Leading by 24 points, everything was going according to plan for No. 3 Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers were on their way to a convincing victory that would bolster their position in the Bowl Championship Series and send them soaring into the Big 12 championship game against No. 7 Texas.
In a matter of minutes, it all fell apart.
Eric Crouch's 1-yard touchdown run gave the Huskers a 33-30 overtime victory over Colorado on Friday, but wasting a seemingly insurmountable lead in a nine-minute span of the fourth quarter could damage Nebraska's bid for its fourth national title in six seasons.
Nebraska (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) still has an outside chance to overtake No. 2 Virginia Tech in the BCS standings and gain an invitation to the Sugar Bowl against top-ranked Florida State.
Virginia Tech (11-0) ended its season Friday with a 38-14 victory over No. 22 Boston College and must wait to see how Nebraska fares against Texas on Dec. 4.
"I don't know where we are now," said Huskers running back Dan Alexander, who ran for a career-high 180 yards on 17 carries. "We still have a chance at the Big 12 title. That has been our goal all along anyway."
Texas is the only team to beat Nebraska this season, and Colorado (6-5, 5-3) came within a couple feet of becoming the second. Jeremy Aldrich's 34-yard field goal was wide-right as time expired.
"We made a heck of a run at it," Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "That's about as close as you can get, I think, without winning."
Aldrich made a 33-yard field goal in the overtime, but Alexander had an 11-yard run to set up Crouch's game-winning plunge off left tackle to give Nebraska its eighth straight win over Colorado.
The last four game between the Huskers and Buffs have been decided by 13 points.
"At times we were fortunate. At times we weren't so fortunate," said Nebraska coach Frank Solich. "I don't know how much luck had to do with it. When two good teams battle it out, one wins and one of them can't win."
Nebraska, which reached 10 victories for the 20th time since 1963, led 27-3 heading into the fourth quarter before Mike Moschetti led the Buffaloes back with three touchdown passes in the final nine minutes.
Colorado converted a fumble into a 12-yard TD pass to John Minardi with 8:47 remaining and Moschetti capped an 80-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Graham five minutes later.
After recovering an onside kick at its own 44, Colorado tied the game with 2:59 left when Moschetti found Javon Green in the corner of the end zone for a 21-yard score.
"Mike knew what he had to do, and you know Mike loves pressure," Colorado wide receiver Roman Hollowell said. "He picked it up in the second half and brought us back."
Despite gaining only 23 yards in the final quarter, Nebraska still had a chance to win in regulation after recovering a fumble at the Colorado 16 with 1:49 left, but the Huskers gave the ball back six seconds later with their eighth fumble of the day.
Moschetti finished 21-of-41 for 317 yards 186 coming in the fourth quarter and Cortlen Johnson ran for 135 yards. Crouch threw for only 44 yards but had 123 on 19 carries.
The Huskers built a big lead early as Alexander went 50 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, marking the fourth time Nebraska has scored on its first play in the last six games played at Folsom Field.
Alexander made it 14-0 less than four minutes into the game with a 1-yard TD run and added an 80-yard breakaway that pushed the lead to 24-3 midway through the second quarter.
Nebraska had 312 total yards by halftime 1 more than Colorado's defense had allowed in the previous two games against Baylor and No. 9 Kansas State combined.
"We just couldn't get anything going," Buffs defensive back Rashidi Barnes said. "This could be my last football game in Folsom, and for it to end like this is just awful."
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