Top 40 of the Past 40 – No. 18

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. 18

September 7, 2019 – Colorado 34, No. 25 Nebraska 31, OT

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

James Stefanou hit a 34-yard field goal in overtime to give Colorado its first lead of the game, and the defense made it stand up, as Isaac Armstrong’s 49-yard attempt for Nebraska sailed wide right, giving the Buffs an unlikely 34-31 overtime win over No. 25 Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers dominated play for most of the contest, taking a 17-0 lead into halftime before 52,829 fans in CU’s first sell-out since 2016. The Buffs didn’t score until only 1:42 remained in the third quarter, when a Jaren Mangham 11-yard run made it a 17-7 game. Mangham’s score touched off a frenetic fourth quarter, in which the teams combined for 38 points. A Steven Montez 26-yard touchdown pass to Tony Brown with 46 seconds remaining in the game set the stage for CU’s dramatic win in overtime.

Steven Montez had a sluggish start to the game, but finished 28-for-41 for 375 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. K.D. Nixon led the receiving corps, with six receptions for 148 yards and an electrifying 96-yard touchdown – the longest touchdown in CU history – in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

The win gave the Buffs back-to-back wins over the Cornhuskers, with Scott Frost falling to 0-2 against his “ex-rival”. CU head coach Mel Tucker, meanwhile, not only posted a victory in his first game in Folsom Field as head coach, but did so by beating a ranked opponent.

“I am really proud of our players,” said Mel Tucker, who became the 10th coach to win their first two games at Colorado. “They did a phenomenal job of just continuing to play the next play. We were never looking at the scoreboard and played for each other.”

Continue reading game story here

From the Essay for the Game, “Trust the Process” … 

I had forgotten how much I hate Nebraska.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my hate for Nebraska never actually went away. Every game of every season over the past decade since the Buffs and Cornhuskers went their separate ways, I always knew who the Cornhuskers were playing, and, consequently, which team I would be cheering for … their opponent (I do the same for Colorado State and the University of Montana). But without the Cornhuskers on the CU schedule, the blood-pressure raising hate for Nebraska subsided.

And since CU left for the Pac-12 and Nebraska left for the Big Ten, I haven’t found a new opponent for which the dislike is as visceral. The Utah rivalry is contrived, and my dislike for USC and Oregon, while real, hasn’t reached the gut-churning level of hate I have reserved for Nebraska since Bill McCartney scanned the Big Eight landscape in 1982, pronouncing Nebraska to be CU’s rival.

The game last year in Lincoln helped restore the hatred to a degree, but I wasn’t at the game in Lincoln. It was supposed to be a game which ushered in the next era of greatness for the Cornhuskers. It was the first game for their new savior, Scott Frost, and the Buffs were just window-dressing for the coronation – the designated sacrificial lamb. The outcome was a (very) pleasant surprise, but it was still a Mike MacIntyre team, so even the celebration for the Buff Nation was tempered.

This fall, however, the rivalry was brought back to a full boil. The Husker Nation had a more difficult time looking down their crooked noses at the Buffs, what with CU beating their team in Lincoln and all. That made the vitriol out of Lincoln louder and more emotional.

Head coach Scott Frost, while declaring that Nebraska should have won the 2018 game, called Colorado an “ex-rival”. JoJo Domann, a Nebraska junior outside linebacker from Colorado Springs added: “I took (a visit to CU during my recruitment) and I came here. Thank God I came here.”

Continue reading essay here

Here is the YouTube video of the game (reduced to 40 minutes) …


Top 40 Favorite Players … No. 18

Quarterback Joel Klatt – 2002-05

From his bio …CU’s starting quarterback for his sophomore through senior seasons, he set 44 school records in his tenure, the second most records ever set by one student-athlete at the school in any sport (Byron White set 51 between 1934 and 1937)… He earned honorable mention all-Big 12 honors as a sophomore and senior…He had 34 career starts (19-15 record), the second most CU by a signal-caller; that led to him to take over almost every major career passing record at the school: yards (7,375), touchdowns (44), completion percentage (60.8), attempts (1,095), completions (666) and interceptions (33); the only ones to escape him were total offense (second with 7,255) and passer rating, where he finished seventh (124.6)…

Klatt also set a school record with nine career fourth quarter comebacks to win or tie games, and had a host of single-game and single-season records along with all his career marks…. He had 15 career 200-yard passing games, five of which exceeded 300 yards (not including bowls)… For his career, he had a 24-to-2 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions in the red zone, taking just one sack as well… Selected as Colorado’s most valuable player in a vote by his teammates…

Klatt also finished as the Big 12 Conference’s fifth all-time leading passer (the league includes bowl yards, thus he had 7,708). Selected as the newcomer of the year in the state for 2003 by the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame… He was named the 2005-06 winner of CU’s Male Career Athletic Achievement Award (for all sports)… Has gone on to a career in local and national sports broadcasting on television and radio, including ROOT Sports and most recently, FOX Sports.


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