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Taylor struggles against Sooners' defense

By George Schroeder Published: December 3, 2006
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Zac Taylor went down throwing.

His final pass — a Hail Mary that wouldn't have made a difference — was dropped by a receiver, just shy of the end zone. And with that, the Nebraska quarterback walked slowly off the field.

"Disappointing," he said. "Tough."

Oklahoma's 21-7 win in the Big 12 championship game came at the expense of Taylor, who finished battered and bruised.

The senior from Norman completed 23 of 50 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown. But harassed all night, he threw three interceptions.

He'll remember the second for a long while. Midway through the fourth quarter, Taylor had receiver Nate Swift open, racing alone toward the end zone. But a sure touchdown was derailed when OU safety Nic Harris streaked across the field and made a diving interception.

"We thought that play was gonna be open, and it was," Taylor said. "For whatever reason, I just lofted the ball instead of gunning it in there. Nate was open. (Harris) just read my eyes and went over there and made a play.

"That's one I'd like to have back. We had an opportunity, and I just didn't put enough mustard on the ball."

That pick ended Nebraska's last realistic chance to rally. And it came when the Sooners were defending exclusively against the pass.

The Huskers hadn't planned to throw that much.

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