40 for 40: Nebraska Football’s Defining Moments – The 2000s Locker Pass Content

By at August 14, 2012 | 8:45 AM | Print

40 for 40: Nebraska Football’s Defining Moments – The 2000s

November 23, 2001 – The Day After Thanksgiving Massacre

No. 2 Nebraska rolled into its annual rivalry game with Colorado in high spirits. Quarterback Eric Crouch was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The Huskers were on a collision course for a Rose Bowl game vs. No. 1 Miami, a clash of titans who had each extracted a national title from the other. The defense, shaky earlier in the season, had put together a series of strong performances.

Above all that, this: The No. 14 Buffaloes hadn’t beaten the Huskers since 1990. What had once been a rivalry was merely a memory of one. Until now.

Colorado burst out of gates, ripping off huge chunks of yards on the simplest trap and counter plays.

When NU tried to stop the run, the Buffaloes took to the air, and quarterback Bobby Pesavento completed just nine passes…for 202 yards! CU’s hot knife cut through Blackshirt butter over and over again for 62 points and 582 yards.

The game was over when Colorado led 35-3. But Crouch and the Huskers put up a fight, scrambling back within 42-30 as the fourth quarter started. Pesavento and CU running back Chris Brown slammed the door for good with 20 more points in the fourth quarter.

Nebraska football has probably never been the same since then.

Although the Huskers back-doored their way into the national title game, Miami stomped them, mercifully stopping after forging a 34-0 halftime lead.

The Fighting Frankies slumped to 7-7 in 2002, the defense getting even more torched than it day that fall afternoon in Boulder. The snowball just kept rolling down the hill from there.

Ten years later, and the Huskers still haven’t beaten a top 15 team on the road. 

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