Sadly enough for Nebraska fans, it’s hard to limit Nebraska’s gut-crunching losses under Pelini to five. Here are a few more that didn’t quite make the cut.
Oklahoma 23, Nebraska 20 (Dec. 4, 2010)
A nightmare season looked to have a magical end for Nebraska. After dealing with the slings and arrows of departing the Big 12 Conference, NU had a chance to win the conference by beating storied rival Oklahoma and walk away with its head held high.
It looked so promising. Nebraska held a 17-7 lead in the second quarter and was driving for another score deep in Oklahoma territory. But a Taylor Martinez interception in the end zone seemed to swing momentum in favor of the crimson and cream, and Nebraska could not answer the bell thereafter, ultimately losing another close contest in a title game.
Missouri 52, Nebraska 17 (Oct. 4, 2008)
When Bo Pelini arrived, Missouri was flying high and looked to establish itself as the dominant force in the Big 12 North. Pelini tried some tweaks in his defense to catch Mizzou’s high-scoring spread offense off balance.
Oops. Missouri rattled off 462 yards of total offense, led 31-10 at the half, and scored 21 unanswered third-quarter points to dominate Nebraska, leaving MIZ-ZOU chants to echo through Memorial Stadium.
Texas Tech 37, Nebraska 31 (Oct. 11, 2008)
After being demolished the week before, few held out hope that Nebraska would succeed in Lubbock, Texas, where NU was last beaten 70-10.
Texas Tech had Michael Crabtree and looked to be a dark-horse (pardon the pun) national title contender, while Nebraska was coming off an embarrassing loss to Missouri at home.
But NU’s offense was able to keep up with the Red Raiders, and the defense was able to make enough plays to keep the game close. And Tech needed a miracle conversion on 4th-and-5 to push the game to overtime.
In the overtime, however, Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz made the one mistake in the game, throwing an interception to cost NU the contest but give Nebraska at least a moral victory.
Wisconsin 48, Nebraska 17 (Oct. 1, 2011)
Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska. NU’s first conference game in the B1G was in Madison, and Nebraska came out strong. NU scored first, had a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter, and looked poised to at least go into halftime tied at 14.
But two Taylor Martinez interceptions, caused at least in part by an inexplicable decision by rookie offensive coordinator Tim Beck to have Martinez throw six straight passes, allowed Wisconsin to take a 27-14 lead into the locker room and give the Badgers enough momentum to pull away in the second half.
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