October 19th – @ Iowa State Colorado 40, Iowa State 6
What in the name of Fred Folsom was going on?
The Colorado Buffaloes, who couldn’t buy a conference win for the first half of the 1980′s, were now making it look easy. A 40-6 romp over Iowa State gave Colorado a 2-0 conference record for the first time since 1971 (the same season the Buffs went on to finish the season ranked #3 in the nation), and the Buffs’ largest margin of victory on the road since 1967.
The Buffs managed just 14 yards passing in the game, the fewest yards passing by the Buffs in the history of the series, but it didn’t matter. The running game posted 244 yards and three scores, and the defense held the Cyclones to just 41 rushing yards in 30 attempts. The defense, somewhat overlooked in the re-birth of the Colorado offense, held Iowa State scoreless until late in the game, with the Buffs already comfortably ahead 37-0.
Colorado methodically took control of the game, adding to its lead in each quarter. The first quarter witnessed only one score, a 14-yard touchdown pass from Rick Wheeler to Jon Embree. In the second quarter, sophomore Mike Marquez scored his first touchdown as a Buff on a seven-yard run. Kicker Larry Eckel then gave the Buffs a 17-0 halftime lead with a 32-yarder before the break.
A 20-point explosion by the Buffs in the third quarter sent most of the 41,215 on hand in Ames for Homecoming to the exits. The game effectively was over after linebacker Barry Remington returned an intercepted fumble 24 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 Colorado lead. Two short runs, one by quarterback Rick Wheeler and the other by freshman running back Dave Sanders (who like Marquez, scored the first touchdown of his Colorado career that afternoon) gave the Buffs a 37-0 lead after three quarters.
The big win did not come without its consequences, however. Quarterback Mark Hatcher, brilliant in the first five games of the year, went down with an ankle injury on the third play of the game. Fellow sophomore Rick Wheeler stepped in, but the effort was merely adequate. Wheeler completed only one pass - the 14-yard scoring strike to tight end Jon Embree - on three attempts. Senior Craig Keenan also played, but missed on both of his pass attempts.
With Nebraska up next for the Buffs, the injury to Hatcher could not have come at a worse time.
Game Notes -
- Colorado forced eight turnovers against Iowa State (five fumbles, three interceptions). As impressive as the effort was, it was still two short of the team record of ten turnovers, forced against Kansas in 1976.
- Freshman running back Dave Sanders, who scored his first career touchdown against Iowa State, would not return for his sophomore season. He ended his Colorado career with 28 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns (the other coming in the season finale against Kansas State). Sophomore Mike Marquez, the other back who scored his first points against Iowa State, would go on to score one of the most memorable touchdowns in Colorado history in 1986, coming on a 39-yard reverse against Nebraska.
- Iowa State had come into the Colorado game with a 3-2 record, including a win in their Big Eight opener against Kansas, 22-21. The loss to Colorado, though, set off a four game losing streak. The Cyclones rebounded to win the final two games of 1985, against Kansas State and Oklahoma State, to finish with a 5-6 record, 3-4 in the Big Eight.