LINCOLN, Neb. — Mike Gundy looked up at the Memorial Stadium clock, settled on 5:25, and the scoreboard blaring the stunning news, Cowboys 45, Huskers 7, and the Oklahoma State football coach did the math. Sometimes he's not so good at math. Later, in the celebrating OSU locker room, Gundy would tell his troops they had wiped out 41 years of frustration. Actually, it had been 47 years since the Cowboys took home a victory from the Corn Kingdom. You can't blame Gundy for ciphering. Blow big leads like his Cowboys have, and comfort comes slowly, even when the scoreboard and your very own eyeballs tell you no way this sorry excuse for Nebraska can rally. But with 5:25 left, Gundy relaxed. Said he, "I finally realized this one was in the books.” The history books. The Cowboys, losers in 20 straight games at Memorial Stadium, ended the streak in dominating fashion. A 38-0 halftime lead, a 45-14 final and knowledge that they, not the once-mighty Cornhuskers, are the team with a promising near future. Call it Gundy's finest hour and Nebraska football's lowest moment since sometime before 1962, when Bob Devaney arrived and planted the seeds that almost immediately grew the Huskers into the vaunted Big Red. OSU suddenly is tied for the Big 12's South Division lead in mid-October, while Nebraska is left to ponder the bleak administration of Bill Callahan, who must win 32 of his next 33 games just to equal the record of Frank Solich, the man fired to make way for Callahan. No one in orange Saturday cared to feel sorry for Nebraska. Athletic director Mike Holder, a Cowboy since he arrived in Stillwater as a freshman golfer in 1966, looked up Saturday himself. "It's quite a place,” Holder said of Memorial Stadium. He counted, one by one, the years displayed on the facade, proclaiming Nebraska's conference titles; 43 in all. Holder looked at the honored names high above the north end zone: Johnny Rodgers, Rich Glover, Dave Rimington, Mike Rozier, Dean Steinkuhler, Will Shields, Eric Crouch, Trev Alberts, Tommie Frazier, Bob Brown. Holder looked around the stadium; "85,000 red-clad fans that understand what top-flight football is all about,” Holder said. "To come in here and win a game, regardless of the score, is significant. But it's only what you do with it.” OSU can do much with this. This is the kind of victory — even at the expense of inferior Nebraskans — that pays off big. Not just in the approaching three-game homestand, but in the coming seasons, when State's Boone Pickens Stadium will be expanded to 62,000 and needs believers to fill them. Gundy tried to soft-pedal the significance, already talking about Kansas State next Saturday and saying college football is a rollercoaster from week to week. But in the Cowboy locker room, Gundy told his team, "Our fans can celebrate this one for a long, long time.” How long? Said Larry Reece, the public-address announcer for OSU football and basketball, "We won't forget this one for the rest of our lives.” What also wasn't forgotten was the lesson of the previous week, when OSU squandered a 17-0 lead at Texas A&M and lost 24-23. Saturday, the Cowboys dominated from the get-go and again led 17-zip. Which means the Huskers had the Pokes right where they wanted them. Nebraska, with no semblance of a passing game, hammered a drive into OSU territory but faced 3rd-and-2 from the Cowboy 10-yard line. On back-to-back plays, linebacker Jeremy Nethon dragged down tailback Quentin Castille for no gain, then the Cowboys gashed Nebraska on a 90-yard drive. Nine yards, 12 yards, 24 yards, 12 yards, incomplete pass, 33-yard touchdown run by freshman tailback Kendall Hunter. To that point, Nebraska had at least put up a fight. But the Cowboys went 90 yards like they were going against a scout team. "I don't know if anyone said anything, but I know in my mind, 17-0, all I wanted to do was get the ball in the end zone,” said offensive coordinator Larry Fedora. "I believe the guys didn't want that number to stick around very long.” Said quarterback Zac Robinson, who played nothing short of superb, "That was a big drive for us. We definitely wanted to keep it going. We remembered what happened last week.” All in all, not a bad Saturday, to wipe out not just the bitterness of a week ago in College Station but the frustration of half a century in Lincoln.