October 31st –  at Oklahoma           No. 19 Oklahoma 49, Colorado 0

An Oklahoma blowout of Colorado was, unfortunately, familiar territory for the Buffs.

In 1981, the final was 49-0. Same song, different year.

Having started out the season uncharacteristically slow at 1-2-1, the Sooners faced the Buffs with a 3-2-1 record, coming off consecutive romps over Kansas (45-7) and Oregon State (42-3). With the modest two game winning streak, the Sooners were again ranked nationally, meaning that, for the 10th consecutive season, Colorado faced a ranked Oklahoma team.

Steve Vogel received his second (and last) start of the 1981 season, passing for a paltry 64 yards, completing only eight-of-29 attempts, with three interceptions. Vogel’s 41 rushing yards (scrambling, run-for-your-life sort of yards) were second on the team, with Lee Rouson leading the team with 57 yards on 15 carries.

Combined with the 82-42 embarrassment of a year before and a 49-24 romp in 1979, Chuck Fairbanks’ record against Oklahoma, the team he had led to three Big Eight titles in six seasons from 1967-72, fell to 0-3, with the Buffs being outscored by a total of 180 to 66 (that, for those of you scoring at home, is an average defeat of 60-22).

Looking for a stat of a more positive nature?

Well, while it could be considered a mixed message (after all, Oklahoma did roll up 348 yards rushing), the Buffs did tie an NCAA record by holding the Sooners without a pass completion. That’s right! Oklahoma attempted four passes on the afternoon, and completed zero.

None. Nada. Zip.

Two schools of thought: One, the Sooners were not much of a passing team coming in, anyway, having thrown only 47 times in six times coming in; or, two, the Sooners remembered the 82-42 game, and made a genuine effort to hold the score down.

Vote here is for the latter theory.

(Truth is, the game was played in a monsoon, so even if the Sooners had wanted to pass the ball, it would have been difficult. Fortunately for the OU faithful who attended, the Sooners kept the ball on the ground … and kept the clock running so that they could get home and get dry).

Thanks, but no thanks, NCAA, for the mention in the record books.

Here are a few video “highlights” from the game, courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul (worth it just to see CU’s “Colorado sky blue” road uniforms … and the deluge in which the game was played:

Game Notes …

– Colorado would go to tie the same record in 1986, when, once again, the Buffs would hold the Sooners without a completed pass. Unfortunately for Colorado fans, the results were about the same, as Oklahoma defeated the Buffs, 28-0.

– The Sooners would go on to post a lack-luster 6-4-1 in the regular season, 4-2-1 in Big Eight play. An invitation to the Sun Bowl gave Oklahoma a chance at redemption. After a 40-14 blowout win over the Houston Cougars, the Sooners re-entered the polls, finishing the 1981 season ranked 20th.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *