BOULDER - The tears were flowing in the Colorado locker room after a 47-29 loss at the hands of the Trojans from Southern California but not all of it was based on the game’s outcome. Fifteen CU seniors walked off Folsom Field for the final time on Saturday, completely spent. After four years of leaving every ounce of what they had on that field, all 15 of them took one last chance to expound one last hint of emotion as they came to the realization that an era was coming to an end.
The last home game of the season always doubles as senior day on college campuses across America but the routine nature of the event never makes things any easier for its guests of honor. The Buffs’ 2013 senior class was no exception. Players who have seen every high and every low, and whose entire livelihood has centered on one program and one extraordinary setting for college football, finally said goodbye. And, despite the loss, the post-game focus immediately turned to celebrating those seniors one last time.
“I really like them and their effort (even though I didn’t recruit them),” said head coach Mike MacIntyre. “They’ve made a lot of sacrifices for the team and they’ve been through a lot. I’m proud of what they tried to accomplish.”
The game began as so many others have for this rebuilding team as they fell behind 23-0 late in the first half. But, when teams may have folded, this team and their seniors were determined to give the Folsom faithful one final memory. The Buffs came out in the second half and competed like a team with everything in the world still to play for. A fumble recovery by Jered Bell that turned into a 31-yard touchdown became the spark and the Buffs then spent the remainder of the evening showing USC and an entire region why they are still a proud program with a championship-like will.
Three more late CU touchdowns turned a once insurmountable USC lead into a precarious two possession game. The game then hindered on the in suing on-side kick and as panic started to set in on the USC sideline, the Buffs saw new hope. The on-side kick attempt bounced perilously between CU players but none of them could recover it and USC came up with the ball and for all intents and purposes, the game was theirs.
“I thought our team kept fighting which I was really proud of,” said MacIntyre. “I was proud of how our seniors helped our guys prepare for this game and how a lot of those guys played their hearts out. I was just really, really proud of how they kept fighting, kept working and kept pushing.”
Although there were noteworthy performances by numerous players, the night belonged to the seniors. Chief amongst them on this night was linebacker Derrick Webb, who had a game-high 11 tackles, and safety Parker Orms, who in an emotional postgame ceremony, was awarded the coveted Buffalo Heart Award given out annually to the senior who best exemplifies the heart the award has come to symbolize.
“I feel like all of the seniors deserve that award for what we have battled through the past five years,” said Orms. “We have grown together and battled every Saturday together. All of the seniors deserve that award.”
Although their time at Folsom has come to end, those seniors will still have the opportunity to play one final game in a CU uniform when the team travels to play at Utah next Saturday. But after the game it was clear that to many of those seniors the biggest bit of finality to their careers may have taken place at Folsom Field on Saturday.
“It’s hard to describe,” said senior linebacker Paul Vigo. “It’s something that is a part of you, and you never want it to end. There’s nothing like playing in Folsom Field; I love this place.”