October 29th – Boulder            Oklahoma State 40, Colorado 14

The Buffs and Cowboys had provided two of the most entering Big Eight contests in the previous two years, with the Buffs coming from behind to win 11-10 in 1981, and the two teams battling to a 25-25 tie in 1982.

The Buffs, 2-5 in 1983, and sporting a four-game losing streak, could only hope to repeat the magic against Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys.

It was not meant to be.

Oklahoma State came into the contest with a 5-2 record, but the Cowboys two losses had been to the big boys, Nebraska and Oklahoma, and had been by a total of only five points. Looking for national respect, the Cowboys were out to make a point against the now pitiful Buffs.

After a scoreless first quarter, Oklahoma State posted a 30-spot on the Buffs in the second quarter. By the time Colorado put points on the board, it was the fourth quarter, and many of the 36,889 who came for Homecoming had left.

The final of 40-14 was a fair summation of the game. The Buffs’ two scores – a 56-yard pass from Derek Marshall to Loy Alexander, and a 22-yard run by Derek Marshall – came after the score was 37-0.

Quarterback Steve Vogel was yanked early after going 0-7 with three interceptions. (Go ahead, read that again – 0-for-7, three interceptions). Replacement Derek Marshall thereafter put up what was then the fifth-best passing day in Colorado history, throwing for 274 yards. Colorado, however, generated only six total rushing yards.

“They blitzed us on every down, and made us look totally inept,” said Bill McCartney. “The sense I had was the whole place was flat. I can’t fault our defense; they played hard. Our offense, well, when you’re dropping back and throwing every down and they’re teeing off on you, it’s kind of hard to talk about intensity.”

Oklahoma State ran the ball 76 times against the Buffs, tying a record for a Colorado opponent (Oklahoma also ran the ball 76 times in the Sooners’ 45-10 win in 1982).

The losing streak, begun with the loss to Notre Dame, had now reached five games. Gone were hopes of a winning season and a winning campaign in the conference that had seemed realistic a month earlier. October had netted an 0-5 record.

November did not seem to hold out much reason for optimism, either, but the games had to go on.

Game Notes …

– The record of 76 rushing attempts by an opponent lasted all of one year, as Nebraska would go on to run the ball 77 times in 1984 (a 24-7 Cornhusker win). Colorado, though, maintained its Big Eight record – 99 rushing attempts against Missouri in 1968 (a 27-14 Tiger win).

– The Cowboys did set a record for a Colorado opponent, becoming the first team in CU history to post over 100 plays, going for 101 plays of total offense. Oklahoma State bested its own record of 95 plays of total offense in 1982. [Okay – not really true. These are records which showed up in the 1984 and 1985 media guides – and several thereafter. However, it was later noted that Missouri had in fact run 111 plays of total offense in the 1968 game against the Buffs – a 27-14 Tiger win.]

– Oklahoma State would go on to lose its next two games, to Kansas State and Missouri. The Cowboys would win its final regular season game against Iowa State and its Bluebonnet Bowl game against Baylor to finish the 1983 season with an 8-4 record in Jimmy Johnson’s final season in Stillwater.


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