Top 40 of the Past 40 – No. 20

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. 20

September 4, 1989 – No. 14 Colorado 27, Texas 6 – Triumphant debut for Darian Hagan as starting quarterback 

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

The Texas Longhorns entered the 1989 season sailing in unfamiliar waters.

Texas had stumbled to 4-7 record in 1988, the worst season in Austin since 1956.  In order to turn matters around, and to avoid back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since the Depression, Texas and third-year head coach David McWilliams looked to the game against Colorado for redemption.  The game would be played before a national ESPN television audience on Labor Day night.

The game did turn out to be a coming out party, but it was not for the Longhorns.

It was for Colorado sophomore quarterback Darian Hagan.

On the season’s second play, Hagan dashed for 75 yards before being caught from behind, setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Eric Bieniemy to put the Buffs up 7-0 just 75 seconds into the game.  The touchdown was all the Buffs would need, as Colorado cruised to a 27-6 win over Texas to open the 1989 season.  Hagan, who entered the game with 175 career rushing yards, ran for 116 yards and a touchdown as the Buffs looked dominant on both sides of the ball.

A five-yard touchdown pass from Hagan to junior fullback George Hemingway gave the Buffs a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.  The Colorado defense took over from there, limiting the Longhorns to 268 yards of total offense. The Longhorns did get two second quarter field goals field goals to pull to within one score, at 14-6, but 36-yard field goal by senior Ken Culbertson as time expired in the first half pushed the Buffs back out to a 17-6 lead, and the Longhorns did not threaten the lead again.

Continue reading story here

Here is a highlight reel of Darian Hagan’s career, including his 1989 season-opening run against Texas …

Top 40 Favorite Player … No. 20

Running back Chris Brown (2001-02)

From his  bio … A first-team All-American by the AFCA as a junior in 2002 (second-team by the Associated Press and The Sporting News), when was the runner-up for the Doak Walker Award (presented to the nation’s top running back) … He finished eighth in the balloting for the Heisman, an honor he would have contended for had it not been for a late season injury (he received five first place votes and 48 points) . The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame selected him as its collegiate athlete of the year for the state of Colorado … He was having quite a season prior to missing the last two games with a severely bruised sternum, as in 11 games, he rushed for 1,744 yards, the second highest single-season total in school history, doing so on the strength of nine 100-plus yard rushing games (he had 14 for his career) … He led the nation in rushing for a six-week period in 2002 en route to finishing third in the NCAA…

A unanimous All-Big 12 selection, he led the Big 12 in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards, with the league coaches selecting him as the offensive player of the year… He has one of the three 300-yard rushing games in school history (309 at Kansas in 2002)… As a
sophomore, he led the team in rushing, as his tough, aggressive running keyed late season wins over Nebraska to win the Big 12
North Division and then over Texas to claim the league crown; he had 198 and 182 yards, respectively, in those games, and scored a school record six touchdowns against the Cornhuskers (and added three in the title game)… Declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft following his junior season, and was a third round pick (93rd overall) by the Tennessee Titans… He played six seasons in
the pros with Tennessee and Houston.


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