But for those Huskers fans who made the trip to Colorado, the drive back home east on I-80 is probably the lonliest road in the nation.
Not only did Nebraska see their Big 12 Championship and National Championship dreams come crashing down, but QB Eric Crouch may have lost his shot at the Heisman Throphy.
Blame it on the Sports Illustrated jinx.
Or blame it on the unprepared defense of Nebraska. Did the NU coaching staff not get the game films?
Colorado's offense did what they have done all season long; run the ball north-south and throw it TE Daniel Graham. Runningback Bobby Purify got things started with a 39-yard run in the first quarter to put the Buffs up 7-0. It was the first time since 1986 that the Buffs score the first TD against Nebraska. In case you didn't know, CU won that game as well 20-10.
Purify's TD was only the beginning of a rushing attack that would punish NU all day, as CU would tie a record for scoring 28 points against NU in one quarter. The play CU ran with much success is called 98G and its basically a "straight up the gut" running play. The strongside guard, Andre Gurode, pulls and the runningback takes it into the heart of the defense. 98G worked like a tractor cutting through a corn-field..
One of the keys discussed before the kick-off was that in too many games against the Big Red, CU was behind and had to play catch-up. Well, the 28 point first quarter explosion was more than Colorado or its fans could imagine. Daniel Graham, a guy NU decided to try and cover man-on-man, caught a 21-yard pass from QB Bobby Pesavento to put CU up 14-0 with less than five minutes gone in the first. Pesavento then called his own number from the NU one-yard line and scored on a QB sneek that extended the lead to 21-0. After Nebraska finally got on the board with a fieldgoal, the Buffs went back to old reliable 98G. Chris Brown scored his first touchdown from 12 yards out and CU jumped out to a 28-3 lead.
Brown's TD was just the beginning of a record setting day for the transfer runningback that had seen limited playing time the last few games. Brown would score a record 6 rushing touchdowns and finish with 198 yards and a 8.3 yard per attempt average. The 6 TDs would set CU records for most rushing and total TDs in a game, as well as a record for most TDs scored in a game against NU. But as he has done all-year long, Brown gave the credit to the hogs up front opening the holes for him.
"The holes were huge, just huge," Brown said. Usually the first guy to hit me was a safety and I think they were scared to come straight up and tackle me. All I had to do was run through the holes and get to the endzone". But as usual, the Cornhuskers made it interesting. The Big Red scored 20 points in the second quarter, two rushing touchdowns by Dahran Diedrick and one by Kriewald to cut the Buffs halftime lead to 42-23. It was the most points ever scored in a half against Nebraska in their history.
In the third quarter, NU had a chance to cut into the Buffs lead but Diedrick fumbled the ball at the CU 1-yard line after a hard hit from Donald Strickland. After CU was forced to punt, Eric Croach did cut the Buffs lead to 12-points when he scored on a 6-yard run. But this time CU was not going to let the game slip away. On probably the biggest drive of the game, CU ran the ball with ease and was aided by two NU defensive penalties, to drive 93 yards for a score. Brown scored his forth TD of the day on a one-yard run as CU restored their 19 point lead.
Nebraska would never get any closer. Eric Crouch threw two interceptions on their next two series and Brown would cap his record setting day by scoring two more times.
When the sun finally set and the goal-post came down, CU had one of their biggest victories in their storied history. A 62-36 spanking of their RIVAL Nebraska. The Buffs not only have accomplished their pre-season goal of getting to the Big 12 Championship game, but will have a chance to get revenge on a Texas team that hammered them earlier in the season. Texas won the Big 12 South division title when Oklahoma lost to in-state rival Oklahoma State on Saturday.