No. 7 Texas 27, Nebraska 24
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Senior QB Chris Simms passed for a UT-record 419 yards and junior CB Nathan Vasher intercepted Jammal Lord's pass at the 1-yard line with 10 seconds remaining to give No. 7 Texas a thrilling 27-24 win at Nebraska, which snapped the Huskers’ national-best 26-game winning streak at Memorial Stadium.
In front of the largest crowd in school history (78,268), UT handed Nebraska just its second home loss since 1991. On Oct. 31, 1998, the Longhorns came into Lincoln and won 20-16, snapping the program’s school-record streak of 47 consecutive victories at home (No. 5 in NCAA history). The Huskers had won 74 of its previous 75 home games and the Longhorns, led by head coach Mack Brown, are the only team to win in that stretch.
Nebraska’s defense was unable to contain junior WR Roy Williams, who hauled in a UT-record 13 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. When Simms was unable to find Williams, he found junior FB Ivan Williams — who had a career-best six receptions for a UT-fullback record 111 yards — open in the flat.
The Longhorns appeared in position to run out the clock when Simms hit Roy Williams for a 10-yard gain on third-and-seven with 1:34 remaining and Nebraska out of timeouts, but he was called for offensive pass interference, which set up a third-and-22 from Texas’ 28-yard line. After a Simms 3-yard sneak, the Longhorns punted to DeJuan Groce, who weaved his way 44 yards up the right sideline to the UT 16-yard line with less than a minute left. Two plays later, Lord tried to connect with SE Wilson Thomas on the right side, but his pass was picked off by Vasher to seal the three-point victory.
Texas was clinging to a 20-17 lead late in the game when Groce was flagged for pass interference on Roy Williams to give the Longhorns a first down at the Huskers 22 with 4:43 left. Sophomore RB Cedric Benson scored from three yards out three plays later to cap a 10-play, 81-yard drive that put the Longhorns ahead 27-17. However, Nebraska responded with a scoring drive capped by RB Dahrran Diedrick's 2-yard run to pull the Huskers within three with 2:34 left.
The teams traded field goals in the first half, but the Huskers failed to seize momentum when they were stopped on fourth down in Texas territory twice. Sophomore PK Dusky Mangum hit from 25 and 41 yards and the Longhorns led 6-3 at halftime.
Nebraska’s offense found its stride on the opening drive of the second half, marching 79 yards in seven plays and taking a 10-6 lead when Lord executed the play-action to perfection and lofted a 2-yard score to Jon Bowling.
The Longhorns wasted no time answering. On first-and-10 from the UT 31, Simms found Ivan Williams in the left flat. Williams broke a pair of tackles, tip-toed the sideline and raced 49 yards before being pushed out of bounds at Nebraska’s 20-yard line. Two plays later, Simms hooked up with Roy Williams for a 16-yard touchdown.
Texas had a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter when Simms led the Longhorns on a 17-play, 97-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass to Roy Williams. Simms completed 7-of-8 passes on the drive, which chewed 7:45 off the clock and put the Longhorns up 20-10.
Nebraska responded with a four-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Lord's 60-yard scoring toss to tight end Matt Herian that made it 20-17 with 14:31 left.
Simms established career highs in attempts (47) and completions (29) and took over sole possession of fifth place on UT's career quarterback victories list (23). Benson ran for 86 yards on 28 carries to put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the year (1,020).