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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Huskers stylish in title-tilt tuneup

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— Nebraska generated momentum for the Big 12 championship game with a 37-14 victory over Colorado that showcased power, passing and panache.

Brandon Jackson was the power, running 34 times for 142 yards and a touchdown Friday.

Zac Taylor passed 249 yards and two touchdowns on a record-setting day.

The panache? Four trick plays, including one that resulted in a touchdown pass to a guy who normally plays defensive end.

Now the 23rd-ranked Cornhuskers (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) prepare their first Big 12 title game since 1999. Nebraska, which went 5-0 against North Division opponents, will play Oklahoma or Texas next Saturday in Kansas City, Mo. The Huskers came into Friday's game having already secured their spot in the title game.

"We dominated the North, and that was one of our goals," Taylor said. "No matter how it happened, we got to the Big 12 championship game. All our goals are still in front of us."

Taylor threw touchdown passes to Terrence Nunn and Brandon Jackson to tie Tommie Frazier's school career record of 43. Taylor finished 19-of-28 and ran his season total to a school-record 2,789 yards. He set the record of 2,653 last year.

The Huskers posted their 35th nine-win season in 38 years - and first since 2003 - and ended a streak of four straight wins by the road team in the Nebraska-Colorado series.

Colorado (2-10, 2-6) lost its 14th straight game against a ranked opponent and ended up with the third 10-loss season in its program's 117-year history. The Buffaloes were 1-10 in both 1980 and 1984.

The Huskers entertained the Memorial Stadium record crowd of 85,800 with their trickery.

Barry Turner, normally a defensive end, caught a 29-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal in the second quarter. Tailback Marlon Lucky attempted two passes and Nebraska converted a fourth-and-one on a direct snap to safety-turned-running back Tierre Green.

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