November 11th – at Oklahoma State          No. 2 Colorado 41, Oklahoma State 17

What was supposed to be a coronation of the new Big Eight champions appeared to be anything but as the Oklahoma State Cowboys came to play against the emotionally drained Buffaloes.

With a 53-yard scoring strike from quarterback Mike Gundy to wide receiver Curtis Mayfield to open the second quarter, Oklahoma State opened up a 10-0 lead against the lethargic Buffs.  This team was not to be denied, however, as Colorado stormed back with 41 unanswered points on their way to a 41-17 victory over the Cowboys.

The Oklahoma State touchdown put the Buffs down two scores for the first time all season.

Two drives and only six minutes of game clock later, though, Colorado was on top to stay, 14-10.  J.J. Flannigan and Darian Hagan each contributed two short runs for scores (one yard and five yards, respectively) to restore order midway through the second quarter.

By halftime, Colorado was up 24-10 thanks to a 26-yard pass from Hagan to M.J. Nelson and a 40-yard Ken Culbertson field goal.  After the touchdown pass from Gundy to Mayfield, the Colorado defense held Oklahoma State to just 11 yards on 12 offensive plays.

In the second half, a two yard scoring run by Darian Hagan and a one yard touchdown run by Erich Kissick, combined with a record-setting seventh consecutive field goal by Culbertson, allowed the Buffs to cruise to a 41-10 lead before allowing a consolation touchdown to the Cowboys late in the fourth quarter.

Colorado now possessed a 10-0 record for the first time in school history.  A trip to Miami was now guaranteed.  All the Buffs had to do now to finish undisputed champions of the Big Eight and a national title participant was to dispatch Kansas State.

The Wildcats were 1-9 on the season, with their only victory a 20-17 win over Division 1-AA North Texas.  Already 0-6 in Big Eight play, the “Mildcats” seemed to offer little more than a distraction to the surging Buffs.

On the national scene, the Orange Bowl matchup between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Colorado continued to move towards fruition. The Fighting Irish were also 10-0, mauling SMU, 59-6. Hoping for a slip by one of the top two was No. 3 Michigan, 24-10 victors over No. 7 Illinois, 24-10, and No. 4 Alabama, 32-16 winners over LSU. Still hoping to share the Big Eight title was No. 6 Nebraska, 51-14 winners over Kansas.

Here are the YouTube highlights …


 Game Notes … 

– The 41 points were the most ever against the Cowboys by the Buffs. Previously, Colorado had put up 40 points against Oklahoma State in 1920 (a 40-7 win in the first-ever game between the two schools, in a game played in Oklahoma City), and in 1971 (a 40-6 victory in Boulder). In 1995, the Buffs would best the 41-point mark in a 45-32 win in Boulder.

– Fullback Erich Kissick had his best day of his senior season against Oklahoma State. Kissick’s had nine carries for 45 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys (Kissick did have three 100-yard games in 1987, including a career-best 129 yards vs. Missouri).

– Junior linebacker Kanavis McGhee had 14 tackles (nine solo), including a sack, against Oklahoma State. For his efforts, McGhee was named Big Eight Defensive Player-of-the-Week. McGhee’s efforts marked the eighth time in 1989 that a Colorado player earned such an honor.

– Darian Hagan’s 26-yard touchdown pass to M.J. Nelson was just the fourth of the season for the Buffs. As odd as it sounds, the four touchdown passes by Hagan in 1989 represented the highest total by a Colorado quarterback since 1984.

– Oklahoma State would go on to post a 4-7 record in 1989, the first losing season in six seasons in Stillwater for head coach Pat Jones. The Cowboys, on the heels of a 10-2 record in 1988, would not post another winning record again until 1997 (though Jones would last as head coach until 1994).

AP Poll – November 13, 1989

1. Notre Dame (57)

2. Colorado (3)

3. Michigan

4. Alabama

5. Florida State

6. Nebraska

7. Miami

8. USC

9. Tennessee

10. Arkansas


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