October 3rd – at UCLA           No. 16 UCLA 27, Colorado 7

The October 3rd game brought the Bruins home for their first home game after playing three games on the road to open the 1981 season. With Colorado wearing similar blue and gold uniforms, the UCLA faithful may have been initially confused. This was not to last, though, as the true blue and gold team stepped forward and dominated the Buffs.

Colorado came into the game ranked eighth in the nation in total offense, but the yardage hadn’t resulted in points or victories. The Buffs had only scored 30 points in its previous two games, and had lost both games.

UCLA put an end to Colorado’s high national ranking in total yards, holding the Buffs to 161 yards of total offense.

As had been the case with BYU the week before, the defense tried to make a game of it. The Buffs held the Bruins to four field goals in the first half, but that was as close as the Buffs would get all day, with the Colorado offense not scoring until the game was out of hand.

The opening day win over Texas Tech was now a distant memory, as the Buffs fell to 1-3 on the season.

A game against Nebraska, in Lincoln, was up next. If Mr. Rogers was asked about the game, he might have responded with: “Can you say: ‘Rout waiting to happen’? I knew you could.”

– Game Notes  –

– Future Colorado head coach Rick Neuheisel was a a member of the 1981 UCLA Bruin team, but did not play against the Buffs in Los Angeles. Neuheisel, a walk-on quarterback, would see mop-up duty in the 1982 Colorado/UCLA game in Boulder.

– The loss to UCLA dropped the Buffs to 0-3 all-time against the Bruins. After another loss in 1982, the Buffs would have to wait until 2002 to chalk up a win over UCLA (a 31-17 win against the 20th-ranked Bruins in the Rose Bowl).

– UCLA would go on to finish the 1981 season with a  7-4-1 record, closing out the season with a 22-21 loss to USC in the regular season finale, and a 33-14 loss to Michigan in the Bluebonnet Bowl. With the back-to-back losses at the end of the season, UCLA, which had been ranked as high as No. 6 earlier in the season, dropped out of the final polls.



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