Game recap: 2002 Nebraska-Colorado football
Huskers Fall to Colorado
Courtesy: NU Media Relations | 11/29/2002
Lincoln — No. 13 Colorado erased a six-point third-quarter deficit by scoring 21 unanswered second-half points, as the Buffaloes earned their first win over Nebraska in Lincoln since 1990 with a 28-13 victory Friday afternoon.
Nebraska led 13-6 in the third quarter after Dale Endorf’s second field goal of the game, but Brandon Drumm and Bobby Purify combined for three scores in the game’s final 22 minutes, as CU improved to 9-3 on the season heading into next week’s Big 12 title game.
Drumm scored from 1 and 16 yards out, and finished with 34 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Buffs got a big boost from freshman Brian Calhoun, who rushed for a game-high 137 yards on 20 carries in relief of Bobby Purify, who missed part of the game with a sprained ankle but came back to add 62 yards and a score.
Dahrran Diedrick ran for 96 yards on 13 carries in the losing effort, as CU held the Huskers to 215 yards rushing, nearly 60 yards below its Big 12-leading average of 274.3 yards per game.
With the loss, the Huskers dropped to 7-6 on the season, marking the first time in 34 years that the Huskers will fail to win nine games in a season.
After an exchange of punts in the opening minutes, the Huskers drove into Colorado territory on their second possession, but the drive was snuffed out when Phil Jackson intercepted Jammal Lord’s pass at the CU 13-yard line.
Lord completed 6-of-17 passes for 119 yards with an interception and a touchdown.
Colorado, who improved to 9-3 on the year before facing Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship next Saturday in Houston, would capitalize on the Husker miscue, going 87 yards in seven plays, as Robert Hodge found Derek McCoy for a 40-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to give the Buffaloes a 7-0 lead with 4:56 left in the first quarter.
The Huskers, who drove into CU territory on two of their first three possessions, got the equalizer early in the second quarter. Lord connected with tight end Matt Herian for an 80-yard touchdown pass, and Endorf added the PAT to knot the score at 7-7 with 11:52 left in the half. The scoring catch was a career-long for Herian, a true freshman, who has three touchdowns in 2002 and was averaging 49 yards per catch after the scoring pass.
The Huskers took the lead late in the first half, going 65 yards on 10 plays before Endorf, making his first appearance at NU after joining the squad in October, split the uprights on a 33-yard field goal, giving NU a 10-7 lead with 1:50 remaining in the half.
The Husker defense opened the second half with a turnover on Colorado’s first play of the half, as Demorrio Williams stripped Derek McCoy, and Williams recovered at the CU-17 yard line. NU looked to be in trouble after a 15-yard personal foul, but Endorf connected on a career-long 49-yard field goal to push the lead to 13-7 with 13:36 left in the third quarter. The field goal was the longest by a Husker this season.
The Buffs came right back on their next possession, going 80 yards on 15 plays, as Purify capped the drive with a two-yard scoring run and gave Colorado the lead for good at 14-13 advantage.
Colorado forced a three-and-out on NU’s next possession before Kyle Larson’s 42-yard punt gave the Buffs the ball near midfield. On CU’s first play of the drive, Calhoun broke a Jon Clanton tackle at the line of scrimmage and raced 35 yards to the NU 17, setting up a 1-yard touchdown by Drumm four plays later to give the Buffs an eight-point lead.
The Huskers saw their final opportunity to score end when Sean Tufts recovered a David Horne fumble at the NU 30-yard line with 4:16 remaining. The Buffs converted a 4-and-1 when Drumm gained five yards before he scored his second TD of the day, racing in from 16 yards with 2:14 remaining for CU’s final points of the game.
The Huskers will now wait for their bowl announcement in the coming weeks. Nebraska has appeared in an NCAA record 33 consecutive bowl games.