Dave Plati’s Top Three Game Six’s

Plati-‘Tudes Short No. 6 … The sixth installment of CU’s best or most exciting football games in its history as to when they occurred in week six of any season.  We’re running these over the second half of the spring season  — many are obvious, a few obscure, and no doubt some up for debate.  Since homecoming is usually around the sixth game of the season, I selected three of these games (sorry, no review of the 1990 Missouri game; that’s been reviewed to death).  So here are the best game sixes/homecoming games in our history in my humble opinion:


#1— 1981: Colorado 11, Oklahoma State 10 in Boulder.
Through the years, Colorado and Oklahoma State had some crazy affairs, and this one was definitely among them. The season started off well enough with a 45-27 trouncing of Texas Tech at home; in week two, the Buffs led 10-0 over Washington State with just under three minutes to play but would lose on a fumble advance for a score followed by a blocked punt return for another. Three more losses to BYU, UCLA and Nebraska had CU reeling at 1-4, while OSU came in at 3-1.  The game was tied at 3-3 at halftime but OSU would score quickly on its first possession of the second half.  Trailing 10-3 with 1:28 remaining, the Buffaloes took over on their own 8-yard line.  Redshirt freshman QB Steve Vogel engineered a 10-play, 92-yard drive in 1:22, and completed passes for a touchdown and a two-point conversion as five different players had a hand in the drive, which actually covered 96 yards after a penalty on the first play.

… Here is my CU at the Game story for the game (the only home game in my seven years as a student in Boulder that I missed) …

Runner-Up—1991: Colorado 55, Missouri 7 in Boulder.
Missouri entered the game with a 2-1-1 record; the Buffaloes at 2-2 and ranked 25th, needing a win to keep their modest streak of 40 straight weeks among the nation’s top 25.  But CU also had a score to settle, after listening to a year of complaining about the “Fifth Down” game (despite the fact that several never seem to grasp that if the Buffs had known it was fourth down, they’re not going to spike the ball to stop the clock instead of a running a play).  So much so, that CU donned its all black uniform look, chosen specifically for big games.  A 21-yard touchdown pass from Darian Hagan to Michael Westbrook on CU’s first possession opened the scoring, and for intents and purposes, the game was almost already over.  Colorado built a 24-0 lead at halftime and added 24 more points in the third quarter, as the Buffs would outgain MU 656-257 on the day.

… Here is my CU at the Game story for the game …

Honorable Mention—2001: Colorado 31, Texas A&M 21 in Boulder.
At 4-1 with four straight wins, CU entered the game ranked for the first time in 2001 at No. 20; Texas A&M came in undefeated (5-0) and ranked 25th.  Two Jeremy Flores field goals, the second from 51 yards out, gave CU a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter; A&M countered with back-to-back touchdowns later in the quarter for a 14-6 advantage.  With 12 seconds left before the half, Craig Ochs connected with Derek McCoy on a 7-yard TD pass and the same duo for the 2-point conversion, thus tying the game at 14. Flores nailed a 39-yard field goal late in the third to put the Buffs back ahead going into the final 15 minutes.  Cortlen Johnson scored on a 2-yard run with 11:40 left to give CU a 24-14 lead, but the Aggies cut it to three, two plays after an interception and with 5:06 remaining.

Read full the Dave Plati write-up for these games here

… Here is my CU at the Game story for the game (which is included in my list of Top 40 games of the Past 40 years) …

To Which I Would Add The Following … 

October 16, 1993 – at Oklahoma           No. 20 CU 27, No. 9 Oklahoma 10

Oklahoma’s defense came into the Colorado game ranked 6th in the nation, holding opponents to 11 points a game. Colorado’s defense, meanwhile, had been giving up yards and points in bunches.

Both trends came to a halt before 64,213 shocked Sooner fans as the Buffs became only the second team ever to defeat Oklahoma three straight times in Norman by beating Oklahoma soundly, 27-10.

The Buffs, 0-4-1 against top ten teams since the National Championship season, took out the frustration of the early-season losses on a surprised Oklahoma squad. Holding the Sooners to only 92 yards rushing on 28 attempts, the Buffs’ defense made a statement. “That was the issue this week,” said linebacker Sam Rogers, “to control the line of scrimmage.”

Rogers, who had six tackles (including two sacks) on the day, ended any hope for an Oklahoma comeback when he knocked Sooner quarterback Cale Gundy down – and out of the game with a concussion – with just under 12 minutes remaining and the Buffs nursing a 20-10 lead. Without Gundy, the Sooners never seriously threatened to score the remainder of the game.

