November 13th – Boulder            Colorado 28, Kansas 3

In Colorado’s seventh home game of the year, the Buffs finally put things together.

On the game’s second play from scrimmage, Colorado quarterback Steve Vogel, having earned the start based on his second half efforts against Missouri, tossed a short screen pass to halfback Richard Johnson. Some 77 yards later, the Buffs had a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the contest. “It’s fair to say that play set the tone for the rest of the game,” said Bill McCartney after the game.

The remainder of the afternoon was the Richard Johnson show.

The senior, playing in his final game at Folsom Field, scored all of the Buffs’ four touchdowns in the 28-3 win. In addition to the 77-yard touchdown catch and run, Johnson scored on a 13-yard pass from Vogel late in the first quarter; on a five yard pass in the third quarter; and on a two-yard run with 4:49 left in the game.

Johnson finished with 102 yards rushing on 21 carries, and 95 yards receiving on just three (all for touchdowns) catches. With another five yards in receptions, Johnson would have become the first Buff in Colorado history to rush and receive for 100 yards in a single game.

The Buffs were now 2-7-1 on the season, with a finale against Kansas State in Manhattan still to play. If the Buffs were to match the three wins posted by Chuck Fairbanks in his final season, it would take an upset over a Wildcat team looking for its first bowl bid in school history.

Billboard Bill

In the week leading up to the Kansas game, Bill McCartney wrote an open letter to Colorado fans.

Printed in the local newspapers, Coach Mac made a pitch to the Colorado faithful to fill the stands against the Jayhawks: “I’m asking you to forget the seasonal record and recognize the fact that we’ve had a group of kids who have played their hearts out, and show appreciation for that”.

Though the weather was reasonable for mid-November (48 degrees, windy, but clear), the Buffs could only garner a crowd of 35,114. Those that did attend, however, were rambunctious. At the end of the game, the goalpost in the south endzone was brought down by celebrating fans. For his part, Coach Mac was carried off the field by linebackers Ray and Marty Cone. After the game, McCartney was quoted as saying: “Before the game we said we were thirsty for victory and we weren’t going to be denied, but when I saw the fans tear down the goal posts, well, they must have been thirstier.”

Bradford Louis Geiger

No discussion of the 1982 season would be complete without an introduction of one of the two individuals to whom this book is dedicated. It was in 1982 that I met Brad Geiger.

If not for Brad, this book would never have come to pass. Brad and I have been all over the country together following the Buffs, attending hundreds of games together, both regular season and bowls, in four time zones (we would like to say five, but finances precluded a trip to the 1993  and 1998 Aloha Bowls in Honolulu). Brad is not only my fellow Buffs “fanatic”, he was my best man at my wedding.

Brad was, and is, my best friend.

Our first introduction was under less than ideal circumstances, though. We were both involved in the Dormitory Representative Council (DRC) that Coach Mac had spoken to the week of the Nebraska game. At the time, I was the Student Intern, and Brad was the Vice-President of the DRC. My job (which was the only paid position in the DRC, thank you very much) was to act as the liaison between the DRC and the Housing Administration. I went to both DRC and Housing Directors’ meetings, and worked to enhance communication between the two groups. Brad’s job allowed him to be more task specific, and it was this freedom which led to our initial conflict.

The DRC belongs to a national organization of residence hall student organizations. Once a year, there is a national conference. After attending a national conference the year before (at Penn State), a number of Colorado students decided in 1982 that it would be a good experience, and a good time, to bid for and host the national conference.

Brad led the bid committee.

The conflict came from my argument that, while bidding for and hosting a national conference would be memorable for our DRC members, it would not be of great benefit to the 8,000 or so other students living in the dorm system. My position was that, as with any volunteer organization, there is a limited number of donated hours which you can expect from your members. With all of our members’ efforts geared toward the bid and thereafter hosting duties, we would lose significant energy which could be focused on more local issues and concerns.

Brad was convincing and enthusiastic, and Colorado won the bid to host the national conference. After some emotional early arguments, we agreed to disagree (DRC had a very small office), and we each went about our business.

While Brad and I did not see eye to eye on dorm issues, we were kindred spirits when it came to a passion for Buff football, as would become clear as the years unfolded.

– Game Notes …

– Richard Johnson’s four touchdowns tied a school record, and brought him within one point of the record for points in a single game (25, by Byron “Whizzer” White, against Utah in 1936). Johnson became the ninth player to score four touchdowns, the first since Bobby Anderson pulled the trick against Tulsa in 1969. Johnson did set the single game record for touchdown reception in a game, with three (Johnson held the record alone until it was tied by Rae Carruth, who had three receiving touchdowns against Iowa State in 1996).

– Not surprisingly, for his efforts Johnson was named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Week.

– Johnson had 102 yards rushing to go with 95 yards receiving. Five more yards receiving would have made Johnson the first player in Colorado history to post 100-yard rushing and 100-yards receiving in the same game.

– Freshman linebacker Barry Remington, who would go on to become one of the most decorated defensive players in Colorado history, had his first ten tackle game of his career, posting 12 tackles – and two interceptions.



3 Replies to “Kansas – The goalposts come down at Folsom”

  1. I expanded my thoughts a bit about this game, and another one years later in Iowa, on my blog ( Very grateful to Stuart during this challenging season for the chance to think about happier times. And Sara, I second your wish for similar moments of joy for current students.

  2. oh i remember this like it was yesterday..and Kevin, I remember the throng heading north, and the police surrounding it. I also remember Coors donating the money to put up a new one…and when we won the next time and descended toward the field, they had police surrounding it….mwahahhahaaaaa! Good times! Hope current students have the opportunity to celebrate like this, at least once this season!

  3. O, the joy. I was one of those thirsty fans who took the south goalpost down (my memory was that the north post stayed up, surrounded by a determined ring go CUPD. Pretty exciting times for a freshman.

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