November 8th – Boulder           Colorado 17, Kansas 10

In a reverse from the Oklahoma State game the week before, Colorado played well early, then hung on late to post a 17-10 win over Kansas.

Rolling to a 17-0 second quarter lead, the Buffs scored on a one yard run by junior halfback Mike Marquez, a 24-yard field goal by Dave DeLine, and a 34-yard reverse by freshman split end Jeff Campbell.  The latter score was a reprise of the two reverses Campbell ran so successfully in the Nebraska game.

Campbell’s score made it 17-0 with 8:42 still remaining in the first half. Those in attendance at Folsom Field that afternoon were able to sit back, bundle up on an otherwise chilly and unpleasant afternoon, presuming the rest of the game against the 3-5 Jayhawks (0-4 in conference play) would be a cakewalk.

Make that sleepwalk.

After Kansas quarterback Kelly Donahue scored on a one yard run to make the score 17-10 with 8:47 still left in the third quarter, Kansas was within a touchdown of the Buffs, and would remain that way for the rest of the contest.

In the stands, for those of us who had seen the Buffs fold all too many times in the past, the worst was feared.

As had been the case in the Nebraska contest, though, the defense would not let the game slip away.

While the Buff offense did hold the ball for over 35 minutes of the game, and did post 332 yards of rushing, the game was left in doubt as Colorado could not push across another score.  The defense came to the rescue, intercepting Kansas quarterback Kelly Donahue three times (two by senior linebacker Darin Schubeck), and holding the Jayhawks to only 78 yards rushing.  It was the fourth time in five conference games in which the Buff defense held the opponent to less than 100 yards rushing (Nebraska managed only 123 yards rushing, after coming into the game averaging 335.2 yards per contest).

The home crowd of 37,056 was the official tally, but only 30,779 actually braved the freezing temperatures and 25-mph winds which whipped through Folsom Field.  To the Buffs’ fans’ credit, though, while the attendance was only 75% of capacity, the attendance did represent the largest home crowd for a Jayhawk game since the Buffs, then boasting a 4-0 record, hosted Kansas in 1978.  Colorado was now 5-0 in conference, and the faithful were beginning to return.

Up next: fourth ranked Oklahoma, also 5-0 in conference, but 8-1 overall.

The Sooners, while Colorado was struggling against Kansas, was mauling Missouri 77-0.  The week before taking out the Tigers, Oklahoma had dispatched the same Jayhawk squad which had tested Colorado – by a score of 64-3.

The chances of a win over Oklahoma were looking even slimmer than had the chances of a win over Nebraska.

The Buffs would need all the help they could get.

Game Notes –

– The win was the fifth in a row for Colorado, the longest winning streak for the team since the Buffs opened the 1978 season with five consecutive wins (only to lose five of the final six games of the campaign in Bill Mallory’s final season in Boulder).

– Between them, quarterbacks Mark Hatcher and Marc Walters connected on only three passes in nine attempts, going for only 32 yards. Two of the completions, for 18 yards, went to tight end Jon Embree. Ironically, those two catches, for the player who had set a school record with 51 catches in 1984, represented the high catch total for Embree in 1986. On the season, Embree would post only eight catches, missing out on leading the team for the third consecutive season by one catch, as wide receiver Lance Carl led the team in 1986 with nine catches on the year.

– Junior fullback Anthony Weatherspoon had 98 yards rushing against Kansas, his high for the year, and his highest since going for 101 yards against Oregon in 1985.

– Senior linebacker Darin Schubeck had two interceptions against Kansas, matching his career total (Schubeck would go on to post career interception number five against Kansas State in the regular season finale).

– Kansas, in its first year under head coach Bob Valesente, would go winless in Big Eight play. Non-conference wins over Utah State, Indiana State, and Southern Illinois were all the Jayhawks could muster in a 3-8 campaign. The ten points scored against Colorado represented the second highest point total posted by Kansas in Big Eight play in 1986 (putting up an even dozen in a 29-12 loss to Kansas State). The Jayhawks’ touchdown against the Buffs was the only time Kansas crossed the goalline in four games in November.



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