(The following are excerpts from Barnett's postgame press conference.)
That was a big win for our program and our kids and our team.
I thought our defense was really good. I never did feel like they were going to move the ball on us unless we slipped or fell or made some really big mistake. When you can sit in a game on the road in an environment like this and feel like that, it lets you, as a coach, get through the game little easier.
For the most part, I thought we had a really good game plan. To win up here, everyone knows how hard it is and how special it is if you ever can do it. It was really meaningful for us to have this game at the end of the season, and at the end of an interesting year. We've really played well in November and our goal is just to be the best team on the field for three hours. It's really special to be able to win here.
On the start of the game
I think getting the ball back (after NU recovered an onside kick at the game's opening) and scoring was a big statement by us. One, by our defense to go on the field in that situation and keep their head up and be ready to go, I think was critical. Then for our offense to respond the way it did, to me, that gave me an indication of what our team ws going to be like today. I thought it was a perfect indicator of who we were at that time, or who we were this afternoon.
Running back Bobby Purify rushed for 130 yards Friday, and moved into third place all-time (3,009) on the CU rushing chart.
Photo by AP
On Bobby Purify
Bobby just plays with such great heart. He epitomizes our team. We don't play perfect football, but you know that you're going to get 11 hearts coming at your every play. I thnk Bobby is probably just the perfect example of that.
On Joel Klatt
We sort of made a special deal about the quarterbacks that have been able to win in Lincoln, and there aren't very many of them, but we were able to add one to the list today.
On Nebraska finishing with a losing record
There is such a great tradition and fans here, that's probably a one-year deal. I wouldn't get too worried about that.
On the season so far
This game makes a statement about the character of our team. I'd really rather say, a statement for the next 365 days. We're a really young football team, and we have a chance to be really good. We're looking ahead all of the time; we're not looking behind.
On the final minutes of the game
That's the way it's been. You're pretty sure they have to recover the onside kick in order to have a chance, so it all comes down to that play. Actually, 1:38 was a long time for us. Usually, it goes down to five seconds, or four.
On stopping Nebraska's running game
It felt like the first drive they were not able to move the ball on us. We knew the only way for us to win the game was to stop the running game with Cory Ross. We were able to do that and it ended up being the difference in the game. We felt like we had to find a way to run the ball on them, and we rushed for almost 200 yards.
Sophomore Mason Crosby had another strong game, connecting on kicks of 37, 39, 46 and 20 yards. He now has 24 career field goals, third most in CU history behind Tom Field (36) and Jeremy Aldrich (48). This season, Crosby has hit 18-of-24 field goals.
On the win
I was confident that we would win today. It was a little closer than it should have been, but it was still a good win.
It's a big win for us. It keeps us alive for the Big 12 North championship, and it's Nebraska. That's huge for us; especially after last year (when NU beat the Buffs in Boulder). We had them on the ropes last year; we just didn't finish them off.
On his performance
I felt great during the game. I wass in a position to make big kicks. The fact they tried to ice me before halftime excited me. I ws jumping around on the sidelines. It helps me a little bit to get more excited. I try to relax before I kick, but I'm a little more focused when I'm excited.
Thaddaeus Washington had another strong game from his inside linebacker position. The sophomore led the Buffs with 10 tackles, and had two crucial interceptions. Both picks occurred when an alert Washington dove for a ball that first bounced off a receiver.
On his picks
It felt great to finally catch the bball. I've missed a couple this year.
On the effect of Nebraska's converted onside kick to start the game
Today we just came out ready to make plays and get our offense back on the field. As a defensive player, I have to stay focused because anything can happen.
Our guys are more focused in this part of the year. That's what we need to win games.
The junior quarterback joined the elite list of Bobby Anderson, Darian Hagan and Robert Hodge — the only two other starting CU quarterbacks who have led their squads to victories in Lincoln since 1967. He ended the day 18-of-29 for 222 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
On the game
We've won quite a few games during my time at CU, but I can't think of any win as sweet as this one. It feels great to win in Lincoln. To win in this building, you feel the spirit of the buffaloes that came before you that had great cahnces and failed.
We had a tremendous game plan today. We went on that first drive and executed. Later on, I thought we could have gotten more points, but we had to settle for field goals. Overall, we did a good job of executing.
The fact that we won today speaks volumes about our coaches and the guys in our locker room.
LB IAN COOPER
On Bobby Purify
He's a good runner. They ran a lot of zone (blocking), and we were getting good penetration on the front side. We were pretty much forcing him to cut back. He found a couple creases. Everybody should be doing their assignments or there will be little creases.
OG JAKE ANDERSON
(The former Colorado prepster played in his last game as a Cornhusker Saturday).
On leaving Colorado to play at NU
My family was behind me 100 percent. As soon as I told them I thought I wanted to go to Nebraska, I could tell that's what they wanted me to do, too. It's been great.
On CU's game plan
They had good schemes, you have to give credit to them. But they made us beat them with the pass, and we weren't able to make enough plays in the passing game to get it done. That's unfortunate, but sometimes that how it falls.
On the loss
It was really disappointing today to finish the season on this note. I'm really proud of the way they fought and competed; the way that they came back today. A break here or there and it could have been a different ball game. I think we were in a position to win a game today, and we just didn't get it done.
On the onside kick to open the game
Colorado plays four across, which is really unusual in football. Normally, there are five across in that front line and that's kid of a glaring formation, and it invites you to attack that situation. Sandro DeAngelis hit a good kick and our guys covered hard and we made a big play. But it went all for naught because we changed the field and they went 80 or 90 yards off that first posession.
With the win, the Colorado team officially became Missouri Tigers fans. If Missouri wins at Iowa State Saturday (11 a.m. MT), Colorado will finish in a tie with the Cyclones in the Big 12 North, and win the division by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Big 12 North winner will face Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game Dec. 4 in Kansas City.
"I'm going to watch," Klatt said. "Me and about 70 of my friends will be the biggest Missouri fans out there. If Missouri doesn't win, we know that we took care of what we could control."
Mackey starts for ailing Judge
Sophomore Blake Mackey started in place of junior Evan Judge because Judge had not fully recovered from a viral infection he got earlier in the week. Judge is expected to be fine, but contracted ITP, an infection that affects platelet count.
It was Mackey's first career start. Mackey shook off the effects of some dropped passes, and ended the day with a career-high eight catches for 116 yards, and a touchdown.
Movin' on up
With his 130 rushing yards Friday, Purify moved into third place all-time on the CU rushing chart. He has 3,009 yards, and trails Rashaan Salaam (3,057) and Eric Bieniemy (3,940).
Purify also topped the 1,000-yard season mark (1,010), and is the 13th Buff to do that.
Punter John Torp also turned in another stellar performance, punting seven times for a 43.3 yard average. With three of his punts being downed inside the 20, he now holds the CU single-season record for that stat, with 22.
Novembers to Remember
With the win, CU is now 9-3 in the month of November the past four years. Colorado is 17-3 against Big 12 North teams dating back to the 2001 season, best in the division.
Nebraska fans, like these who watched the Cornhuskers lose Friday in Lincoln to Colorado, can't watch NU in a bowl game this year.
Photo by AP
Home for the Holidays
Nebraska ends its season 5-6, its first losing season since 1961. Colorado's victory also ended the Cornhusker's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances.
CU held Nebraska to just 67 yards rushing, the first time NU hasn't rushed for at least 100 vs. the Buffs since 1966.