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Nebraska finishes on a downer

OMAHA, Neb. — This 10-4 season doesn't feel nearly as good as last season's for Nebraska.

Last season, coach Bo Pelini shouted "Nebraska is back" after a 33-0 romp over Arizona in the Holiday Bowl made it six wins in the final seven games.

This season, Nebraska lost three of its final four. Thursday, it was 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl to a Washington team it beat by 35 in September and entered 6-6.

"We won 10," said Pelini, whose team once was ranked No. 5. "I wish we would have won 14."

The Huskers entered the season considered to have an outside shot at the national title. They won the Big 12 North only to blow a 17-0 lead and lose 23-20 to Oklahoma in the title game.

The season turned after a home loss to Texas. Then with quarterback Taylor Martinez bothered by ankle and foot injuries, Nebraska lost the explosiveness it showed when he was mentioned as a Heisman candidate. Thursday, he limped off in the third.

Chris Polk ran for 177 yards and quarterback Jake Locker 83 for the Huskies. Washington outgained Nebraska 340-189, including 268-91 on the ground.

Four plays after Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead fumbled, Polk scored from 3 yards. Locker's 25-yard run made it 17-7, and a holding call in the end zone gave Washington its final two points.

Said Pelini: "I'm embarrassed."

New Pitt coach arrested: Mike Haywood, hired as Pitt's coach last month, was arrested Friday on domestic violence charges in South Bend, Ind. He has a child with a woman living there. Police say an altercation broke out over a custody issue. Haywood remained jailed in lieu of an unscheduled bail hearing. Pitt released a statement saying it wouldn't comment until it had more information.

Miami (Ohio): Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell was hired as coach. Treadwell, a RedHawks receiver from 1978-81, replaces Haywood.

Nebraska finishes on a downer 12/31/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 31, 2010 11:02pm]

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