Hawkins said. "The more that you go out and you risk and try,
sometimes it's not going to go the way you want it to go."
The Huskers entertained the Memorial Stadium record crowd of
85,800 with their trickery.
Barry Turner, normally a defensive end, caught a 29-yard
touchdown pass on a fake field goal in the second quarter. Tailback
Marlon Lucky attempted two passes and Nebraska converted a
fourth-and-one on a direct snap to safety-turned-running back
"I think those are plays we have always executed (in
practice)," coach Bill Callahan said. "It just so happened that
the situations were right for those particular calls. It's timing.
It's feel. It's instinct. It's where the ball is in field
CU linebacker Jordan Dizon said the Huskers caught the Buffs
"You hardly expect one," Dizon said. "When they do a bunch
like that, and when they do it successfully, it kills morale."
Jackson scored from 2 yards to give the Huskers a 21-14 lead in
the third quarter.
The Huskers' were helped on that drive by defensive end Abraham
Wright, who interfered with Taylor as the quarterback was
attempting to catch a pass from Lucky on a first-and-20 at the CU
It was 23-14 early in the fourth after Jordan Congdon, lined up
in field-goal formation, pinned Colorado at its 1 with a pooch
punt. Adam Carriker and Corey McKeon tackled Mell Holliday in the
end zone on the next play.
Taylor drove the Huskers 59 yards in 10 plays after the safety
to up the advantage to 30-14. Again, the Huskers went
unconventional to pick up a first down on fourth-and-1 at the
Punter Dan Titchener lined up in his normal spot, then split out
wide. Taylor hurriedly moved under center from upback, then worked
a hard count as if to draw the Buffs offside. He suddenly started
walking toward the sideline -- as if he wanted a timeout -- but the
ball was snapped to Green in the backfield. Green ran 7 yards for
the first down, and Taylor finished the drive with an 18-yard pass
Holliday, an Omaha native who transferred to Colorado after
being cut by Nebraska in the spring of 2004, broke a 45-yard
touchdown run early in the third quarter to tie it 14-14. He led
the Buffs with 67 yards on eight carries.
The Huskers turned to trickery to break a 7-all tie in the
Nebraska appeared to be setting up for a field goal on
fourth-and-7 from the Colorado 29, but backup quarterback Joe Ganz
lined up in the kicker's spot instead of Congdon.
The direct snap went to Ganz, who rolled to his right and threw
a perfect strike to Turner, who declined interview requests. The
6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end had split out to the flanker's
spot and had a full step on Colorado's Cha'pelle Brown in the end
Ganz said his first option was to throw to receiver Todd
Peterson across the middle, but he saw that Turner had his man
"Barry brags to me all the time saying, 'Look at my highlight
tape in high school. I was a great tight end.' I threw it to him
two weeks ago (in practice), and he dropped it," Ganz said. "I
told him I was never going to throw it to him again, no matter how
open he was. But he was too open today, so I had to throw it to