EZ Mortgages

#9 Missouri – Proving they’re for real

// Nov 3 - 2007

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Preview of this week’s game

The last time the Buffs played at home, Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing ran and threw the Jayhawks to victory. The bad news for the Buffs – Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel is even better, and has more weapons. The good news for the Buffs and their fans? ……

Read The Entire Preview!…

Review of this week’s game

Anything good to read about after a 55-10 loss? How’s about some quotes from some of the players, who continue to express confidence? How’s about the fact that a 45-point loss didn’t hurt the Buffs’ bowl chances any more than a one point loss? …….

Read The Entire Review!…

Trivia you’ll want to remember – Missouri

– Missouri has been ranked #1 in the nation for all of one week in its history. The one week stay was bittersweet, though. (Hint: Tiger fans really don’t like Kansas – and the 1960 KU/Missouri game is one reason why).

– Easy one: what two recent CU head coaches had direct ties to Missouri football?

– Harder one: Who is Don Faurot?

* Bar Bet Winner – Missouri comes to Boulder ranked 9th in the nation. In what year did Missouri last finish the season with a top ten ranking?

Read Trivia…

 

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

It’s November, so it’s time to get serious about who CU’s friends and enemies are (and they will change week to week). The Kansas/Nebraska game is easy (but not only for the obvious reasons). Not sure who to root for in the Oklahoma/Texas A&M game? How about Texas/Oklahoma State? Let me help ….

Read On…

Going Down in History

Who may be passed on the all-time list this week – and why you should remember them.

Last weekend, Jordon Dizon became only the fifth player in CU history to record 400 tackles in a career. Do you know the names of those he is passing?

Hugh Charles moved from 11th to 8th place in the all-time rushing charts with his 121 yard performance against Texas Tech. Only a carry or two ahead of him is a CU legend (and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame).

Don’t look now, but that quarterback who was too short to play for a BCS team? He is already in the top 20 in passing yards at CU – as a freshman! Take a look at who Cody Hawkins is passing on his way up the charts …..

Read This Moment in History…

Archive Game of the Week

The 1999 season was the first for new head coach Gary Barnett. Barnett brought with him a fresh dose of confidence (Remember “RTD – Return to Dominance”?), and the Buffs were coming an 8-4 campaign which included a 51-43 win over Oregon in the Aloha Bowl. Still, the Buffs opened the season with a thud. Ranked 14th in the nation in the preseason poll, Colorado was routed by Colorado State in Denver, 41-14. Rebounding with big wins over San Jose State (63-35) and Kansas (51-17) the Buffs whetted the nation’s appetite for one of college football’s “games of the year” – a matchup between Barnett’s Buffs and the Washington Huskies and their new head coach, Rick Neuheisel. The Huskies prevailed, 31-24, leaving the wounded Buffs to return home to face Missouri.

Little did anyone know at the time that the Missouri game would be the one to provide all the fireworks – and the first overtime game in CU history.

Go To The Archived Game of The Week…


Pregame Preview

What the Buff fans need to look for if the Buffs are to upset a top ten team for the second time this season:

1) Let Hawk be Hawk. No, not L’il Hawk. I’m talking about Big Hawk. Care to guess which one statistical category Colorado leads the nation? Try fourth down attempts. The Buffs have made 23 attempts to convert fourth downs this season (being successful on 11). Think back to the Texas Tech game. Early second quarter, CU up 7-0. Fourth-and-goal at the Texas Tech two yard line. Conventional wisdom says to kick the field goal and go up 10-0 (which would have been my choice). Instead, the Buffs go for the touchdown. On a pass out into the right flat, a Cody Hawkins’ pass just misses being intercepted (and returned 100 yards for a tying score), falling instead into the waiting arms of tight end Riar Geer. 14-0, Colorado.

As Woody Hayes once said, “You throw a pass, and three things can happen, and two of them are bad.” When Dan Hawkins decided to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal, there were any number of bad things which could have happened. The pass could have been dropped, giving momentum to the Red Raiders for the first time in the game, or worse, intercepted and returned for a Texas Tech touchdown. Instead, the Buffs go on to take a two score lead and never looked back.

If CU is to stay with the high-powered Missouri offense this week, the Buffs will need to take some gambles. I’ll just have to hold my breath and trust in Hawk.

