Nebraska, Colorado start Big 12 football farewell tours on different notes

Monday, October 11, 2010 | 7:20 p.m. CDT; updated 9:01 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 11, 2010
Colorado's Luke Walters, right, and Ethan Adkins, left, sit dejectedly on the bench during the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Missouri.

DES MOINES, Iowa — No. 5 Nebraska got a raucous welcome at Kansas State as it faced the Wildcats for the last time as a Big 12 opponent.

But it didn't take long for the Huskers to quiet the crowd and turn the 95th and potentially final meeting between the longtime rivals last week into a rout.

Colorado? The Big 12's other lame duck program is on the verge of going out on a much more silent note.

Nebraska is off to a fantastic start in its final Big 12 tour before joining the Big Ten next year. The Huskers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) blew out Kansas State 48-13 and have things clicking on both sides of the ball heading into a huge date with Texas this weekend.

All the noise in the world didn't bother Nebraska, which easily survived its first of two road games against Big 12 North opponents. The Huskers also visit Iowa State in early November.

"I wear headsets and don't hear the noise, but I'm sure it was — at least, until we finished laying eggs — I think it was probably quite vocal," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said.

The Buffaloes' final conference trip to Missouri was a dud.

The 21st-ranked Tigers (5-0, 1-0) shut out Colorado 26-0, capping their rivalry with the Buffs with five straight wins by a combined score of 203-40.

Colorado had bounced back from a 52-7 loss at future Pac-12 rival California with wins over Hawaii and Georgia. But the Buffs lost their 13th straight road game against the Tigers on the 20th anniversary of the infamous "fifth down" game at Memorial Stadium.

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said he didn't think the atmosphere in Columbia was any crazier than usual. The bigger issue for the Buffs (3-2, 0-1) was Missouri's defense, which handed Colorado its second shutout in 262 games.

"We're playing good team defense," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "We're getting better each week, and with a lot of the little things, attention-to-detail things that we needed to do."

Nebraska handled its final Big 12 road opener in impressive fashion, rolling over the Wildcats behind another brilliant performance from freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez.

Martinez, who was named the Big 12's offensive player of the week, ran for 241 yards and threw for 128 more, leading the Huskers on four scoring drives that took five plays or fewer.

"He's more than just a young guy that can run fast," Snyder said. "We created some opportunities for him to showcase his speed, and he took full advantage of it each and every time. I think he's a very talented player."

Both teams return home this weekend. The Huskers host Texas (3-2, 1-1) in a rematch of last year's memorable league title game, and the Buffaloes host Baylor.

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