August 7, 2006

Top 10 Husker losses of all time - #4

Top 10 Husker losses of all time - #4

November 23rd, 2001

Nebraska 3 20 7 6 - 36
Colorado 28 14 0 20 - 62
@ Boulder, CO

"The holes were huge ," Brown said. "It wasn't even a matter of where you were going to go. ...We weren't getting touched until we got 10 yards down the field." - CU Running Back Chris Brown to the Boulder Daily Camera after the game

For the previous month, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were riding high during the 2001 season. Eventual Heisman Trophy Winner Eric Crouch (I still can't believe I typed that), had led his team to a perfect record, coming to a head in a huge victory over #2 Oklahoma in Lincoln in late October. Frank Solich's team had crushed just about everybody else in their path that season, including big wins over #17 Notre Dame and a big win two weeks earlier against Bill Snyder's Wildcats..who had owned the Huskers in previous years. Yes, everything was set up simply perfect for the Huskers in 2001. Except for one thing....#14 Colorado, who finished the year 3-8 the season before and a team Nebraska had beaten 10 straight times.

As with most big-time Husker losses, perspective is everything. One may not understand the magnitude of this loss over time, due to the fact that Nebraska did go on to the Rose Bowl and the National Championship thanks to the biggest farce in BCS history.

What made this loss so great, was the sheer size of the cliff the program lunged off of just minutes into the game. What made this loss so great was the size of the holes that the CU running backs ran through during the 1st half. What made this loss so great was this photograph taken by ABC cameras after coming back from a commercial.

What also made this loss so great is something that very few people figured out. Do you think this might have been some sort of wake up call that you can't pile up easy home games, play only 3 conference road games at Columbia, Lawrence and Waco and then expect to walk into a hornet's nest in Boulder and waltz your way home with the North title? I mentioned it earlier this week, but who in the hell didn't t see this coming? Who in the hell didn't see the OU win as sloppy win over a slow team with the help of a fluke play and 78,000 hicks willing them on?

Chris Brown ran for 863 yards in the first quarter, rushing for 23 touchdowns. Ok, maybe not..but it sure as hell seemed that way. Actually it was only 6. When you look at the stats, Nebraska racked up rather large numbers against the Colorado prevent that lasted an college football record 3 and 1/2 quarters. Actually, most of Nebraska's yardage was racked up while Eric Crouch was running for his life, while the CU defenders sat back 30 yards and stared in awe at the scoreboard, and wondered to each other how in the hell this was the #1 team in the BCS. Then again, isn't it hard to keep your focus defensively when your team is up 35-3 in the 1st half?

Even better was the fact that Colorado ran up the ridiculous amount of points using second string quarterback Bobby Pesavento. (When you think destroying the vaunted Blackshirt defense..who DOESN'T immediately think of football legends like Bobby Pesavento). Regardless, Colorado's 64 point ass pounding of the BCS's top ranked school (insert snicker) was the most points allowed by a Nebraska team since the mid 1800's, when a group of native Americans ran up and down on a group of Nebraska settlers, after distracting them with red beaver pelts and winning 180-3.

Husker fans can argue that this game didn't end up being so destructive, and they may be right. Nearly a half-dozen teams choked away their games, and through attrition, gave the Huskers a shot at the title, (where they were worked over Andy Dufrane in the laundry room by Miami. See loss #6) The second place team in the Big 12 north, did their conference and the BCS system proud falling to Miami eventually in the Rose Bowl.

The fallout from that Colorado bitchslapping in late 2001 is still up for debate today. But it is not coincidence that things have yet to be the same since, and Husker fan no longer feels that a 10-0 start is a God-given right. Oh wait...actually they do, but Colorado really beat the fucking piss out of them, running through holes the size of Mark Mangino's coaching sweats.

For steamrolling a Husker team in a way that had never been seen before, for proving that the BCS is sprinkled with horseshit, and for ruining the life of some 12 year old Husker fan, who's dad dragged him to the game in Boulder, promising him that they'd go to Disneyland if they won but instead getting hit by a urine bomb from the CU student section....The 2001 North Champion Colorado Buffaloes finish with the #4 Husker loss of all time.

Tomorrow - "Too good to be true"


Blogger Husker Mike said...

The crazy thing about that game is that Eric Crouch nearly got Nebraska back into the game; if Daharran Diedrick doesn't fumble the ball at the CU 1, Nebraska pulls within 1 score.

But Craig Bohl will forever be vilified in this state with that horrible game plan that literally allowed the Buffs to run freely the entire first quarter. Compound that with some early turnovers by the offense, and it was like an avalanche that couldn't be stopped.

