October 17th – Boulder #7 Colorado 24, Oklahoma 24
In 1952, the Colorado Buffaloes tied mighty Oklahoma 21-21 to mar an otherwise perfect conference run of the Bud Wilkinson Sooners of 1948-57 (a 57-0-1 streak).
Forty years later, the Buffs salvaged a 24-24 tie against a 3-2 Sooner squad led by 4th-year head coach Gary Gibbs. Colorado managed to pull out the tie only by scoring 10 points in the final 4:27 of the game.
Freshman quarterback Koy Detmer, making his debut as a starter, made quite an impression, re-writing several pages of the Colorado record book. Detmer eclipsed the single game record for passing completions and yardage in completing 33-of-50 passes for a school best 418 yards. Included in the 418 yards was a school record 92-yard touchdown pass to Charles E. Johnson.
But not all of the records were positive. Included in Detmer’s efforts were five interceptions (tying a record set by Jeff Austin against Texas Tech in 1976).
For every good play made by the freshman quarterback, there was a poor one to offset it. Oklahoma scored the first points of the game less than two minutes into the contest when a Detmer fumble was returned 58 yards for a touchdown by Sooner linebacker Aubrey Beavers. After a a 37-yard field goal late in the third quarter upped the Sooner lead to 10-0, Detmer hit Michael Westbrook for a 41-yard touchdown to pull the Buffs to within 10-7.
On the final play of the third quarter, the 52,454 in attendance at Folsom Field witnessed a 72-yard touchdown run by Dewell Brewer to give the Sooners a 17-7 lead.
The jeers turned to cheers two plays later when Detmer hit Charles E. Johnson for a 92-yard touchdown and a 17-14 score.
With less than six minutes to play, Colorado took over deep in its own territory. Koy Detmer had a chance to be a hero, but first played the role of a goat. Detmer was picked off by freshman defensive back Darrius Johnson, who returned the pick 17 yards for a for a Sooner score and a 24-14 Oklahoma lead with 5:09 to play. The Johnson interception was Detmer’s fourth of the contest – to go with his two fumbles. When Detmer threw his fifth pick moments later, the fate of the Buffs and their 23-game conference unbeaten streak seemed to be sealed.
But the Sooners could not hold the lead. Oklahoma fullback Kenyon Rasheed fumbled on the Sooners first play after Detmer’s fifth interception, giving the Buffs new life. Five plays later, sophomore tailback Lamont Warren scored from three yards out to pull the Buffs to within three, 24-21, with 3:14 to play. The Buffs’ defense, called upon all night to bail out the error-prone offense, again rose to the challenge, returning the ball to the offense at the Buff 40-yard line. Three plays netted 24 yards, and junior kicker Mitch Berger, forced into duty when Pat Blottiaux was unavailable due to a pulled quadricep muscle, booted a knuckleball of a kick through the uprights from 53 yards out as time expired.
The 24-24 tie was satisfying only because of the comeback. The Sooners had been struggling in 1992, but the Buffs made Oklahoma look like world-beaters in surrendering seven turnovers. “I feel very fortunate to get out of here with a tie under the circumstances,” said McCartney in his post-game comments. “This keeps us unbeaten (5-0-1, 1-0-1 in Big Eight play) and keeps alive a lot of the things we want to do this season.”
- Quarterback Koy Detmer set a number of school records against Oklahoma. Included on the list:
Most pass completions in a game (33) – previous record was 25, done twice by Steve Vogel (v. Kansas State in 1982; v. Michigan State in 1985);
Most passing yards in a quarter (192; 4th) – previous record was 176 by Randy Essington (v. Texas Tech, 1981);
Most passing yards in a half (307; 2nd) – previous record was 273 by Randy Essington (v. Texas Tech, 1981);
Most passing yards in a game (418) – previous record was 361 by Randy Essington (v. Nebraska, 1982);
Most interceptions thrown (5) – tied previous record of Jeff Austin (v. Texas Tech, 1976);
Most plays, total offense, in a half (36) – previous record was 35, by Zach Jordan (v. Missouri, 1950); and
Most plays, total offense, in a game (59) – previous record was 58, by Randy Essington (v. Nebraska, 1982).
- The 92-yard touchdown pass from Detmer to Charles Johnson eclipsed, by two yards, the record set by a Marc Walters and Jeff Campbell in a 56-14 rout of Kansas State in 1988.
- The 53-yard field goal by Mitch Berger to tie the game as time expired was the longest field goal of the season by a Buff kicker.
- The 418 yards passing by Koy Detmer obliterated the school record for a Buff against the Sooners. The previous best by a Colorado passer against Oklahoma was Ken Johnson’s 241 yard effort in 1971. The nine receptions by Michael Westbrook bettered the five reception record of several players, and the 182 receiving yards by Charles E. Johnson almost doubled the record of 85 receiving yards set by Rico Smith in the 1990 contest between the schools.
- Sophomore cornerback Chris Hudson had two of his four interceptions of the year against Oklahoma. Hudson returned of his interceptions for 45 yards, the longest interception by a Colorado Buff in 1992.
- With the tie, Colorado dropped from No. 7 to No. 9 in the polls, right behind Nebraska, which moved up three spots despite not playing, as in addition to Colorado’s tie, No. 8 Stanford lost to Arizona, and No. 8 Penn State lost to No. 20 Boston College.
- Oklahoma would go onto finish the 1992 season a 5-4-2 record, 3-2-2 in the Big Eight.