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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Colorado Can't Keep Up With Huskers' Jones : Nebraska Running Back Gains a Career-High 248 Yards in 24-7 Victory

November 29, 1987|From Times Wire Services

BOULDER, Colo. — Keith Jones rushed for a career-high 248 yards, including touchdown runs of 50 and 44 yards, and fifth-ranked Nebraska ground out a 24-7 Big Eight victory over Colorado in their regular-season finale Saturday.

The Cornhuskers, rebounding from last week's 17-7 loss to Oklahoma and getting even for a 20-10 upset loss to Colorado last year, raised their overall record to 10-1 and their conference mark to 6-1.

Nebraska will face third-ranked Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day.

The Cornhuskers finished in second place in the Big Eight, behind top-ranked Oklahoma.

Colorado concluded its season 7-4 overall and 4-3 for fourth place in the conference.

The Cornhuskers, who generated 419 yards on the ground, had turnovers on their first two possessions, then scored on their next two series to take a 10-0 halftime lead. They squandered another possible score just before halftime when they allowed time to expire while at the Colorado one.

But Nebraska soon made amends, springing Jones on one of his 26 carries for a 50-yard touchdown run barely three minutes into the third quarter. That made it 17-0.

Colorado, which earlier had a field goal attempt blocked and had two turnovers, countered with a 77-yard, 14-play drive for its only score with 4:57 left in the third quarter. Mark Hatcher passed for four yards to freshman tight end George Hemingway for the score.

The Buffaloes threatened again early in the fourth quarter. But on third and one at the Cornhusker 31, halfback J.J. Flannigan was dumped for a two-yard loss by safety Tim Jackson, and the Buffaloes were forced to try a 50-yard field goal that failed.

Three plays later, Jones, who was held to 9 yards in 9 carries against Colorado last year, took a pitchout off the right side and outran the Colorado secondary for his second score with 9:34 left.

On Nebraska's opening possession, quarterback Steve Taylor hobbled off the field with an apparent leg injury. Backup Clete Blakeman came in for one play and threw a pass that was intercepted by Colorado's Mickey Pruitt at the Colorado 44. Taylor played the rest of the game.

After a Colorado punt, Nebraska moved to midfield, where Taylor fumbled the ball away.

Colorado halfback Eric Bieniemy ran 18 yards to help set up a 39-yard field-goal attempt by Dave DeLine, but the kick was blocked by Neil Smith.

Nebraska then put together a 76-yard, 15-play drive for the game's first score, on a five-yard run by Taylor early in the second quarter. Jones had runs of 12, 11 and 13 yards on the drive. The last came on a fourth-and-two play as Jones was met at the line and appeared to be stopped, but he bounced outside and skirted left end to the Colorado nine.

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