(c) Copyright the News & Observer Publishing Co. and The Associated Press, 1994
AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Brook Berringer passed for a touchdown and set up the clinching score with a 28-yard run Saturday as No. 1-ranked Nebraska clinched a berth in the Orange Bowl and a share of the Big Eight title with a 28-12 victory over stubborn Iowa State.
Nebraska (11-0, 6-0 Big Eight) led only 7-6 late in the first half and 14-12 in the fourth quarter before finally subduing the Cyclones with fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Damon Benning and Lawrence Phillips. Phillips finished with 183 yards in 36 carries after being held to 30 yards in 15 first-half carries.
Iowa State (0-9-1, 0-5-1) played valiantly in what may have been Jim Walden's final game as coach. Walden will resign at the end of the season and has been suspended by the Big Eight for next Saturday's finale at Colorado, although he has said he is seeking some avenue of appeal.
The Cyclones trailed 14-12 after halfback 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 left in the third quarter.
Memories of Iowa State's 19-12 upset of Nebraska at Ames two years ago flooded Cyclone Stadium, but Nebraska stopped Doxzon on a 2-point conversion run and eventually put the game away.
Nebraska finally opened some breathing room after forcing Iowa State to punt from its 8 and taking over at the Cyclones 41. Berringer ran 28 yards to the Iowa State 6 three plays later. On the next play, Benning sped untouched up the middle into the end zone with 12:09 left.
A holding penalty erased Doxzon's 32-yard TD pass to Geoff Turner with 9:40 remaining and the Cyclones eventually had to punt. Phillips then ran 62 yards to the Iowa State 5 before fumbling into the end zone, where Russell Johnson recovered to give the Cyclones another chance.
But Nebraska held and Phillips scored on a 21-yard run with 1:25 to play.
Three defensive stands and a muffed punt helped Iowa State keep it close in the first half.
After Nebraska drove 80 in 15 plays for a touchdown on the first series of the game, the Cyclones stopped the Cornhuskers three times and forced a punt. A personal foul on Nebraska after the second punt gave Iowa State the ball on the Cornhuskers 35, and the Cyclones got close enough for Ty Stewart to kick a 35-yard field goal with 10:56 left in the half.
Iowa State caught a break later in the quarter when Marc Harris' punt hit a Nebraska player and Jim Knott recovered for the Cyclones at the 18. They lost 2 yards in three plays before calling on Stewart, whose 37-yarder cut the lead to 7-6 with 2:56 remaining in the half.
Nebraska regrouped quickly. Benning returned the kickoff 26 yards to his 47 and Berringer hit Abdul Muhammad for 14 yards on third-and-9 from the 48. On the next snap, at the Iowa State 38, Muhammad got a step on cornerback Jason Brown and made a tumbling catch of Berringer's pass in the end zone.
The game started as it if would be the expected rout, Nebraska taking the opening kickoff and marching the length of the field to go up 7-0. Berringer scrambled for 20 yards on second-and-16 from his 31 and later connected with Phillips on a 27-yard shovel pass to the Iowa State 11.
Five plays later, Phillips went in from the 1 with 7:26 gone in the game. But the Iowa State defense, last in the Big Eight in yardage allowed, steadied after that, enabling the Cyclones to make it a game.
Nebraska 7 7 0 14--28 Iowa St. 0 6 6 0--12INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Neb--Phillips 1 run (Sieler kick)
Iowa--FG Stewart 35
Iowa--FG Stewart 37
Neb--Muhammad 38 pass from Berringer (Sieler kick)
Iowa--Branch 58 pass from Doxzon (run failed)
Neb--Benning 6 run (Sieler kick)
Neb--Phillips 21 run (Sieler kick)
Neb Iowa First downs 21 11 Rushes-yards 56-285 43-62 Passing yards 193 151 Return yards 3 7 Passes 11-18-1 8-13-0 Punts 5-42 8-45 Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 5-55 5-50 Time of Possession 33:35 26:25