2) 0; 0. Zero zero represents the number of turnovers and the number of sacks allowed last weekend against Texas Tech. While the Buffs may not need to play a perfect game to defeat the Tigers, the closer to perfection the better. Against Oklahoma, Cody Hawkins threw two interceptions which led to short touchdown drives by the Sooners (and a 17-point Oklahoma lead). As explosive as the Tiger offense is – Missouri has yet to score less than 31 points in a game – the Buffs can’t give away any cheap scores and still hope to compete.

3) Chase Chase. If there is one enduring memory from the Kansas game, it is of KU quarterback Todd Reesing scrambling for a 53 yard gain on a third-and-four, setting up the Jayhawks’ first score. The Buffs’ inability to contain Reesing came to pass again in the second half, as another third down scramble netted a first down, keeping alive a KU touchdown drive.

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel is Todd Reesing squared. Daniel, a junior, is already third on the all-time passer list at Missouri, and second all-time in total offense. Daniel can beat the Buffs with his arm or his feet. For the Buffs to stay in the game, Daniel will need ot be contained by the CU defensive line.

4) Fast Start. Here is a sobering statistic: Missouri has out-scored its opponents 28-0 on the game’s opening drives. In fact, the Tigers have allowed only a total of four first downs in their first eight games, while never being forced into a three-and-out themselves. Against Iowa State last weekend, Missouri was up 14-0 before ten minutes had elapsed, forcing the Cyclones to play catchup all afternoon. Conversely, the Buffs have scored three touchdowns this season on their opening possession (v. CSU, Baylor, and Texas Tech). The Buffs’ record in those games? 3-0.

5) Forget Expectations. A month ago, the Buffs faced a team ranked in the top ten. Colorado was a 24-point underdog, but pulled off the upset against Oklahoma. A month later, the Buffs again face a top ten team. This weekend, though, Colorado is only a four-point underdog. Are the Buffs 20 points better than they were in late September? Perhaps. Still, it would be best if the Buffs and their fans approach this game for what it is – an opportunity. An opportunity to regain national status. The Buffs failed in this attempt against Arizona State, Florida State, and Kansas, but were successful in their attempts against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. I sat in the stands at Folsom during the game against the Sooners, never expecting the Buffs to win. I just wanted a respectable showing we could build on. I didn’t believe the Buffs would win until the scoreboard read 0:00, and CU led for the first time all afternoon. Expectations are higher this weekend. Keeping it close may not be enough to appease some fans. I don’t know. If I were offered a ten point loss to Missouri, combined with wins against Iowa State and Nebraska (and with those wins, a bowl berth), I would take it in a heartbeat.

A loss to Missouri would not end the Buffs’ season long hope for bowl eligibilty. A win over Missouri, on the other hand ……

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Postgame Review

November 3rd – Boulder #9 Missouri 55, Colorado 10

The 9th-ranked Missouri Tigers spotted the Colorado Buffaloes a 10-7 first quarter lead, then scored the next 48 points of the game in dominating the Buffs in Boulder, 55-10. Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel completed 27 of 45 passes for 428 yards and five touchdowns as Missouri posted the highest point total for a visitor to Folsom Field in 24 years. The Colorado offense, which had been efficient if not overwhelming in leading the Buffs to a 5-4 record, came up with only seven first downs on the day; only three after the first quarter. The Buffs went three-and-out on six consecutive possessions in the second and third quarters as the Tigers turned what appeared to be a competitive game into a rout.

The first quarter was all that the Buffs and their fans could have asked for against the high octane Tigers. On the game’s second play, a Chase Daniel pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, and intercepted by CU junior defensive tackle George Hypolite. Starting at the Missouri 11-yard line, Colorado needed only three plays to take a 7-0 lead, as senior tailback Byron Ellis scored on a two yard run. It took only four plays and 1:04 of playing time for the game to be tied, however. Chase Daniel connected with Martin Rucker for a three yard score after Daniel hit wide receiver Will Franklin on a 72-yard pass to the Buffs’ five yard line. Later in the quarter, defensive end Alonzo Barrett blocked a Missouri punt, setting up the Buffs at the Tiger 38-yard line. A 24-yard field goal by Kevin Eberhart gave Colorado its last lead, 10-7, late in the first quarter.

