November 15th – Boulder          Kansas 42, Colorado 3

One week after the Oklahoma State Cowboys posted 42 points against the hapless Buffs, Kansas also scored 42 points against the paper-thin Colorado defense, taking down the Buffs, 42-3.

The Jayhawks set a series record in running over, around and through the Colorado defense, amassing 586 yards of total offense.  A crowd of only 24,187 braved the November chill (36 degrees at kickoff) to watch the Buffs close out the home schedule with a 1-5 record, falling to 1-9 overall. With the loss, the 1980 team became the first team in Colorado football history to lose nine games in one season.

One play in the second quarter represented the game, if not the Buff season.

Down 21-3 with 32 seconds left in the first half, the Buffs faced fourth-and-goal on the Kansas four yard line.  Quarterback Scott Kingdom rolled right, and had Charlie Davis open in the end zone.  Kingdom could have walked in for a touchdown, giving some redemption, if not momentum, to the Buffs.  Instead, Kingdom threw the ball to Davis, but threw low.  Davis had to dive for the ball – incomplete.  No Kansas defender touched either Colorado player.  The second half became a formality, as the Jayhawks out-scored the listless Buffs, 21-0.

Colorado head coach Chuck Fairbanks, after the loss to Kansas dropped Colorado to 1-9, noted:  “We’re just a very poor football team right now.”

It was the understatement of the year.

Game Notes –

– Small consolation, but a week after giving up a series record 42 points to Oklahoma State the week before, the 42 points allowed to the Jayhawks were not a record … the Jayhawks could only manage to come within one point of the record 43 points scored against Colorado in 1963.

– The Colorado football program had previously suffered as many as eight losses in a season four times prior to 1980 (1962, 1963, 1964, and 1979 – Chuck Fairbanks’ first year as CU head coach). The 1980 campaign, though, represented the first time the Buffs had lost nine times in a single campaign.

– Kansas was not all that bad a team in 1980. Other than a 54-0 whitewashing at the hands of Nebraska, the Jayhawks had held their own. While sporting only a 3-4-2 record heading into the game against Colorado, Kansas did have ties with Oregon and Oklahoma State to its credit, and wins over Iowa State and Kansas State. After the Colorado game, Kansas lost to Missouri, to finish the 1980 season, the second under head coach Don Fambrough, with a 4-5-2 record (3-3-1 in Big Eight play – good enough for fourth place in the conference).

–  Bolstered by the win over the late-season win over the Buffs at the end of the 1980 season, the Jayhawks would go on to post an 8-4 record in 1981, including a Hall of Fame Classic appearance – the only bowl the Jayhawks would be invited to between 1975 and 1992.


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