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November 11, 2006

Notes: Nebraska clinches Big 12 North title

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas With its come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M on Saturday, Nebraska (8-3, 5-2) clinched the Big 12 North championship for the first time since 1999.

"I'm really pleased with our team," Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said. "I'm happy that we accomplished our goal of winning the Big 12 North. We look forward to going to Arrowhead."

The Big 12 championship game is on Dec. 2 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Cornhuskers will face the Big 12 South Division champion, most likely Texas.

Nebraska lost to Texas in the inaugural Big 12 championship game in 1996, defeated Texas A&M in 1997 and then defeated Texas in 1999.

The Cornhuskers gave the Longhorns a scare earlier this season before Texas ultimately prevailed 22-20.

A good homecoming
Touchdowns are always special, but the two Nebraska sophomore running back Cody Glenn scored in the first half had a little extra meaning.

Glenn is from Rusk, Texas, just a couple of hours from College Station. Glenn had several friends and family members among the crowd of 83,336 at Kyle Field.

"It means a lot because all of my family was here," Glenn said. "I remember watching this team (A&M) playing all the time."

A tall order
Texas A&M redshirt freshman cornerback Jordan Peterson anticipated that Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor would lob a high pass to Maurice Purify on the game-winning 9-yard touchdown pass.

"He's 6-foot-4," Peterson said of Purify. "I'm 5-10. That's pretty much why they went with that play."

On the play immediately preceding Purify's game-winning catch, Peterson had successfully defended a throw to Purify, but the Aggies were called for a roughing the passer penalty.

"The first one I had good position," Peterson said. "The second one, he just executed and caught it."

Close calls
Texas A&M's three losses this season have come by a combined six points.

The Aggies, who fell to Nebraska 28-27, lost to Texas Tech 31-27 on Sept. 30 on a 37-yard pass with 26 seconds remaining. Last week they lost to Oklahoma 17-16.

The Aggies defeated Oklahoma State 34-33 in overtime on Oct. 21 and rallied to beat Kansas 21-18 in the last minute.

"I don't think I've ever seen a season with as many last minute games as this one," A&M coach Dennis Franchione said. "It's amazing."

Nice handoff
There was a nice handoff on a 22-yard run by Texas A&M's Mike Goodson, but it occurred after the play.

Two weeks ago Goodson - a speedy true freshman who leads the Aggies in rushing - sealed a victory over Baylor with a 65-yard touchdown run.

But on that run he almost celebrated prematurely and dropped the football just as he crossed the goal line. Goodson was scolded by A&M coaches and was told to take the football directly the referee.

He obviously got the message. After running into the right corner of the end zone he ran back to the middle of the field and handed the ball to an official.

Red alert
Red Bryant, Texas A&M's best defensive lineman, did not suit to play Nebraska.

Team policy prevents A&M from discussing injuries unless they are season-ending, so whether Bryant will play against Texas on Nov. 25 or in the Aggies' bowl game remains to be seen.

Bryant played in a 34-33 victory over Oklahoma State and blocked an extra point attempt in overtime to clinch the victory.

However, he did not play the following week against Baylor and played sparingly against Oklahoma last week.

Bryant has recorded 19 tackles this season - 2 for losses.

Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor set a couple of school records on Saturday. He now has 22 touchdown passes, which set a single-season record. He has 5,193 career passing yards, which broke the school record of 5,035 set by David Humm from 1972-74. Cornhuskers defensive end Adam Carriker had six tackles, including two for losses. He has 12 tackles for losses this season. Nebraska converted seven of 15 third down opportunities, while holding Texas A&M to just five of 14 on third down - including 0-for-5 in the first half. Texas A&M tight end Martellus Bennett equaled his career high with six catches for 67 yards. Texas A&M running back Jorvorskie Lane scored his 19th rushing touchdown of the season to tie a school record set by Joel Hunt in 1927. It's A&M's second oldest school record.

Olin Buchanan is the senior national football writer for Rivals.com.

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