Top 40 of the Past 40 – No. 8

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. 8

December 1, 2001 – No. 9 Colorado 39, No. 3 Texas 37 – Buffs claim only Big 12 championship

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

Colorado running back Chris Brown followed up his record six touchdown performance against Nebraska with a three touchdown effort against Texas as the Buffs defeated the Longhorns, 39-37, to win CU’s first and only Big 12 title.

The Buffs turned four turnovers by Longhorn quarterback Chris Simms into 26 first-half points in eliminating yet another contender for the national championship.

The first quarter was dominated early on by the Longhorns, looking very much like a team destined to play for the national title.  Freshman running back Cedric Benson scored on a five-yard run to cap a six-play, 85-yard drive on the Longhorns’ first possession.  Two series later, Texas was again deep in CU territory, looking to pad its 7-0 lead.  Memories of the 41-7 rout of the Buffs by the Longhorns in October were being relived by the 7,000 CU faithful in the highly-partisan crowd.  Texas fans waved roses.

Then, the play of the game.

Junior linebacker Aaron Killion picked off a Chris Simms pass, returning it 73 yards to the Texas 12-yard line.  Three plays later, Chris Brown scored on a ten-yard run to tie the score and shift the momentum to the Buffs.  The Brown touchdown, with 2:21 left in the first quarter, tied the score at 7-7, and set in motion a 29-3 run by the Buffs to put CU in control.

Jeremy Flores gave the Buffs a lead they would never relinquish with a 39-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.  Simms’ second interception, this one by linebacker Joey Johnson, set up a 64-yard scoring drive by the Buffs, highlighted by a 51-yard run by Bobby Purify.  Flores missed the extra point after Brown’s one-yard touchdown, but the Buffs were up 16-7.

After a Texas field goal, the Buffs received a gift from Chris Simms in the form of a fumble.  Simms was sacked by DeAndre Fluellen, with the Texas quarterback’s fumble being recovered at the Longhorn 22-yard line by Matt McChesney.  It took the Buffs only one play to score, with Bobby Pesavento hitting Daniel Graham for a 22-yard touchdown, putting the Buffs up 22-7.

It took the Buffs only three more plays to score again, as on the third play of the Longhorns’ next possession, Chris Simms was picked off again, this time by safety Medford Moore.  The Buff sophomore returned the interception 64 yards for a touchdown, and with 2:32 left in the first half, almost exactly a full quarter after being behind 7-0, Colorado had a 29-10 lead.

As had been the case with Nebraska a week earlier, however, the game was not done.  The Longhorns rallied behind quarterback Major Applewhite, subbing for the injured and ineffective Simms.  Applewhite hit B.J. Johnson on a 79-scoring strike moments after Moore’s interception, giving the Longhorn faithful hope for the second half.

The Buffs turned a 29-17 halftime edge into a 36-17 lead early in the third quarter on Chris Brown’s third touchdown run, this one from 11 yards out.  But it almost wasn’t enough as Texas scored the next 13 points of the game.

Continue reading story here

From my Essay for the game, “Conference Call” … 

Brad couldn’t wait.

As Texas took time out to stop the clock and ice CU kicker Jeremy Flores, the phone rang.  I was watching the Colorado/Texas game at home in Bozeman with Randy, and hadn’t expected to talk with Brad until after the contest.  I had spoken with Brad at halftime, and all I remember from that conversation was saying that I was as nervous as anyone could rightfully be with their team up 19 points at the break.  The pessimist in me feared Major Applewhite and the spark he had provided the Longhorns just before the half, and what that might mean for second half momentum.

Now the Buffs were lining up for what would be a game-clinching field goal.  Three points which would give CU a two-score lead with less than two minutes to play, and Brad couldn’t wait.  He wanted to be on the phone with Scott and I as the Buffs clinched their first Big 12 championship.  He got Scott connected on a conference call, and we watched together as Jeremy Flores kicked his way into CU football lore.

The feeling of euphoria was tempered as Applewhite quickly drove Texas down the field.  The Buffs’ defense held off the Longhorns long enough that everyone in the stadium knew that a Texas comeback would hinge on a successful onsides kick.  There was silence on the phone line after Texas scored with 31 seconds left and took the field for the onsides effort.

Continue reading story here

Here is the YouTube highlight video of the game … 

And here is a video which contains highlights from all of the 2001 season … 

Top 40 Favorite Players … No. 8

Linebacker Barry Remington (1982-86)

From his bio … An Associated Press honorable mention All-American as a senior in 1986, when he was also a unanimous all-Big Eight performer… Colorado’s all-time leading tackler with 493 total stops, including 245 solo stops… Second leading tackler in the conference behind Oklahoma’s Brian Bosworth his senior season… One of his two career interceptions came late in CU’s 20-10 upset of No. 3 Nebraska in ’86, thwarting the last Cornhusker rally… Posted three straight 100-plus tackle seasons, the first player in CU history to do so… Had five games of 20 or more tackles, the most by any Buff in school history (his career high was 23 at Oklahoma State in 1984) …

Overcame several injuries in his career, ranging from knee surgery as a sophomore (he received an extra year of eligibility as the injury was in the second game), a pinched nerve in his neck and stepping on a bottle that sprayed acid into an eye… Did not play professionally, and has been an executive with Clearchannel (KOA-Radio) in Denver for several years.


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