September 28th ‑ at Texas A&M         No. 12 Colorado 24, Texas A&M 10

In the 1996 pre‑season Associated Press poll, the Aggies of Texas A&M were ranked 13th, two spots higher than A&M had been ranked at the close of the 1995 campaign.

The pre‑season ranking, though, proved to be the high‑water mark for the 1996 Aggies.  An opening game loss to BYU, 41‑37 in the Pigskin Classic, was followed by a stunning defeat at the hands of the Ragin’ Cajuns of Southwestern Louisiana, 29‑22.  A win over North Texas to raise the Aggies’ record to 1‑2 did little to appease the A&M faithful heading into the game against Colorado.

Colorado did its best early on to quiet the standing‑room‑only crowd of 70,339.

Buff safety Ryan Sutter (yes, that Ryan Sutter – of future “The Bachelor” fame) forced a fumble on the opening kickoff, and the Buffs wasted little time taking advantage of the turnover.  On the first play from scrimmage, senior wide receiver Rae Carruth took a handoff from Koy Detmer on a reverse.  Twenty eight yards later, Colorado had a 7‑0 lead.  The game was only thirteen seconds old (setting a new school record for the quickest score from scrimmage to open a game), and the Buffs were ahead to stay.

Early in the second quarter, running back Herchell Troutman took a Detmer screen pass 50 yards for a score and a 14‑0 Buff advantage.

After Texas A&M scored midway through the second quarter to pull to within 14-7, the Colorado offense responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive culminated in a seven yard touchdown pass from Detmer to Darrin Chiaverini.

Down 21-7 in the third quarter, Texas A&M went for a fourth-and-one at the CU three yard line. The Buff defense, which allowed only one touchdown on the day, forced Aggie quarterback Kyle Bryant into an incompletion. Texas A&M would not threaten again until the Buffs had a 24-7 lead and less than four minutes remained, settling for a 30-yard field goal to close out the scoring.

Colorado had to overcome school‑record performances by Aggie quarterback Branndon Stewart (34‑64, 385 yards) and receiver Albert Connell (18 receptions, 208 yards) to win its eighth straight game on the road, and hand A&M a rare home loss (63‑4‑1 at Kyle field since 1985).  Koy Detmer completed 16 of his 27 passes for 246 yards and two scores, while the Buff defense had seven sacks and recovered four fumbles.

The Buffs had won their first‑ever Big 12 Conference game, but it was an “ugly” win (11 more penalties).  For his part, Buff quarterback Koy Detmer was not concerned.  “We said before the game we’re not going to worry about how pretty it was”, said the senior Buff quarterback, “we were just going to be excited about winning.”  Offensive guard Kyle Smith agreed:  “Twenty years from now, people won’t look back on all the penalties or anything.  They’ll look back at W’s and L’s, and we got the W.”

The Buffs had made it through September with three W’s and one L.  After the A&M game, Colorado had a second bye week.  Many Buff fans took the opportunity of the off week to watch Nebraska, defending national champion, previously unbeaten and seemingly invincible, fall to Arizona State, 19‑0.

The race for the first Big 12 title, not to mention the national championship, was back on.


Game Notes –

– Rae Carruth’s 28-yard touchdown run on a reverse on the Buffs’ first play from scrimmage proved to be the longest scoring run for the Buffs in all of 1996.

– The Colorado defense set a school record for pass deflections against Texas A&M, with 18. The new total smashed the old team record of 11, which had been accomplished three times in school history (v. Washington State in 1987; v. CSU in 1987; and v. Texas A&M in 1995). Steve Rosga led the Buffs, with five pass deflections all by himself.

– Senior defensive end Greg Jones had a career game against the Aggies. Jones had nine tackles, including three sacks, to go with eight quarterback hurries.

– Sophomore wide receiver Darrin Chiaverini had only one catch (for nine yards) against Texas A&M, but it was good enough for his first career touchdown.

– The eighth straight road win tied a school record, a record set between 1922 and 1924.

– The win over the Aggies also marked the eighth straight season in which the Buffs won their first game in conference play.

– Texas A&M, a ranked team to start the 1996 season, did not live up to expectations. The Aggies finished the season with a 6-6 record, 4-4 in the first-ever season of Big 12 play.



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