Defense Lifts Nebraska to Win over Colorado
Lincoln-- Nebraska rode a strong defensive effort and the foot of senior place-kicker Kris Brown to a 16-14 victory over Colorado, extending the Huskers? streak of nine-win seasons to an NCAA- record 30 years.
The Husker defense turned in one of its best performances of the season, sacking CU quarterback Mike Moschetti six times and forcing three CU turnovers, leading to 10 of the Huskers' 16 points.
The Blackshirts struck early, as NU free safety Clint Finley intercepted a Moschetti pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Huskers a 7-0 lead.
Colorado came right back as the Buffaloes drove 80 yards on 11 plays, capped by a Moschetti pass to Javon Green to tie the score at 7. Nebraska took the lead in the final moments of the first half, driving 45 yards on nine plays before Brown's first field goal of the day, a 30-yarder on the final play of the half.
The Huskers extended the lead to 13-7 on a second Brown 30-yard field goal. Sophomore I-back Correll Buckhalter had a career-long 52-yard run to set up the field goal and finished with a team-high 92 yards on 15 carries.
Colorado capitalized on NU?s only turnover of the afternoon, an Eric Crouch interception in the end zone, and regained the lead at 14-13 on a Moschetti to Adam Peeke touchdown pass.
Trailing 14-13, senior rush end Mike Rucker sacked Moschetti causing a fumble and freshman Jeremy Slechta recovered at the Nebraska 42. The Huskers converted on the turnover as Brown's 25-yard field goal gave Nebraska a 16-14 lead with eight and a half minutes remaining.
Brown, who earlier in the day set the NCAA career record for extra points with 217, breaking the previous record of 216 set by Fresno State's Derek Mahoney, connected on 3-of-4 field goals, hitting a pair from 30 yards before his game winner from 25 yards.
Colorado had a final chance but Chad Kelsay's 8-yard sack on second down forced CU into a passing situation. Moschetti threw a pair of incompletions on third and fourth down, and the Huskers ran out the final two minutes to clinch the win.
Rucker led the Blackshirts with seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception caused to earn Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors, while fellow rush end Chad Kelsay added six stops, including three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.