October 12th – Boulder Colorado 38, Missouri 7
After a two week layoff to contemplate their 3-1 record, Colorado played its homecoming game against the Missouri Tigers.
For a change, Homecoming played out the way it was supposed to: the home team beating up against an inferior opponent. True, Colorado had won its homecoming game against Iowa State in 1984, but that came in the last minute, and proved to be the Buffs only win of the year.
In 1985, all cylinders were clicking in a 38-7 rout of the Tigers.
The Tigers of 1985 were merely paper tigers, but the Buffs didn’t care. Missouri was winless coming into the game against the Buffs, struggling to an 0-4 non-conference record. All the better for the win-hungry Buffs. Quarterback Mark Hatcher had his best game of the season, running for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries, while completing three-of-six passes for 110 yards and a fourth score. On the afternoon, Colorado rolled up 505 yards of total offense, including 390 on the ground. In mauling the winless Tigers, the Buffs defeated Missouri for the first time since 1978, while scoring the most points and posting the largest margin of victory in the 56-year series.
The points came methodically, with the Buffs scoring in each quarter of play. After a three-yard scoring run by Hatcher gave the Buffs a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Colorado scored three times in the second quarter, with two of the scores unusual. The first, a four-yard touchdown pass from Hatcher to sophomore halfback Mike Marquez, was the first touchdown pass of the season for the Buffs. The second score came on a 44-yard field goal by much maligned senior kicker Larry Eckel, the longest of his Colorado career.
Already up 24-0 at halftime, the Buffs pulled away in the second half. Mark Hatcher scored on a five yard run to give the Buffs a 31-0 lead. Then, after Missouri posted a consolation score, Colorado closed out the afternoon with a 27-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jo Jo Collins, the first touchdown of his career.
It had to be all the sweeter for head coach Bill McCartney. After being blasted 35-14, 59-20, and 52-7 in his first three attempts against Missouri, McCartney finally had a win against his alma mater. Referencing the 76-point turnaround from the 1984 game, McCartney understated: “In a chronological year, you can accomplish significant things.”
Colorado was now 4-1, 1-0 in the Big Eight. Four of the next five games, though, would be on the road.
Game Notes -
- In addition to posting their first touchdown pass of the 1985 campaign against Missouri, the Buffs also had the longest completion of the season, as Mark Hatcher connected with sophoore halfback Sam Smith for 71 yards. The play didn’t go for a touchdown, though, becoming the third longest non-scoring pass play in Colorado history (the longest: 87 yards. Zach Jordan to Frank Bernardi v. Kansas in 1952).
- Including the 71-yarder to Smith, Mark Hatcher had his highest passing yard total of 1985, going for a whopping 110 yards (connecting on three-of-six attempts).
- The Buffs also had the longest interception return of the season against Missouri, with junior linebacker Darin Schubeck picking off a pass and lumbering 52 yards before he was caught from behind.
- Colorado had the most passing yards (115), most rushing yards (390), and, not surprisingly, the most total yards (505) of the 1985 season against Missouri. The Buffs held onto the ball for 36:02 of playing time, denying the Tigers any opportunity to get back into the game.
- 1985 proved to be one of the worst in Missouri history. Under first-year head coach Woody Widenhofer, the Tigers would stumble to a 1-10 season. The only win came against Iowa State, 28-27, after opening the year 0-7. Widenhofer would last four seasons, never posting more than five wins in his 12-31-1 tenure.