2002 CU Game Recaps and Reviews

It's easy to remember Colorado's second straight victory over the Corn of Nebraska and hard to forget their loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship and Wisconsin in the Alamo Bowl. As you prepare for the 2003 season, review the Buffs 2002 year with games eight through the Alamo Bowl. 2003 Season Preview coming soon111


Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury and the high-flying Red Raiders offense was shut down in Boulder as the Buffs rolled to their fifth straight win, 37-13. The CU defense harassed Kingsbury all day long and forced Texas Tech into five turnovers that the Buffs offense turned into 21 points. Colorado entered the game ranked #21 and would move up eight places with the dominating performance.

After exchanging field goals on each of their opening drives, CU took a 10-3 lead when Chris Brown scored from 3-yards out. The play was set up by an incredible interception by LB Kori Mossoni, who returned it 41-yards to the Texas Tech 5. The Red Raiders came right back and tied it up when Taurean Henderson scored on a 2-yard run. The Buffs hurt themselves when they were called for a personal foul on 4th and 26 that kept the drive alive.

Tech took a short lived lead at 13-10 when Robert Treece nailed a 42-yard field goal, but from there on out the Buffs started a stampede.

Robert Hodge hit Derek McCoy with a 14-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds remaining before halftime. Although CU would miss the extra point, the momentum had shifted.

CU scored first in the second half when Bobby Purify took a screen pass from Hodge and juked his way 36 yards for the score. Two minutes later Medford Moorer picked off Kingsbury and went 51 yards for the touchdown that quickly put the Buffs up 30-13. The Colorado defense would add another touchdown in the forth quarter when Tyler Brayton sacked Kingsbury, picked up the fumble and raced 14 yards for the games final score.

The stifling Buffs defense held Tech to 125 yards below their average and picked off Kingsbury a season-high four times. Chris Brown added 149 yards rushing for his fifth straight 100-plus yard game.

Texas Tech at Colorado (Oct. 26th, 2002 at Boulder, Co.)

Texas Tech 10 3 0 0 - 13

Colorado 10 6 14 7 - 37


Colorado at Oklahoma (Nov. 2nd, 2002 at Norman, OK.)

After beginning the year 1-2, Colorado had rolled off five straight wins and salvaged their season. Next up for the #13 Buffs was a trip to Norman to take on the #2 Oklahoma Sooners. But getting to Norman proved to be almost as difficult as playing Bob Stoop's Sooners. After Colorado was nailed with a major snow storm, the Buff's charter was delayed more than three hours. When they had finally arrived in Oklahoma, they were greeted by a hard-driving rainstorm. The rain and freezing temperatures continued on game day.

Colorado quickly dug themselves a huge hole as they turned the ball over three times in the first 20 minutes of the game. They also let an OU pooch kick get recovered by the Sooners after one of the scores. When the dust settled, OU had a commanding 20-3 lead by halftime.

For the first time since the USC game, the Buffs defense allowed the big play to burn them. OU converted two third downs for touchdowns when Nate Hybl hit Antowne Savage and Mark Clayton for a couple of 17-yard touchdowns. Colorado's offense couldn't get in gear and could only manage a 25-yard field goal by Patrick Brougham.

Colorado vs Oklahoma (Nov 02, 2002 at Norman, Okla.)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Colorado............ 3 0 8 0 - 11

Oklahoma............ 10 10 7 0 - 27


The Buffs withstood a ferocious 4th quarter Missouri Tiger rally and overtime to get back on the winning track with a 42-35 victory at Columbia, Missouri. Chris Brown rushed for 211 yards and scored three touchdowns, including the game winner as Colorado improved its record to 7-3.

It looked as though it would be an easy day for CU as the Buffs ran out to a 27-7 third quarter lead. The scoring began when on their first possession Robert Hodge hit Derek McCoy for a 47-yard touchdown. Patrick Brougham added two field goals and Chris Brown scored on a 10-yard score and suddenly Colorado had a 20-7 halftime lead.

Colorado padded the lead to 27-7 when Robert Hodge scored on a one-yard dive midway through the third quarter and it looked as if the Buffs were in total control. But the Tigers comeback began when freshman quarterback Brad Smith hit Justin Gage for a 27-yard touchdown and then Taurus Ferguson returned an interception 43-yards for the score. Suddenly it was 27-20 and the fireworks were just beginning.

The Tigers claimed their first lead of the day when early in the forth quarter Smith hooked up once again with Gage, this time from 10-yards out. But CU answered that score with a 16-play, 85-yard drive that was capped off by a 15-yard Chris Brown touchdown. The impressive drive saw the Buffs convert two key third downs and a forth down, and when Hodge connected with Quinn Sypniewski for the two-point conversion, CU was up 35-28.

Missouri's offense responded with an 11-play, 67-yard scoring drive and tied the score with a 1-yard touchdown by Zack Abron with only 1:55 to play. The CU offense could not get into field goal position and the two teams went to OT.

Colorado turned to their work horses in the overtime, as Chris Brown and Bobby Purify ran six straight times, capped of with Brown going in for the score from 1-yard out. Missouri got the ball and were driving when on third down J.J. Billingsley stripped the ball from Darious Outlaw and Kori Mossoni recovered for the Buffs.

