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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 14

Brown Keeps Nebraska Alive, Kicking for BCS

College football: Field goal as time runs out beats Colorado, 34-32.

November 25, 2000|From Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nobody is doubting Nebraska kicker Josh Brown this weekend--not even Brown himself.

Brown kept Nebraska's slim Bowl Championship Series hopes alive Friday, kicking a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give the No. 9 Cornhuskers a 34-32 victory over Colorado.

"This is what you dream about," Brown said.

Brown's kick capped a drive that started at the Nebraska 41 with 44 seconds left after Colorado had taken the lead with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

Brown was three for seven coming into the game and had missed an attempt two weeks before in a one-point loss at Kansas State. But he was poised on the final play, driving the ball straight between the uprights.

"This is definitely a redemption for me," Brown said. "I was actually thinking, 'Don't yank it--please don't yank it.' "

Eric Crouch led Nebraska, rushing for 125 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 139 yards, three of four in the final drive. Crouch's 17-yard sideline pass to Bobby Newcombe with less than 10 seconds left set up Brown's field goal.

"We do this every week in practice," Crouch said. "You've got to believe in yourself. Otherwise, you'd just as well sit on the bench."

Colorado appeared to be headed for an upset after Craig Ochs' touchdown pass and two-point conversion put the Buffaloes ahead, 32-31, with 47 seconds left.

After the kickoff, the Cornhuskers had only 44 seconds.

"There wasn't a guy out there who lost his composure or was rattled and didn't think we could win that football game," Coach Frank Solich said.

Nebraska (9-2, 6-2 in Big 12) has won nine in a row over Colorado, but the last five have been by a total of 15 points. The Cornhuskers are done until their bowl game, which probably won't be determined until next weekend.

With nine wins, the Huskers are eligible for a BCS at-large berth, but they were not impressive Friday until their final drive. Nebraska fumbled four times, losing three, had two kickoffs go out of bounds, a punt blocked, botched a punt return when the ball bounced off a blocker's helmet, and missed a field goal.

Nebraska kept Colorado from scoring only once in the second half, and that was by blocking a field goal.

Colorado (3-8, 3-5) ended a disappointing season with an even more disappointing loss. After Brown's kick, several Buffaloes were face down on the artificial turf as the Cornhuskers swarmed Brown.

"This was not a moral victory," Colorado Coach Gary Barnett said. "That was last year. We just came up short. That's all."

Cortlen Johnson led the Buffaloes with 155 yards in 26 carries and three touchdowns. Ochs completed 25 of 41 for 254 yards.

After Ochs' 15-yard pass to John Minardi brought the Buffaloes within a point, Barnett called a timeout and his whole team huddled on the sideline. The coach told the Buffaloes they were going for the win, not a tie.

"It did not take me an instant to decide," Barnett said.

Bochs rolled to his right and hit Javon Green for the conversion.

"There was only 44 seconds left. I thought we would win," Green said. "We beat them today. We beat them physically and we beat them statistically. Yet every time they pull a trick from up their sleeve and win."

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