Brown Lifts Nebraska to 34-32 Victory Over Colorado
Lincoln - Josh Brown's 29-yard field goal as time expired lifted Nos. 8/9 (AP/Coaches) Nebraska to a 34-32 victory over Colorado Friday afternoon.
A sophomore from Foyil, Okla., Brown had converted just 4-of-9 field goals before his game-winning kick. He missed a 32-yarder in the second quarter and connected on a 20-yard attempt earlier in the fourth quarter before his successful kick provided the Huskers' with the margin of victory.
With the win, Nebraska improved to 9-2 on the season, extending its NCAA record of nine-win seasons to 32 and also increasing its win streak to nine straight over Colorado, dating back to 1991. With the loss, Colorado falls to 3-8 on the season and has lost the last five games to the Huskers by a total of 15 points.
The Huskers marched 47 yards in six plays to set up Brown's kick, behind Eric Crouch, who was 4-for-5 for 45 yards on the final scoring drive. With 10 seconds remaining, Crouch found Bobby Newcombe for a 17-yard completion to the Colorado 12-yard line. Newcombe had two receptions for 30 yards on the final drive.
Crouch was 11-of-17 for 139 yards through the air, while also rushing 20 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns. I-backs Dan Alexander and Correll Buckhalter turned in strong performances on the ground, combining for 166 yards on 22 carries. Alexander finished with 98 yards on 16 carries, while Buckhalter carried six times for 68 yards.
Nebraska, which scored on each of its final four possessions and trailed twice in the fourth quarter, trailed 32-31 after the Buffaloes drove 77 yards on 14 plays, capped by a Craig Ochs to John Minardi 15-yard touchdown pass with 47 seconds remaining. Trailing 32-31, the Buffs elected to go for the two-point conversion, and Ochs found Javon Green in the end zone to seemingly give Colorado the victory.
Ochs was 25-of-41 passing for 254 yards and a touchdown, but also threw a pair of interceptions, which were both costly. CU, which took the lead twice in the fourth quarter, was led by tailback Cortlen Johnson, who rushed for 155 yards, the ninth-best rushing total by a Husker opponent, and three touchdowns on 26 carries.
Early on, the Huskers capitalized on a pair of Colorado miscues to take a 14-0 first quarter advantage. On Colorado's second offensive play, Carlos Polk intercepted an Ochs pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career, to give the Huskers a 7-0 lead.
A Butkus Award semifinalist, Polk went out of the game on CU's next offensive series with a strained knee, but would return later in the half and finish with five tackles. The interception was the second of Polk's career and the third interception returned for a touchdown by Nebraska this season.
Later in the first quarter after Derek McCoy recovered a blocked punt at the Colorado 23-yard line, the Husker defense held and Randy Stella blocked a Mike Mariscal field goal attempt that Chris Kelsey returned it 43 yards to the Colorado 27. The Huskers would take advantage one play later, as Eric Crouch scored on a 27-yard touchdown run, to give NU a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Buffaloes began to chip into the Husker lead, trailing 14-10 at the half. Mariscal's 32-yard field goal capped a 14-play, 65-yard scoring drive before CU closed to within four after a 39-yard touchdown run by Johnson.
After a Nebraska fumble on its first series of the half, Johnson gave Colorado its first lead of the day at 17-14, scoring from two yards out to cap a 12-play, 73-yard drive with 9:37 left in the third quarter.
The Huskers would respond on their next possession, marching 75 yards on 12 plays as Crouch capped the drive with his second touchdown of the day, this time from two yards, as Nebraska regained the lead at 21-17. Colorado would come right back, going 77 yards on 14 plays as Johnson scored from one yard out to regain the lead at 24-21.
After Brown's first field goal of the day tied the score at 24, the Buffs drove into field goal range, but Keyuo Craver blocked another Mariscal field goal attempt that Kelsay returned to the Nebraska 43. The Huskers, who scored on each of their final four possessions, would regain the lead as Crouch raced 26 yards for his third TD of the game, giving NU a 31-24 lead with 5:20 remaining.
Nebraska Postgame Notes vs. Colorado, Nov. 24, 2000
The No. 9/8/8 (AP/Coaches/BCS) Huskers defeated Colorado in Lincoln on Friday, Nov. 24, 34-32. Nebraska took a 14-0 lead as Carlos Polk scored a TD on a CU interception on the second play of the game. NU increased the lead to 14-0, as QB Eric Crouch scored on a 27-yard run after a blocked Colorado field goal. Colorado place-kicker Mark Mariscal was 1-3 on field goals in the first half (1-5 in game with two blocked), but connected on a 32-yarder to pull to CU 14-3 early in the second quarter. CU