A three-and-out for Missouri on the Tigers next possession gave the 51,483 in attendance the sense of an upset. After an interference penalty on the punt return set the Buffs up at the Missouri 47-yard line to start the drive, the opportunity for Colorado to take a two score lead on the Tigers appeared realistic. As the second quarter began, though, the Buffs’ chances ended. A Cody Hawkins fumble set up Missouri near midfield. Three plays later, Daniel hit Jeremy Maclin for a 46-yard touchdown and a 14-10 Missouri lead. At 14:04 of the second quarter, the Tigers had all the points they would need, as the Buffs’ offense took the rest of the game off.

The Colorado offense failed to gain a single first down in the second quarter, going three-and-out four times, gaining only 18 total yards. Meanwhile, the Tigers took advantage of the Buffs’ offensive woes, scoring three touchdowns and a field goal in their four second quarter possessions to take a 31-10 halftime lead. When the Buffs did manage a first down, on CU’s third possession of the third quarter, it was immediately followed by an interception thrown by Cody Hawkins. The Buffs’ next possession also netted a first down, this time immediately followed by a fumble, also by Hawkins. Two more touchdowns and another field goal by Missouri were the results, as the 31-10 halftime lead became a 48-10 rout. One last Tiger touchdown, late in the fourth quarter as both teams substituted liberally, rounded out the scoring.

“Certainly in the first quarter I didn’t (expect a blowout), but as things erode they become cumulative” said Dan Hawkins after the game. “We have a really young team. I thought in the first quarter we did a good job.” For their part, the players were not ready to concede that Colorado was not a good football team. “The loss doesn’t affect our confidence at all,” said Jordon Dizon. “We weren’t the same team out there today as we normally are.” Echoed junior defensive end Maurice Lucas, “Our confidence is still good and actually, I think it makes us more confident and believe in ourselves more. I’m really looking forward to getting back here tomorrow, looking at film and fixing our mistakes and getting ready for Iowa State.”

There would be plenty to look at on film. The stats sheet was just as unpalatable as the final score. Missouri became the first team in 41 games to post 500 yards of offense against the Buffs, going for 598 overall. Conversely, the Buffs were held to 196 yards of total offense. The Tigers had 25 first downs; the Buffs, 7. Cody Hawkins had his worst day as a Buff, completing 12 of 25 passes for 100 yards, being held without a touchdown pass for the first time in his CU career. Hawkins also had an interception for the ninth time in ten games, and lost two fumbles. The Buffs also hit double digits again with penalties, with 12 flags costing Colorado 94 yards.

Still, the blowout loss didn’t count anymore in the loss column than a one point loss. The Buffs were still 5-5, 3-3 in Big 12 play. Colorado was still one win away from bowl eligibility with two games to play, with the Buffs likely be favored in both contests. By the same token, the “gimme” game on the conference schedule, the matchup with Iowa State, was no longer looking so easy. The Buffs had to find some way to regain their confidence against a team which had just received a positive jolt of their own. While CU was falling apart against the Tigers, the Cyclones were enjoying their first conference win of the season, a 31-20 triumph over Kansas State.

Ames, Iowa, was the site where, in 2005, the Gary Barnett era began to unravel for the final time. The 22nd-ranked Buffaloes literally played in a cyclone (the game was delayed due to storms in the area), and came away 30-16 losers. The loss dropped Colorado from the national rankings (with the absence now stretching two full seasons), and, two routs later (against Nebraska in Boulder and against Texas in the Big 12 title game), Gary Barnett was gone.

Redemption would have multiple meanings for the Buffs as they traveled to Ames in 2007.

Here’s the YouTube video of the game, courtesy of CU at he Gamer Paul:

 

Proving They Are For Real

9th-ranked Missouri had more to play for than just a win in Boulder. There were style points to be had, and the Tigers knew that the higher the score, the more play there would be on SportsCenter. This is not to say that the inept Colorado offense and two-hand touch Colorado defense did not contribute to the final score. Nor am I ignoring the fact that Missouri had yet to score less than 31 points in any game they had played. Rather, my point is that the Buffs faced a perfect storm against the Tigers.

Missouri came into the game well versed in the knowledge that the Tigers had gone 7-14 in the month of November under head coach Gary Pinkel. In fact, Missouri had yet to win a game on the first Saturday in November under the seven year head coach. The Tigers under Pinkel had come into the final month of the season with good records several times, only to have those seasons lose their luster with poor finishes.

