Buffs upset No. 3 Sooners in Boulder
The scoreboard in Folsom Field an hour and a half after Colorado's conference opener still says it all...Colorado 27, Oklahoma 24.
Colorado head coach, Dan Hawkins told his players all week that he knew the Buffs were going to win their Homecoming match-up with the No. 3 ranked Sooners. On Saturday, Hawkins foreshadowing came to fruition as the Buffs capitalized on several late Oklahoma turnovers.
CU fans stormed the field after senior place kicker, Kevin Eberhart made good on his previous missed field goal and nailed a 45-yarder to pull off the upset with just two seconds left.
"I feel great," Eberhart said. "It is an amazing win for out team. I've been up here a long time and this is the greatest win we've had while I've been here, in my opinion. I also think it's been too long since we've had a win like this."
Oklahoma jumped out to an all-to-familiar 24-7 lead early in the third quarter before the Buffs turned the momentum on its head. OU turned two interceptions into 14 points, but would not find the endzone again after running back Allen Patrick scored on the ensuing play following the second pick.
The 17 point comeback was the fourth largest in school history and the biggest in a decade. The Buffs also snapped a 14-game losing streak against top 25 opponents with the win. The last time they defeated a top 5 team was in 2001.
"We felt like we had some things going offensively," Hawkins said. "A game always turns on one or two plays and we were fortunate that we got a few turnovers and that helped us. Oklahoma took advantage of the turnovers early and we took advantage of them late."
Colorado felt the tides change when free safety, Ryan Walters picked off OU quarterback Sam Bradford on Colorado's own 38-yard line late in the third quarter. The Buffs would finish the third with just three points, but by the start of the fourth were in prime position to make a move.
On fourth and goal from the four yard line, quarterback Cody Hawkins found tight end Tyson DeVree open in the endzone to get the game within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. It was DeVree's fourth touchdown of the season with three of those receptions coming on fourth down plays.
"Coach Hawkins told us all week that we were going to be able to do this and we came out and proved him right," Cody Hawkins said. "We were down 24-7 in the second half and a lot of teams would have folded in that situation, but not us, not the Buffs."
The Buffs defense stiffened late in the game as well, as Oklahoma was held outside of CU territory in the final quarter. Bradford would throw another pick to strong safety, Dan Dykes with 6:37 left in the game, giving CU good field position on the OU 43. The Buffs would then have to punt, but that is where OU would make it's final mistake.
Oklahoma's Reggie Smith, muffed Matt DiLallo's punt and Justin Drescsher made his way from the long snapper position all the way to recover the ball. CU had possession on the Oklahoma 16 yard line and would punch it in three plays later on a 15-yard pass from Hawkins to wide receiver Dusty Sprague to tie the game 24-24.
"For me, it just couldn't get there soon enough," Sprague said. "When it did, I just had to make the catch."
Colorado with two timeouts left, would see the Sooners hopes deteriorate as a second and seven play that went for 13 yards and a first down, be called back after the play was reviewed. Oklahoma would eventually have to punt giving the Buffs the ball back with 2:51 to go.
Punt returner, Chase McBride returned the OU punt 31 yards to the 50-yard line, helping set-up CU's final drive. Hawkins would engineer a final 6 play, 23-yard drive all the way down to the OU 27. After a CU timeout, Eberhart would make good on his missed field goal by drilling the final 45-yarder.
"They executed the last quarter and a half a lot better than we did," Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said. "They outplayed us and out-coached us in the second half. They fought their way to a heck of a win."
Colorado running back Hugh Charles had his seventh 100-yard rushing game of his career and moved past famous CU running back Byron "Whizzer" White in career yards. (Charles-1,912)(White-1,864) The Buffs rushing game for the second straight week proved itself with 161 yards against Oklahoma's fourth ranked rush defense.
"We knew they were a good team, they were No. 4 coming in, but numbers really don't mean anything to us," Charles said. "We're Colorado Buffaloes and we're not really surprised with any win we get, but we are really happy right now."
Oklahoma's prolific offense, which championed two athletic wide receivers in Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias, were held to just 8 of 19 passing for 112 yards. Kelly, who was averaging 87 yards per game coming into the Colorado game did not even touch the ball for the Sooners.
"Malcolm is a great player, he makes great plays," Iglesias said. "We need to get him the ball so he can make plays for us. We didn't do that today."
PLAYER OF THE GAME: CU place kicker, Kevin Eberhart.
Eberhart missed on a 37-yard attempt in the fourth quarter but was good from outside 40 on the day. Making a 41-yarder in the third gave CU some momentum at 24-10. Then with just two seconds left, Eberhart nailed the game winner just like he did in overtime in the season opener against Colorado State.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Ryan Walters interception at 3:22 in the third. That play allowed CU to get back into the ball game when they scored on a four yard touchdown pass to Tyson DeVree. It also set up a strong fourth quarter and gave CU the momentum at home.
NEXT UP: Colorado will travel to Waco, Texas next Saturday to take on the Baylor Bears at 5 p.m. mountain time with no T.V. OU will have to bounce back against Texas, who is coming off a loss to Kansas State 41-21, in the Red River Shootout.