LINCOLN, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Nebraska's fall from grace began last year on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The Cornhuskers won their first 11 games in 2001 before heading to Boulder, where they fell behind by 32 points early in the second quarter and never recovered in a humbling 62-36 loss to Colorado.
The loss started the Cornhuskers (7-5, 3-4 Big 12 North) on a stretch in which they have won a mere seven of 13 games. Five times in that span, the once-vaunted Blackshirt defense has allowed at least 30 points five times.
A chance at redemption again comes on the day after Thanksgiving when the Cornhuskers host 15th-ranked Colorado.
The Buffaloes (8-3, 6-1) already have wrapped up the Big 12 North title and will play Oklahoma for the league championship on December 7 in Houston. But Gary Barnett's team still has at least one score to settle. The Buffaloes have lost five straight road games to Nebraska and won only once at Memorial Stadium since 1967.
Colorado clinched the division title in a 41-27 win over Iowa State on November 16. Chris Brown, who led the nation in rushing before the recent explosions by Penn State's Larry Johnson, carried 25 times for 129 yards before leaving with a bruised sternum.
Brown had a huge game against the Cornhuskers last season, rushing for 198 yards and a school-record six touchdowns.
If Brown is not ready this week, there is plenty in reserve. Bobby Purify ran for 174 yards and a touchdown against the Cyclones while Colorado also welcomed back tailback Marcus Houston, who had not played since early in the season due to a knee injury.
Nebraska needs at least one more victory to guarantee a 41st straight winning season and must win Saturday and in a bowl game to extend its string of nine-win seasons to 34 years.
A defeat on Friday would give the Cornhuskers their first six-loss season since 1960.
The Cornhuskers have been off since 45-7 los at Kansas State on November 16. Josh Davis set a Nebraska record with 186 kickoff return yards, which indicates how many times the Cornhuskers allowed the Wildcats to score. Nebraska was limited to just 97 rushing yards.
The Cornhuskers hold a 43-15-2 edge in the all-time series and had won nine straight meetings before last season.
Nebraska will be without kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended after being arrested early Sunday on suspicion of drving under the influence.