NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's offense was relentless, Colorado's punchless, providing the only two ingredients necessary Saturday night to produce a farewell blowout on OU's Owen Field.
The No. 11 Sooners strutted to a not-that-close 43-10 victory, saddling the overmatched Buffaloes with their fourth consecutive loss and leaving them four games to find the three wins necessary for bowl eligibility.
"We know we have a lot to play for," defensive tackle Will Pericak said. "We still can have a good season and go to a bowl game . . . this team doesn't quit. Hell, no, we don't quit."
The Buffs open November next Saturday (noon MDT, no TV) with a trip to struggling Kansas, which lost 28-16 Saturday at Iowa State for its 11th consecutive Big 12 Conference loss. The Buffs end the month and their Big 12 football affiliation with a visit to Nebraska (Nov. 26). In between are home games against Iowa State (Nov. 13) and Kansas State (Nov. 20).
"We've got four games ahead of us that everybody is excited about," said quarterback Cody Hawkins, who made his first start of the 2010 season. "We've made a little magic before at Folsom Field . . . we have to take advantage of it."
Given their on-going road woes it's better that the Buffs not depend on winning in Lincoln to reach the postseason. With Saturday night's beat-down, CU has lost 15 consecutive road games, dropping to 19-38 under fifth-year coach Dan Hawkins.
The Buffs lost their fourth consecutive game, dropping two games below .500 (3-5) and remaining winless (0-4) in the Big 12.
"We can't control the past," linebacker B.J. Beatty said. "The last four games have been a skid. It's been a difficult stretch, but we can't dig into that . . . we have to refocus every week."
OU did just that, bouncing back convincingly from its 36-27 loss a week earlier at Columbia, Mo. The Sooners (7-1, 3-1) received a record-setting performance from receiver Ryan Broyles, who caught nine of quarterback Landry Jones' passes for a single-game school record 208 yards and three touchdowns.
Hitting Broyles and tailback DeMarco Murray (10 catches, 73 yards) on quick out patterns, Jones directed OU's warp-speed offense to a 43-10 lead in his three quarters of play. He torched CU's secondary for 453 passing yards (32-of-46) and four scores. His passing yardage was the third-most allowed by CU, and when coupled with backup Drew Allen's total, OU wound up with the second-highest number of passing yards (488) ever yielded by the Buffs.
The Sooners finished with 635 yards in total offense - the seventh most ever allowed by the Buffs. CU managed 263, including only 76 rushing. In their last two games, the Buffs have been held to 104 ground yards (28 against Texas Tech).
Dan Hawkins said the Sooners' up-tempo, no-huddle offense wasn't unexpected and "not an issue," and Pericak contended, "We were prepared for it." But, he added, "When they got in a groove, it was hard to keep up with them."
OU found its groove in the second quarter, scoring 26 points and taking control after a tight first quarter. More than their offensive tempo, Dan Hawkins said the Sooners created match-up problems with their receivers - namely Broyles, a hometown (Norman High School) product who solidified his position as the Big 12's leading receiver.
Dan Hawkins said moving corners Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown inside to cover Broyles worked occasionally. But Jones took advantage when Broyles was isolated on nickel back Jonathan Hawkins, teaming with Broyles for an 81-yard score.
"They just caught us on big plays," Dan Hawkins said of the devastating second quarter.
In what was likely to be the final meeting between the teams for the foreseeable future, OU extended its series lead to 40-17-2, including 21-7 in Norman. CU joins the Pac-12 Conference in 2011, which means the Buffs' most recent win in Norman - 27-25 in 1998 - might have to suffice for a long, long time.
And for CU, the night turned into a nasty see-ya-later.
The Buffs defense made things relatively difficult for awhile, limiting the Sooners to a first-quarter field goal and another short three-pointer by Jimmy Stevens - his first kick traveled 33 yards, his second 26 - on the first play of the second quarter.
CU trailed only 6-0 with 14:57 remaining until intermission, but at that point, OU's no-huddle pace appeared to be wearing on CU. The second quarter signaled a slow slide into the abyss for the Buffs.
After holding Cody Hawkins (17-of-44, 187 yards, one TD) and his offense to their third consecutive three-and-out, Jones pushed the Sooners 79 yards in eight plays, the last of which was a 16-yard touchdown pass to Broyles. Stevens' PAT gave them a 13-0 lead, and an onslaught of OU points was underway.
CU managed a 40-yard field goal by Aric Goodman to cut its deficit to 13-3, but in the first half's final 7:46, OU scored 16 points and was comfortably ahead 29-3 at the break. Jones and the speedy Broyles teamed for their 81-yard scoring play - career long TD plays for both - to send the Sooners ahead 20-3, but more agony awaited.
The half's last 21/2 minutes were particularly painful for the Buffs, who were forced into another three-and-out and had to punt from their end zone. Javon Harris blocked Zach Grossnickle's rugby punt - it was his second blocked punt in four games - for a safety, giving Jones and his offense the ball back at the CU 48 with 1:22 left in the half.
Jones needed 61 seconds to cover that distance, ultimately throwing a 7-yard scoring pass to tight end James Hannah for the Sooners' 26-point halftime cushion, which matched OU's number of second-quarter points.
OU never considered slowing down in the third quarter, scoring on its first possession on a 64-yard Jones-to-Broyles pass (36-3). CU answered with a 49-yard Cody Hawkins-to-Scotty McKnight pass (36-10), but OU kept pace with an 11-play, 96-yard drive and increased its lead to 33 (43-10) on DeMarco Murray's 5-yard run.
The third quarter ended that way, and OU coach Bob Stoops substituted liberally - and mercifully - to start the scoreless final 15 minutes.
Despite the four-game slide, Dan Hawkins said his team's morale was not a concern: "We've still got a lot to play for. We're going to try and win some games and try to get to a bowl game. You have to finish . . ."
BUFF BITS: Saturday night's attendance was 84,173 . . . . McKnight (five catches, 84 yards, one TD) extended his consecutive game receiving streak to 44 regular-season games . . . . CU tailback Rodney "Speedy" Stewart was CU's rushing leader, but only 33 of his 85 yards came before halftime . . . . Stoops is 6-2 against CU, Dan Hawkins is 1-2 against OU . . . . CU is 0-4 at the start of Big 12 play for the first time in the league's 15-year history.