#8 Colorado-Nebraska 2001
In a matter of three hours, Nebraska went from being one of the most feared programs for three decades to becoming an afterthought in the Big 12. The man most responsible for the demise was Colorado running back Chris Brown.
Brown ran for 198 and six touchdowns, the most ever against the Huskers, as Colorado dominated Nebraska 62-36.
Nebraska entered the game with a perfect 11-0 record, and controlled its own destiny in the national title chase.
Colorado was 8-2 entering the game, going largely unnoticed while enjoying a very successful season.
This game boiled down to the Big 12 North division’s championship game. Colorado was 6-1 in conference play, with Nebraska 7-0. The winner of the game would play in the Big 12 championship game the following week.
Colorado shut the door on the Huskers title dreams very early. The Buffs scored two touchdowns in the first three and half minutes, and led 28-3 at the end of the first quarter. The home crowd at Folsom Field was ready to explode already.
Early in the second quarter, Brown scored his second touchdown, putting the Buffs ahead 35-3.
Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch was not ready to wave the white flag just yet. He led the offense to two scores, pulling within 19 points at 35-16. Just when it looked like the Huskers might have a little bit of life, Brown went back to work. His third touchdown of the game tied the record for most rushing touchdowns in a game against the Huskers…with three minutes before halftime.
Nebraska scored once more before the break to trail 42-23.
The third quarter provided much less firepower, with the only score coming on a six-yard touchdown run by Eric Crouch. Before you knew it, Nebraska was only two scores behind the Buffaloes entering the final quarter.
But on this day, there was no way Brown and the rest of the Buffaloes would go down. The star of the game ran for three more scores, putting his team up 62-30, and ending all hope Nebraska had regained.
Colorado ended up wining the Big 12 title the following week, and made it to the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon.
Don’t forget, we are in the era of the BCS and its computer rankings system. So of course, Nebraska made it to the national championship game, where Miami embarrassed them in the Rose Bowl.
Along with the Miami game, Colorado became the architect for the destruction of a dynasty. Ever since Nebraska played for the championship that season, they have not made it back to a BCS bowl again.