Publication:Colo Spgs Gazette; Date:Nov 26, 2005; Section:Sports; Page Number:28


Nebraska 30, Colorado 3

Red alert for CU

THE GAME 1ST-QUARTER FIELD GOAL IS ONLY SCORE FOR BUFFALOES THE OUTCOME 27-POINT DEFICIT IS WORST LOSS TO NEBRASKA SINCE 1992 THE CONSEQUENCES BIG 12 DIVISION TITLE RESTS ON IOWA STATE LOSS TODAY North title hopes dim after loss to Huskers

By JAKE SCHALLER THE GAZETTE



    BOULDER - Colorado senior defensive tackle James Garee stood in the north end zone at Folsom Field and surveyed what, until Friday, was an unthinkable scene.

    Nebraska fans and players celebrating. His teammates trudging off the field with their confidence shattered. The scoreboard telling a gruesome tale:

    Nebraska 30, Colorado 3.

    Just three weeks ago, Colorado was riding a three-game winning streak, in command of the race for the Big 12 North title and seemingly assured of a big-time bowl bid.

    But with a chance to rebound from a loss to Iowa State, capture the Big 12 North title for the fourth time in five years and do it at the expense
of its top rival, Colorado put forth its worst effort of a suddenly disappointing season.

    And they did it on national television. With representatives from four bowl games on hand. In front of 54,841 — Folsom Field’s third-largest crowd in school history. On senior day, no less.

    “One team responded to the challenge of this game, and one team did not,” coach Gary Barnett said. “My team did not, and I take full responsibility.”

    Despite the loss, Colorado still will claim the Big 12 North title — and play in next weekend’s Big 12 Championship game against No. 2 Texas — if Kansas beats Iowa State today.

    “I’ll be watching (the Iowa State-Kansas game), but just to watch,” Garee said. “If we really wanted to win the Big 12 (North) championship, we would have done it today.”

    Save for a near-melee at midfield before the game, Colorado hardly seemed interested in doing that.

    Its offense managed a seasonworst 212 yards, and its normally stingy defense allowed 497 to a Nebraska offense that came into the game ranked 105th out of 117 Division I-A teams. The Buffaloes committed 10 penalties, including four personal fouls and two delay of game infractions, that cost them 105 yards.

    “The entire Buffaloes team was tough before the game, talking trash and acting as if they have always owned this division,” Nebraska senior linebacker Corey McKeon said. “But we came out with heart, with fire, and our team pounded them from start to finish.”

    The performance of the Buffaloes’ fans was as bad as their team’s. Many fled by the fourth quarter, but some of those who remained showered the field with bottles and other debris late in the fourth quarter. The behavior forced officials to stop play for more than 10 minutes and ask for two sections of the stadium to be emptied.

    “They probably felt the same frustration that all of us felt today, and they just had some things they could throw,” Barnett said. “They’re just a microcosm of what we were feeling inside.”

    Oddsmakers favored the Buffaloes by more than two touchdowns, and the opening minutes suggested Colorado would win in dominating fashion. Nebraska’s first three plays netted minus-7 yards, while the Buffaloes’ first play from scrimmage, a run by Hugh Charles, covered 45 yards.

    Colorado came away with only a field goal, however, and Nebraska tied the score 3-3 on its second possession.

    From there, the Cornhuskers dominated the half. They gained 303 yards (they averaged 302.9 per game in their first 10 contests) and held the Buffaloes to just 70 after their first possession. Nebraska had the ball for 18 minutes, 19 seconds and ran 47 plays, while Colorado ran 27 in 11:41.

    The Cornhuskers took a 20-3 lead into halftime. The score likely would have been worse had it not been for a fast two seconds. Time ran out with the Cornhuskers on the Colorado 4-yard line, with their attempted spike to stop the clock coming just after time expired.

    But that didn’t matter. Colorado gained 27 yards in the third quarter, and Nebraska went 76 yards to score a game-clinching touchdown on its second possession of the half.

    CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0365 or

    jake.schaller@gazette.com


JACK DEMPSEY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - A Colorado fan’s worst nightmare: Nebraska players celebrating a big victory at Folsom Field. The Buffaloes could have clinched the Big 12 North title but lost 30-3.



RED-HANDLED Friday was Nebraska’s 45th win against Colorado, the most wins for any team against the Buffaloes; it was also the ninth-worst loss to Nebraska in Colorado history. Here are the 10 biggest losses:



JACK DEMPSEY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - Nebraska’s defense held Colorado after the Buffaloes’ opening drive. The Buffaloes mustered 70 first-half yards after that drive, hindered by plays like this sack of Joel Klatt by Nebraska’s Barry Cryer.