Preview: Nebraska at Colorado
By Douglas Kroll
The Colorado Buffaloes can win their fourth Big 12 North title in five years if they can get by the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Friday afternoon.
The Buffs have only lost three games this season, and two of those have come at the hands of Miami and Texas. If Colorado can win Saturday, they earn the right for a rematch with the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship game. The Longhorns won 42-17 in the first meeting this season.
Looking back at the series between the two teams, history definitely isnt on Colorados side. Nebraska leads the all-time series 44-17-2, including a 21-9-2 record in Boulder. One of the most famous games in the series was back in 2001, as Nebraska was No.1 in the BCS, but Colorado ran them out of the stadium, with a 62-36 win.
The annual meeting between the two teams was shifted to the Friday after Thanksgiving for the first time in 1996, and it has stayed that way ever since, with Nebraska holding a 6-3 edge since then.
The Buffaloes have been led this year by two guys normally you wouldnt look at on a depth chart. Kicker Mason Crosby and punter John Torp have each been named finalists for the Lou Groza award and Ray Guy award respectively, for being the best in the nation at their position. Crosby is tied for the longest field goal in college football this year, with a 58 yarder against Miami.
Coming off a disappointing loss at Iowa State last week, quarterback Joel Klatt will try to lead the Buffaloes to a title clinching win. Klatts thrown 14 touchdowns and only six interceptions so far this year, while completing over 60 percent of his passes.
On the ground, Hugh Charles and Lawrence Vickers are a nice 1-2 punch. They have combined for 15 touchdowns this season, while Charles leads the team with 728 yards.
Nebraska will be looking to better their bowl position, as they sit at 6-4. Of course, knocking rival Colorado out of the Big 12 Championship game is also a priority. The Huskers will be in a bowl for the 36th time in the last 37 years.
Coming off a bye week after a 27-25 win over Kansas State on Nov. 12th, in which freshman kicker Jordan Congdon hit a 40 yard field goal with 1:05 left to win it for Nebraska.
Quarterback Zac Taylor has been efficient for the Cornhuskers this year, throwing 14 touchdowns and averaging over 200 yards per game through the air. But hes also thrown 10 interceptions. Taylors favorite targets have been Nate Swift and Terrence Nunn who lead the team in catches and have a combined 10 touchdowns on the season.
Look for Taylor to air it out, as Colorado has the second best rushing defense in the country only giving up 77 yards per game on the ground. The Huskers Cory Ross only averages 70 yards per game, and has scored four touchdowns.
Kickoff is at 3:30 eastern time on ABC.
Douglas Kroll is an independent contributor to College Football Poll.com.