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Colorado wants to spoil Nebraska national title hopes

The Associated Press

Colorado is ready to end a decade of exasperating losses to Nebraska.

Friday, November 23, 2001

Colorado is ready to end a decade of exasperating losses to Nebraska.

”The time has come,” safety Robbie Robinson said. ”Ever since I have been at CU, we have just barely missed beating these guys. There is no reason why we can’t win this year.”

Not only are the Buffaloes out to stop a 10-game winless streak against the Cornhuskers on Friday, they’re aching to spoil the Huskers’ run at a national championship. The winner takes the Big 12 North title and advances to the league’s title game Dec. 1.

”These past few games have been very tough,” offensive lineman Victor Rogers said of last year’s final-play, 34-32 loss to the Huskers that came on the heels of 1999’s 33-30 overtime loss in Boulder.

”But this team is much different than those past teams and we really believe in one another. We have unbelievable chemistry right now and really have ever since that last loss in 2000.”

The last five games have been decided by a total of 15 points.

No. 2 Nebraska (11-0, 7-0), led by Heisman Trophy contender Eric Crouch, is favored by 10 points. No. 14 Colorado (8-2, 6-1) has won eight of nine after a season-opening loss to Fresno State. Quarterback Bobby Pesavento starts again in place of the injured Craig Ochs.

In 2000, Josh Brown kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give the Huskers their 34-32 win in Lincoln.

Two years ago, the Buffs rallied from 24 points down, had a chance to win, but Jeremy Aldrich missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired. In OT, Aldrich hit a 33-yard field goal, but Crouch scored from a yard out for the 33-30 win.

In other Top 25 games Friday, it’s No. 5 Texas at Texas A&M, No. 17 Louisville at TCU, San Jose State at No. 23 Fresno State and No. 24 Arkansas at LSU.

On Saturday, it’s No. 12 Washington at No. 1 Miami, Oklahoma State at No. 4 Oklahoma, Vanderbilt at No. 7 Tennessee, Ohio State at No. 11 Michigan, Notre Dame at No. 13 Stanford, No. 19 Georgia at No. 21 Georgia Tech, Youngstown State at No. 20 Marshall, and No. 25 Boston College at No. 22 Syracuse.

The Hurricanes (9-0), second in the BCS standings behind the Huskers, are out to avenge losses past against the Huskies (8-2).

Washington handed Miami its only loss last season, and the Hurricanes have won 19 in a row since. The Huskies also ended Miami’s NCAA-record 58-game home winning streak in 1994.

Earlier this week, Miami’s Heisman contender Ken Dorsey claimed the Huskies hit him late during last year’s game in which he was sacked four times and fumbled twice.

”When you hand the ball off and they hit you, that’s a late hit. And they don’t call those things up there,” Dorsey said. ”I don’t know what they’re going to try to do this year, but that’s the way I remember them and that’s the mentality I’m going to go into this game with.”

Should Miami or Nebraska lose, several teams would jump into national title contention, starting with Florida (9-1) and Oklahoma (10-1).

The Gators are off this weekend before closing the regular season against Tennessee, with the winner advancing to the SEC title game Dec. 8. The Sooners, defending national champions, move into the Big 12 title game with a win over the Cowboys (3-7).

In other key games:

-Michigan (8-2, 6-1) gets the Big Ten’s automatic BCS bowl berth by defeating Ohio State (6-4, 4-3). If the Wolverines and Illinois tie for the title, Michigan wins the head-to-head tiebreaker. Illinois beat Northwestern 34-28 on Thursday.

-LSU (6-3, 3-3) can win the SEC West and move to the SEC title game on Dec. 8 by beating Arkansas (7-3, 4-3) and then defeating Auburn (7-3, 5-2) on Dec. 1.