October 8th – Boulder           Missouri 59, Colorado 20

The excitement surrounding the Buffs’ two game winning streak in September seemed like ancient history only eight days into October.

As Notre Dame had done the week before, Missouri took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for a touchdown. It was just the beginning of a rout that, if possible, was even worse than the 59-20 score indicates. In Coach McCartney’s words: “We got beat every way you can get beat … soundly, thoroughly, in every way”.

To underscore the domination, it should be noted that the score was 59-6 with only a few minutes left in the game. Colorado did score two gimme touchdowns in the last 2:18 of the game, narrowly avoiding a 50-point loss.

Colorado’s first points, a four-yard touchdown pass from Steve Vogel to tight end Jon Embree, didn’t come until Missouri had built a 31-0 second quarter lead. The final two touchdowns, after the game was well out of hand, came with Derek Marshall at quarterback. The first came on a  four-yard run by Guy Egging; the second on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Marshall to sophomore tight end Hugo Nevarez.

“I knew emotionally we were somewhat spent,” said Bill McCartney. “I thought we’d bounce back, but I was scared all week … What led up to this as much as anything was all the emphasis we placed on the pre-season and Notre Dame.”

Not surprisingly, the Tigers dominated the stats sheet.

Missouri rolled up 381 yards rushing to only 53 for Colorado. Missouri had, despite dominating the series against the Buffs (32-13-3 after the 1983 game) had only twice, in 47 previous contests, scored over 35 points in a single game. In 1983, the Tigers had 38 points at halftime.

The question of which direction the 2-2 Buffs would take after the Notre Dame game had been answered.

The Buffs were not back. However, up next was Iowa State, 2-3 under first-year head coach Jim Criner. The game would be in Ames, but the Buffs did own a 14-5 advantage in the series in games played on the road.

Colorado was 2-3, 0-1 in Big Eight play. It was not too late to salvage the 1983 season.

Game Notes –

– The Colorado/Missouri game was the fourth straight home game for Colorado. The last time the Buffs had spent that much time at home was in 1978, when Colorado opened with five straight home games (Colorado won all five, rising to 13th in the polls, before stumbling to a 6-5 finish).

– The touchdown reception by freshman tight end Jon Embree was the first of his career (and only touchdown catch of his freshman season). Embree would go on to set most of the season and career tight end records at Colorado, including receptions (80) and career receiving yards (1,166).

– Wide receiver Ron Brown, who had five catches for a career-high 143 receiving yards against Oregon State, had only one catch – for 37 yards – against Notre Dame. Brown followed that up with one catch – for 37 yards – against Missouri.

– Shelby Nash tied a team record with eight kickoff returns in a single game, returning eight Missouri offerings for 151 yards (tying the record set by Walter Stanley against Nebraska in 1981, who had eight kick returns for 123 yards). The record was tied again in 2009, when Darrell Scott had eight kickoff returns against Colorado (for 204 yards).

– Missouri would go on to finish 7-5 in 1983. The Tigers went 5-2 in Big Eight play, including a 10-0 win over No. 11 Oklahoma. Missouri was invited to play No. 9 BYU in the Holiday, falling 21-17 to the Cougars (the year before BYU would go on to win the 1984 national championship).


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