September 24th – Boulder           Colorado 28, Oregon State 21

Colorado took the lead against Oregon State just over three minutes into the game, and trailed for only 2:46 of the entire contest. Still, the Buffs struggled to contain and repel a competitive Oregon State squad, hanging on to defeat the Beavers, 28-21.

Eric Bieniemy rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. His first score came on a 45-yard run on a fourth-and-one, putting the Buffs up 7-0 with 11:54 to play in the first quarter. Bieniemy scored again later in the first quarter from four yards out to give Colorado a 13-7 advantage (the snap on the extra point was high, preventing a kick attempt). Still, it took a Bieniemy 66-yard run in the final stanza to rally the Buffs to a 22-21 lead just minutes after Oregon State had gone up 21-16 on a one yard plunge by Beaver running back Brian Swanson.

Overall, Colorado moved the ball effectively, posting a total of 498 yards of total offense. The Colroado defense, meanwhile, was not in sync, as Oregon State went for 472 total yards, including 353 passing yards.

Bieniemy=s 211 yards was the fifth-best effort ever for a Colorado running back, and the normally anemic Colorado passing game put up 190 yards on a 6-for-9 passing effort by Sal Aunese. Still, the final score, which was enhanced by a ten-yard Aunese scoring run as the final gun sounded, was not the effort the Buffs had been anticipating.

Colorado was now 3-0 for the first time since 1978. The victories were sweet, but after the Fresno State blowout, the Buffs had been forced to come from behind in the fourth quarter to secure the next two wins. The win over Iowa had been unexpected and was on the road, but the win over Oregon State, which had come into the game with a 2-1 record but would win only twice more in 1988, seemed to signal that the Buffs were sliding back.

Hopefully, a rout of hapless in-state rival Colorado State would cure the team=s and prepare the Buffs for a tilt with ranked Oklahoma State in week five.

But this was Colorado. Wins never came easily.

Game Notes –

– Eric Bieniemy’s 211-yard effort was not only the fifth-best in Colorado history, it also marked the first time in 11 seasons in which a Colorado player had rushed for 100 yards in three straight games.

– Keith English had himself a day against Oregon State. The Buffs’ senior punter had five punts against the Beavers, going for an average of 59.8 yards per kick (lest you think it was all wind aided, Oregon State had seven punts for a 41.0 yard average). For his efforts, English was named the Sports Illustrated Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.

– The 190 passing yards against Oregon State, coming on only nine pass attempts, was still the best effort for Colorado since 1984. Jeff Campbell had three of those catches for 107 yards, the highest receiving total posted by a Buff in all of 1988. Campbell also recorded his first career start against the Beavers.

– Against Oregon State, quarterback Sal Aunese had the best overall offensive effort by a Buff in 1988. Aunese coupled his 190 passing yards with 66 yards rushing, posting 256 yards of total offense.

– The win over Oregon State was only the second for Colorado in the series. After the 1988 win, the Beavers still led the overall series, three games to two. The other Colorado win came in 1983, with all three of Oregon State’s victories in the series coming prior to 1964.

– Oregon State came to Boulder with a 2-1 record in 1988, equaling the Beavers’ 1987 win total. The remainder of the 1988 season would not go as well, as the Beavers would only win two more games on the season, finishing with a 4-6-1 record.

And, a little extra … the pregame show of the Colorado marching band before the Oregon State game (the band was still in the baby blues, still unable to obtain new uniforms three seasons after the football team went “Back to Black”).

The view of the north side of the field is pre-Dal Ward and pre-Champions Center, a reminder of what once was … :



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