Best/Worst of the Decade: The blown leads

Categories: 2010s Football
Illinois' Geronimo Allison celebrates after scoring the winning TD.

A dark cloud makes a brief visit today to our Best of the Decade series.

As Monday’s installment showed, the Huskers pulled off big comeback wins with exceptional frequency during the 2010s. But it’s our duty to point out that the decade of the come-from-behind win was also the decade of the blown lead for Nebraska football.

Seven times during the 2010s, the Huskers led by a dozen points or more but lost. Previously, that had happened only 11 times in program history, spanning 12 decades from 1890 through 2009.

Geronimo Allison celebrates after scoring Illinois’ winning TD in 2015. | Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports
1890-2019: Losses after leading by 12+ points
Year Opponent NU Lead Time‡ Final Score
2019 @Colorado 17 (17-0) 2nd, 2:48 31-34 OT*
2018 @Northwestern 14 (28-14) 4th, 13:40 31-34 OT*
2015 @Illinois 13 (13-0) 3rd, 2:56 13-14*
2014 Minnesota 14 (21-7) 2nd, 5:18 24-28
2014 @Wisconsin 14 (17-3) 2nd, 14:12 24-59
2013 UCLA 17 (21-3) 2nd, 7:12 21-41
2010 #Oklahoma 17 (17-0) 2nd, 12:14 20-23
2007 @Texas 14 (17-3) 3rd, 12:32 25-28
2006 @Oklahoma St. 16 (16-0) 2nd, 10:43 29-41
2000 @Oklahoma 14 (14-0) 1st, 8:11 14-31
1991 Washington 12 (21-9) 3rd, 5:32 21-36
1990 Colorado 12 (12-0) 3rd, 2:38 12-27*
1987 #Florida St. 14 (14-0) 1st, 1:15 28-31
1972 Oklahoma 14 (14-0) 3rd, 6:45 14-17
1961 Oklahoma 14 (14-0) 2nd, 6:50 14-21
1956 Indiana 14 (14-0) 2nd, N/A 14-19
1949 @Missouri 13 (20-7) 3rd, ~6:00 20-21*
1920 Wash. State 13 (20-7) 3rd, N/A 20-21*
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‡ Quarter, time remaining when Nebraska took its largest lead

* Nebraska led in 4th quarter by 10 or more points

# Neutral site

The three most recent blown leads included an added indignity: squandering a double-digit fourth-quarter advantage.