LINCOLN, Neb. -- With a 29-yard strike down the sideline to Will Jefferson on the last play of the third quarter Friday, Cody Hawkins became the Colorado Buffaloes' career passing leader.
The record was likely little consolation to him or the rest of the team after a 45-17 loss to Nebraska at Memorial Stadium.
In some respects, Hawkins' final performance as a Buff was a microcosm of his career at CU. There were ups and downs. And several of his 163 yards passing came after the Buffs had dug a hole and found themselves playing catchup.
Needing 130 yards passing to supplant Joel Klatt (7,375) atop the all-time chart at CU, Hawkins finished his career with 7,409. He also passed Klatt for the pass completions record with 667, beating the old record by one.
"Cody's been an unbelievable teammate. That's the biggest thing," CU senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight said of Hawkins' legacy as a Buff. "He took a lot of shots both on and off the field. But he always had the team's best interest (at heart)."
Hawkins, who wasn't made available to media after the game, completed 10 of 26 passes Friday. He threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions.
After racking up big yardage on the ground the last three weeks, the Buffs were shut down Friday, gaining only 61 yards in the first half when the game was still close.
The passing game didn't do much to stop Nebraska from loading the box either. Hawkins went 1 for 8 in the first half for 25 yards. The completion came on a trick play in which he handed off to Rodney Stewart, then got the ball back on a lateral and fired downfield to Luke Walters.
That play helped set up CU's first score, a 22-yard field goal by Aric Goodman.
"We had to win the game up front," CU interim coach Brian Cabral said. "It had to come down to that. My hat's off to the Blackshirts."
With CU trailing 17-3 to start the second half, Hawkins was intercepted by NU linebacker DeJon Gomes on the third play of the third quarter after a high throw went off the hands of receiver Paul Richardson.
Nebraska added a touchdown five plays later.
Hawkins was picked off again on CU's next drive on a ball deflected at the line of scrimmage. The ensuing Husker touchdown made it 31-3.
Hawkins finally found his rhythm on the next drive, completing three passes in a row and capping the possession with a 50-yard bomb to Richardson to make it 31-10.
After another Nebraska score, Hawkins did his best to keep the Buffs within striking distance with the TD pass to Jefferson. But by then the yards were having little impact on the outcome despite the record-setting day.
"You can ask anyone in this locker room," said McKnight, who leaves CU with most of the school's receiving records. "He's always there to support everyone, to be a role model, to be a leader, everything you'd want in a quarterback and a teammate."