October 30th – Boulder           Colorado 38, No. 24 Oklahoma 24

Mike Moschetti, showing no ill effects from a concussion which had sidelined him a week earlier, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as Colorado upended 24th-ranked Oklahoma, 38-24.

Moschetti completed 22-of-31 attempts for 382 yards, including scoring passes of 49 and 88 yards to junior wide receiver Javon Green, on his way to being named the Big 12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

The Colorado defense, despite giving up 24 points, more than held its own.

Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel came into the game already owning – after six games – most of the single season passing records for the Sooners. Heupel was also making inroads on many of the career passing records at Oklahoma, but against Colorado, all Heupel received was a pounding.

Last in the Big 12 in sacks entering the contest, the Buff defense got to Heupel three times. Heupel was also suffered four interceptions, connecting on 26-of-58 passes on the day. “Defensively, we kept responding,” said Colorado coach Gary Barnett. “We had a great defensive plan (which at times had the Buffs utilizing six defensive backs and only one linebacker). We didn’t want to sit back and let them just throw the ball.”

After a long punt return deep into Colorado territory, Oklahoma took the early lead with a field goal on its first possession, but the Buffs responded late in the first quarter with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Moschetti to Marcus Stiggers. Oklahoma then took its second – and last – lead of the game with a two-yard touchdown run with four minutes left in the half.

Again the Buffs responded, taking only three plays to cover 62 yards to regain the lead. A 49-yard touchdown pass from Moschetti to Javon Green gave Colorado a 14-10 halftime advantage.

The Buffs expanded on their lead in the third quarter thanks to Ben Kelly.

The senior cornerback had two interceptions in the quarter. The first, on the opening drive of the second half, was returned to the Oklahoma one-yard line, with Moschetti taking the ball in on the next play to make it a 21-10 game. Two possessions later, Kelly picked off another Heupel offering, with the Buff offense converting that turnover into a 33-yard field goal by Jeremy Aldrich.

Down 24-10, the Sooners rallied. In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Heupel hit Reggie Skinner for a six-yard touchdown, cutting the Buffs’ lead in half. The Colorado offense countered with an 80-yard drive, with Moschetti hitting Daniel Graham for a 14-yard touchdown and a 31-17 lead.

Heupel then connected on a 49-yard touchdown pass, again pulling to within a touchdown, at 31-24. Again the Colorado offense had an answer.

Instead of taking eight plays to score, however, the Buffs posted their second one-play drive of the second half, with Moschetti connecting with Javon Green for an 88-yard touchdown pass to seal the victory.

“There were times in the game when we had to score because of Oklahoma’s offense,” Moschetti said, “and we went down the field and scored. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

The seemingly resurgent Buffs were now 5-3 on the season, one win from qualifying for a bowl game. Sandwiched between games with undefeated and 6th-ranked Kansas State and once beaten and 8th-ranked Nebraska was a very winnable game against 1-7 Baylor. With a bowl game now within their reach, the Buffs could now focus on the improbable – a run at the Big 12 title.

Colorado was tied with Nebraska for second place in the Big 12 North with a 4-1 conference record. A win in Manhattan against the front-runners from Kansas State would tie the Buffs for first place in the Division and give the Buffs the inside track to the conference title game.

Colorado had contained an Oklahoma offense averaging over 40 points a game, limiting the nation’s third-best passing attack to 317 yards. Kansas State, though, was even more potent. In outscoring their first eight opponents, 332 -89, the Wildcats were winning by an average score of 41-11. Five times in 1999, Kansas State had held its opponent under ten points.

“Today was probably as good as we could play in most respects,” Barnett said after the Oklahoma win.

For Colorado to defeat Kansas State for the first time since 1996, though, the Buffs’ effort would have to be even better.

Here is a link to the You Tube video of the game, courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul:

Game Notes … 

– The victory gave Colorado an 8-0-1 record against Oklahoma in their last nine meetings, and fifth straight win overall in the series. The nine game non-winning streak represented the longest such streak by any team against Oklahoma in the history of Sooner football (Colorado had been tied with three other teams, each of which had put together an eight game unbeaten streak against Oklahoma).

– Oklahoma entered the game as the No. 24 team in the nation. The win for Colorado marked the 12th straight season in which the Buffs had defeated at least one ranked team, the second-longest streak in the nation (Florida State – 13 straight seasons).

– Oklahoma, the former rushing great, finished the game against Colorado with 17 rushes for a minus-11 yards (Colorado had three sacks for a minus-30 yards, which meant that the Sooners rushing game was only good for 14 carries and 19 yards). The game marked the fifth time in Colorado history in which a team was held to negative yards rushing (the record: -49 yards by Wichita State in a 52-0 blowout).

– On the flip side, the 58 passes by Oklahoma set a new record for the most passes in a game by the Sooners.

– In addition to his 382 yards passing, Mike Moschetti also led the team in rushing against Oklahoma, with 14 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown. His four touchdown passes in a single game was a career high.

– Ben Kelly’s interceptions against Oklahoma represented two of his team-leading five for the 1999 season. Kelly would go on to be named first-team All-Big 12 as a cornerback, also being honored as first team kick-returner by the Big 12 coaches.

– Javon Green had only three catches on the day, but they went for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Green would go on to lead the team in receptions on the season (with 40), yards receiving (663) and receiving touchdowns (7). His 88-yard touchdown reception against the Sooners was the longest play from scrimmage for the Buffs all season.

– Junior wide receiver Eric McReady earned his first career start against Oklahoma, responding with two receptions for ten yards. Also posting their first career starts were sophomore defensive end Robert Haas and sophomore defensive back Terrence Wood.

– Oklahoma would go on to bounce back from the loss to Colorado to win three of its last four regular season games in the Sooners’ first season under Bob Stoops. A 27-25 loss to Mississippi in the Independence Bowl left Oklahoma with a 7-5 record (5-3 in the Big 12) in 1999.



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