October 24th – at Iowa State           No. 14 Iowa State 17, Colorado 10

Steve Vogel, the hero of the Oklahoma State game, made his first career start as a Buff in Ames against No. 14 Iowa State.

It was an inauspicious debut, as the Colorado offense struggled in a tough 17-10 loss to the Cyclones.

Vogel’s numbers indicate the ineffectiveness of the offense on the day: 12-for-16 passing, but for only 89 yards and no touchdowns; two rushes for minus-three yards.

Colorado was led by junior halfback Richard Johnson, who ran for 84 yards and Colorado’s lone touchdown. It would be Johnson’s highest yardage total and only score of the year, however, as much an indictment of the Colorado rushing game as Johnson’s efforts.

Other than Johnson’s touchdown, the rest of the Iowa State game was forgettable. The frustrations included a failed fourth-and-goal from the Iowa State one yard line in the first quarter and a fumble at the Cyclone 19 with five minutes to play in the game. “What could have been” was the common lament among Colorado players and fans.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the Iowa State clash is that Iowa State came into the game ranked No. 14 in the nation.

It was the highest ranked Cyclone team the Buffs ever faced. Iowa State came into the game with a 4-1-1 record, including a tie against Oklahoma in Norman and a 34-14 ambush of a previously unbeaten Missouri squad the week before the Colorado game.

Derek Singleton … 

The Iowa State game also marked the date of the beginnings of a tragic story for Colorado athletics.

On October 24th, Derek Singleton, the halfback who was the hero of the Oklahoma State game a week earlier, was not in Ames for the game against the Cyclones. Instead, he was in a hospital, where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

At the time of the initial diagnosis, Singleton was expected to make a full recovery. After a ten week battle with the illness, however, Singleton succumbed on January 1st.

His last play in a Colorado uniform proved to be the one for which he provided the most lasting memory.

… In Singleton’s honor, the University of Colorado created the “Derek Singleton Award”, given out each season to the Buff player exhibiting the Most Spirit, Dedication, and Enthusiasm. Punter Art Woods was the first recipient of the Derek Singleton Award, given out at the end of the 1982 season. Several players have won the Award multiple times, including running back Lee Rouson (1983-84), Mickey Pruitt (1985-87), Christian Fauria (1992-94), and Cody Hawkins (2007-08, 2010).

Game Notes …

– On the afternoon, Iowa State running back Dwayne Crutchfield ran the ball 47 times, the most rushes by any opponent in a single game in Colorado history.

– Perhaps the Buff game took something out of the vaunted Cyclone attack. After defeating Colorado to retain a top-15 ranking, Iowa State would go on lose its next three games, tumbling out of the polls and back into obscurity. The 1981 game represents the last game Colorado has played against a ranked Iowa State football team.


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