September 22nd – Boulder             Colorado 27, Kansas 16

“The first thing you have to say,” said a relieved Gary Barnett after his Buffs had finally put away the Kansas Jayhawks, 27-16, before 47,495 on a beautiful fall afternoon in Boulder, “is that it looked like we took two weeks off.”

For much of the game, the 2001 Buffs looked like their much-maligned 2000 counterparts.  Dropped passes, mental errors, and penalties – especially the penalties – kept Kansas in the game until very late in the second half.

The game started out well enough for the Buffs.

After spotting Kansas an opening field goal, Colorado marched smartly down the field, covering 80 yards in eight plays, completing the scoring drive when Chris Brown scored from seven yards out to give Colorado a 7-3 lead.  The Buffs’ second drive was equally impressive before it stalled inside the Kansas ten yard line.  Jeremy Flores connected on a 22-yard field goal to put the Buffs up 10-3.

With two drives resulting in two scores, it seemed like the Buffs would be able to score at will, and another 41-14 or 51-15 score appeared imminent.

Instead, for the next two quarters, the Buffs became their own worst enemy.

The Jayhawks’ only touchdown drive of the day came in second quarter, when two Buff penalties kept the drive alive.  A roughing-the-kicker penalty on a fourth-down punt attempt and a personal foul penalty after an incomplete pass attempt on 3rd-and-15 gave Kansas 30 of their 73 yards.  A 38-yard touchdown pass from Mario Kinsey to Roger Ross tied the score at 10-10.

Adding insult to injury, Kansas kicker Johnny Beck connected on a Folsom Field record-setting 59-yard field goal as time expired to give the Jayhawks a 13-10 halftime lead.

A third quarter Colorado field goal tied the game at 13-all, but ten seconds into the fourth quarter, KU’s Beck connected again, this time from 46 yards out, to give Kansas a 16-13 advantage.

This final scoring effort by the Jayhawks seemingly aroused the inconsistent Colorado offense, which finally put the Buffs back in the lead, 20-16, on a 17-yard pass from Craig Ochs to Daniel Graham on the Buffs’ next possession.

Next, after the Colorado defense held and forced a short punt, the Buffs’ offense needed only one play to put the game out of reach. Chris Brown broke through the middle of the Jayhawk line and sprinted 40 yards for a 27-16 lead which held up the rest of the game.

Brown finished the day with 140 yards on 22 carries, with Cortlen Johnson contributing 113 yards on only eight carries.  On the day, Colorado racked up 338 yards rushing and 524 yards of total offense.  Impressive numbers, but the scoreboard did not reflect the domination of the Buffs on the field.

“We had a great effort”, said Barnett of his Buffs, now 3-1, 1-0 in Big 12 play.  “I thought we really played hard.  We just can’t play that sloppily in two weeks.”

The Buffs now had a bye week before taking its first real road trip of the season to face Kansas State.  The Wildcats had started off 2-0, including a road win against USC, but fell, 38-37, to defending national champion Oklahoma in Norman during CU’s bye week.  The loss dropped KSU from 11th to 12th in the polls.  Still, the Wildcats had reason for optimism.  They had fallen behind the undefeated and third-ranked Sooners 35-14 before rallying and coming up just short.

And there was this … Colorado had lost four consecutive games to Kansas State in falling to third in the Big 12 North in the minds of most analysts.

If the Buffs were to make a statement that they were back in the hunt for a Big 12 Championship, that road would have to travel first through Manhattan, Kansas.

Game Notes:

– The Buffs committed ten penalties for 110 yards against Kansas, marking the first time that Colorado had over 100 yards marked off since 110 yards of penalties were committed against San Jose State on September 11, 1999.

– The 59-yard field goal by Kansas kicker Johnny Beck was the longest in Folsom Field history, besting the 57-yarder by CU’s Fred Lima (v. Iowa State, 10/14/72) and matched by CU’s Dave DeLine in the epic 20-10 win over Nebraska (10/25/86). The Beck record stood for three years, until CU’s Mason Crosby connected from 60 yards out against Iowa State (19/16/04).

– Chris Brown’s 40-yard scoring run was the longest by a Buff runner in almost three seasons. The most recent 40+ yard run by a CU runner previous to Brown’s effort was by Marlon Barnes – 64 yards v. Iowa State, 11/14/98.

– The loss to Colorado dropped Kansas to 1-2 on the season. After a win over Texas Tech, the Jayhawks dropped their next six games, with head coach Terry Allen being fired on November 4th after a 51-7 loss to Nebraska. Tom Hayes took over as the interim coach, losing to Texas and Iowa State  before salvaging a win over Wyoming in the September 11th make-up game played on November 24th. The season-ending win left Kansas with a 3-8, 1-7.


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