November 20 – @Kansas State Kansas State 33, Colorado 10
Fresh from its largest margin of victory since 1978, the Buffs had a small degree of momentum going into the season finale against Kansas State in Manhattan. The Wildcats, for their part, despite a 5-4-1 overall record, were on a two-game losing streak. Kansas State needed a win over Colorado to finish with a winning season, and, with a little help, earn the first bowl bid in the school’s history.
The game was never really in doubt after the first half of the first quarter. Trailing 7-0, the Buffs faced a fourth down from their own 22 yard line. Colorado attempted a fake punt, but Tony Rettig tripped and fell, giving the Wildcats the ball at the Buff 22 yard line. Six plays later, it was 14-0 Kansas State, and the Buffs were never closer than seven points the remainder of the game. The Wildcats rolled to a 33-10 win, and, as had been the case in Boulder the weekend before, the goalposts came down. “It was our old nemisis,” said Bill McCartney. “We had our opportunities, and we squandered most of them.”
Steve Vogel played the entire game, passing the ball for a record-tying 51 attempts, completing a record 26 of those. His numbers, though, were still mediocre, with the 26 completions going for 228 yards and one touchdown – but three interceptions.
With the win, the 6-4-1 Kansas State Wildcats, the perennial losers, were invited to play in the the Independence Bowl. It was the first bowl bid for Kansas State in the 87-year history of the program. For Colorado, the trip home was a quiet one. 2-8-1 in Coach McCartney’s first season, Buff fans were left to hope that McCartney’s reputation as a successful recruiter would make future finales games in which Colorado had a bowl bid at stake.
- Game Notes -
- Kansas State would go on to lose its first-ever bowl, a 14-3 setback against Wisconsin in the Independence Bowl.
- The final nine points typified the Buffs’ 1982 season. Kansas State blocked a punt for a safety, and then, late in the game, scored a touchdown after running back Carlos Adams gained twenty yards, fumbled, only to have fullback Mike Pierson pick up the fumble and rumble 55 yrads for a score.
- Freshman running back Chris McLemore had four catches for 22 yards against Kansas State. His 39 catches for the season set a new standard for running backs, while his 337 yards for the season lasted as a record for running backs until Cortlen Johnson posted 382 yards receiving in 2001.
- Junior tight end Dave Hestera had seven catches for 72 yards against the Wildcats, giving him 41 catches for 489 yards. His season catch total was the second best ever at Colorado, behind only Monte Huber’s 45 catches in 1967, while his 489 yards became the new standard for season receiving yards (neither of these marks remain in the top 20 in Buff history).
- Senior punter Art Woods set the career records for punts, with 199. The career record would stand until John Torp put his foot to 205 punts from 2002-05.
- Senior linebacker Ray Cone’s 183 tackles continues to be the single season standard in the Colroado record books (ironically, though, in the 1983 Colorado media guide, Gary Campbell’s 198 tackles in 1975 is listed as the team record – can anyone account for this discrepancy?).