October 2nd – Boulder           No. 9 UCLA 34, Colorado 6

For Bruin fans, there was little reason to believe that UCLA’s first-ever visit to Boulder would be anything but a pleasant one.

Colorado did little to discredit its role as compliant host, falling 34-6 to the 9th-ranked Bruins. UCLA came into the game 3-0, fresh off of two road wins against Big 10 teams. In the weeks leading up to UCLA’s trip to Boulder, UCLA had beaten back a red sea of Wisconsin fans at Madison, going on to beat the winningest program of all time, Michigan, at one of the shrines of the game, Ann Arbor.

Folsom Field and the 1-2 Buffs would not intimidate this squad.

The game itself was never in doubt. The anemic Colorado offense produced only two long range Tom Field field goals as the Bruins cruised to a 34-6 win. The Buff defense again put in a credible effort, holding UCLA to 10 points until Bruin quarterback Tom Ramsey connected with split end Donnie Williams on a 50-yard bomb in the last minute of the first half to up the score to 17-6 at halftime. “In my mind, that touchdown was the big play of the game,” said McCartney. “We really needed to go in at halftime down 10-6. It would have put some pressure on them.”

The quick touchdown at the end of the half seemed to take the wind out of the Buffs sails. The second half was a 17-0 shutout for UCLA, with Colorado only posting 192 yards of total offense on the day. Randy Essington returned as starter at quarterback, but managed only 114 yards passing. His primary target was freshman running back Chris McLemore, who had seven catches for 44 yards.

With the game no longer in doubt, and the second half only allowed for some unforeseen irony.

Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?

The highlights of the 1982 UCLA game came in its ironies.

Colorado head coach Bill McCartney had been victorious against virtually the same UCLA squad less than a year earlier. At the time, however, he was the defensive coordinator for Michigan as the Wolverines rolled to a 33-14 Bluebonnet Bowl win over the Bruins.

Meanwhile, wearing a relatively unsoiled uniform for the Bruins that day in Boulder was a junior backup quarterback from Tempe, Arizona. He did not see significant action in the 1982 Colorado game, coming in only for mop-up duty in the fourth quarter. The quarterback’s statistics for the day were unremarkable: four completions in eight attempts for 58 yards; sacked twice for a loss of 14 yards.

Nonetheless, the anonymous quarterback’s presence in Boulder is noteworthy. The quarterback’s name?

Rick Neuheisel.

– Game Notes –

– The game was only the third in the series with UCLA, and the first in Boulder. Colorado fell to 0-3 in the series, and would not post a win until the fifth game with the Bruins, a 31-17 win in Los Angeles in 2002.

– Chris McLemore’s seven catches was a season high by a Buff in a single game in 1982. McLemore’s total was matched later in the season by Donnie Holmes (v. Nebraska) and by Dave Hestera (v. Kansas State).

– Senior linebacker Alan Chrite followed up a 16 tackle performance against Wyoming with another 14 against UCLA. Those 30 tackles represented a third of his 90 tackles on the season.

– UCLA went on to a 10-1-1 season in 1982, with a tie with Arizona the week after game against Colorado, and a 10-7 loss to No. 10 Washington the first week of November. The Bruins finished 5-1-1 in Pac-10 play, earning a trip to the Rose Bowl as the conference champions. After a 24-14 victory over No. 19 Michigan, the Bruins finished the 1982 season as the No. 5 team in the nation.



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