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No Repeat as Nebraska Survives Scare : Big Eight: No. 1 Cornhuskers defeat Iowa State, 28-12, in Cyclone Stadium, where they were upset two years ago.

November 13, 1994|From Associated Press

AMES, Iowa — Nebraska got out of Cyclone Stadium with a victory this time, but not without a scare.

The No. 1-ranked Cornhuskers led winless Iowa State only 7-6 late in the first half and, 14-12, in the fourth quarter Saturday before winning, 28-12, to clinch a berth in the Orange Bowl and a share of the Big Eight championship.

Nebraska, 11-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big Eight, finally secured the victory with fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Damon Benning and Lawrence Phillips after putting aside memories of Iowa State's upset of Nebraska in Ames two years ago.

"It was hard to keep from thinking of that (1992) game," Nebraska quarterback Brook Berringer said. "The biggest thing we needed to do was stay focused and not panic and I think we did that."

Berringer passed for one touchdown and set up Benning's touchdown with a 28-yard run. Phillips finished with 183 yards and two touchdowns in 36 carries after being held to 30 yards in 15 first-half carries.

Iowa State (0-9-1, 0-5-1) stayed close in what might have been Jim Walden's final game as coach. Walden will resign at the end of the season and has been suspended for next Saturday's finale with Colorado, although he has said he is looking for a way to appeal.

"I'm very proud of the way our guys played," said Walden, who is in his eighth season at Iowa State. "For a non-winning team, that's not a bad effort."

Iowa State, last in the Big Eight in total defense, made Nebraska earn everything and kept Phillips in check until the fourth quarter. The Cornhuskers led at halftime, 14-6, only because of Berringer's 38-yard touchdown pass to Abdul Muhammad in the final minute of the half.

"They were moving around a lot, a lot of slants, a lot of interior movement," Benning said. "We knew from the get-go they were going to play hard. It was their last home game, senior day, the coach's last game, not to mention all the Nebraska guys on their team.

"We knew we were going to get their best effort."

Iowa State cut the lead to 14-12 when Calvin Branch beat defensive back Kareem Moss down the left sideline and caught Todd Doxzon's perfectly lofted pass for a 58-yard touchdown with 3:42 to play in the third quarter.

But Nebraska stopped Doxzon on a two-point conversion run and eventually gained some breathing room after forcing the Cyclones to punt from their eight early in the fourth quarter.

The Cornhuskers took over at the Iowa State 41 and three plays later, Berringer ran 28 yards to the six. Benning ran untouched up the middle on the next play, stretching the lead to 21-12 with 12:09 to play.

"It felt good to go up by more than seven," Benning said. "That kind of ensured the game."

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