October 14th – at Iowa State          No. 3 Colorado 52, Iowa State 17

The 100th edition of the Colorado Buffaloes football team continued their assault on the record books as Colorado scored on all seven first half possessions en route to crushing Iowa State, 52-17.

The Cyclones stayed even with the Buffs through the first quarter, forging a 10-10 score with a 50-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.  Thereafter, though, it was all Buffs.  Colorado scored 35 points in the second quarter, setting a school record for points in that particular stanza.  The halftime total of 45 points was also a new school standard for one half, besting 41 points laid on Northwestern in 1978.

In all, Colorado posted 662 yards of total offense, the third highest total ever.  The 9.19 yards/play average bettered the school mark by almost a full yard.  Leading the slaughter was Darian Hagan, who ran for two scores and connected with Mike Pritchard through the air for two more.  For his 269 yards of total offense, which included a career-high 187 yards passing, Hagan was named the Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

Still, the Buffs took a hit in the first quarter as Eric Bieniemy was injured.  Bieniemy broke the fibula bone in his right leg on his fifth carry of the afternoon.  In six games, Bieniemy had rushed for 561 yards and nine touchdowns.  Picking up the slack were senior J.J. Flannigan, who ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa State, and redshirt freshman Todd Bell, who collected 85 yards on 12 carries, including his first career touchdown in the third quarter.

All phases of the Colorado game were on track.  The offense was spectacular; the defense dominant.  Even the special teams were excellent.  Ken Culbertson was on the brink of a school record for consecutive extra points; Tom Rouen was leading the nation in punting; and the kick coverage and return teams were amongst the conference’s best.

In sum, the Buffs were playing like a top five team …

… and the nation was noticing.

In the next poll of Associated Press writers, the Buffs picked up another first place vote, giving Colorado three No. 1 votes overall. Colorado also gained ground overall on both No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Miami.  Colorado was now 6-0; 2-0 in Big Eight play.

A game against Kansas was all now stood between Colorado and the Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oklahoma State trifecta which would determine the Buffs’ conference and national fate.

Game Notes –

– The 662 yards of total offense against Iowa State was the 3rd-highest in school history at the time (behind only the 676 yards put up against Oklahoma State in 1971, and the 675 yards posted against Air Force in 1970).

– The record for points in a single quarter remained at 38 points, which the Buffs scored against Colorado Mines in the third quarter of a 58-0 rout in 1935. The 35 put up against Iowa State in the second quarter of the 1989 game, however, did set a new standard for that particular quarter.

– The 45 points in the first half was also a new best, not surpassed until the Buffs put up 49 points against Northeast Louisiana in 1995. Though the overall record was broken in 1995, the 45 points remained the standard for a half in a Colorado road game.

– Darian Hagan had his best passing day of the 1989 season, completing eight-of-ten passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Coupled with his 87 yards rushing, Hagan’s 269 yards of total offense set a 1989 season standard. Despite not having to play the entire game, Hagan was named the Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

– Surprisingly, despite a season high 662 yards of total offense and 29 first downs, Colorado did not have a single 100-yard rusher against Iowa State.

– The 1989 Iowa State game was a career highlight for freshman tailback Matt Bell. His 12 carries for 85 yards were career highs, and Bell scored his only touchdown as a Buff against the Cyclones. For the 1989 season, Bell, who had 19 carries coming into the game, would only have ten more carries the remainder of the season. He sat out the 1990 season on a disciplinary suspension, and was gone from the roster by 1991.

– Junior Tim James had two interceptions against Iowa State. James would go on to lead the team in interceptions in 1989, with four total.

– While the Buffs were in Iowa taking care of the Cyclones, No. 1 Notre Dame was in the Centennial State, besting previously unbeaten Air Force in Colorado Springs, 41-27. No. 2 Miami, meanwhile, was mauling San Jose State, 48-16, and No. 4 Nebraska, supplanted by the Buffs at the No.3 spot, took care of Missouri, 50-7.

– Despite the blowout loss to Colorado, Iowa State would go on to post a 6-5 record in 1989, the first – and only – winning record for the Cyclones in the eight year tenure of head coach Jim Walden.



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