There were other factors which led to the Tigers seeing the CU game as a forum to make a national statement. The last two times Missouri started 7-1 (the last being in 1981), the Tigers lost their next game. The #9 national ranking was the highest for the Tigers since ‘81, but there were several one-loss teams in front of them in the national championship race.

But there was one final factor which I believe helped doom the Buffs to one of the most lopsided losses in Folsom Field history. It was the 76-39 rout of Nebraska by #8 Kansas earlier in the day. If both the Jayhawks and Tigers won out, they would play for the Big 12 North title in Kansas City on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If the Tigers were to stay up with the 8th-ranked Jayhawks, they not only had to win, but to stay with KU in the national discussion, they now needed a rout. This factor, more than any other, contributed to the final score. No, I am not stating that the Buffs would have won. Rather, that had Kansas won 42-20, the Missouri/Colorado final score may well have been more along those same lines.

The Tigers and Jayhawks were now poised to have their day in the sun. For the first time in the 12-year history of the Big 12, the representative from the North would be a team other than Colorado, Nebraska, or Kansas State. Those two would battle it out for the title, while the other three would vie for bowl eligibility (Iowa State, with a 2-8 overall record, had already been eliminated from consideration). CU and K-State both had 3-3 conference records, but the Wildcats were 5-4 overall, with a late game against Fresno State still on the schedule. The Cornhuskers, waking up to a five game losing streak for the first time in 50 years (and the newspaper accounts of having given up the most points in school history, both in a game and in a season), were still alive, but with a 4-6 overall record, would need wins against both Kansas State at home and against the Buffs in Boulder to be eligible).

A 7-5 record and a decent bowl were still there to be had for the Buffs. The loss to Missouri was not the surprise – the surprise was how bad the loss was. The question now became: was this the up-and-coming young team, ready to put together a winning season on the heels of big wins over Oklahoma and Texas Tech, or was this a young team sputtering to the finish, having lost three of its last four games heading into the Iowa State game?

The Iowa State game would go a long way in determining whether 2008 would be projected a breakout season for the Buffs, or whether just becoming bowl eligible would be the main goal for November, 2008.

Extra Points

– The Tigers became the first team to post more than 50 points in Boulder since Missouri beat the Buffs, 59-20, in 1983. The margin of defeat was the third worst for a home game, trailing only a 103-0 home loss to Colorado Mines in 1890 and a 62-0 loss to Oklahoma in 1962.

– The Buffs’ score on their first possession made it 232 consecutive games with points. This moves Colorado into a tenth place tie in NCAA history (tied with Florida State; Nebraska is just ahead at #9, with 233 consecutive games).

– Senior wide receiver Dusty Sprague, with four catches, moved into the top ten in that category. Sprague now has 98 catches, tying him for ninth on the all-time list (with TE Christian Fauria). Sprague is also up to 14th on the all-time receiving yardage list, less than 100 yards from the top ten.

– Sophomore punter Matt DiLallo had a career high 11 punts against Missouri. His previous high had been eight. (The school record is 14, held by none other than Byron White).

Elsewhere

Nationally, the game of the day was in South Bend, as Navy broke an NCAA-record losing streak to Notre Dame. The Midshipmen had lost 43 games in a row to the Irish, dating back to the Roger Staubach days of 1963. On this day, however, Navy defeated Notre Dame, 48-46 in three overtimes.

Two of the four longest streaks in history belong to Nebraska, with one each against both of the Kansas schools. The Cornhuskers had a 36 game win streak against KU halted by a Jayhawk win in 2004. The Jayhawks took out a measure of revenge against the Cornhuskers, though, in 2007, handing Nebraska a 76-39 thumping. The 76 points were the most ever against the Cornhuskers (the 62 put up by the Buffs in 2001 having already been surpassed by a 70-point tally by Texas Tech), and, with two games remaining, Nebraska has already given up more total points for a season than any other Cornhusker team in history. The Nebraska defeat also did more than salve the wounds of the Buffs own rout. The NU loss gave the Cornhuskers a 4-6 record. With Kansas State and the Buffs left on the schedule, it doesn’t look like Nebraska, already on a five game losing streak, is going bowling in 2007.

