BOULDER, Colorado (Ticker) -- Nebraska's national title hopes collapsed under a Colorado avalanche.
Chris Brown rushed for 198 yards and a school-record six touchdowns and 14th-ranked Colorado posted a stunning 62-36 Big 12 Conference victory over the second-ranked Cornhuskers.
Nebraska's performance was about as rare as the current dearth of snow in the Rocky Mountain State. The Cornhuskers (11-1, 7-1 Big 12 North), who controlled their own destiny in the national title chase, allowed the most points in school history, topping the 61 surrendered in a loss to Minnesota on October 6, 1945.
"We played so well throughout the course of the year, I didn't see this game getting out of hand," said fourth-year Frank Solich, who again will fall short of his first national title.
Colorado jumped to a 35-3 lead early in the second quarter and shredded Nebraska's normally stingy defense for 582 yards, including 380 on the ground.
"They have excellent athletes who did good job of running the football at us," Solich said. "I don't know if that was a surprise."
Coach Gary Barnett has needed three seasons to return Colorado to national prominence and Friday's win clinched the school's first berth in the Big 12 Conference title game, prompting Buffaloes' fans to storm the field and tear down the goalposts.
The Buffaloes (9-2, 7-1) will play either Texas or Oklahoma on December 1 in Dallas.
"Our guys have just believed," Barnett said. "We believed all along and we wanted to go to Dallas."
In the process, Colorado ended any national title dreams for Nebraska and may have enhanced the chances of one-loss teams such as Florida and Oregon.
The loss also could drop the Cornhuskers out of the Bowl Championship Series and hurt the Heisman Trophy candidacy of Eric Crouch.
Crouch carried 18 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns and completed 13-of-28 passes for 198 yards. But he also threw a pair of interceptions, accounting for half of the Cornhuskers' four turnovers.
Colorado also broke a decade of futility against Nebraska, snapping a nine-game losing streak in the series. The last five games had been decided by a combined 15 points, but the Buffaloes tried to settle things early on Friday.
Colorado led 21-0 less than 10 minutes into the game. It started with tailback Bobby Purify, who raced threw a gaping hole up the middle for a 39-yard TD run 2:43 into the contest.
Purify also had a big game, carrying 20 times for 154 yards.
Nebraska's Dahrran Diedrick fumbled on next possession and Bobby Pesavento followed almost immediately with a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Graham, who had four catches for 112 yards.
Pesavento later threw a 49-yard pass to Graham, setting up a one-yard TD run on a quarterback sneak. Pesavento completed 9-of-16 for 202 yards.
Soon it was Brown's turn, and the sophomore had TD runs of 12 yards late in the first quarter and one and 36 yards in the second.
Nebraska slowly battled back and a 25-yard run by Crouch in the third quarter put the Cornhuskers deep in Colorado territory. But Diedrick fumbled at the goal line with 8:33 left to keep the score at 42-23.
"I don't think anybody goes through a long period without fumbling a football," Solich said of Diedrick. "He's played well for us."
A six-yard TD run by Crouch cut the deficit to 42-30 with 4:17 left in the third quarter, but the gap already was too great for the Cornhuskers.
"We did the best we could. We battled back but (the lead) was too great," Crouch said.
Brown added TD runs of one, 13 and eight yards to increase the lead to 62-30 with 9:41 left. The six touchdowns easily broke the school record of four set by several players.
Brown's final two scores followed interceptions by cornerback Michael Lewis and linebacker Joey Johnson.
Despite the costly fumbles, Diedrick carried 16 times for 94 yards and scored on TD runs of 32 and two yards in the second quarter to help Nebraska cut the halftime deficit to 42-23.
Colorado posted its highest point total since a 63-35 win over San Jose State in 1999.