September 24th – Boulder           Colorado 38, Oregon State 14

Colorado was able to look towards another struggling opponent for the third week in a row as the Oregon State Beavers came to Boulder. Oregon State had posted a record of 1-9-1 in 1982, and had won only one of three starts in 1983.

If the Buffs were to put together back-to-back wins for the first time since 1979, this would be their best chance. The woeful Oregon State football program had not put together more than three wins in a season in its last eleven campaigns, and the team presented to the 33,504 Folsom Field faithful was not a likely candidate to break the streak.

The rout was on early.

Linebacker Jeff Donaldson returned an interception 44 yards for one score to open the game, and Steve Vogel had hooked up with Ron Brown on a 62-yard bomb for another. The score was Colorado 21, Oregon State 0, before the first quarter had even come to a close.

In just over one half of play, Colorado had a lead of 28-0, with offensive plays of 50, 62, 44, 36, and 29 yards – plus Donaldson’s interception return.

Oregon State did push through two consolation scores in the fourth quarter (the second coming on the last play of the game) to make the score 38-14, but it was the Buffs’ day from start to finish.

“Well, we made some big plays early, and changed the complexion of the game,” said Bill McCartney. “I think we deflated them, though they played hard all the time.”

Colorado was again led by a stellar defense and a tough ground game. Generating 252 yards rushing, it was Lee Rouson’s turn to break the century mark, racking up 106 yards on the ground with just nine attempts. Wide receiver Ron Brown had the best game of his career, with five receptions for 143 yards.

The Buffs were now 2-1, with a winning mark in the standings for the first time since 1978.

Here we go CU, here we go …

It was party time again in Boulder.

Forget for the moment that Colorado’s two wins were against two of the weakest programs in the nation. Forget for the moment that Colorado had won two games in a row for the first time in four years. The Buffs were 2-1, and had won both games in comfortable fashion.

As the Boulder Daily Camera headline pronounced: “CU on ‘roll’ – Two in a row”.

It was time for greater things in Folsom.

Quick check of the schedule ….. who’s next? …. WHAT? NOTRE DAME? THE NOTRE DAME?!? Bring ’em on!

The arguments in favor of the Buffs were logical, or were at least logical after a few beers had been consumed up at Tulagi’s, or down on the mall at Potter’s or Old Chicago. Colorado was only a decent fourth quarter away from being 3-0, the argument went. If the Buffs hadn’t given up 17 fourth quarter points to Michigan State in the first game, the Buffs would be undefeated. Plus, and this was a BIG plus, Michigan State had gone on to beat Notre Dame the following week – at South Bend – 28-23. Ergo, if Colorado could hang tough with a team that went on to beat the Irish, on the Irish’s home field, then the Buffs should be able to stick it to one of the most storied schools in college football history.

Even the media got caught up in the hype. In Buddy Martin’s column in the Rocky Mountain News the week of the game, the headline read: “Upset Special: CU Over Irish”.

Bring on Notre Dame!!!

Game Notes –

– The victory over Oregon State gave Colorado back-to-back wins for the first time since closing out the 1979 season with back-to-back wins over Kansas and Kansas State.

– Only 33,504 were on hand to witness the Colorado victory. It was the smallest home crowd for the Buffs since 23,921 braved adverse conditions to witness the 1981 finale against Kansas State (a 24-21 Buff win).

– Steve Vogel went eight-for-13 for 167 yards and a touchdown. The 62-yard hookup with Ron Brown marked the sixth straight game in which Vogel had at least one touchdown pass, a school record. (Darian Hagan would be the first to break the record, throwing for touchdowns in eight consecutive games over the 1990-91 seasons).

– At the time, Ron Brown’s 143 yards receiving represented the third highest total in Colorado history, behind only Walter Stanley’s 222 yards against Texas Tech (1981) and Cliff Branch’s 158 yards against Missouri (1970).



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