Colorado holds on for 39-37 victory to win Big 12 Championship
DALLAS, Texas (Ticker) -- Chris Brown is far more than a one-game wonder.
Brown ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns as No. 10 Colorado secured a berth in the Bowl Championship Series and ended the national title hopes of third-ranked Texas with a 39-37 victory in the Big 12 Conference title game.
A week ago, Brown rushed for six touchdowns in a 62-36 win over Nebraska. The Buffaloes showed that result was no fluke, building a 19-point first-half lead and overcoming a potentially disastrous special teams mistake in the fourth quarter.
Colorado (10-2) won its fifth straight game and avenged a 41-7 loss to Texas on October 20. The Buffaloes are assured of playing in either the Fiesta, Orange or Sugar Bowls.
Texas (10-2) saw its national title hopes improve with Florida's loss to Tennessee earlier Saturday but was unable to take advantage.
Quarterback Chris Simms had a disastrous evening, throwing three interceptions and fumbling away the ball in the first half before being replaced by Major Applewhite. In less then three full quarters of play, Applewhite was 15-of-25 for 240 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Brown scored on runs of 10, one and 11 yards. His third TD gave the Buffaloes a 36-17 lead with 11:32 remaining.
Field goals of 26 and 38 yards by Dusty Mangum cut the lead to 13 points before the Buffaloes tried to put away the game with a trick play out of punt formation.
The ball was snapped to backup quarterback Robert Hodge, whose pass across the field was picked off by Roderick Barbers and returned 54 yards for a score to cut the lead to 36-30 with 9:10 left.
Coach Gary Barnett kept his Buffaloes poised, and the offense took valuable minutes off the clock before Jeremy Flores kicked a 43-yard field goal with 1:58 left.
Bobby Pesavento converted on a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-inches and Texas was called for roughing the punter to keep the drive alive.
Applewhite threw a one-yard TD pass to B.J. Johnson with 31 seconds left, but the Buffaloes recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.