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Buffs Snap Sooner
opened the 1972 season as the No. 2 team in the nation, as the junior
dominated squad reaped all kinds of preseason benefits after finishing
'71 with a 10-2 record and a No. 3 national ranking. A 31-6 loss at Oklahoma
State in week four sidetracked the Buffs, but CU won its next two to improve
to 5-1 and climb back up to No. 9 in the polls. Looming just ahead were
the second-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, which came to Boulder with a spotless
4-0 record in outscoring their first four opponents 196-6 for the nationally
televised game on ABC.
Here's one of following morning's game stories: (keyed in by CU student assistant Quinn Sypniewski):
October 21, 1972
By Dan Creedon
Performing before the largest crowd ever to see a sporting event in the state of Colorado, 52,022, the Buffs proved once and for all that the Wishbone-T is defensible in stunning No. 2 ranked Oklahoma, 20-14.
The Bison, brilliant on defense all the way, took complete charge in the third quarter, as they rushed across two touchdowns to wipe out a 7-0 halftime deficit and then wrapped up the victory on pair of fourth-quarter field goals by Fred Lima, the soccer-style kicker who earlier had missed the first conversion kick of his life.
A sophomore who stood to be the goat for an earlier fumble at the OU 10, Gary Campbell, hurdled almost totally out of control 43 yards down the east sideline for the first touchdown against the Sooners' vaunted defense this fall midway through the third quarter.
Then Ken Johnson, whose pinpoint deep passes were the big difference on this cool, crisp October afternoon, lofted a 7-yard scoring pass to wingback Jon Keyworth, who mad an out-of-this-world catch while falling over backwards into the OU endzone to give the Buffs the lead for good.
Colorado, a 17-point underdog and a disappointment much of the fall despite a 5-1-0 start, literally buried the Sooner wishbone in the decisive third quarter, played almost entirely at the north end of the field deep in OU territory.
So awesome was the Buff defense in the third quarter, Oklahoma managed to net only 13 yards total offense in the period, OU, limited to all-time Wishbone lows of 163 yards rushing and 238 yards total offense, didn't get a first down in the second half until Kerry Jackson sprinted 15 yards to OU's 35 in early in the fourth quarter.
By then, Lima's first field goal, a 33-yarder, had boosted the Buffs' lead to 17-7, it went to 20-7 with 8:19 left on another 33-yarder by Lim, after safety John Stearns, another Buff who mad a critical error early, returned an intercepted Dave Robertson pass 10 yards to the Sooner 24.
It's been said all along, the Wishbone isn't a catch-up formation and this was very evident Saturday, even though the Sooners did manage to drive 72 yards for a late score on the 5-for-7 passing accuracy of Robertson. Up until the consolation drive, though, Robertson was a dismal 1-for-11 through the airways.
By then the Buff faithful in the stands were chanting "We're Number One."
The Bison are not to that summit yet, but after Saturday's round of upsets it's not totally out of the picture. "It was late on the night of Jan. 1 before one-two-three were determined last year," admitted Colorado coach Eddie Crowder in the CU dressing room, "and I just think I might go down to that again this year."
Saturday's win, no doubt will go down as the best ever of a Cu grid team, and for the old-timers in the crowed it had to erase the scars still remaining from the string of heart-breaking losses to Bud Wilkinson-coached Sooner teams here in the 1950's.
For the current Buffs, it was certainly vindication for last years fall's staggering 45-17 lass at Norman to basically these same Sooners.
Greg Pruitt, OU's all-American halfback and Heisman trophy candidate who averaged a staggering 16.3 yards per rush against Colorado at Norman last year, didn't have a single carry that long here Saturday. Pruitt, hounded by defensive end Lennie Ciufo most of the day, wound up with just 53 yards in 13 trips, his best effort went for nine yards.
The Buffs' pursuit provided wave of tacklers any time the Sooners tried to run wide.
play was the Quarterback keeper, and Robertson scored on it from 17 yards
out with 6:09 left in the first half after the Oklahomans took possession
when Eddie Foster recovered a quick kick fumbled safety Stearns at the
Colorado, a bit on the conservative side in the first half, came out throwing after the intermission and, thanks to a scrambling 25-yarder from Johnson -to-Keyworth, drove to the OU 10 early in the third quarter.
point, though, Campbell, in the game for the first time as a replacement
for Charlie Davis, who had bruised a shoulder, failed to handle a Johnson
handoff and sophomore OU linebacker Rod Shoate recovered the fumble.
