Nebraska, Colorado wrap up Big 12 tours

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When the Big Eight was folded into the Big 12 in 1996, Colorado replaced Oklahoma as Nebraska’s annual Thanksgiving week opponent. That move, to Cabral and the rest of the Buffs’ family, showed the rivalry had arrived.

“He mentioned something about us taking the tradition from Oklahoma-Nebraska and we made it Colorado-Nebraska,” running back Rodney Stewart said. “Listening to him speak (about it) was one of the most powerful speeches I’ve heard so far.”

Colorado has beaten Iowa State and Kansas State the past two weeks, scoring a combined 78 points against two of the Big 12’s worst defenses.

“They are a rejuvenated team,” Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick said. “I don’t know what goes on in their camp, but you definitely saw a bit more juice on the film. It definitely is a different team than what we saw early in the year.”

This will be the first time CU has gone on the road since its monumental fourth-quarter collapse at Kansas on Nov. 6, when the Buffs allowed 35 fourth-quarter points in a 52-45 loss that was the last game for Hawkins. Colorado has lost 16 straight on the road and 12 in a row in league play.

Nebraska squandered a chance to lock up the North title last week, getting called for 16 penalties for 145 yards in the 9-6 loss at Texas A&M.

Martinez missed all but about 10 minutes of the first half after aggravating his right ankle sprain, and he also injured his left foot. He didn’t practice early in the week, and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said Cody Green would start if Martinez can’t play.

The Huskers have scored just two touchdowns in the last nine quarters, with penalties a major factor. They were flagged at least once during nine of 11 possessions against Texas A&M.

Pelini also will be trying to clean up his act. He said he wouldn’t let his temper and displeasure with officials get the best of him again and his boss, athletic director Tom Osborne, said he took him at his word.

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