September 4th – Boulder          No. 11 Colorado 36, Texas 14

In 1989, the Colorado Buffaloes opened their memorable 11-0 regular season with a 27-6 thrashing of the Texas Longhorns.

After a convincing 36-14 win over Texas to kickoff the 1993 campaign, the Buff fans could realistically hope that history would repeat itself.

A national ESPN television audience and a sell-out crowd of 52,125 looked on as Kordell Stewart threw for 246 yards and three touchdown passes to lead the Buffs. Stewart opened the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to Charles E. Johnson to cap a six-play, 66-yard drive.

The lead was up to 14-0 after Stewart hit Michael Westbrook from 16 yards out early in the second quarter. Phil Brown’s eight-yard scoring run for the Longhorns a few series later cut the Colorado lead to 14-7, but in the last minute of the half, Stewart connected on his third touchdown pass of the game, a seven-yarder to tight end Christian Fauria, with just 15 seconds left before the break.

Colorado 21, Texas 7, at the half.

Any thoughts of a Longhorn comeback were erased in the third quarter when cornerback Chris Hudson returned a Shea Morenz pass 21 yards for a touchdown, giving the Buffs a 28-7 lead with only 23 seconds remaining in the quarter. A two-yard Lamont Warren run and an intentional grounding call in the endzone against Texas reserve quarterback Chad Lucas closed out the Buffs’ impressive opening 36-14 win.

Overall, Colorado achieved in the 1993 opener the balanced offensive attack which had been lacking in 1992.

The Buffs churned up 530 yards of total offense – 270 yards rushing; 260 yards passing. Lamont Warren’s 110 yards were the most for any Buff runner since the fourth game of 1992. CU head coach Bill McCartney was pleased: “Offensively we had some moments where we looked sharp”, said McCartney. “I thought in general, with a young offensive line getting a game under their belt against good, quick athletes, which is important, it will help our confidence and momentum.”

The win against a quality opponent on opening night (game time kickoff: 5:30 p.m.), in front of a national audience, was enough to propel the Buffs into the top ten nationally. Colorado jumped one spot, to No. 10, even though every team in front of them won their opening game of the season. As it turned out, No. 7 Notre Dame was apparently less than impressive in its 27-12 win over Northwestern (coached by Gary Barnett), falling to No. 11, one spot behind the Buffs.

But there would be no rest for Colorado in its season of “Maximum Challenge”. Up next were the Baylor Bears, who had just cracked the national rankings themselves (at No. 24) after a 42-39 upset over No. 25 Fresno State.

Here is a YouTube video with highlights of the game, a good time courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul:

Game Notes –

– The 530 yards of total offense was the third most ever by Colorado in a season opener. The 508 yards surrendered by the Buffs were the most in an opener since 1984, but six turnovers by the Longhorns prevented Texas from ever being a factor in the game.

– Chris Hudson had two interceptions against Texas, half of his four for the season. Hudson also had seven tackles, two pass deflections and two third-down stops. For his efforts, Hudson was named the Big Eight Defensive Player-of-the-Week, as well as The Sporting News national Player-of-the-Week.

– Lamont Warren, with 110 yards, and James Hill, with 97 yards, were just short of becoming the first pair of rushers to post 100-yard games against the same opponent since 1991. Hill’s 97-yard effort would prove to be a season high for the senior running back.

– Junior tight end Christian Fauria had nine receptions for 97 yards against Texas. The nine catches were a team high for the Buffs in 1993, while the 97 yards were a season best for Fauria (and his only touchdown reception of the season).

– Along the offensive line, sophomore guard Heath Irwin and junior tackle Tony Berti made their first career starts. Both would go on to start every game in 1993.

– The defense also had two new starters, with sophomore Kerry Hicks making his first career start at defensive tackle, and senior Sam Rogers making his first career start at linebacker. Against Texas, Rogers was second on the team with eight tackles (behind the ten posted by senior safety Greg Lindsey), while Hicks had five tackles, including a tackle-for-loss.

– The victory for Colorado was the third straight in the series against Texas, all between 1989-93. Before the three game winning streak, Colorado had been 0-for-4 against Texas (with three of those games being played in the 1940’s).

– The Longhorns would go on to post a 5-5-1 record in 1993, including a 5-2 record in the Southwestern Conference.


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