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Colorado did everything it wanted to do against Nebraska on Friday -- but score a touchdown, and win. It was CU's inability to find the end zone that cost the Buffaloes as they fell 17-12 for their fifth-straight defeat to the Huskers. The win gave Nebraska the Big 12 North Division championship and a date with Texas on Saturday for the Big 12 championship in St. Louis. The Buffaloes held Nebraska to just 56 yards passing for the game and 99 yards of total offense in the second half. The 17 points scored by NU were its fewest since a 19-0 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 21. "We thought if we could keep this game close and hang in there through at least the third quarter, Nebraska would go, `Wait a minute, we're playing a real good team here,'" Colorado Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "Hopefully we would catch a break down the stretch and find a way to win the game. It almost turned out exactly like that." But every time Colorado appeared to have a chance to take a lead or gain control of the game, the Nebraska defense closed the door. Six times in the second half, Colorado moved the ball inside the Nebraska 40-yard line -- once starting at the Husker 37 and another time at the NU 24. Through all of those drives, the Buffaloes came away with only six points. "Everything we got, we earned it," Colorado quarterback Koy Detmer said. Detmer finished the day completing 12 of 38 passes for 226 yards, but he also threw two interceptions and was sacked three times. "We just had trouble getting it in the end zone. We were getting field goals and moving the ball, but once we got down in there tight, they really tightened it up, too. I felt like we were down there all afternoon and we just couldn't punch it in or give it that little extra bit to get it in the end zone." Colorado's inability on offense was almost overshadowed by the Buffaloes' domination on defense. The Huskers' 56 yards passing was their second-lowest total of the season, and the 294 total yards of offense was their third-lowest output of the season. Colorado free safety Steve Rosga said he was pleased with the Buffs' defensive performance, but the fact remains that he has never beaten Nebraska in his career. "It hurts a little bit," Rosga said, "because were 0-5 and that will always hurt me wherever I go. I will never forget that, and I will never forget the fact that we never beat Nebraska. There's no other way to look at it." Senior middle linebacker Matt Russell, a CU co-captain, said the Buffaloes were disappointed they didn't win, but he was proud of their performance. Before the season began, Russell said his career wouldn't be complete without a win over Nebraska. Prior to the game Friday, Russell stood in the middle of Colorado's pregame huddle at the 50-yard line and tried to fire up his teammates. "I said, `Bleep all these people in the stands. Bleep the Diamond Vision screens. Bleep the cheerleaders. Bleep everything that you all see as distractions and go out there and play bleeping football.'"
By Mike Kluck Senior Reporter