By Nate Latsch FOXSportsKansasCity.com November 22, 2010
The Big 12 Conference�s North Division champion will be decided next weekend as both Nebraska and Missouri still have an opportunity to win the division and advance to the Big 12 Championship game on Dec. 4.
NEBRASKA AT TEXAS A&M
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Nebraska went into Saturday�s game needing just one win in the final two weeks to clinch the North for the second straight season. But the Cornhuskers fell flat in a 9-6 loss at red-hot Texas A&M and are now 9-2 overall and 5-2 in conference play.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, who has since come under fire for his sideline antics that included yelling at the officials and his injured quarterback Taylor Martinez, told reporters that he told his team that Saturday�s game would not determine the Big 12 North winner.
“The game’s irrelevant,” Pelini said he told his team. “At the end, we still control our destiny.”
Nebraska, which fell to 15th in the BCS Standings and USA Today poll and 16th in the Associated Press Top 25, can clinch the North with a win against visiting Colorado on Friday afternoon or a Missouri loss to Kansas on Saturday.
Texas A&M (8-3, 5-2) used two field goals from Randy Bullock in the fourth quarter on Saturday, including the game-winner from 19 yards with 3 minutes and 2 seconds left, to earn its fifth straight victory.
Running back Cyrus Gray had a career game for the Aggies. He rushed for a career-high tying 137 yards and had a career-high 65 receiving yards.
Nebraska�s rushing attack was less effective than Gray as the Cornhuskers rushed for just 142 yards on 37 attempts, led by Rex Burkhead�s 74 yards on 13 carries.
MISSOURI AT IOWA STATE
It wasn�t pretty, but Missouri�s 14-0 victory at Iowa State on Saturday night kept the Tigers in the conversation for the top spot in the North Division standings.
“To get a shutout on the road … is very difficult, so at the end I was very happy for our football team and certainly for our defense that they could maintain that,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel told reporters. “That says an awful lot about them. We bend a little bit, but we find ways to make plays.”
Missouri (9-2, 5-2) will next play rival Kansas on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with an opportunity to win 10 games for the third time in four seasons.
The Tigers struggled to move the ball effectively on offense, gaining 306 total yards but converting just six of 16 third-down conversion attempts.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed 16 of 26 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown � an 11-yard scoring pass in the first quarter to tight end Michael Egnew � and ran six times for 37 yards.
Egnew finished the day with seven catches for 77 yards.
Iowa State (5-7, 3-5) had more total yards (332), passing yards (180) and rushing yards (152) than the visitors, but could not score. Running back Alexander Robinson rushed for a game-high 98 yards on 25 carries.
OKLAHOMA STATE AT KANSAS
Kansas held a four-point lead after one quarter on Saturday, but the Jayhawks had no answer for the Oklahoma State offense for the final three quarters.
The visiting Cowboys racked up 597 total yards in a dominating 48-14 victory that clinched at least a tie at the top of the Big 12 South Division.
OSU quarterback Brandon Weedon completed 31 of 43 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon had 10 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kendall Hunter rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries.
Oklahoma State improved to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in league play.
Kansas, which got 78 rushing yards and a touchdown from freshman running back James Sims, fell to 3-8 overall and 1-6 in Big 12 games under first-year coach Turner Gill.
Sims� 24-yard touchdown run with 1:30 left in the first quarter gave the Jayhawks a 14-10 lead. But the Cowboys scored twice in each of the final three quarters to pull away for the victory.
KANSAS STATE AT COLORADO
The rejuvenation of the Colorado program continued on Saturday as running back Rodney Stewart led the Buffaloes to their second straight victory, a 44-36 win over visiting Kansas State.
Stewart ran for a career-high 195 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries, gained 49 receiving yards on two catches and even threw a 23-yard touchdown on a halfback pass.
“We’ve decided to run the ball � or run the ball more,” interim coach Brian Cabral told reporters.
Colorado (5-6, 2-5) now has a two-game winning streak since former coach Dan Hawkins was fired and Cabral was named the interim coach. CU quarterback Cody Hawkins, the son of the former coach, threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Kansas State (6-5, 3-5) lost its second straight game and for the fourth time in five games. Quarterback Carson Coffman completed 16 of 23 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns.