October 9th – at Missouri          No. 24 Missouri 26, Colorado 0

Colorado went almost twenty full seasons without being shut out, scoring in every game played between November 12, 1988, and October 25, 2008.

The Buffs under Dan Hawkins lost the record streak, one of the top ten in NCAA history, with a 58-0 humiliation at Columbia, Missouri. Two years later, Colorado was shut out again, again in Columbia, Missouri, this time by the score of 26-0. The fact that the score was 32 points closer was of little consolation, as Colorado fell to 3-2, 0-1 in its final season in Big 12 play.

The game began almost as ominously as had the first 2010 road game, a 52-7 thrashing at the hands of the Cal Bears.

Missouri returned the opening kickoff to its own 41-yard line, but the Colorado defense was up to the first challenge posed by the Buffs’ poor special teams play, holding the Tigers to a three-and-out and a punt. Unfortunately for Colorado fans, the Trey Barrow punt went out-of-bounds at the Colorado two yard line. Just had been the case againt Cal, the Buffs’ first drive of the game started inside their own five yard line.

The Buffs did manage one first down before punting, but the Zach Grossnickle punt was partially blocked (special teams’ gaffe No. 2 of the first quarter) rolling out to the Colorado 40. Again, though the Colorado defense forced a three-and-out, as Missouri gained only one yard in three plays. This time, Tiger punter Trey Barrow was even better, pinning the Buffs’ down at the one yard line.

Trying to cross up the Missouri defense,  Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen faked a handoff up the middle and dropped back to pass. Hurried, Hansen threw the ball away, in the general vicinity of where a Colorado receiver should have been. That receiver, however, was stopped at the line of scrimmage, and Hansen threw the ball to an empty space on the field.

Intentional grounding was the call. Penalty in the endzone. Safety.

2-0, Missouri, midway through the first quarter.

The Tigers took over after the free kick at their own 28, and, for the third consecutive possession, went three-and-out. Colorado returned the favor, though, after which Missouri took off on its first drive of the game. The Tigers made it as far as the Colorado 29-yard line before Russell Grant was called upon to kick a 47-yard field goal.

5-0, Missouri.

Colorado, which had started its first three drives at its own 2, its own 1, and its own 20-yard lines, caught a break when Toney Clemons returned the ensuing kickoff 53 yards to the Missouri 44-yard line. A 15-yard pass from Hansen to Clemons two plays later set up the Buffs at the Missouri 26-yard line.

At the quarter break after the next play, Colorado was still very much in the game against the No. 24 Tigers. Missouri held the lead, 5-0, but Colorado had almost as many total yards (60-54), had already forced the Missouri offense to three three-and-outs, and had the ball deep inside Missouri territory to open the second quarter, looking to take the lead.

It was as good as the night would get …

Colorado gained only one yard after the Clemons’ first down, with Aric Goodman called upon to kick a field goal. Goodman’s kick from the 40, however, went wide left, and any momentum the Buffs might have gained after the long kickoff return by Toney Clemons was erased. Goodman’s failed effort was his third in a row after making his first attempt of the season in the second quarter of the season opener against Colorado State (and was special teams’ gaffe No. 3 of the first half).

The Colorado defense once again rose to the challenge, stopping the Missouri drive at the Tigers’ 44-yard line. Instead of getting the ball back, though, punter Trey Barrow faked the punt, and ran 26 yards down to the Colorado 30 yard line (special teams’ gaffe No. 4). This time, the Colorado defense could not hold. Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who would hit on 17-of-29 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns for the game, hit a wide open Jerrel Jackson from 30 yards out.

12-0, Missouri, with 10:33 left in the first half.

On Missouri’s next possession, Colorado had its last best chance to get back into the game. On a third-and-ten at the Missouri 22-yard line, Gabbert was tackled by freshman defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe, forcing a fumble. Gabbert’s fumble was picked up by Buff cornerback Jalil Brown at the Missouri 20. Brown had a clear path to the endzone, but stumbled, falling down at the Missouri 13 yard line.

The Colorado offense, though, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity, sealed the Buffs’ fate. Two runs lost nine yards, and a third down pass fell incomplete. True freshman kicker Justin Castor was then called upon to do what Aric Goodman could not – kick a 40-yard field goal. Castor’s effort, though, barely got off the ground, and was blocked at the line of scrimmage (special teams’ gaffe No. 5).

With zero support from the offense and special teams, what happened next to the Colorado defense was all but inevitable.

Missouri took over at its three yard line after the blocked field goal, and marched 97 yards in 15 plays. The Tigers methodically posted eight first downs on the drive, taking almost all of the remainder of the second quarter. Gabbert hit tight end Michael Egnew from 10 yards out with just over a minute to play before halftime.

Halftime score: Missouri 19, Colorado 0.

The third quarter, hard as it was for the 62,965 on hand for the final game between the two schools for the foreseeable future to believe, was all Colorado.

The Buffs held the ball for over 11 minutes in the quarter, posting 97 yards to 17 for Missouri. The Buffs had six first downs to one for the Tigers, and went 10-for-12 through the air …

… and scored no points.

Taking the ineptitude centerstage away from the special teams, the Colorado offense three times drove into Missouri territory, but came away empty. The opening drive of the second half witnessed the Buffs quickly drive downfield. Tyler Hansen, who went 15-for-21 for 117 yards against Missouri, hit Scotty McKnight for an 11-yard gain, while Rodney Stewart had runs of 11 and eight yards. After the latter run, Colorado was set up at the Missouri 32-yard line with a second-and-two. Instead of moving forward, the Buffs moved backward. A false start penalty was immediately followed by a delay of game penalty, and the Buffs were ultimately forced to punt the ball away.

On Colorado’s next drive, the Buffs again made it as far as the Missouri 32-yard line. A 12-yard pass from Hansen to McKnight on third-and-seven, though, was nullified as the Buffs did not have seven men on the line of scrimmage. An incompletion on third-and-12 led to another punt.

The third drive of the quarter for the Buffs witnessed the insertion of senior quarterback Cody Hawkins into the lineup. “I don’t think it was so much what (Tyler Hansen) was not doing,” said Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins of the switch, “but I was trying to get something going.”

Cody Hawkins’ first drive made it as far as the Missouri 17-yard line. On third-and-seven as the fourth quarter opened, the Colorado offense was hit on yet another delay of game penalty. A third-and-12 became fourth-and-12 after an incompletion. Rather than try a third 40-yard field goal, the Buffs went for a first down, with Hawkins being sacked at the Colorado 30 before he could get a pass off.

The Missouri offense, held to one first down in the second half, put the Buffs and their fans out of their misery with its next drive. Inserted for the injured Gabbert, quarterback James Franklin led the Tigers on an eight-play, 70-yard drive, capped by a touchdown pass from Franklin to Michael Egnew with just over nine minutes to play.

Colorado had two more chances to avoid a shutout, getting as far as the Missouri 28 yard line (pass interception thrown by Cody Hawkins – the play is only notable for Colorado fans as the intercepted pass was returned by Missouri defensive back Kip Edwards 49 yards before Edwards was caught from behind by Ryan Miller … all 6’8″, 310 pounds of him), and then as far as the Missouri 12-yard line (turnover on downs after Hawkins fumbled a snap and the Buffs were called for yet another false start).

Final score: Missouri 26, Colorado 0

Despite the blowout loss, the fifth consecutive blowout loss at the hands of the Tigers under Dan Hawkins, the statistics did not show complete domination. Both teams had 18 first downs on the evening, with Missouri holding only a slight edge in total yards, 345-311. Rodney Stewart had 91 yards rushing on 18 carries, and three Buffs – Toney Clemons, Rodney Stewart, and Travon Patterson – had six catches apiece.

Unfortunately, the ugly numbers were also there.

