November 5th – Boulder                    No. 7 Colorado 17, Oklahoma State 3

The main distraction for the Colorado Buffaloes for Homecoming, 1994, was not the Homecoming festivities, nor was it the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  Rather, the Buffs greatest concern was lethargy.  Oklahoma State was 3-4-1 on the year, with its only wins coming in non-conference contests against the likes of Northern Illinois, Tulsa, and North Texas.

The glow of the national spotlight was gone, as, for the first time in a month, CU’s game would not be shown by a national network.

After opening the game as if the game was of no consequence, the Buffs played just well enough to secure a 17-3 win.  Oklahoma State took the opening kickoff and marched 73 yards down the field, taking up almost half of the first quarter before settling for a 24-yard field goal.  After Colorado punted on its first possession, the 51,059 in attendance at Folsom Field began to get a little nervous.

But the Colorado defense turned the tide.

On the Cowboys’ second series, sophomore safety Steve Rosga intercepted a Tone Jones pass and returned it 25 yards to the Cowboy 30-yard line.  Three plays later, Kordell Stewart ran the ball in from 27 yards out to give the Buffs a 7-3 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.

The Buffs nursed the four-point lead through much of the second quarter before putting together a 12-play, 96-yard drive to take better control of the game. A one-yard touchdown pass from Stewart to freshman receiver Phil Savoy with just 19 seconds before halftime gave the Buffs a more comfortable 14-3 lead at the break.

The second half was a yawner as neither offense could put the ball into the end zone.

On the first play of their final drive of the third, Salaam took a handoff, burst through the line of scrimmage, and raced 49 yards before finally being dragged down at the OSU 18-yard line. The play would eventually lead to a field goal, the Buffs’ final points of the afternoon.

Salaam would gain 49 yards in the fourth and finish the day with a solid 174 yards rushing on 29 carries, though he would fail to reach the end zone in a game for the first, and as it turned out, only time that season.

“The line opened up holes for me, but I was just a little bit sluggish,” said Salaam. “I had the flu bug and I just thank god we got out of here with a win.”

In the end, both teams got what they came for … the Cowboys got out of Boulder with their dignity in tact, while the Buffs got the win.

“I think it’s pretty evident that we came out flat today,” said inside linebacker Ted Johnson.  “We weren’t crisp all week in practice and it showed.”  Fortunately for the Buffs, the Cowboys, who had last won a Big Eight Conference game in 1992, were not able to rise to the occasion.

“I think we were a little tired,” said head coach Bill McCartney.  “We’re not as crisp as we need to be, but we did what we needed to do to win the game and that much I’m pleased with.”

Kansas, at 5-4, and winless Iowa State were all that now stood between the Buffs and a date in Tempe for the Fiesta Bowl.  If the Buffs were going to keep their fans awake during the remaining two games of the regular season, they had to create new interest.

Enter Kordell Stewart, Rashaan Salaam, Michael Westbrook, and Christian Fauria …

… Please take out your media guides and turn to the section entitled:  “Individual and Team Records”.

– Game Notes –

– Rashaan Salaam, who would set numerous records during the 1994 season, set one against Oklahoma State. Salaam had 174 yards rushing and 28 yards receiving against the Cowboys, more than enough to allow him to surpass the single season All-Purpose running record of 1,818 yards set by Eric Bieniemy in 1990. Salaam would go on to finish the season with 2,349 All-Purpose running yards (2,055 rushing, 294 receiving).

– With his 193 yards passing and 34 yards rushing, Kordell Stewart became the first player in Big Eight history to pass for over 6,000 yards while rushing for over 1,000 yards. Steward also topped the 2,000-yard mark for total offense for the 1994 season, doing so for the third straight season. In so doing, Stewart became just the second player to accomplish that particular feat.

– Defensive tackle Shannon Clavelle had 15 tackles (10 solo) against Oklahoma State, adding two sacks. For his efforts, Clavelle was named the Big Eight Defensive Player-of-the-Week, only the second Buff so honored during the 1994 season (Ted Johnson v. Michigan).

– While the Buffs were held to just 17 points by the Cowboys, the game against Oklahoma State did produce the longest non-scoring pass (Stewart-to-Savoy for 60 yards) and longest kickoff return (36 yards by Herchell Troutman) of the 1994 season.

– Red-shirt freshman wide receiver Phil Savoy had his best game of his first season against Oklahoma State. Savoy had eight catches in the first eight games of the season, but had six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys (his only touchdown in 1994).

– The Salaam (174 yards rushing) and Savoy (113 yards receiving) double represented the 13th time in schools history (and the second time in 1994) in which Colorado had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game.

– Sophomore Desmond Dennis earned the first start of his collegiate career against Oklahoma State. Subbing for the injured Matt Lepsis, Dennis had one catch (for seven yards) against the Cowboys, his second catch of the season. Dennis would go on to start the remaining three games of the season (including the Fiesta Bowl), but would switch to the defensive line for the 1995 season.

– Oklahoma State would go on to lose the final two games of the season, to finish the 1994 campaign with a 3-7-1 record (0-6-1 in Big Eight play). The sixth straight losing season marked the end of the Pat Jones era in Stillwater. Jones, who coached Oklahoma State for 11 seasons, finished with a 62-60-3 overall record, including a 3-1 record in bowl games. After leading the Cowboys to a 10-2 record in 1988, though, Jones would not post another winning season before being fired. Jones would be replaced by Colorado assistant coach Bob Simmons for the 1995 season.

Here are YouTube video highlights of the game:


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