EZ Mortgages

No. 7 Oklahoma – Buffs run into nation’s No.1 defense

// Nov 16 - 1985

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November 16th – at Oklahoma           No. 7 Oklahoma 31, Colorado 0

Oklahoma came into the Colorado game 6-1 on the season, 4-0 in the Big Eight. With a date with 2nd-ranked Nebraska looming over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Sooners could not afford to look past the Buffs.

They did not.

Showing Colorado what it was like to run a ball-control rushing offense, Oklahoma ran the ball a total of 81 times, picking up 360 yards and four touchdowns along the way, but it was the Sooner defense which dominated the game. The Buffs longest drive on the day lasted just five plays and covered just 20 yards. The totals for the Colorado offense on the day: six first downs; 75 yards rushing; and only 34 yards passing. The Sooners’ 31-0 shutout of the Buffs was Colorado’s first goose-egg since 1981.

“Their defense was overpowering”, relayed CU head coach Bill McCartney, stating the obvious after the game.

The 31-0 score, however, is not really indicative of the effort put in by the Colorado defense. Through the first 29:41 of the game, the score was 7-0 Oklahoma. Then, with only 19 seconds left in the first half, the Sooners pushed through a two yard run by Jamelle Holieway for a 14-0 halftime lead. With the Colorado offense putting up only 109 yards of total offense on the day, Oklahoma’s offense wore down the Buffs’ in the second half.

Oklahoma would go on to win the national championship in 1985, with its defense leading the way. The Buffs had no cause to argue.

Since the Missouri explosion, the Colorado offense had averaged 177 yards per game over the next five contests. That Colorado had managed a 2-3 record over that stretch was a continuing testament to the efforts of the defense.

The opportunity for a bowl had taken a major hit, however, with only one more on-field opportunity to make an impression upon the bowl scouts. Colorado, was 6-4, but losers in three of the past four.

Kansas State … 1-9 Kansas State … was just what the doctor ordered.

Game Notes –

– Oklahoma came into the game with the nation’s top-ranked defense. After holding Colorado to 109 yards of total offense, that ranking did not change.

– Considering the lack of production by the Colorado offense, and the time of possession disparity (Oklahoma held the ball for 34:26 of gametime), the 399 total yards – in 91 offensive plays – indicate the Buff defense put in a pretty remarkable performance.

– A statistic which reflects the offensive theories of both teams: Colorado completed only four passes on the day; Oklahoma only three. With Oklahoma not even making any effort to throw the ball, sophomore free safety Rodney Rogers was free to play the run. Rogers had 21 total tackles on the day; 17 unassisted.

– Oklahoma entered the 1985 season as the nation’s #1 team. An early season loss to Miami (27-14) set the Sooners back. After taking out 2nd-ranked Nebraska, 27-7, Oklahoma was back in the national title hunt. A 25-10 win over No. 1 Penn State in the Orange Bowl, coupled with a Sugar Bowl loss (to Tennessee), by No. 2 Miami, gave Oklahoma the national championship.

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