Fortunately, I watched this game from the safety of my mother-in-law's living room. I'm surprised, though. I thought this one would have been at least #2 on your list.

8:26 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Yeah, but the top 3 are pretty good.


8:27 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

I just remember being there in the end zone and thinking at half-time that we were going to witness the greatest Husker comeback of all time...then we proceeded to get just hammered in LoDo that night and passed out in our suite at the Warwick...good times.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont forget Colorado won the Big XII title not just the north! GO BUFFS!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, love your site. Never been here before but I think it is my new homepage.
Second, as a CU grad/fanatic, I cannot tell you the emotion this game inspires. This game was something else, especially when you take into account the horrific way CU managed to lose to NU the 5 seasons before this. CU lost the 5 games prior by 15 points TOTAL (I said TOTAL!), including a monstorous comback capped by a missed chipshot fieldgoal OT game, a game in Lincoln where NU scored no TD's on offense, and a ponderous squib kick with little time left leading to a NU/Eric Crouch air assault (You didn't misread that.) I'm not going to get into the "Is this a true rivalry" argument. Few Huskers feel it is and I don't blame them), but all CU people see NU as a rival. Hell, I subscribe to Husker Illustrated, just to see what's up.
This game, pardon my french, was the grudge f##k to end all grudge f##ks, ten years of pent up frustration, Nick Lachey on his honeymoon, busting a nut after months of blue balls. Charlie Brown finally kicking that ball before it gets pulled away. The term "walking into a hornet's nest" I don't think does this scene justice. That was a hostile, angry crowd, and a team of hostile, angry kids. I know CU fans get a rap as being nasty, ill mannered, etc., and I wouldn't use this game tape (it runs on a loop in my house) to prove otherwise. It reminds me of the crowd in front of Sal's Pizza at the end of Do The Right Thing. I really think NU walked into that game the way Rocky walked into that first fight with Clubber Lang, and CU literally punched them in the mouth and knocked them down. Hard. As amazing as that game was, what is even more astonishing is how close it really got for a while, and how every CU fan, through the second and third quarters began to get a feeling of "holy s### here we go again, we can't possibly figure out a way to blow this game, can we?". Had NU come back somehow (and it wasn't that farfetched for a bit there), I think we would have joined the Pac 10. No worries, we didn't choke, and, the cherry on top of the sundae, Brent calling the game, no other games on TV at the time (whole world watching), crying kid.......
ooomph, give me a cigarette.
Thanks AJ


1:42 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

(I think I have a new best friend in JG.)

Now, if I'm not mistaken, didn't the CU Offencive Game Plan consist of only 4 plays?

I mean... what was the best play of the game?

Purify up the middle for 42?
Purify up the middle for 23?
Purify up the middle for 56?
Pesavento's pass to the Tight End (which seemed to last 63 years)?
Purify up the middle for 195?
Or Purify up the middle for 35?

I'm still laughing about that game... it was even better than the 237-0 poundings of the Huskers on Playstation game consoles throughout the nation.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a lifelong, diehard Husker fan, your blog is tough to read. Still, I enjoy your writing, and I don't disagree with several of your comments, especially your criticisms of our used car salesman athletic director. That said, the 2001 Colorado loss should definitely be higher on your list -- in my opinion #1, and I'm about 99% certain of which game you selected as #1 -- trust me, this one was way worse. Given the opponent, time of season, circumstances, and most importantly, the fallout afterward, including the utter embarrassment of making the national championship game and the demise of every important Husker record within the next 3 years, that loss to CU is as bad as it gets. The Tech game was the ass-beating of all ass-beatings for sure, a true "I had sex with your mother and there's nothing you can do or say about it" moment, but take it from a Husker fan, that 2001 loss to Colorado stung much, much, much, MUCH more. I still shudder when I think about it. And by the way, I loved your post last month on the Husker fans' delusions that we will beat USC. Although we don't have a snowball's chance in hell to win that game, nonetheless, I'll certainly be cruising through South Central with Elmer and Velma Redneck from Pawnee City looking for a parking space!


4:40 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

TJO...I appreciate your comments. Unfortunately, a lot of your fellow fans don't get it. Sports can certainly be seperated by life, and I can tell that you see the difference between the two.

I appreciate you reading the blog, and taking it for what it is...just one guy's opinion and not to be taken so seriously that you burst a blood vessel in your neck.

I'm not going to go so far as to wish your team luck, but safe travels to you, Elmer and Velma this fall.



8:53 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

PS - You're not the first Husker fan who has told me that the CU loss should be higher.

Trust was a tough decision.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a great highlight video of the game:

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

absolutely great article. I am quickly becoming a very big fan of your website.

12:05 PM  

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