Then it was Campbell's turn again, and the 200-pound Honolulu rookie who cracked every Buff frosh rushing and scoring record last year, and didn't waste the opportunity. Taking a quick pitch out from Johnson, Campbell broke off tackle and headed down the east sideline, twice brushing aside potential OU tackles. At the 15, he bullied over Shoate. Then he dove the last five yards, just catching the flag. Oklahoma held the lead, 7-6, when Lima, a perfect 24-for-24 on PATs this year, sliced his conversion kick off to the right.
It took Colorado only 3:23, to grab the lead for good.
Oklahoma, again unable to move, sent Wylie into punt formation on fourth down from the 22. All-American Tom Brahaney's center snap was high and slipped through Wylie's fingers as he leaped for it. When he gained control of the football, there was no time left to kick and the OU halfback opted for a desperation pass.
have a prayer, though, with Buff cornerback Cullen Bryant, an absolutely
super performer the entire distance, the only receiver in range to make
the catch. Bryant shoe-stringed the ball at the 21 and dove to the 18.
After Davis hit inside twice for three yards, he took a pitch from Johnson
and swept left end for eight yards and a first-and-goal at the Sooner
The Buffs went for two on the PAT and slipped fullback Bo Matthews up the middle for the needed three yards and a 14-7 edge with 4:05 left in the period.
Colorado cranked up a 52-yard drive on its very next possession, with two Johnson-to-Cain passes accounting for 43 yards as CU hurried to the first of Lima's two field goals.
The game ended with Johnson falling down on three quarterback sneaks after Keyworth recovered an on-side kickoff following the OU touchdown.
It was pure pandemonium from there. Crowder and his players were already on the hash mark on the east side by the time the last second ticked off. Crowder, who had leaped into the Buff huddle on the OU side of the field after the TV introductions before the game, got the traditional victory ride.
The Colorado players, cognizant of the fact their next opponent, Missouri, had pulled an even bigger upset Saturday in toppling Notre Dame, pounded each other and wary visitors with reckless abandon in the CU dressing room, after first throwing all of the defensive coaches into the showers.
The first non-CU team folks allowed in the CU dressing room were Colorado Gov. John A. Love and University President Frederick Thieme.
The Buffs had 'em by the dozens Saturday. Any listing, though, would have to start with the defenders. And they were practically ironmen, with only Mark Sens, alternating with starters Stu Aldrich and Mark Cooney at the tackles, getting much playing time among the reserves.
CU's plan was to force the Sooners to run inside and ends Rick Kay and Lennie Cuifo, linebacker Rick Stearns and cornerback Lorne Richardson did the job. Once inside, the bulk of the tackling was done by linebackers Bud Magrum (13 stops), Billie Drake (11) and Jeff Geiser (11), all of whom had probably their finest outings of the year. Magrum, for the third straight week, went the distance, went the distance as a down lineman, almost a middle guard, so the linebacker designation is probably not proper in his case.
Richardson's eight tackles was high for a secondary player and the Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan senior made an ankle tackle the one time Pruitt looked like he might break a long gainer in the first half.
Pass defense was Bryant's game. The Colorado Springs youngster had two interceptions and deflected three other Robertson passes, including one home-run type throw intended for tight end John Carroll in the fourth quarter.
Offensively, Johnson and Davis accounted for most of the Buffs' yardage. Davis battled for 85 yards in 26 carries against the physical Sooner defense. That's more yardage than the Sooners' first four victims averaged as a team.
Johnson, throwing as well at any time in his career, was 10-for-19 for 150 yards. In fact, he didn't throw a bad pass all day. Johnson did his throwing in the most difficult of circumstances, firing 20-to-25 yarders over the middle into heavy traffic. It was Oklahoma writers who suggested earlier in the year Johnson didn't have any zip on his passes, but he certainly did Saturday.
Cain, quite possibly proving he's the best of the Big Eight's super crop of tight ends, had his best afternoon ever with five receptions for 192 yards.
For Colorado, the next stop is at Missouri Saturday. Then comes a Nov. 4 clash here with Nebraska that will be televised nationally.
be good news to the Bison, who always seem to perform well before the
ABC-TV cameras at Folsom Field. Colorado's 1970 win over Penn State was
an ABC spectacular. And CU also played well in '70 against Nebraska's
national championship team before losing 29-13. No such thoughts will
be entertained for the Nov. 4 rematch.
1 2 3 4 F Oklahoma 0 7 0 7 -- 14
17 run (Fulcher kick)
Team Stats Okla Colo
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