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Updated: Sunday, November 3, 2002 12:37 AM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL RECAP
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(7) Texas 27, Nebraska 24
TEXAS LONGHORNS
Texas Longhorns
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NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
Nebraska Cornhuskers
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LINCOLN, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Chris Simms had a career night, but Nathan Vasher made sure the nation's longest home winning streak would come to an end.

Vasher intercepted Jammal Lord inside the Nebraska 1 with 10 seconds remaining as seventh-ranked Texas snapped the Cornhuskers' 26-game home winning streak with a 27-24 victory.

The oft-maligned Simms passed for a career-high 419 yards and two touchdowns for the Longhorns (8-1, 4-1 Big 12 South), who also handed the Cornhuskers their last home loss, 20-16, in 1998.

"I can honestly say it's the most special thing in my career right now," said Simms about winning at Nebraska. "Beating Nebraska with all the tradition they have and our school coming in here and beating them, giving them their only two losses in 75 games is unbelievable."

"I really am pleased," said Texas coach Mack Brown, who has been criticized for his team's inability to win big games. "For a football team to come in here twice in the last 75 games and be the only football team to win, that's just phenomenal."

Enduring a disappointing season, the Cornhuskers (6-4, 2-4 Big 12 North) nearly rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth to keep the streak going.

With under a minute remaining, DeJuan Groce returned a punt 43 yards to the Texas 16. Two plays later, Lord lofted a pass down the right sideline into double coverage and Vasher made a leaping catch on to preserve the win.

"It's a testimony to our whole defense," Vasher said. "We just try to go out there and fight. When we were up, we knew Nebraska wouldn't give up. We needed to make sure we finish strong."

Nebraska coach Frank Solich, who has come under fire, questioned his decision to not kick a field goal that could have forced overtime.

"I feel badly for our players," he said. "They played their hearts out and put themselves in position to win the game at the end. The decision not to kick the field goal is a very soul-searching decision. Certainly, if I had it to do all over again I would do it."

"We did a great job most of the game," Lord said. "But when the team needed me the most, I didn't come through for them."

It did not look like the Cornhuskers would be in position in the waning moments to save the streak after Cedric Benson ran for a three-yard touchdown with 3:24 remaining, giving Texas a 27-17 lead.

But Nebraska needed than a minute to reach the end zone on Dahrran Diedrick's two-yard run with 2:34 to play.

The Longhorns looked they were going to kill the clock when Simms completed a pass to Roy Williams on third down. But the star receiver was called for offensive interference and Simms threw incomplete, forcing a punt.

The penalty was one of the only miscues for Williams, who had 13 receptions 161 yards and two touchdowns.

Groce, who was beaten on both of Williams' TDs, nearly sent the Memorial Stadium crowd into a frenzy. He took Brian Bradford's punt on his own 43 and burst down the righ sidelines before finally being tackled at the 16 with under 30 seconds left.

But the Longhorns, who struggled to contain Lord on the ground, came up with the big play when the junior was forced to go to the air.

Lord rushed for a career-high 234 yards and completed 7-of-14 passes for 98 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. One of his TD passes was a 60-yard strike to Matt Herian 29 seconds into the fourth that pulled Nebraska within 20-17.

But the much-maligned Simms, who has been under the microscope in Austin, came up with his best performance as a collegian to overshadow the effort by Lord.

Simms did a majority of his damage after halftime. He threw touchdown passes of 16 and two yards to Williams in the third quarter as the Longhorns stretched a three-point lead at the break to 20-10. He finished 29-of-47 and an interception.

"Anybody who ever has ever questioned Chris Simms better go hide tonight," Brown said. "He was the best football player in the country tonight. He is tough as nails. He dislocated his finger and he said, `Coach, don't take me out because we're winning this football game in Lincoln.'"

Benson helped carry the ground game, gaining 86 yards on 28 attempts.

Sparked by Simms and Benson, the Longhorns held a 498-418 edge in total yards.


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