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Huskers thrash Aggies for Big 12 crown


College Football Chat

Box Score | Game recap

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Now that Nebraska settled the score in Big 12 title games, the Cornhuskers can turn their attention to other things -- such as rooting for Washington State in the Rose Bowl.

KEYS TO THE GAME
  A&M Neb.
Yds. rushing 13 335
Sacked-yds. lost 6-38 0-0
Early-round knockout: The Huskers ended the suspense with a blockbuster first half, scoring on their first seven possessions, piling up 353 yards of offense, and limiting A&M to only two first downs.
The big picture: The Huskers not only won a trip to Miami for the Orange Bowl, they likely narrowed the polling gap between No. 2 and No. 1, which could mean a national title if Michigan struggles. The Aggies look to be headed for the Cotton Bowl.
"That's a given that we'll be rooting for Washington State," Huskers quarterback Scott Frost said Saturday night after No. 2 Nebraska (12-0) beat No. 14 Texas A&M 54-15 for the Big 12 title and a berth in the Orange Bowl. "But we can't control that. We just have to win our last game."

That last game will be against No. 3 Tennessee or No. 4 Florida State. The Volunteers beat No. 11 Auburn 30-29 Saturday night in the SEC championship game, but must stay ahead of Florida State when the new polls are released Sunday in order to get the Orange Bowl bid.

For Nebraska to win the national title, the Cornhuskers must win the Orange Bowl and hope No. 8 Washington State upsets No. 1 Michigan (11-0) in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

"I'm not rooting for anyone," Huskers coach Tom Osborne said. "We'll just wait and see what happens. I'm just glad we won today."

Still stinging from last year's 37-27 ambush by Texas in the conference title game, Nebraska scored on its first seven possessions and led 37-3 at halftime.

Sirr Parker 
Tony Ortiz, right, and Mike Brown stop Texas A&M running back Sirr Parker for a loss in the second quarter.
Scott Frost threw for 201 yards and ran for two TDs, Ahman Green had three TDs and 179 yards and Kris Brown kicked four field goals as the Huskers rolled up 536 total yards against the Aggies (9-3).

"We had a chip on our shoulder about what happened in St. Louis," Nebraska defensive end Grant Wistrom said of the 37-27 loss to the Longhorns in '96. "This has always been our battle cry over the summer. I know that was the only thing I was thinking about when I worked, practiced or was in the weight room. We weren't going to let down. That loss is one I'll remember the rest of my life."

Texas A&M, the Big 12 South champion, found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time against the North champion Cornhuskers and will probably end up in the Cotton Bowl.

With a sellout Alamodome crowd of 64,824 looking on, the Huskers had 353 first-half yards and held Texas A&M to just two first downs.

Frost, just the 12th player in NCAA history to top 1,000 yards running and passing in the same season, scored on a 6-yard run, while Brown kicked field goals of 27, 26, and 31 yards as Nebraska took a 16-0 first quarter lead. Brown also hit a 44-yarder in the third quarter.

Green, the nation's second leading rusher, followed with TD runs of 25 and 1 yards. He also added a 6-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

Frost hit Matt Davison with a 51-yard pass just before halftime to set up his own 2-yard TD run.

BETTER WITH AGE
Since Tom Osborne's arrival in 1973, Nebraska has never dominated the conference like they are now:
'73-80'81-90'91-97
Big 12 titles256
Big 12
record
36-8
81.8%
63-7
90.0%
46-4-1
91.1%
Overall
record
65-18-2
77.6%
103-20
83.7%
74-11-1
86.6%

Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum said Nebraska "was everything I thought they would be. They beat us offensively, defensively and every possible way.

"I'm disappointed in the way we played. Our offense has to bear some responsibility for the loss. They didn't make many first downs and stay on the field so our defense wouldn't have to work so hard."

Frost had 15 carries for 79 yards and hit 12 of 18 passes for his 201 yards.

"We thought we had a chance to throw the ball and we did," Osborne said. "People tend to load up against us for the run and they commit their defensive backs. We run the option many ways. We've done it all year."

Texas A&M's only offensive spark was provided by tight end Derrick Spiller, who hooked up with quarterback Branndon Stewart on a 63-yard pass-and-run that set up Kyle Bryant's 32-yard field goal in the second quarter.

"We had a chip on our shoulder about what happened in St. Louis."
    -- Nebraska's Grant Wistrom on last year's title-game loss to Texas

Spiller provided the Aggies their only touchdown in the fourth quarter when he caught a 13-yard pass from Stewart to cap a 75-yard drive. Stewart was 18 of 38 for 227 yards.

"We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Stewart said. "I made some bad throws and we couldn't establish the run. "

Texas A&M also got a fourth-quarter touchdown when Jason Glenn returned a fumble 35 yards for a score after a botched handoff by quarterback Frankie London, who later scored on a 3-yard run for Nebraska's final TD.


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