For the offense, the running game again carried the load. Lamont Warren carried the ball 34 times for 182 yards including a 63-yard run to set up the Buffs’ first score, a Rashaan Salaam two-yard run midway through the first quarter (the extra point attempt failed). Kordell Stewart then connected with Charles E. Johnson for 64 yards and a touchdown on Colorado’s next possession to put Colorado up 13-0 late in the first quarter.

A second Charles E. Johnson touchdown reception, this time on a halfback option from Lamont Warren (later named the “Play-of-the-Year”), gave Colorado a 20-0 lead. A 44-yard field goal just before halftime gave the Sooner faithful some hope, but the 20-3 hafltime score was still a surprise to fans which had seen the home town team dominate Texas, 38-17, the week before.

Continue reading story here (including more on the national “Play of the Year” …

October 12, 2002 – at Kansas           Colorado 53, Kansas 29

Chris Brown rushed for a career-high 309 yards and scored two touchdowns in leading Colorado to a 53-29 win over Kansas in Lawrence.

In becoming only the third player in school history to post a 300-yard rushing game, Brown carried the ball 25 times for a healthy 12.4 yards per carry. Quarterback Robert Hodge continued his steady play as well, hitting on 12-of-19 passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

Only the Buffs’ porous defense kept the game from becoming a total rout.

For the second consecutive week, the Buffs raced out to an early 14-0 lead. Hodge hit receiver D.J. Hackett with an eight-yard scoring pass on the Buffs’ opening drive. On the Buffs’ second possession, Brown broke free on a second-and-six play from the Colorado 22-yard line for a 78-yard touchdown. The rout was on against the 112th-ranked defense (out of 117 teams).

For the second consecutive week, however, the Buffs had an early 14-0 lead erased. After Jeremy Bloom muffed a punt, pinning the Buffs deep in their own end, Brown was tackled in the endzone for a safety. 14-2, Colorado.

By the first play of the second quarter, the score was 15-14, Kansas, as the Jayhawks put together two scoring drives to take the lead (a two-point conversion after the second score failed).

Kansas would hold the lead for only 45 seconds, however, with Brown scoring on a 51-yard run to put the Buffs ahead to stay, 21-15. Hodge then hit Derek McCoy from 15 yards out for a 29-15 lead (Hodge to junior receiver John Donahoe for a two-point conversion). With the Jayhawks driving late in the second quarter, defensive back Donald Strickland seemed to put the game away with a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Jayhawks would not go away, though. A score just before half pulled Kansas to within two scores at 36-22.

A 43-yard field goal by Pat Brougham gave the Buffs a 39-22 cushion, but quarterback Bill Whittemore, who would rush for 121 yards and pass for 217 more on the day, ran the ball in from nine yards out to make the score 39-29.

That would be as close as the Jayhawks would come, as Derek McCoy scored his second touchdown of the game on an eight-yard reception, and fullback Brandon Drumm scored the first regular season touchdown of his career with a 21-yard run.

Continue reading story here

October 11, 2003 – Boulder           Colorado 50, Kansas 47 OT

Brian Calhoun scored on a twelve-yard run up the middle of the Kansas defense on Colorado’s third play of overtime, lifting the Buffs to a wild 50-47 win.

Both teams had double digit leads on a day which witnessed Colorado come back five different times to tie the game or take the lead.

The Buffs rallied from deficits which, at various stages of the game stood at: 7-0, 21-17, 35-24, 38-30, 44-38 and 47-44 in a scoring display in which the two teams combined for 1,184 yards of total offense.

Colorado posted 598 of those yards, led by quarterback Joel Klatt, back for his first start since separating his shoulder against Washington State. Klatt passed for 419 yards and two touchdowns, scoring a third on a one yard run. His 54 passes overall set a new school record, as did his 38 completions.

On a day where the offenses dominated, Kansas started early, scoring on a 64-yard pass from quarterback Bill Whittemore to Brandon Rideau less than two minutes into the game. The Buffs countered with 17 unanswered points, with Klatt’s one-yard scoring run sandwiched between a 48-yard touchdown pass from Klatt to tight end Joe Klopfenstein and a 23-yard Mason Crosby field goal.

Then it was the Jayhawks’ turn to dominate, scoring 28 second quarter points to the Buffs’ seven.

Jayhawk signal caller Bill Whittemore scored on two short runs, throwing for a third score, a 41-yard “Hail Mary” to Charles Gordon, with no time remaining in the half. Keeping the Buffs in the game was a 25-yard touchdown pass from Klatt to D.J. Hackett with five minutes left in the quarter. Still, even with the Hacket touchdown, the Buffs trailed the Jayhawks at halftime, 35-24.

Kansas had not only scored 35 points in the first half against the CU defense, it had already amassed 372 yards of total offense.

Rather than surrender, however, the Buffs rallied once again.

Continue reading story here


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