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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Nov 24

11 Memorable NU-CU Games


By HuskerLocker

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The Nebraska-Colorado series has traveled through its various stages over the years. A clash of titans. The upset specials. The blowouts. Here's 11 we remember.

1966 Nebraska 21 Colorado 19: One of the great NU comebacks ever, as Husker QB Bob Churchich threw for a school-record 236 yards while erasing a 19-7 deficit with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. This was one of Bob Devaney's early great teams that didn't lose until the final regular season game vs. Oklahoma.

1986 Colorado 20 Nebraska 10: The Buffaloes punked one of the Huskers' finest defenses with a reverse and a halfback pass, both for touchdowns, while NU's high-powered offense never found its footing in the mountain air, rushing for just 123 yards, its lowest total in eight years. Most Husker fans trace the rather unkind treatment they received at the hands of the Buff faithful back to this game.

1988 Nebraska 7 Colorado 0: Flying toward the end zone untouched for the game's first touchdown, Colorado running back J.J. Flannigan did a funny thing. He fumbled. And while he recovered the ball at the NU 19-yard line, a botched reverse two plays later left the Buffaloes out of field goal position. That meant Ken Clark's third-quarter touchdown stood up as the game's only score in another defensive scrum.

1989 Colorado 27 Nebraska 21: The finest game in the series, really, with the most at stake, two undefeated teams, No. 2 and No. 3, battling on a gorgeous day in Boulder. NU struck on its first offensive player, a 51-yard pass from Gerry Gdowski to Bryan Carpenter. Colorado answered back with two quick touchdowns, and the game settled in from there, an old-fashioned, back-and-forth affair. NU's pass to the end zone on the game's final play was knocked down. Nebraska outplayed the Buffs, but a controversial pass interference penalty on the Huskers – plus two key punt returns by Jeff Campbell, was the difference.

1990 Colorado 27 Nebraska 12: NU was on the right side of this equation in 2009, when the Huskers overcame a 12-0 deficit at Missouri on a rainy night with 27 straight points in the fourth quarter. On this day in 1990, CU continued its march toward the national title with a series of clutch runs and throws from quarterback Darian Hagan. Eric Bieniemy overcame four lost fumbles to rush for as many touchdowns in the fourth quarter to go with his 137 rushing yards. Nebraska failed to convert two fourth-down plays in the fourth quarter that helped facilitate CU's points.

1991 Nebraska 19 Colorado 19: Perhaps the coldest game ever played in the series– the kickoff temps were well below zero and snow was packed into the bleachers at Folsom Field – ended in a tie thanks to two CU blocks of Byron Bennett kicks – one an extra point that Greg Biekert returned for a 2-point conversion, the other a field goal at the gun. On the field goal, Buff students were hurling snowballs at Bennett's feet. Surprisingly, the option-heavy teams combined for more passing yards (321) than rushing yards (272).

1994: Nebraska 24 Colorado 7: CU's finest team expected to roll into Lincoln and continue its drive for a second national title in five years. Not to be – as Nebraska continued its drive for its first in 24 years. Quarterback Brook Berringer, frustrated after hearing that he wasn't much of a threat to beat the Buffaloes, hammered Colorado with his arm, completing a series of short passes to tight ends in the first half before putting in the dagger with a 30-yarder to Eric Alford in the third quarter. NU's defense, meanwhile, turned Kordell Stewart into mincemeat, sacking him four times and limiting him to just 150 yards passing.

2000 Nebraska 34 Colorado 32: Aided by perhaps the worst squib kick in the history of them, NU won thanks to a last-minute Eric Crouch drive that set up a 29-yard field goal by Josh Brown as time expired. The Huskers appeared ready to run away with the game after taking an early 14-0 lead, but the Buffs, behind freshman quarterback Craig Ochs, fought back to take an 17-14 lead in the third quarter. From there, both teams traded haymakers, with Colorado appearing to win the game on a late touchdown and 2-point conversion with 44 seconds left. But head coach Gary Barnett called for a squib on the ensuing kickoff, and CU screwed it up, kicking directly to NU running back Dahrran Diedrick, who returned the ball nearly to midfield. Crouch found Bobby Newcombe on two passes to get NU in field goal range and Brown made the chip-shot for the win. Colorado's response, seen here, is fairly priceless.

2001 Colorado 62 Nebraska 36: The Day After Thanksgiving Massacre. The Buffaloes ran that power counter over and over and over up and down the field – and threw for 202 yards to boot. CU took a 35-3 lead before the Huskers started to make their move, closing the gap to 42-23 by halftime and 42-30 in the fourth quarter. A third-quarter fumble by NU running back Dahrran Diedrick stung deeply. Some argue the Huskers have never really recovered their dominance after so clearly losing it in that game. Nebraska still headed to the BCS national title game over the Buffaloes one week later.

2007 Colorado 65 Nebraska 51: Also known as Bill Callahan's final game, where Kevin Cosgrove's defense was buried for good, never to R.I.P. The two teams combined for 1,128 yards and 116 points, as CU used a 21-point third quarter to wrest the lead from the Huskers and never relinquish it again.

2008 Nebraska 40 Colorado 31: The Kick Heard Round Nebraska. Alex Henery's 57-yard boot to give NU a 32-31 lead – followed by Ndamukong Suh's interception return for a touchdown just moments later, is the loudest Memorial Stadium's been in years. Good thing Henery made that kick, too, because the Huskers were about to give an easy one away to the Buffaloes.

Tags: cu game, ndamukong suh, alex henery

Comments (4)

Profile image for huskerfinatic5

I'll never forget that kick!! The day before I just knew something amazing was going to happen and actually history happened!! This Thanksgiving I'm very thankful for Alex Henery and his gift in kicking!

– Nov 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Profile image for HuskerBill

I thought the 2005 game was memorable if only because it showed the true nature of Buff fans (and Gary Barnett) when the game was delayed because of the bottle throwing

– Nov 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

Profile image for BigSky13

How about 1992, when both teams were ranked #8 in the country, and we beat the Puffs 52-7. Awesome.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Profile image for option316

The Kick Heard Round Nebraska? I was in a gas station in the middle of the Outback in Australia when I "heard" the kick by watching ESPN's game tracker. I was the happiest person on the planet, or at least in Australia.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm

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