Other conference games also aided the Buffs’ bowl hopes. Oklahoma State gave up a 35-14 lead in the fourth quarter, losing to Texas 38-35 to fall to 5-4. OSU still has Kansas and Oklahoma to play (along with Baylor), so a 6-6 record may be the best the Cowboys can do. Texas Tech joined the seven win club with a win over Baylor, joining Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas as sure bowl bets. That makes five teams with seven wins, and eight bowl slots. Texas A&M is bowl eligible at 6-4, but lost badly to Oklahoma Saturday, and still has Missouri and Texas to play, so the Aggies may well limp home 6-6 after being 6-2. This just leaves Kansas State (5-4, 3-3), Colorado (5-5, 3-3), and Nebraska (4-6, 1-5) to vie with A&M and OSU for the final three spots.

A win over Baylor would almost certainly get the Buffs in. A loss may turn the CU/Nebraska game into a bowl elimination game. (And we really don’t want that!).

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Trivia you’ll want to remember – Missouri

– Missouri last finished in the top ten in the Associated Press poll in 1969. Only Iowa State, which has never finished in the top ten in the AP poll, has had a longer drought amongst the Big 12 North teams.

– Missouri is the only school besides CU and Nebraska to have been ranked #1 amongst North Division teams. The Tigers were ranked #1 for one week in 1960 before falling to Kansas, 23-7. The twist to the story – it was later determined that Kansas used an ineligible player in the game against Missouri, and the game was forfeited to the Tigers. Despite the “win”, the result on the field cost Missouri a chance at the national title. Undefeated in name only, the Tigers finished the season with a 10-1 record and a #5 finish in the polls.

– Legend has it that the tradition of Homecoming began at Missouri. In 1911, the director of athletics Chester L. Brewer reportedly asked alumni and former players to “come home” for the season-ending game against Kansas. (The game ended in a 3-3 tie, and Missouri finished its season with a 2-4-2 record).

– Faurot Field is named after long-time coach Don Faurot, who coached the Tigers from 1935-42 and 1946-56. Faurot won 100 games, and is credited with creating the split-T formation, precursor of the wishbone and veer offenses.

– While the infamous “Fifth down” game against CU still rankles the Missouri faithful, most of their venom is saved for Kansas. The bitter feelings over the 1960 game, above, only added fuel to the fire. The “Border War” as it was long known, is now known as the “Border Showdown”, a nod to the post 9/11 era.

– Missouri leads the all-time series against Colorado, 37-31-3. The series was much more lopsided in the Tigers’ favor, though, until recently. Prior to the 1985 season, Missouri had a dominating 31-13-3 lead. The Buffs then ran off a 12 game win streak, and have won 18 of the last 22 in the series.

– Missouri ties to Boulder include head coaches Bill McCartney, a 1962 MU graduate who played on that 1960 team, and Gary Barnett, a 1969 MU alumnus.

– famous alumni – football – Dan Devine (coach), Kellen Winslow, Henry Marshall, Phil Bradley, Tony Galbreath.

– famous alumni – other – George C. Scott (actor), Sheryl Crow (singer), Mort Walker (cartoonist).

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The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend …

November 3, 2007

It’s crunch time, ladies and gentlemen, so now is the time for all good fans to take a real hard look at the other games going on around the conference, and know which games hold the most interest to the Buffs and their hopes for a bowl game.

For those still harboring hopes of a Big 12 title game, I refer you to page 8 of this week’s media release (you can go to the CU website from this site, then head for football/releases). CU SID Dave Plati has it all laid out for you as to how the Buffs, as they did in ‘04 and ‘05, can have an unlikely set of circumstances all fall into place, giving Colorado the North title.

For the Buffs to have a chance at the title, though, 8-0 Kansas would have to finish 1-3. With self-destructing Nebraska and 0-5 (in Big 12 play) Iowa State still on the calendar, I don’t see that happening. As a result, I am more interested in the Buffs’ bowl-eligibility. One more win gives CU six wins and bowl-eligibility, but, with eight spots for Big 12 teams available, and the possibility of as many as 10 bowl-eligible teams in the conference, seven seems to be the magic number.

