LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska buried Colorado and an embarrassing losing streak in the same afternoon.
With Calvin Jones running for three first-half touchdowns and Tommie Frazier adding two second-half touchdown passes, Nebraska enjoyed a 52-7 laugher over Colorado, the team with which it shared the No. 8 ranking.
"It was nice to win one of the so-called big ones," Jones said after the Cornhuskers, 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Eight Conference, ended a four-year losing streak against teams ranked in the top 10. Nebraska had lost seven in a row against the national elite since beating Oklahoma, 7-3, in 1988.
Left in the dust was the 25-game Big Eight unbeaten streak of Colorado (6-1-1, 2-1-1). The Buffaloes turned the ball over six times.
"All that stuff about can't win the big one, I don't pay attention to," Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne said. "If you have the better team, you're going to win. I get a little tired of it, and I think the players do, too. You can't lose to anybody without getting nailed to the cross on Monday morning, I don't care if it's top 10 or bottom 10."
Said Nebraska punter Mike Stigge, whose long kicks kept Colorado in the hole: "Coach Osborne wanted this badly. Colorado has been bragging about their win streak, and Coach said that if anybody has dominated the series it's us. We should win."
Nebraska leads the series, 34-14-2, and had won 18 in a row until the Buffaloes won in 1986.
Colorado couldn't get started against a Nebraska defense pierced for a school-record 424 passing yards a week earlier by Missouri. The Buffaloes had only nine first downs, eight yards rushing and 136 passing, far short of their Big Eight-leading season average of 334.
"They've been much maligned somewhat lately," Osborne said of his defense. "We did tell them to back up a bit and not give up the big ball, and we didn't do that. We didn't think they would have the consistency because Colorado's been a big-play offense and if they haven't gotten big plays they've had trouble moving the ball."
Jones, who had 21 carries for 101 yards, scored on runs of three yards, 47 yards and one yard, the last set up by a 16-yard fumblerooski run by 305-pound guard Will Shields to the Colorado five.
"That took the heat out of their balloon," Jones said of his third score with one second left in the half. "I don't think we physically dominated them, but offensively they had a lot of turnovers and that meant their defense was on the field too long."
Colorado Coach Bill McCartney said: "Nebraska played well, and they didn't make any mistakes. They had a lot of good things going their way. For us, it was one mistake after another."
Nebraska kept the pressure on Colorado freshman quarterback Koy Detmer and kept the Buffaloes out of Cornhusker territory until the final six minutes of the half. That's when the Buffaloes went to a no-huddle offense and marched in for James Hill's three-yard touchdown run.
Colorado's next possession ended when linebacker Travis Hill stripped Detmer of the ball and carried it to the Colorado 27, setting the stage for the touchdown that provided a 17-point halftime lead.
Frazier then hit Gerald Armstrong with a five-yard scoring pass and William Washington with a one-yarder, set up by a 48-yarder to Corey Dixon. Fullback Lance Lewis also had a 34-yard touchdown run as Nebraska went ahead, 45-7.
Detmer was pulled late in the third quarter after completing nine of 26 passes for 119 yards with three interceptions.
"I think everyone had their share of mistakes," Detmer said. "It wasn't just one person."
Nebraska cornerback Kenny Wilhite said: "We felt if we got pressure on him, they would throw the ball up for grabs and they did. We thought the turnovers would do it. To go out and beat them like we did took a lot of weight off our shoulders."