Stewart did have 91 yards rushing, but the Colorado offense, with four sacks factored in, only had 61 net yards rushing. Colorado only had one penalty in the first half (the intentional grounding penalty which cost the Buffs two points), but had seven penalties in the second half. Missouri, which had ranked below Colorado in the penalty rankings coming into the game, had only two penalties the entire game.

And then there were the special teams … a blocked punt, a missed field goal, a blocked field goal, a successful fake punt by the Tigers … all contributed significantly to the loss.

“It really started special teams-wise, when we missed the field goal and then had the blocked field goal,” said Dan Hawkins, “so that confined us offensively.”

“There was some inconsistency there, and we really shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, whether it was with a penalty here or there was a misplay here or there” said the coach’s son, Cody. “Obviously, we have to learn from our mistakes and get a little bit better.”

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Game Notes –

– Colorado had a consecutive game scoring streak of 242 broken when Missouri shut out the Buff on October 25, 2008, 58-0. At the time, it was one of the top ten longest streaks in Colorado history. The Buffs have now been shut out in consecutive road games against the same team, having last been shutout twice by Missouri in consecutive games only once before – when Missouri defeated Colorado by identical 21-0 scores in both 1946 and 1947.

– The all-time series with Missouri now stands at 32-41-3. Colorado has only played Colorado State (82 games) in its history, though when the teams will meet again is an unknown. With the Buffs’ move to the Pac-12 in 2011, the teams would have to schedule a non-conference game or play in a bowl to extend the series.

– Missouri dominated the series early, building up a 33-13-3 edge before Colorado went on a 17-2 run between 1985 and 2003, with a 12-game winning streak between 1985 and 1996.

– True freshman placekicker Justin Castor and red-shirt freshman running back Quentin Hildreth saw their first action of the season against Missouri. Red-shirt freshman tight end/utility back Scott Fernandez was in for the first play on offense, making his first career start.

– All eight penalties called against Colorado were on the offense.

– Junior defensive end Josh Hartigan had hsi first career interception in the third quarter, becoming the first defensive lineman to have an interception since Curtis Cunningham had one against Florida State in 2007.

– Junior running back Rodney Stewart moved into 20th place on the all-time rushing list, with 1,921 yards. With his 91 yards against Missouri, Stewart passed Byron “Whizzer” White (1,864) and Bob Stransky (1,868).

– Senior Cody Hawkins, already the career leader in interceptions in Colorado history, upped his new record to 37 with one interception against the Tigers.

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5 Replies to “Missouri 26, Colorado 0”

  1. All for monetizing your site…but gotta fix the expandable rich media real estate…can’t read the article, the gatorade ad is sitting in the middle of the page.

    Thanks.

  2. Keith you are absolutely correct in everything you say. He must go. I know it is not feasible or realistic to fire a coach mid-season but come the day after Thanksgiving I want to see the headline that Hawkins is gone. He is an embarassment to the school and the state of Colorado. His brilliant post game comments sums it up best, “I dont know.” Bye Bye Dan!!!

  3. Hawkins time in Boulder is more than overdue. Last week before the Georgia game a group of CU alums were talking about Hawkins. The topic was if the Buffs were to win against UGA would the momentum to replace Talkins be lost. My reply was…”lets shoot for the win and have some fun, its a long Big12 season and many more road games are to come”. Well Mr Hawkins came thru for me, we had a blast against Georgia and this week he laid another road egg. To top it off he put in Cody to “spark” the offense. Tyler was 15 for 21 with no picks when he was pulled. Not great but certainly not the cause of our woes. Cody came in and threw 1 pick, fumbled a snap, had 2 throws blocked at the line and completed a load of 5 yard passes when we needed 25 yard passes. If Talkins was ever serious about winning he would have fired Kent Riddle years ago. Kiesau’s commitment to the run was half hearted and Denver Johnson should go back to wherever the heck he came from (nowhere).

    Its time for change and the Chancellor better get out of the way when boosters show up with buyout cash. Hawkins has burned our program to the ground (19 and 35 people) and anyone who cares about CU athletics knows it.

    Enough is enough.

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