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Nebraska Avoids New Disasters : Big Eight: Berringer stays healthy and tosses three touchdown passes in 42-7 warmup for No. 2 Colorado.

October 23, 1994|From Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne only wanted his quarterback to avoid injury. Brook Berringer gave him much more.

Berringer, back as the starter after missing half of last week's game with a partially collapsed lung, threw three touchdown passes in the second half as the third-ranked Cornhuskers, 8-0 overall, 3-0 in the Big Eight, overcame a slow start to beat Missouri, 42-7, Saturday.

"Brook can do it all," Osborne said. "Next week, he'll have to do it all."

Nebraska, which also got 110 yards rushing from Lawrence Phillips, is at home against No. 2 Colorado next weekend.

"I wanted to try to get Berringer through today without getting hit, and I don't think he took any bad blows," Osborne said. "Obviously, we can't sit on anything now."

Berringer sat out the first half of last week's 17-6 victory over Kansas State with a partially collapsed lung. He wore a flak jacket in that game, and against Missouri, Osborne cut back on his use of the option attack to protect Berringer for the bigger games ahead.

"We run the option well, but we've got other options," said Berringer, who completed nine of 13 passes for 153 yards. "We can throw the ball, we can hand it off, we can do a lot of things."

Nebraska didn't have a first down in a scoreless first quarter, yet the issue was never in doubt. Missouri, which has lost five in a row at home, averted a shutout on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Handy to Rahsetnu Jenkins with 7:34 to play.

After the game, Missouri Coach Larry Smith could be heard screaming at his players behind closed doors to "hold yourselves accountable." He said the team gave up after falling behind, 28-0.

"It wasn't a pretty sight," Smith said. "It wasn't a pretty sight at all. I'm angry, I'm disappointed and they'd better be angry and disappointed too because those last three touchdowns never needed to be scored."

Nebraska has allowed 16 points in its last three games. Defensive back Barron Miles ended a Missouri scoring chance when he forced Joe Freeman to fumble into the end zone from the one and returned an interception 27 yards to set up a Nebraska score.

The Cornhuskers also have won 21 in a row in the regular season, 12 in a row in the Big Eight, and have a 16-game winning streak against Missouri (2-5, 1-2). The last six meetings have been by a cumulative 307-72 score.

Phillips recorded his eighth consecutive 100-yard game and scored on a five-yard run for the game's first touchdown.

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