Tigers Win Defensive Struggle
by Mike Mitchell
A 42-yard field goal with 6:20 left in the third quarter provided the game-winning points as Auburn downed Nebraska 17-14 in the Cotton Bowl.
The defensive struggle saw both teams combine for just 408 yards on offense as neither team ever had any breathing room.
Nebraska struck first on Zac Taylor's 26th TD pass of the season. But minutes later, Taylor's 8th interception of the year led to Auburn's tying score. Karibi Dede returned the pick 50 yards to the Cornhuskers' 9-yard line and Auburn needed just two plays to score on a Brandon Cox pass to Carl Stewart.
Four plays later, Nebraska's Dane Todd fumbled at his own 14 and the Tigers needed only four plays before Stewart scored again, this time on a 1-yard run, for a 14-7 lead.
Nebraska countered with a 7-play 73-yard drive in only a little more than three minutes to tie the game at 14-apiece on Brandon Jackson's 20-yard run.
Nebraska fell to 1-3 in Cotton Bowl appearances as the Cornhuskers ended the season with just three wins in their last seven games after a 6-1 start.
Auburn evened its Cotton Bowl record at 1-1 in its first appearance since a 1985 loss to Texas A&M. The Tigers have won four of their last five bowl games.