Eric Bieniemy dominated the fourth quarter at Nebraska in 1990. Laviska Shenault did the same last year in Lincoln. Yet with the Cornhuskers set to visit Folsom Field Saturday for the first time in 10 years, here is a look at a few of the CU Buffs’ MVPs in their home matchups against Nebraska.
(Nov. 23, 2001; Colorado 62, Nebraska 36)
An unstoppable CU rushing attack was paced by Brown, who rushed for 198 yards and six touchdowns in a memorable thumping. Brown’s rushing total remains the top mark by a CU player in the 70-game history of the rivalry. He also became the first Buffs player to score six touchdowns in a game as CU celebrated the Big 12 Conference North Division title, made all the sweeter for Buffs fans at the expense of their red-clad rivals.
JJ Flannigan and Darian Hagan
(Nov. 4, 1989; Colorado 27, Nebraska 21)
Neither player lit up the final box score. Hagan managed 86 rushing yards but needed 25 attempts to get there while going just 2-for-10 through the air. Flannigan finished with 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts, but he was credited with 70 of those yards on one of the most memorable Buffs plays in the rivalry’s history. In the first quarter Hagan ran an option play to perfection, waiting until a Nebraska defender committed to him roughly 30 yards downfield before pitching to Flannigan for CU’s first score. The Buffs still had business to take care of in the final two weeks on the road at Oklahoma State and Kansas State, but the win set the stage for CU to play for the national championship in the Orange Bowl.
Lance Carl and OC Oliver
(Oct. 25, 1986; Colorado 20, Nebraska 10)
Like the previous duo, neither player blew up the stat line individually. However, Oliver launched a halfback pass to Carl on the first play of the fourth quarter, resulting in a 52-yard touchdown and 10-point lead for the Buffs. The teams traded field goals down the stretch and the Buffs celebrated their first win against Nebraska in 19 years. The victory also is cited as the turning point of the Bill McCartney coaching era that set the stage for the glory years still to come.
(Oct. 27, 1956; Colorado 16, Nebraska 0)
The largest crowd in Folsom history at the time (45,500) saw the Buffs snap a two-game losing streak against their rivals. Bayuk, CU’s star fullback, rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. The Buffs didn’t complete a pass in the game, but their 363 rushing yards overwhelmed the Huskers. The victory propelled CU to its first-ever appearance in the Orange Bowl.
(Nov. 23, 2007; Colorado 65, Nebraska 51)
The highest-scoring game in the rivalry’s history, and the second-highest in CU history, deserves some mention, and Charles was the focal point of an offense that rolled up 518 yards of total offense. Charles rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns, and the win gave the Buffs victories against the Huskers and Oklahoma in the same year for the first time the 1990 national championship season.