October 30th – at Oklahoma               No. 11 Oklahoma 43, Colorado 10

Colorado’s last visit to storied Owen Field as a member of the Big 12 did not end (or begin, for that matter) well.

In the long, successful history of its football program, Oklahoma had never before had a 34-game home winning streak, but had just such a streak heading into the game against the Buffs. In the long, relatively successful history of its football program, Colorado had never before had a 14-game road losing streak, but had just such a streak heading into the game against the Sooners.

Result? Predictable.

Oklahoma 43; Colorado 10.

Quarterback Landry Jones threw for a career-high 453 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Ryan Broyles set a school record with 208 yards receiving in the rout of Colorado.

Overall, when combined with the 35 yards passing by backup Drew Allen, the 488 yards passing by Oklahoma also set a new school record. Colorado also set a new school record, but in the Buffs’ case it was an inglorious one, as Colorado lost for the 15th-straight time on the road, and lost its 11th straight conference game.

The first quarter was a prelude of what was to come – with the exception of the scoreboard. After mustering one first down before punting on the first drive of the game, Colorado did not record another first down until the second quarter.

Oklahoma, meanwhile, moved the ball with comparative ease, posting eight first downs and 122 yards of total offense in the quarter. Still, the “bend but don’t break” Colorado defense kept it a game, giving up only a 33-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, and a 26-yarder on the first play of the second.

After a third consecutive three-and-out by the Colorado offense, Oklahoma put together its first touchdown drive of the game. Landry Jones hit Ryan Broyles for a 16-yard touchdown to culminate an eight-play, 79-yard drive to put Oklahoma up, 13-0, with 11:11 to play in the second quarter.

Colorado then put together a semblance of a drive, going from the CU 37 to the Oklahoma 21 before stalling. An offensive pass interference call on senior tight end Luke Walters set the Buffs back, with Colorado settling for a 40-yard field goal attempt by kicker Aric Goodman. With head coach Dan Hawkins turned away, unable to watch, the senior nonetheless connected, and Colorado was back in the game, at 13-3, with 7:50 remaining before halftime.

Or so it seemed.

A run for a loss of two yards and an incompletion gave Oklahoma a third-and-12 at its own 18-yard line on the Sooners’ next possession. The Colorado defense seemed poised to force its first three-and-out of the game when Landry Jones hit Ryan Broyles in stride near the 40-yard line. With the Colorado junior defensive back Jonathan Hawkins sprawled on the Owen Field turf, Broyles sprinted the remaining 60 yards unmolested, with the 82-yard touchdown giving Oklahoma a 20-3 lead.

After the teams traded punts, Colorado found itself backed up in the shadow of its own goalposts with less than two minutes to play. Unable to generate a first down, the Buffs were forced to punt, but freshman Zach Grossnickle’s effort was blocked out of the endzone for a safety. 22-3, Oklahoma.

Upon receipt of the free kick, Landry Jones made short work of the 48 yards before him. In just 1:05 of playing time, the Sooners took eight plays to score again, with Landry Jones hitting James Hanna from seven yards out with 21 seconds to play.

The rout was on.

Halftime score: Oklahoma 29, Colorado 3.

The stats at the break were just as lopsided as the score.

Oklahoma had 354 yards of total offense; Colorado had 89. Oklahoma already had run 51 plays, and had 20 first downs. Colorado had run 32 plays, and had four first downs to show for its efforts.

The 82 points Oklahoma had put up against Colorado in the 1980 debacle appeared to be within reach just a minute into the second half. On the third play of the third quarter, Jones hit Broyles again, this time for a 64-yard touchdown. Just 50 seconds into the second half, the score was now up to 36-3.

The Colorado offense, which had played its best in the third quarter of each game in the 2010 season, scored its only touchdown of the game a few minutes later. Scrambling for his life, senior quarterback Cody Hawkins hit Scotty McKnight, who had gotten behind his defender. McKnight took the ball around the Oklahoma 25-yard line, and did the rest on his own, completing a 49-yard touchdown play to make the score a tad more respectable at 36-10, but it was still early in the third quarter.

After an exchange of punts, Oklahoma put together a “just to remind you who is in charge here” drive, going 96 yards in 11 plays to post the final score of the evening. A five yard run by DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma’s all-time touchdown leader, put an end to the scoring with still 20 minutes left to play. The Buffs drove as far as the Oklahoma 37 yard line on their next drive before turning the ball over on downs, and did not threaten to score the remainder of the game.

Final score: Oklahoma 43, Colorado 10

“I’m not (worried about the fate of the team),” said embattled Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins. “It’s the nature of the business. You show up everyday and you just do your job.”

“I think we’ve got a lot left,” said the coach’s son, Cody Hawkins, who went 17-of-44 for 187 yards and a touchdown against Oklahoma. “Just trying to talk to those guys and fire them up … We know we’ve got four games ahead of us that everybody is really excited about.”

Up next for the Buffs: perhaps the last best chance for a road victory (or perhaps a victory, period) in the Dan Hawkins’ era was the next game against Kansas. The Jayhawks were 2-6, and were also 0-4 in Big 12 play. In the four conference losses, Kansas has been out-scored 187-40, or an average of 46-10, and that included the relatively close 28-16 loss to Iowa State the afternoon before Colorado took the field against Oklahoma.

 

Game Notes –

– The 488 yards passing by Oklahoma were the second-most ever by a Colorado opponent. Only the 523 yards passing by Fresno State in the 1993 Aloha Bowl (remember Trent Dilfer?) was higher on the list.

– The 635 total yards tied for the seventh-most by a Colorado opponent (think the Buffs were ready to be done with Sooners? Oklahoma had five of the top seven total offense totals ever put up by a Colorado opponent). The 635 yards were the most by any opponent since the 1-10 season of 1984, when Missouri had 639 yards of total offense.

– Sophomore defensive end Forrest West, red-shirt freshman linebacker Derrick Webb, and red-shirt freshman nickel back / linebacker Liloa Nobriga all made their first career starts. The number of Buffs who had made their first career starts through the first nine games of 2010 rose to 20. Webb had ten tackles against Oklahoma; Nobriga six; and West four (including 1.5 tackles for loss and half of a sack).

– With his 85 yards (on 19 carries) against Oklahoma, junior running back Rodney Stewart moved up from 16th to 13th on the all-time rushing yards list. Stewart’s new total, 2,163, passed J.J. Flannigan (2,096; 1987-89), Merwin Hodel (2,102; 1949-51), and the legendary Kayo Lam (2,140; 1933-35). Stewart needed just 134 more yards to move into the top ten on the all-time list.

– Senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight continued his string of consecutive games with at least one catch, raising his total to 44 games (45 with the bowl game). McKnight’s five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown made McKnight the first Buff in Colorado history to have over 200 catches in a career (201), and his 2,322 total yards put him in fourth place in that category, 126 shy of third place (Charles E. Johnson, 2,447).

– Senior Cody Hawkins extended his string without an interception to 102 straight passes, the third longest streak ever at Colorado. His 6,456 career passing yards were just 25 short of Kordell Stewart for second on the all-time list.

– Senior linebacker Michael Sipili led the Colorado defense with 14 tackles, while senior cornerback Jimmy Smith added 13.

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