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Taylor, Nebraska pull away from Colorado

Nov 25, 2006 - 12:10 AM LINCOLN, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Zac Taylor and Nebraska appear to be in fine shape entering the Big 12 Conference championship game.

Taylor threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns as the 23rd-ranked Cornhuskers posted a 37-14 victory over Colorado in their Big 12 finale.

Brandon Jackson ran for 142 yards and a touchdown and had a TD reception for Nebraska (9-3, 6-2 Big 12 North), which already had wrapped up the division title. The Cornhuskers will face either Oklahoma or Texas in next week's conference championship in Kansas City.

"Overall it was just an excellent team win for us," Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said. "We're excited about going to Arrowhead (Stadium) and being part of the championship game."

The game was tied, 14-14, before Jackson scored on a two-yard run with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter.

Defensive end Adam Carriker opened a nine-point cushion after tackling Colorado running back Mell Holliday in the end zone for a safety less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

"(Carriker) has a bright future ahead of him," Callahan said. "He's going to do some great things in his professional career, but today he was just brilliant."

Taylor effectively put the game out of reach with an 18-yard TD toss to Jackson with 10:16 to play, his school record-tying 43rd career scoring pass. Taylor, who completed 19-of-28 passes without an interception, has 2,789 passing yards on the season, breaking his own school record.

Linebacker Jordon Dizon made 17 tackles for Colorado (2-10, 2-6 North), which was unable to avoid just its third 10-loss season in 117 years of football. The Buffaloes, who completed their first season under Dan Hawkins, went 1-10 in both 1980 and 1984.

The road team had won the previous four meetings.

Nebraska opened the scoring on a 15-yard TD toss from Taylor to Terrence Nunn with 5:08 left in the third quarter. Colorado's Bernard Jackson, who finished 11-of-23 for 131 yards, tied the game with a 14-yard pass to Riar Geer a few minutes later.

The Cornhuskers used some trickery to retake the lead, with backup quarterback Joe Ganz throwing a 29-yard touchdown to Barry Turner on a fake field goal with 4:14 left before halftime.

"It was a little nerve-wracking when I took the field," Ganz said. "We've been trying to call that play since Oklahoma State, but we haven't had the opportunity to yet."

"We've seen them line up and do some things like that before," Hawkins said. "Ultimately, we had a guy back there - we just didn't cover the thing, so you have to give them credit."

Holliday made it 14-14 on a 45-yard run 3:40 into the second half.

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