So let’s break down this weekend’s games:

The Obvious:

Kansas over Nebraska. Yes, this would almost certainly eliminate the Buffs from the Big 12 North race, but it serves several higher purposes. First, it gives Nebraska six losses. The Cornhuskers face Kansas State next weekend, so there is the chance that NU could come to Boulder with a 4-7 record, and, more importantly, nothing to play for but what is almost certainly to be by then a lame duck coaching staff. Do you want the Buffs to have to play the Cornhuskers with the winner going bowling, the loser staying home? Not me.

Plus, it actually helps the Buffs for Kansas to win out. Not only does it make CU’s resume stronger (two of the Buffs’ four losses to undefeated teams – Arizona State being the other), but an undefeated KU against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game gives the conference the chance at having two teams invited to the BCS bowl games. A second Big 12 entry moves everyone up a notch, and creates nine bowl possibilities for the league.

The Understandable:

Texas over Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are 5-3, but still have games against Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma left. A 6-6 OSU squad (assuming a win over Baylor), with three losses in their last four games, may be a less attractive bowl team than a 6-6 Buff team.

The Obscure:

Oklahoma over Texas A&M. The Aggies are already bowl-eligible at 6-3, but, as with Oklahoma State, face a murderer’s row to finish the season: at Oklahoma; at Missouri, v. Texas. Three games against potentially top ten teams. A&M lost to Kansas last weekend, so a nosedive to end the year would put the Aggies on a four game losing streak. As with OSU, a 6-6 A&M team with a losing November may not make it to a bowl. Plus, as with Kansas, the Buffs want Oklahoma to keep winning in order to enhance the chances of the Big 12 getting nine bowl bids.

The Buffs can make all of this academic by winning two of their next three games. A 7-5 Buff team will almost certainly go bowling. An 8-4 Buff team? Now your talking national ranking and an upper tier bowl. Dare to dream!

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Going Down in History

Jordon Dizon – senior linebacker – 400 tackles – 5th

#7 – Chad Brown (1989-92)* 369

#6 – Laval Short (1976-79) 372

#4 – Ted Johnson (1991-94) 409

*Chad Brown was an All-Big Eight performer as a junior in 1991, when he racked up 125 total tackles. Fighting off injuries, Brown was repeated on the All-Big Eight list in 1992, also garnering second team All-American honors despite his total tackles dropping off to 88. Brown’s 14 career sacks also place in the top 20 in school history in that category. Perhaps Brown’s finest moment in a Buff uniform came in the 1992 game against Iowa, when Brown teamed up with fellow linebacker Ron Woolfork for eight sacks and 80 total yards in losses in a 28-12 win over Iowa. A second round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993, Brown has gone on to over a decade of success in the NFL, three times being picked to play in the Pro Bowl (Pittsburgh, 1996; Seattle, 1998-99).

Hugh Charles – Senior running back – 2,352 rushing yards – 9th

#8 – Bobby Anderson (1967-69) 2,367

#7 – Herchell Troutman (1994-97)* 2,487

#6 – James Mayberry (1975-78) 2,544

*Herchell Troutman was the little man who could. Listed (generously) at 5′ 7?, Troutman led the Buffs in rushing three straight years, 1995-‘97, the sixth CU back to do so. A versatile back, Troutman also had 725 yards receiving (good enough to be in the top 30 all-time) and 331 return yards. His 3,543 all-purpose yards rank him 3rd on the CU charts, behind only Eric Bieniemy and Bryon White.

Cody Hawkins – freshman quarterback – 2,090 passing yards – 18th

#20 – Robert Hodge (2001-02) 1,554

#19 – Bobby Pesavento* (2000-01) 1,770

#17 – Jeff Knapple (1976-77) 2,107

*Want to win a bar bet with your CU friends? Ask them: “Quick, who was the starting quarterback in the 62-36 win over Nebraska and the 39-37 Big 12 title game win over Texas?”. The answer is Bobby Pesavento. Chris Brown’s six touchdown performance against Nebraska is easy to remember, but Pesavento contributed over 200 yards passing (and one score, a first quarter touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Graham) against the Cornhuskers. Stepping in for an injured Craig Ochs in mid-season, Pesavento led the Buffs with 1,234 yards passing and eight touchdowns. Book-ended by disastrous starts against Texas (during the regular season) and the bowl game against Oregon, Pesavento went 5-0 in the starting role, leading Colorado to its first Big 12 title.

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