• Game Stats: Texas 20, Nebraska 13
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LINCOLN – It's another Longhorn party in Memorial Stadium, all-too-familiar feeling for the revenge-seeking Husker faithful.
Texas again spoiled all the fun, seizing control from the very start of Saturday's 20-13 upset of No. 4 Nebraska (5-1, 1-1 Big 12).
The Longhorns avoided their first three-game losing since 1999 and improved their record against the Huskers to 9-1 since the Big 12's inception. They've won all four games in Lincoln.
Of course, typical of a UT-NU game, this one didn't end without drama.
Texas appeared to line up for a meaningless field goal late in the fourth quarter, but pooch-punted instead. Waiting was senior defensive back Eric Hagg, who returned the ball 96 yards for Nebraska's first touchdown of the day. The longest punt return in school history brought NU within 20-13 with 3:02 left.
Nebraska didn't recover the onside kick, though. And Texas ran out the clock from there.
But ultimately, this game was decided way before the final minutes of the fourth.
Texas (4-2, 2-1) took over Saturday with a somewhat surprising approach, using its quarterback to establish a ground attack before then settling into its traditional spread attack. By the time Nebraska had a response, it was too late.
Sophomore Garrett Gilbert, who came in with just 14 total rushing yards on the season, ran for a career-high 71 – and 68 of those came in the first half. Texas finished the game with 209 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Huskers' high-powered ground game, ranked second nationally coming in, never could get on track.
Redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez, with 10.8 yards per carry before Saturday, gained just 23 yards on the ground. Under his direction, the NU offense went three-and-out six times.
So for the second time in three games, Martinez got benched.
Instead of sophomore Cody Green, though, the NU coaches picked senior Zac Lee as the backup option at QB. Lee entered with 6:14 left in the third quarter, but didn't really received much help.
On his second drive, after he led NU to a field goal, two separate first down conversions were nullified by penalties, one on an offensive pass interference and another on holding.
Then, on fourth and 18, Brandon Kinnie dropped a pass inside the 5 with about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Had he caught it, he could have fallen into the end zone.
And that drop to Rex Burkhead's wide-open gaffe (a sure touchdown) in the second quarter and Niles Paul's end zone drop in the third, and one can understand why some Nebraska fans were headed for the exits midway through the fourth.
Now, those Husker fans – who'd been anticipating this final shot at Texas before NU moves to the Big Ten next year – can simply add Saturday's game to the painful list of Texas-style heartbreakers.
The Longhorns beat NU 13-12 on a last-second field goal in the 2009 Big 12 title game, after a video replay added one second back on to the clock. Texas beat Nebraska for a conference championship in 1996, too.
The Huskers' 47-game home winning streak ended at the hands of UT in 1998. The close losses in 2006 and 2007 were particularly memorable for NU faithful, too.
But Saturday was supposed to be different. Nebraska came into the game ranked fourth nationally, hosting a mentally fragile UT team that was one defeat away from its first three-game losing streak since 1999.
The Huskers ultimately couldn't recover from their slow start, though.
Operating with great field position, Texas scored the game's first 10 points – seven of which came after a Roy Helu fumble. The Longhorns didn't snap the football in their own territory until their third possession. They led 17-3 at halftime.
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• Shatel: A game to remember either-way
• Shatel: One more bit of business? Beat Texas
• Uncovering the intricacies of the read option
• Coach: 'We've been preparing for 10 months'
• NU-Texas: 2-minute drill
• NU-Texas: Statistics leaders
• NU-Texas: Three things to watch
• NU-Texas: Key matchup
• Big-name recruits to visit
• Notes: Execution, not hype, key for NU
• Gilbert hopes to follow footsteps of Texas QBs
• Notes: Kickoff unit may change for UT game
• Sherman: Prime opportunity to impress recruits
• Notes: Pelini says fans should respect UT
• Ex-Huskers pull no punches on Longhorns
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Chat: Husker Talk Live: Gameday
Join Jon Nyatawa at 12:30 p.m. Saturday for the pregame chat, then stay logged on to chat with other Husker fans during the game. After the game, watch live, streaming video of the postgame press conference. Rejoin Jon 45 minutes after the game as he answers more reader questions.
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• Video: Bo Pelini after the NU-Texas game:
• Video: Niles Paul after the NU-Texas game:
• Video: Roy Helu after the NU-Texas game:
• Video: Sights and sounds from the NU-Texas game:
• Video: Watch this week's edition of the Big Red Today Show: