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November 24, 2006

No. 23 Nebraska downs Colorado 37-14

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LINCOLN, Neb. -Zac Taylor threw two touchdown passes on a record-setting day and No. 23 Nebraska, already bound for the Big 12 championship game, pulled out all its tricks against Colorado in a 37-14 victory Friday.

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 passes for 249 yards to run his season total to a school-record 2,789. He set the record of 2,653 last year.

The Cornhuskers (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) entertained the Memorial Stadium record crowd of 85,800 with a hearty dose of trickery.

Barry Turner, normally a defensive end, caught a touchdown pass on a fake field goal. Tailback Marlon Lucky attempted two passes and Nebraska converted a fourth-and-one on a direct snap to safety-turned-running back Tierre Green.

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. They'll take a three-game winning streak into next Saturday's Big 12 championship game against either Oklahoma or Texas.

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 and 1984.

Brandon Jackson, who ran 34 times for 142 yards, 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 25.

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 Colorado 40.

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 to Jackson.

Kenny Wilson wrapped up the scoring with a 7-yard run with 23 seconds left.

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 second quarter.

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. 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 zone.

For more coverage of Nebraska, visit HuskerIllustrated.com; for more on Colorado, visit BuffStampede.com.



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