October 7th – Boulder           No. 24 Kansas 40, No. 4 Colorado 24

A funny thing happened on the way to Colorado’s battle with Nebraska for the Big Eight title and the right to play in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship.

The schedule called for a game against Kansas.

The Jayhawks, the No. 24 team in the nation, came into Boulder and defeated the Buffs for the first time since 1984, taking down No. 4 Colorado, 40-24.

The Jayhawks served notice early that they were not intimidated by the Buffs or Folsom Field, scoring on a 35-yard field goal on the game’s first drive.  Colorado’s first drive stalled, and after punter Andy Mitchell’s effort was blocked and run in for a touchdown, the Buffs were quickly down 9-0 (the PAT attempt was blocked by Ryan Olson).

Five minutes into the game, Colorado was not looking like a national title contender.

The Buffs did mount a comeback, taking a 14-9 lead late in the first quarter after quarterback John Hessler connected with Rae Carruth (for a 58-yard score) and Chris Anderson (from 17 yards out). Early in the second quarter, though, the Jayhawks retook the lead on a four-yard run.

A CU drive late in the second quarter stalled at the Kansas two yard line, with the Buffs settling for a 19-yard Neil Voskeritchian field goal. The 17-16 Buff lead did not stand up, as the Jayhawks completed an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a two yard touchdown run by June Henley to take a 23-17 halftime advantage.

A key play took place early in the third quarter.

Colorado took the second half kickoff and drove to the Kansas seven yard line in just five plays. Looking to seize momentum, Herchell Troutman fumbled, one of four turnovers on the afternoon. The Buffs did take a 24-23 lead later in the third quarter on a 23-yard scoring pass from Hessler to Troutman, but the remainder of the game was all Kansas, with the Jayhawks out-scoring the Buffs 17-0 over the last 17 minutes of the contest to post a 40-24 victory.

The vaunted Buffs’ defense, which had throttled previous opponents, was dissected for 495 yards of total offense and 34:25 of playing clock.  Running back June Henley ran over and around the Buffs for 137 yards and two scores, while quarterback Mark Williams completed 25 passes for 299 yards and a game-sealing touchdown pass with 9:27 left in the fourth.

What was worse for the Buffs was that Koy Detmer was lost for the season during the game.  After June Henley had rambled through the defense for a 43-yard touchdown and a 33-24 Jayhawk lead, Neuheisel inserted Detmer to try and provide the Buffs with a spark.  Detmer had some early success before throwing an interception which led to the Jayhawks’ final score.  On the third play of the Buffs’ next drive, Detmer went down, this time for the season.

“My hat’s off to the Kansas team and the coaching staff”, said a diplomatic Neuheisel after the game.  “We’ll have to rise up and play outstanding football the rest of the way.”

What else was there to say?

Neuheisel had tasted defeat for the first time in his coaching career, falling to 5-1 on the season, 1-1 in Big Eight play.  Detmer was gone for the year, and Nebraska loomed on the horizon.

Colorado now had a bye week on the calendar before facing Iowa State.  Colorado fell from 4th to 9th in the polls after the loss, and was now sandwiched between No. 8 Kansas State and the new No. 10, Kansas.

The Buffs needed the rest.  It was now time to refocus and establish a new set of goals for the season.

 Game Notes –

– CU out-gained Kansas, 510-495, marking just the second time since 1985 in which the Buffs lost a game in which the offense generated at least 500 yards of total offense.

– The win by the Jayhawks broke a ten-g 9 game winning streak for the Buffs in the series, leaving CU with a 33-19-1 overall advantage (18-8 in games player in Boulder).

– Herchell Troutman had 14 carries for 108 yards, a career high. Troutman also had four catches for four receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown.

– Rae Carruth collected five passes for 148 yards and a score. The 148 yards (the most receiving yards by any Buff in a game in the 1995 season) pushed Carruth over 1,000 yards receiving for his career, only the 11th Buff in school history to accomplish that feat (Carruth would go on to finish the 1995 season with 1,008 yards receiving, just the fourth CU player with over 1,000 yards receiving in a season. Carruth would be named a first-team All-Big Eight performer, and would receive honorable mention as an All-American).

Coupled with Troutman’s 108 yards rushing, the Kansas game marked just the 15th time in school history (and the first since the 1994 Kansas game) in which CU had both a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game.

– CU punter Andy Mitchell had a 73-yard punt against Kansas, which would prove to be the longest of his career.

– The 1995 season would prove to be the apex of the nine-year stint for Glen Mason as the head coach at Kansas. The Jayhawks would post an overall record of 10-2, 5-2 in Big Eight play. After a 51-30 win over UCLA in the Aloha Bowl, the Jayhawks concluded the 1995 with a No. 9 ranking.

– The Jayhawks would not sustain the momentum of 1995, however, going 4-7 in 1996, the inaugural season for the Big 12. Mason would move on to Minnesota after the 1996 season, posting an overall record of 47-54-1 in his nine years in Lawrence.


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