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No. 7 Ohio State – “We’re going to recover, I can tell you that”

// Sep 21 - 1985

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September 21st – Boulder           No. 7 Ohio State 36, Colorado 13

Colorado in 1984: one win in eleven tries.

Colorado in 1985: two for two.

Bring on Ohio State?

In 1983, Colorado had been in a fairly similar situation. The Buffs had a 2-1 record, and were riding high heading into the Notre Dame game. The Buffs, however, were summarily put in their place by the Fighting Irish, 27-3. Sporting a 2-0 record in 1985, the Buffs were again optimistic, only to again be spanked by a national power, falling to Ohio State, 36-13. The Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked 7th in the nation, came to Boulder and re-established order in the college football world. Ohio State, picked to win the Big Ten in most pre-season publications, had future NFL stars Keith Byars at running back, Cris Carter at wide receiver, and Chris Spielman at linebacker.

All-American Keith Byars didn’t play against Colorado due to injury. But then again, he didn’t have to.

Colorado fullback Anthony Weatherspoon sent the home crowd into a frenzy early in the game with a 35-yard touchdown run on Colorado’s first possession. Oranges, representative of the fans’ desire to revisite the Orange Bowl for the first time in a decade, were hurled onto the field. Colorado 7; Ohio State 0, read the scoreboard.

Colorado was in a time warp.

Then reality set in.

The remainder of the contest was all Buckeyes. Back-up tailback John Wooldridge ran for 119 yards and scored twice for Ohio State, which took advantage of Colorado’s four turnovers, three of which occurred in the closing minutes of the first half. The score quickly ballooned to 22-7 Ohio State, and the Buffs never seriously contended thereafter.

Any delusions of the Buffs replacing a 1-10 record with an undefeated season had been erased.

Now what? Would Colorado step up, or step back down? The head coach had no reservations. “We’re going to recover, I can tell you that” said Bill McCartney after the game, “We’re not going to stand for that kind of mediocrity around here any longer. We’re going to grow out of that syndrome.”

Here is the YouTube video of the game, courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul:

Game Notes –

– The 1985 game was only the third ever between the schools, with Colorado winning the only previous regular season game between the schools, a 20-14 decision for #10 Colorado over #6 Ohio State in Columbus in 1971. The two schools met again in the 1977 Orange Bowl, with Ohio State winning, 27-10.

– Anthony Weatherspoon’s 35-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive represented the longest scoring play for the Buffs all season.

– The lack of a passing attack was demonstrated against Ohio State. Despite falling behind 22-7 at halftime (and, in the fourth quarter, 36-7), the Buffs attempted only 12 passes on the day … a season high.

– Ohio State would rise as high as 5th in the polls before a conference loss to Illinois brought the Buckeyes down. Regular season-ending losses to Wisconsin and Michigan relegated the 8-3 Buckeyes to the Citrus Bowl, where Ohio State prevailed, 10-7. At 9-3, Ohio State finished the 1985 season ranked 14th in the nation in the seventh season under Earle Bruce.

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One Response to “No. 7 Ohio State – “We’re going to recover, I can tell you that””

  1. Adam

    This was my freshman year at CU. OSU had played in the Rose Bowl vs. USC the year before (or maybe two years earlier) and on Friday there were a number of their guys – wearing Rose Bowl jackets – hanging in the Alferd E. Packer Grill during the FAC. All seemed pretty cool – just taking in what was going on around them.

    Game was played under bright, warm, sunny skies and as we are all standing in the student section wearing t-shirts and shorts (and drinking that delicious 3.2 beer) pre-game, the PA announcer reminds us to refrain from throwing oranges (ah the Big 8 with its Orange Bowl tie-in), cups and snowballs onto the field. We all laughed. Snowballs? It was 70+ degrees out…

    …I lived in Farrand Hall. I awakened the next morning to find Farrand Field blanketed by a couple of inches of snow. Spent Sunday playing football – in the snow – on Farrand Field. Ah, weather on the Front Range.

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