Colorado still has shot at Big 12 North title

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Colorado stayed alive in the Big 12 North
race for another day and ended Nebraska's season in November for
the first time since 1968.

The Buffaloes' 26-20 win Friday sent the Cornhuskers to their
first losing season in 43 years and snapped their NCAA-record
streak of consecutive bowl appearances at 35.

"I'm really glad they're home for the holidays," Colorado
defensive tackle Matt McChesney said. "They can sit and watch
everybody else play. I hope it feels good."

Bobby Purify ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and the Buffaloes
intercepted Nebraska's Joe Dailey four times. They won their third
straight after a 1-4 start in the conference and they did it
against an opponent that they love to hate -- one former Colorado
coach Bill McCartney designated as the Buffs' chief rival back in
the 1980s.

Now the Buffaloes (7-4, 4-4) need Missouri to win at Iowa State
on Saturday to advance to the Big 12 championship game against
Oklahoma on Dec. 4 in Kansas City, Mo.

"We'll worry about that tomorrow," Colorado coach Gary Barnett
said. "If it's supposed to happen, it will happen. If not, we'll
go someplace else."

While a bowl is in the Buffs' future, regardless of what happens
Saturday, Nebraska (5-6, 3-5) is done.

The Huskers, who fired Frank Solich after a 9-3 regular season
last year, ended the season with four losses in five games under
new coach Bill Callahan.

"It's one game today, it's one season. I never look back,"
Callahan said. "I'm disappointed we couldn't continue it, but our
kids fought and did the best they could. It was a good effort. We
had a chance to keep that going, but we didn't get it done."

Receiver Willie Amos shrugged at the end of the streak.

"Records are made to be broken. Everything on this earth isn't
constant," Amos said. "It's up to the next guys to come build up
the program again."

Purify, who ran for 101 yards in the first half, became
Colorado's No. 3 career rusher on his 9-yard touchdown in the
second quarter. The senior tailback has 1,010 yards for the season
and 3,009 in his career.

Joel Klatt completed 18 of 29 passes, with one interception, for
222 yards and a touchdown for Colorado. Blake Mackey had eight
catches for 116 yards, making his first start.

With help from Missouri, the Buffaloes will play in the Big 12
championship game for the third time in four years.

"Me and about 70 friends may be the biggest Missouri fans in
the country," Klatt said. "Hopefully, they'll pull it out."

The Buffs were not expected to be in this position after an
offseason sex and recruiting scandal that led to Barnett's
three-month suspension.

The Buffs awarded a game ball to outgoing athletic director Dick
Tharp, who this week announced his resignation effective Nov. 30
after acknowledging that the sex and recruiting scandal and
allegations of financial mismanagement had stained the school's

Klatt said it was fitting.

"Mr. Tharp is a man of integrity and character. What happened
with him was unfortunate," Klatt said. "To see him after the game
and give him a hug and see him with the game ball was great."

Dailey completed his first season as triggerman for Callahan's
West Coast offense with another erratic performance. He was 29 of
55 for 306 yards with two touchdowns. Colorado converted three of
the picks thrown by Dailey into 13 points.

But Dailey also rallied the Cornhuskers late.

He threw 4-yard touchdown passes to Steve Kriewald and Ross
Pilkington in the final four minutes to draw the Huskers within
26-20. But Nebraska couldn't connect on an onside kick with about a
minute and a half left, and Colorado hung on for the win.

Cory Ross, the Huskers' 1,000-yard rusher, was held to 35 yards
on 11 attempts. He was shaken up, missed the last 6:32 of the first
half and carried only once more.

The Huskers opened the game with an onside kick that did work,
but fittingly for such a disappointing season, they went
three-and-out on the possession.

The Buffaloes then moved 90 yards in 14 plays, with Klatt
throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mackey.

Nebraska had just 11 yards in the first quarter and was down
17-0 early in the second.

"They were yelling at each other in the huddle," McChesney
said of the Huskers. "The offensive line was yelling at the
quarterback, and he was yelling at everybody. I was happy about

"But they came back with a lot of heart at the end. I wasn't
expecting that."


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