Top 40 of the Past 40 – No. 35

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Top 40 Favorite Games … No. 35

October 30, 1999 – Colorado 38, No. 24 Oklahoma 24 – Mike Moschetti leads upset – 8-0-1 record v. OU sets a record

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

October 30th – Boulder           Colorado 38, No. 24 Oklahoma 24

Mike Moschetti, showing no ill effects from a concussion which had sidelined him a week earlier, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as Colorado upended 24th-ranked Oklahoma, 38-24.

Moschetti completed 22-of-31 attempts for 382 yards, including scoring passes of 49 and 88 yards to junior wide receiver Javon Green, on his way to being named the Big 12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

The Colorado defense, despite giving up 24 points, more than held its own.

Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel came into the game already owning – after six games – most of the single season passing records for the Sooners. Heupel was also making inroads on many of the career passing records at Oklahoma, but against Colorado, all Heupel received was a pounding.

Last in the Big 12 in sacks entering the contest, the Buff defense got to Heupel three times. Heupel was also suffered four interceptions, connecting on 26-of-58 passes on the day.

“Defensively, we kept responding,” said Colorado coach Gary Barnett. “We had a great defensive plan (which at times had the Buffs utilizing six defensive backs and only one linebacker). We didn’t want to sit back and let them just throw the ball.”

After a long punt return deep into Colorado territory, Oklahoma took the early lead with a field goal on its first possession, but the Buffs responded late in the first quarter with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Moschetti to Marcus Stiggers. Oklahoma then took its second – and last – lead of the game with a two-yard touchdown run with four minutes left in the half.

Again the Buffs responded, taking only three plays to cover 62 yards to regain the lead. A 49-yard touchdown pass from Moschetti to Javon Green gave Colorado a 14-10 halftime advantage.

The Buffs expanded on their lead in the third quarter thanks to Ben Kelly.

The senior cornerback had two interceptions in the quarter. The first, on the opening drive of the second half, was returned to the Oklahoma one-yard line, with Moschetti taking the ball in on the next play to make it a 21-10 game. Two possessions later, Kelly picked off another Heupel offering, with the Buff offense converting that turnover into a 33-yard field goal by Jeremy Aldrich.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … 

– The victory gave Colorado an 8-0-1 record against Oklahoma in their last nine meetings, and fifth straight win overall in the series. The nine game streak represented the longest such streak by any team against Oklahoma in the history of Sooner football (Colorado had been tied with three other teams, each of which had put together an eight game unbeaten streak against Oklahoma).

– Oklahoma entered the game as the No. 24 team in the nation. The win for Colorado marked the 12th straight season in which the Buffs had defeated at least one ranked team, the second-longest streak in the nation (Florida State – 13 straight seasons).

– Oklahoma, the former rushing great, finished the game against Colorado with 17 rushes for a minus-11 yards (Colorado had three sacks for a minus-30 yards, which meant that the Sooners rushing game was only good for 14 carries and 19 yards). The game marked the fifth time in Colorado history in which a team was held to negative yards rushing (the record: -49 yards by Wichita State in a 52-0 blowout).

Here is the YouTube video of the game … 

Top 40 Favorite Players … No. 35

Ahkello Witherspoon – Defensive Back (2014-16)

It was a long time coming.

The proud University of Colorado program, one which had never finished alone in the basement of the standings as a member of the Big Seven, the Big Eight, or the Big 12, had set up residency in the basement of the Pac-12 South.

After joining the Pac-12 in 2011, Colorado had finished tied for 5th, 6th, 6th, 6th and 6th in the South division standings.

Then the 2016 season came along, and a group of Buffs, mostly seniors, decided enough was enough. They were tired of losing, and were not going to take it anymore. The Buffs opened with a 2-1 non-conference record, with wins over Colorado State and Idaho State, followed by a loss on the road to Michigan. CU had fared well in non-conference play in previous seasons since joining the Pac-12, but always fell off once conference play began.

It didn’t help that the 2016 Buffs would open conference play on the road … against Oregon … with a red-shirt freshman quarterback making his first career start.

Despite the odds, the Buffs defeated the Ducks, 41-38, with the game very much in doubt in the final minute. Oregon had a first-and-goal at the CU seven yard line with 55 seconds remaining. Overtime seemed to be the best hope for the Buffs, with another frustrating loss the more likely outcome.

But Ahkello Witherspoon had other ideas … 

Here are other highlights from the game … 

Witherspoon earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors from both the Associated Press and the league coaches as a senior in 2016.  He led the nation in pass breakups with 23 on the year (including the bowl); the 22 in the regular season tied for the most in CU single-season history (Ben Kelly had 22 in 1998).  He ranked second in the nation in total passes defended with 23, trailing only teammate Tedric Thompson’s 25.

In the 2017 NFL Draft, Witherspoon was selected in the third round by the San Francisco 49ers (66th pick overall). On May 12, 2017, the San Francisco 49ers signed Witherspoon to a four-year, $3.88 million contract with a signing bonus of $973,572. Through the 2019 season, Witherspoon has played in 36 NFL games, with 29 starts.

Witherspoon finished his career at Colorado with 71 tackles and three interceptions. His 28 career passes broken up rank 13th on CU’s all-time list (his career numbers would have been higher, but he was in Boulder for only three seasons, coming to CU from Sacramento City College).

In 2016, Witherspoon only had one interception all year, but it was an interception which proved to be the catalyst for CU’s “Rise” to a 10-2 regular season record and Pac-12 South division title.

For that pick alone, Witherspoon deserves to be on a list of favorites …

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