WACO, Texas - Demetrius Sumler scored three touchdowns, Kevin Eberhart kicked four field goals longer than 40 yards and Colorado avoided the post-upset letdown with a 43-23 win at Baylor on Saturday night.
Actually, this victory may have been more important for the Buffaloes (4-2, 2-0 Big 12) than their last-play thriller over then-No. 3 Oklahoma a week earlier. It was another significant step in second-year coach Dan Hawkins' rebuilding project: showing they can handle a little success.
Sumler's 7-yard catch early in the second quarter was the second TD thrown by Cody Hawkins and pushed Colorado ahead 17-0. Sumler, a redshirt freshman, later added TD runs of 3 and 2 yards.
Hugh Charles ran 20 times for 122 yards and Hawkins completed 17 of 26 passes for 293 yards with an interception for the Buffs, who won outside of Colorado for the first time since October 2005 at Kansas State, their next opponent.
Blake Szymanski completed 36 of 60 passes, both school records, for 410 yards. Brandon Whitaker had 11 catches for 166 yards, plus ran for a 2-yard score.
Eberhart kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired last week to beat the Sooners 27-24. That was his career long, until Saturday, when he made a 54-yarder on the final play of the first half to give the Buffs a 30-9 lead after Baylor (3-3, 0-2) couldn't run out the final minute.
Caleb Allen's punt went only 19 yards and a fair catch at the 37 with four seconds left set up the third of Eberhart's five field goals.
A senior who hadn't been in a game since his 2003 freshman season before this year, Eberhart also kicked field goals from 41, 44 and 42 yards, before a 30-yarder in the fourth quarter. He missed his first attempt, a 36-yarder that went wide right.
When Colorado players got together last Sunday after beating Oklahoma, they didn't initially watch that film. Instead, they were shown last year's triple-overtime home loss to Baylor that was the team's 10th straight loss, matching a school record.
Things are now looking up for Colorado, but it was another frustrating Big 12 loss for fifth-year Baylor coach Guy Morriss.
Szymanski threw two interceptions in the first quarter, though one was deflected and the other initially caught by his receiver before bouncing off a defender's helmet.
There were three straight penalties on Baylor's first drive, setting up fourth-and-30. Plus, Alton Widemon dropped a sure interception in the end zone, and likely a 100-yard TD return that could have tied the game at 7-7.
An illegal block wiped out a 44-yard run, then Baylor fumbled the ball away to set up Sumler's first TD run that made it 24-3. The Bears got that one right back with a two-play drive, Whitaker's 62-yard catch and 2-yard run.
Morriss is 18-34 at Baylor, 7-27 in the Big 12.