Top 40 of the Past 40 – No. 17

Previously posted:

As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions as we count down my favorite 40 games and favorite 40 players of my 40 years as a Buff …

Top 40 Favorite Games … No. 17

September 4, 2004 – Colorado 27, Colorado State 24 – The Marcus Houston game; “Win One for the Stripper”

From the Game Story in the CU at the Game Archives …

A pitch from Colorado State quarterback Justin Holland to running back Tristan Walker was stopped at the Colorado three-yard line by defensive backs  J.J. Billingsley and Lorenzo Sims as time expired, preserving a wild 27-24 Buff win. The frenetic finish, before a record Folsom Field crowd of 54,954, gave Colorado head coach Gary Barnett and his players something other than scandal to talk about for the first time in 2004.

The game started out about as well as the Buffs could have hoped.  Colorado scored on its opening drive, a one-yard plunge by senior running back Bobby Purify.  Junior quarterback Joel Klatt scored from a yard out on the Buffs’ second drive, giving the Buffs an opening quarter 14-0 lead.  The lead was up to 17-0 before CSU quarterback Justin Holland connected with tight end Matt Bartz 23 seconds before halftime to make the score at the break 17-7.

The second half witnessed the pendulum of emotion swing back and forth between the two benches.  Colorado State climbed back into the contest, tying the score at 17-all with a 26-yard field goal by Jeff Babcock early in the fourth quarter.  The Buffs regained momentum with a 55-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Mason Crosby.  A few plays later, the Buffs seemingly regained command of the contest when junior linebacker Brian Iwuh intercepted a Holland pass, returning the pick 37 yards for a touchdown and a 27-17 Colorado lead with just 6:25 remaining.

The Rams were not finished, however.  Holland quickly led CSU down-field, hitting Tristan Walker from 31 yards out with 4:35 still left to be played, making the score 27-24.  The Buffs could not move the ball on their next possession, punting the ball back to the Rams with 2:36 remaining, setting the stage for the game’s final drama.

With the game seemingly slipping away from the Buffs, the Rams confidently marched down the field.  Holland, who would torch the Colorado secondary for 403 yards passing on the evening, hit wide receiver David Anderson for an 11-yard gain to the Buff one-yard line with 30 seconds left.

On first down, Holland spiked the ball, killing the clock.  On second down, running back and former Colorado Buff Marcus Houston was given the call, but Houston was stopped for no gain by freshman linebacker Jordan Dizon.  With the crowd roar at its peak, Holland did not spike the ball on third down to stop the clock. Rather, he called a play, an ill-fated toss to Walker that safety Billingsley and cornerback Sims were able to stop for a two-yard loss as time expired.

One yard from victory; a spiked ball away from overtime, Colorado State had allowed the Buffs to get out of Folsom with a win.

“I was just reading my keys,” said J.J. Billingsley of his gave-saving tackle.  “I had (secondary) coach (Craig) Bray in my head, saying, ‘read the keys, read the keys’.  To tell you the truth, I heard cheering, but because we were so close to the CSU fans I didn’t know what happened.  I thought they had scored, but then all of the sudden I turned around and saw (Tristan Walker) on the ground.”

Continue reading story here

From the Essay for the Game … “Win One for the Stripper”

The 2004 season represented the start of my 25th season as a Colorado fan.  Now 18 years removed from the senior student section, I had become as jaded and cynical as the next alumus about the apathy and indifference of the student body towards Buff athletics.  From my seat on the 50-yard line (okay, call it the 47-yard line:  row 72, down seven rows and over five yards from the previous few years), I looked down upon the Colorado student section in more ways than one.

I was surprised to read, then, the week before the 2004 season opener that Colorado had sold out its 12,000 student season ticket allotment.  The sellout represented the first time since 1992 that the number of tickets allocated for students had been completely sold out prior to the season.  In light of the off-season that the Buffs had endured, it would have been understood, if not expected, that the student season ticket numbers would have dropped.  After all, it was not seen as a badge of honor to be associated with the program.  The Buffs were not ranked in any preseason poll, and not much was expected on the field.

Yet the Colorado students came.  And they were ready to be loud and raucous.

Much had been written about how relieved the Colorado coaches and players were to be back on the practice fields in August, at long last able to talk about football for the first time in months.  I felt the relief as well.  I was anxious to pull stories on Colorado football off the internet which were not related to scandal.  I had not anticipated, however, that about 50,000 of the record 54,954 in attendance would carry with them the same needs.  There was a palpable need to have Colorado football on the field. There was a need to cheer for the players in black and gold – a need to win the game.

Continue reading story here

Top 40 Favorite Players … No. 17

Defensive back Victor Scott – 1980-83

Scott accepted a football scholarship from the University of Colorado during a low point in the school history, where his teams never had a winning record and he was usually recognized as the most talented player of the defense. He was a four-year starter (43 out 44 games) at cornerback, that also excelled on special teams.

As a junior, he led the team in interceptions with four, including two returned for touchdowns. Against Oklahoma State, he intercepted three passes, returning two for touchdowns of 30 and 25 yards. (CU at the Game recap here)

As senior, he had 4 interceptions, returning one for a 71-yard touchdown against Kansas State.

He was named All-Big Eight in 1982 and 1983. He received second-team All-American honors in 1983, and played in the Hula Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

Scott set school career records with 3 interceptions returned for touchdowns and 24 passes defensed. He also had 10 interceptions, four blocked field goals and four blocked extra points. He received an honorable-mention for the Big Eight All-Decade team of the eighties.

In the NFL … Scott was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round (40th overall) of the 1984 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he won the nickelback role and played on special teams. His diving, fourth-quarter interception in the eleventh game against the St. Louis Cardinals, set up the game’s winning touchdown.

The next season, he had a chance to start three games. In the fifteenth game of the season against the New York Giants, he helped the Cowboys clinch the NFC East Championship when he intercepted a Phil Simms pass with 46 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. He also had 3 sacks, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 7 passes defensed and one forced fumble.

In 1986, he was voted the special teams captain, but had an injury plagued season, playing in only 5 games after having early problems with a preseason hamstring injury and breaking his wrist in the fifth game against the Denver Broncos. He returned to play in the last game of the season.

In 1987, he strained a chest muscle that limited him in the preseason. He played in only 6 games, after refusing to take a drug test and being placed on the reserve-non football illness list for personal reasons on October 29. In the final 3 games he made 9 tackles, defended 3 passes and recovered a fumble.

In 1988, he only played in 2 games, after suffering an ankle injury and being placed on the injured reserve list. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *