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Big 12 Championship notebook


Hungry for turnovers

AUSTIN - With Nebraska losing a nation-leading 23 of 47 fumbles this season, Texas free safety Greg Brown said it's safe to expect at least a little charity from the Cornhuskers in the Big 12 title game Saturday.

"I would think they'd give us one or two fumbles," Brown said. "And then we've got to create some on our own."

- Chip Brown

UT vs. Nebraska 101

LINCOLN, Neb. - Saturday's championship game pits the best football teams the Big 12 has to offer, but it's not an advanced college course, said two of the primary combatants.

Nebraska defensive back Mike Brown read a quote from Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, who said the Cornhuskers' defense is "not going to be calculus."

Brown's response: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out."

Brown and Applewhite agreed that the secret to Nebraska's defensive success has less to do with high-tech wizardry than simple execution.

"A lot of people know what we're doing," Brown said. "But we have great players."

- Bill Campbell

Two of the best

AUSTIN - Texas coach Mack Brown said the Longhorns will see the two best punters in the country back-to-back.

Brown credited Texas A&M; punter Shane Lechler with pinning the Longhorns deep in their territory all game last week. Brown said Nebraska punter Dan Hadenfeldt has the same ability to take over a game by dictating field position.

Hadenfeldt averages 45.9 yards per punt; has hit 18 punts of 50 yards or more; has pinned opponents inside their 20 on 23 kicks; and has pinned opponents inside their 10 on 14 occasions.

- Chip Brown

Down on Musburger

LINCOLN, Neb. - Superstitious Nebraska fans called local radio talk shows Wednesday, bemoaning ABC's assignment of Brent Musburger to Saturday's Big 12 championship game.

Musburger has called the TV play-by-play for all three of Texas' victories over Nebraska since the formation of the Big 12.

"He's a jinx," said one caller. "He should be on Texas' payroll."

- Bill Campbell

Nebraska on the run

AUSTIN - Nebraska is 174-5 in the last 27 years when rushing for 300 or more yards in a game.

The Cornhuskers have won 96 straight when rushing for 300-plus yards since a loss to Michigan in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl, when the Huskers rushed for 304 yards.

Nebraska has rushed for 300 yards or more six times this season.

- Chip Brown

Inside the 20

AUSTIN - Texas has scored on 51 of 60 trips (85 percent) inside its opponents' 20-yard-line. Of those 51 scores, 37 have been touchdowns (72 percent).

Conversely, UT opponents have scored 15 touchdowns on 31 trips inside the Texas 20 (48.4 percent).

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