October 23rd – Boulder          Iowa State 31, Colorado 14

The Iowa State Cyclones came to Boulder with a better overall record than the Buffs (3-2-1 to Colorado’s 1-4-1), but both teams sported identical 0-1-1 conference records. In fact, the Big Eight Conference standings heading into the third weekend of the season were somewhat bizarre.

Nebraska and Oklahoma were both 2-0, and this was to be expected. After that, third place in the league was shared by Oklahoma State and Missouri, with 0-0-2 marks. The remaining four teams in the conference were tied for fifth with 0-1-1.

Take a look. It would be the first and last time the standings would ever look this way:

Big Eight  Overall

Team      W-L-T       W- L-T

Nebraska  2  0 0      5  1  0

Oklahoma 2 0 0      4  2 0

Missouri    0 0 2      3  1  2

Okla. State   0 0 2    1  2  2

Iowa State   0 1 1      3  2  1

Kansas State 0 1 1   3  1  2

Kansas          0 1 1     1  3  2

COLORADO 0 1 1     1  4  1

Against Iowa State, the Buffs again were defeated by their toughest opponent – their own offense.

The Colorado defense played tough, but was hampered by an inefficient offense. Worn down, the 14-14 halftime score became a 31-14 setback for the Buffs.

A blocked punt by Victor Scott in the first quarter was recovered by Danny McMillen for one Colorado score. In the second, running back Richard Johnson contributed a nifty 47-yard run to account for all of the Buffs’ points.

The turning point came early in the third quarter, with the game still tied at 14-14.

A 58-yard punt return by Jeff Donaldson set up the Buff offense at the Cyclone 26-yard line. Instead of scoring to take the lead for the first time in the game, the CU offense again faltered. On the first play after Donaldson’s return, quarterback Randy Essington attempted to hit Chris McLemore over the middle. McLemore bobbled the pass, with Iowa State intercepting. “That was a great opportunity for us,” said Colorado head coach Bill McCartney. “When we didn’t capitalize, and the defense went back on the field, there was a noticeable letdown”.

Other than the 14-14 halftime score, there was little in the statistics ledger which favored the Buffs.

Quarterback Randy Essington completed only 11-of-26 passes for 126 yards and two interceptions, yet continued his improbable assault on the Colorado season and career passing totals. Iowa State had 32 first downs to 14 for Colorado. The Cyclones had 93 offensive plays for 571 yards; the Buffs had 44 plays for 221 total yards.

The stat of the game … Iowa State had the ball for 42:53 of game clock, compared to 17:07 for the Buffs. “The defense was on the field way too much,” said McCartney.

“Our problem is no secret,” said Bill McCartney after the game. “It’s an offense that is not productive. In my opinion, the defense played a scrappy game. They hung in there, caused some fumbles (three, two recovered by the Buffs) and all we had to do was move the ball. When we get an opportunity, we have to take advantage of it”.

– Game Notes  … 

– The score was tied at 14-14 at halftime, but the Cyclones pulled away in the second half. In the decisive thirty minutes, Colorado had four first downs and a total of two yards rushing.

– Against Oklahoma State and Iowa State, the Buffs scored four touchdowns – three by the defense and special teams; one by the offense.

– The 47-yard run by Richard Johnson was the longest run from scrimmage by the Buffs all season; the 58-yard punt return by Jeff Donaldson was the season’s longest punt return.

– The time of possession against Iowa State, 17:07, was not a record for futility (14:34 v. Missouri in 1968), but it was close.

– The 31-14 victory over Colorado proved to be the high-water mark for Iowa State in 1982. The win gave the Cyclones a 4-2-1 record, but Iowa State would go on to lose its final four games of the season, to finish the year with a 4-6-1 record.


One Reply to “Iowa State – Ineffective offense dooms Buffs to inevitable loss”

  1. For most die hard Buff fans 1982 was a year too painful to bear. For me it was another opportunity to earn some dough selling concessions. Most of the games I would make a killing catering to joyful fans wearing the enemies colors, hell, I remember selling two Cokes to a drunken Oklahoma fan for US $20.00! He told me they were for mixers and told me to keep the tip. A $16.00 tip in 1982 was allot of money for a twelve year old.
    This game was different. You could find a seat on the fifty yard line before the game even kicked off if you wanted to. Everybody knew how bad the Buffs were, including me.
    The 1982 Iowa State game at Folsom Field was my fondest memory as a Buff fan for one reason only. A gift from the enemy. Yes, you heard me correctly!
    After the 31-14 humiliating defeat I helped myself to about six Gold Star hot dogs that were on their way to the dumpster. Does anybody remember those pathetic dogs? Remember that tin foiled paper envelope with a huge cold hot dog and a single pack of mustard in the hot dog bun? You usually ordered one from me at halftime to get you through until supper. Anyway, after securing free food I headed down to the field to scavenge through all of the cool stuff that was left behind.
    I found a brand spanking new CU hat, it still had the tag on it! It was retired in 2002 when the wind took it off my head, off the boat and to the bottom of Carter Reservoir. May God’s peace be with that poor sweat stained chewed up hat. But there is more!
    I wandered over to the Iowa State bench and there they were! One of the ISU lineman forgot his arm pads. They were the single greatest treasure of my preteen life. I played Half Pint Football and the following day I took them with me. I played on the line but these things were huge so I put them on my legs. I spent more time trying to keep the damn things on than I did playing football. I have no idea what happened to those things but to this day that is a game that I will never forget. I have been to too many Buff games to count. I was at 62-36 which just about any Buff fan will recall as their fondest memory. Why did I choose ISU in 82? Because 1982 was when my mind was not aware of failure or defeat. Even though I knew how bad the Colorado Football team was back then, there was no where else that I wanted to be on Saturday’s during the fall. Now that I am 42 years old, I do not want a second tier teams sweaty equipment though. I want those kids playing out there to have fun and not be remembered as the team that couldn’t. Since that day Colorado went all the way to the top and hung out with the big boys for over a decade. I look forward to seeing them do it again. GO BUFFS!

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