Scores

Final

Nebraska 51

(5-7, 2-6 Big Ten)

Colorado 65

(6-6, 4-4 Pac-12)

Coverage: ABC

12:00 PM ET, November 23, 2007

Folsom Field, Boulder, CO

1 2 3 4 T
NEB 14 21 0 1651
COLO 17 7 20 2165

Top Performers

Passing: J. Ganz (NEB) - 484 YDS, 4 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: H. Charles (COLO) - 33 CAR, 169 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: M. Purify (NEB) - 11 REC, 136 YDS, 3 TD

Callahan's season of hard knocks ends in another lopsided loss

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- All eyes in Nebraska now look toward Tom Osborne's office -- to see if Bill Callahan could possibly emerge from his upcoming meeting with Nebraska's athletic director with his job still in hand.

If he does, it would be an even bigger shock than what Nebraska fans have witnessed this season -- the unseemly disintegration of a program that no longer resembles Big Red.

The final chapter was written Friday when Callahan, with one last chance to make a good impression, instead suffered another loss by a video game score -- 65-51 to Colorado, which now has a shot at a bowl bid that could have gone to the Cornhuskers.

"Am I shocked? I'm definitely shocked," defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said when asked how he felt looking at the scoreboard and seeing another big, ugly number up there.

Cody Hawkins threw for 241 yards and Hugh Charles ran for 169 yards and three scores to lift the Buffs (6-6, 4-4 Big 12) to the break-even mark in an up-and-down season that includes a victory over Oklahoma and a loss to Iowa State.

Colorado scored 34 straight points in the second half to take control of the game.

Sadly for the Huskers (5-7, 2-6), this wasn't anything new. This was the sixth time they've allowed 40 or more points this season, the second time they've been lit up for 60-plus this month.

They go home with the conference's worst defense -- so much for the Blackshirts -- and only their second losing record since 1962, both of which have come during Callahan's four seasons in Lincoln.

Next comes the coach's long-awaited meeting, scheduled for Saturday, with Osborne, the interim athletic director who never would have let a debacle like this unfold while he was coach.

"I'm not talking about anything," Osborne told The Associated Press as he exited the locker room after shaking a few players' hands. "I have to go to an event right now."

Callahan, who last week schooled his players on the realities of change in big-time college football, also shed little light on his future.

"I don't know what to expect," he said. "I'm just going to wake up tomorrow and deal with whatever we have to deal with and we'll go on. Coach Osborne has a lot of things that he would like to talk about, so let's get on and visit about it."

For a while, it looked like Callahan might be able to head into the meeting on a two-game winning streak.

Nebraska rolled through the first half. The Cornhuskers scored 73 points in their last game, a win over Kansas State, and led 35-24 at halftime of this one after piling up 393 yards against a Buffs defense that has had its own problems lately.

In the third quarter, though, some poor sideline management shifted the momentum.

Leading by 11 and facing third-and-2 from its own 19, Nebraska got nailed with consecutive 5-yard penalties -- once for illegal substitution and once for delay of game. That made it third-and-12, and on that play, Huskers quarterback Joe Ganz threw the ball straight to Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, who returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.

On Nebraska's next offensive play, Ganz underthrew Nate Swift, who batted the ball in the air to be intercepted by Lionel Harris. Four plays later, Charles ran 7 yards to put Colorado ahead 38-35.

Nebraska's next drive ended in a blocked punt, which led to another CU touchdown. A few minutes after that, Colorado scored again and an 11-point Nebraska lead had become a 16-point deficit.

"I've never in my four years here seen a comeback like that," Colorado linebacker Jordon Dizon said. "Not only a comeback, but that kind of margin of win."

Ganz threw another pick late in the fourth quarter -- this one batted up by receiver Maurice Purify, which led to a 51-yard interception return by Cha'pelle Brown and Charles' third score for a 58-35 lead.

That was 34 straight points, five straight touchdowns, and when the Buffs answered a garbage Nebraska touchdown with one of their own, they broke 60 for the first time since that 62-36 blowout over Nebraska in 2001 that led to their last Big 12 title.

The feat seemed monumental back then. Now, it really doesn't. Only three weeks ago, Kansas beat Nebraska 76-39.

"Things happen," Suh said. "Mistakes happen and things aren't done about the mistakes and teams capitalize on those to win the game."

Ganz finished with 484 yards passing for the Huskers and holds plenty of promise for whoever coaches him next year. Purify had 11 catches for 136 yards and three scores but also had his share of drops and bobbles that cost the Huskers.

Of course, offense hasn't been Nebraska's problem this year.

The defense surrendered 518 yards, which was 45 yards above its average.

Callahan said the second-half meltdown had nothing to do with his job status.

"I don't think they were thinking of that in the second half at any stretch," he said. "You just want to do your best. I don't think kids are affected by those things that go on. They are a resilient group."

Who will coach them next year?

Like Callahan, the assistant coaches left saying they had no idea about their futures.

"The whole year's been upsetting, so this is no different," receivers coach Ted Gilmore said. "I'll go home, I'll be with my family. That's all I control. All I can do is try to do my job. Like I tell my kids every day: 'Put your name on your work.' That's what I try to live by."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
NEB
COLO
1st Downs2826
Total Yards610518
Passing484241
Rushing126277
Penalties10-577-65
3rd Down Conversions2-1110-16
4th Down Conversions2-30-0
Turnovers30
Possession26:0333:57

Passing Leaders

NebraskaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Ganz31/584848.343
ColoradoC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Hawkins17/292418.320

Rushing Leaders

NebraskaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lucky12695.8127
Ganz6376.2228
ColoradoCARYDSAVGTDLG
Charles331695.1341
Sprague6488.0119

Receiving Leaders

NebraskaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Purify1113612.4325
Lucky811514.4038
ColoradoRECYDSAVGTDLG
DeVree45112.8129
Robinson13535.0035

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEBCOLO
FG12:49Kevin Eberhart 25 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 55 yds, 1:08
03
TD12:13Joe Ganz 28 Yd Run (Alex Henery Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 67 yds, :27
73
TD07:21Cody Hawkins 5 Yd Run (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 11 plays, 74 yds, 4:44
710
TD02:38Dusty Sprague 4 Yd Run (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 52 yds, 2:49
717
TD00:16Marlon Lucky 2 Yd Run (Alex Henery Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 62 yds, 2:16
1417
SECOND QUARTERNEBCOLO
TD06:19Joe Ganz 8 Yd Run (Alex Henery Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 74 yds, 3:11
2117
TD03:04Maurice Purify 25 Yd Pass From Joe Ganz (Alex Henery Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 66 yds, :53
2817
TD01:25Tyson Devree 11 Yd Pass From Cody Hawkins (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 80 yds, 1:39
2824
TD00:23Todd Peterson 16 Yd Pass From Joe Ganz (Alex Henery Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 71 yds, :59
3524
THIRD QUARTERNEBCOLO
TD10:26Jimmy Smith 31 Yd Interception Return (Kevin Eberhart Kick) 3531
TD08:10Hugh Charles 9 Yd Run (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 33 yds, 1:52
3538
TD05:19Hugh Charles 1 Yd Run (Pat Failed)
Drive: 4 plays, 25 yds, 1:11
3544
FOURTH QUARTERNEBCOLO
TD14:32Scotty Mcknight 10 Yd Pass From Cody Hawkins (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 84 yds, 4:43
3551
TD04:16Hugh Charles 2 Yd Run (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 2 yds, :04
3558
TD02:08Maurice Purify 9 Yd Pass From Joe Ganz (Joe Ganz Pass To Marlon Lucky For Two-Point Conversion)
Drive: 10 plays, 61 yds, 2:02
4358
TD01:23Byron Ellis 28 Yd Run (Kevin Eberhart Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 37 yds, :45
4365
TD00:26Maurice Purify 4 Yd Pass From Joe Ganz (Joe Ganz Pass To Sean Hill For Two-Point Conversion)
Drive: 5 plays, 65 yds, :52
5165