Nebraska disappointed in the 71st AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on New Year's day as first half turnovers would keep Auburn close despite NU's offense basically controlling the game. NU scored first and made it look easy on a TD pass from Zac Taylor to Nate Swift. Then the Huskers turned the ball over twice and each time, Auburn capitalized with short-field touchdowns to go up 14-7 before NU tied it at 14 with a 20 yard Brandon Jacskon scamper to paydirt.
In the second half, Auburn made adjustments and it showed, especially on defense. The Tigers offense controlled the ball much better and got a field goal in the middle of the 3rd quarter that would prove to be the margin of victory. Auburn did turn the ball over twice themselves, but NU could not convert. With about 2 minutes left in the game, NU was facing 4th and 11 from the Auburn 30, but a decision to go for it by Callahan resulted in a rushed play by Taylor and his pass went out of bounds. Perhaps NU was out of field goal range, but a 47 yard attempt shouldn't be out of a major college kicker's range, with all due respect to Jordan Congdon.
While the Cotton Bowl was a bummer, overall 2006 was a positive year for Nebraska football, with a 9 win season; winning the Big 12 North; a visit to the Big 12 Championship game; a New Year's bowl game, and a very promising list of recruits for the future. Go Big Red!