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Valley of Sunset for No. 1 Nebraska

College football: Arizona State uses three safeties to stop Cornhuskers' winning streak at 26 games, 19-0.

September 22, 1996|From Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — Top-ranked Nebraska's 26-game winning streak ended Saturday night in a shocking 19-0 loss to No. 17 Arizona State on the same field where the Cornhuskers won their second consecutive national championship in January.

The Sun Devils, routed by the Cornhuskers, 77-28, last season, recorded three safeties in handing Nebraska its first defeat since losing the 1994 Orange Bowl to Florida State.

It was Nebraska's first shutout since a 22-0 loss to Miami in the 1992 Orange Bowl, and its first regular-season loss since dropping a 19-10 decision to Iowa State on Nov. 14, 1992.

It also was only the second regular-season shutout during Coach Tom Osborne's 24-year tenure at Nebraska. Oklahoma beat the Cornhuskers, 27-0, in 1973, Osborne's first year as head coach in Lincoln.

Nebraska (1-1), which opened the season with a 55-14 victory over Michigan State, committed three turnovers against Arizona State.

Arizona State (3-0) pulled off the huge upset before a capacity crowd of 74,089 on a 91-degree night.

Jake Plummer threw for 292 yards and a touchdown and Robert Nycz kicked two field goals for the Sun Devils, who outgained Nebraska, 401 yards to 216.

The three safeties, while not crucial to the final margin, best typified the Sun Devils' defensive dominance over the Cornhuskers.

Arizona State went ahead, 7-0, on its first possession, with Plummer throwing 25 yards to Keith Poole to complete the drive.

Two penalties backed up Nebraska to its 6 and disaster struck when Scott Frost's pitchout got away from Ahman Green. The ball was batted around the end zone before going out of bounds, and Arizona State led, 9-0, after only 4:22 of play.

Safety No. 2 followed Nycz's first field goal and gave Arizona State a 14-0 lead with 3:09 left in the half. On this occasion, the ball was snapped past Frost's right shoulder while the quarterback, lined up in a shotgun formation at his 20, was looking left. He chased it into the end zone and was tackled.

The third safety was credited to defensive end Derrick Rodgers, who looped past two blockers inside and tackled Frost in the end zone with 6:43 to play.

Longest Winning Streaks

Includes bowl games

*--*

No. School Years Ended By Score 47 Oklahoma 1953-57 Notre Dame 7-0 39 Washington 1908-14 Oregon State 0-0 37 Yale 1890-93 Princeton 6-0 37 Yale 1887-89 Princeton 10-0 35 Toledo 1969-71 Tampa 21-0 34 Pennsylvania 1894-96 Lafayette 6-4 31 Oklahoma 1948-50 Kentucky *13-7 31 Pittsburgh 1914-18 Cleveland Naval Reserve 10-9 31 Pennsylvania 1896-98 Harvard 10-0 30 Texas 1968-70 Notre Dame *24-11 29 Miami 1990-93 Alabama *34-13 29 Michigan 1901-03 Minnesota 6-6 28 Alabama 1991-93 Tennessee 17-7 28 Alabama 1978-80 Mississippi St. 6-3 28 Oklahoma 1973-75 Kansas 23-3 28 Michigan State 1950-53 Purdue 6-4 26 Cornell 1921-24 Williams 14-7 26 Michigan 1903-05 Chicago 2-0 26 Nebraska 1994-96 Arizona State 19-0

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* bowl game

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