The CU win was the first time in history that the Buffs had a 200-yard rusher (Brown) another 100-yard rusher (Purify) and a 100-yard receiver (McCoy).

Colorado vs Missouri (Nov 09, 2002 at Columbia, Mo.)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Colorado 10 10 7 8 7- 42

Missouri 0 7 14 14 0- 35


Back in week number three when the Colorado Buffaloes found themselves with a 1-2 record, their dreams of repeating as Big 12 North Division champs seemed impossible. But in week eleven, the dream became a reality. Beat the Iowa State Cyclones and repeat as division champions.

The Buffs took care of business as Bobby Purify filled in for an injured Chris Brown and finished with 225 all-purpose yards as CU got by the Cyclones 41-27.

In a game that saw the lead change six times, the Buffs were able to pull away at the end with 21 4th quarter points that snapped a 20-20 tie. Robert Hodge broke the tie when he hit Derek McCoy on a 6-yard touchdown pass with just over ten minutes to play. But after CU held the Cyclones on their next possession, the Buffs gave them the ball right back when Marcus Houston fumbled and the Cyclones recovered at the Colorado 25.

With their backs against the wall, the CU defense made the play of the game. On second down, Iowa State quarterback Seneca Wallace fumbled the snap and CU's Medford Moorer picked it up and raced 71-yards for the touchdown. The score put the Buffs up 34-20. But the Cyclones would not give up and came right back with a 70-yard, 5-play drive, capped off by Wallace scoring from six-yards out.

On the ensuing kickoff, Iowa State decided to kick the ball deep instead of trying for an onsides kick. Colorado recovered and Bobby Purify took over. Subbing in for Brown who left the game in the third quarter with a bruised sternum, Purify ran the ball six straight times, including a 50-yard gain, and capped a 6-play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. He finished with 174 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving, as the Buffs claimed their second straight division title.

Iowa State at Colorado (Nov. 16th, 2002 at Boulder, Co.)

Iowa State 7 7 6 7 - 27

Colorado 3 14 3 21 - 41


Colorado vs Nebraska (Nov 29, 2002 at Lincoln, Neb.)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Colorado............ 7 0 14 7 - 28

Nebraska............ 0 10 3 0 - 13

Although CU assured themselves a trip back to the Big 12 Championship game a week earlier by defeating Iowa State, anyone close to the Colorado football program knows there is nothing bigger than beating the hated Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Buffs dealt the big red only their fifth home loss since 1988 with a 28-13 victory in Lincoln. It was the first time CU had won at Memorial Stadium since 1990.

Freshman Brian Calhoun rushed for 137 yards and fullback Brandon Drumm scored twice as CU ran wild on Nebraska. The Buffs finished with 253 rushing yards, the most in Lincoln since 1977, as Calhoun tied for the forth most rushing yards by a true freshman in Colorado history.

Colorado entered the game ranked #13 and got on the board first when Robert Hodge found Derek McCoy for a 40-yard touchdown late in the first quarter. The play capped-off an 87-yard drive that was set-up by a Phil Jackson interception.

The Cornhuskers tied the game at seven when quarterback Jamel Lord faked the option and went up top to Matt Herian for an 80-yard touchdown early in the second. Walk-on kicker Dale Endorf, subbing for the suspended Josh Brown, made the most of his first start and drilled two field goals from 33- and 49-yards to give NU a 13-7 lead. The second field goal came early in the third quarter and followed a Derek McCoy fumble at the Buffs own 17. While it seemed the tide had turned Nebraska's way, the Buffs turned to their defense and freshman Brian Calhoun.

Calhoun got his chance with Chris Brown out with a bruised sternum and Bobby Purify nursing several injuries. The Buffs would score on their next two drives, the first covering 80-yards and capped-off by Bobby Purify limping his way into the end zone. The score put the Buffs up 14-13 and was aided by 33-yards by Calhoun and three key third down conversions.

After the CU defense held NU to three plays and out, Calhoun rumbled around the side for a 35-yard run, which set CU up at the Nebraska 17. Four plays later Brandon Drumm powered his way in from 1-yard out and Colorado took a 21-13 lead. While the CU defense dominated the Cornhuskers the rest of the way, Drumm finished the scoring off in the forth quarter with a 16-yard rumble for the score.

The Colorado 15-point victory was only the third time in the last 43 years that CU defeated Nebraska in back-to-back games and matched the Buffs margin of its last win in Lincoln. Yes, these may seem like a lot of stats, but CU does not get to beat the Cornhuskers too often and we are enjoying it.


After Oklahoma defeated Colorado during the regular season, Head Coach Gary Barnett said there were many factors contributing to the Buffs loss, including turnovers and the weather and he would love a second shot at OU. Sooners Head Coach Bob Stoops said in football, there are no "mulligan" like in golf. But the Buffs did receive a mulligan by winning the Big 12 North Division and another shot at the Sooners. Unfortunately, CU's shot went right into the water.

Quentin Griffin rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Nate Hybl passed for two more as #8 Oklahoma defeated #12 Colorado 29-7 for the Big 12 crown. The loss sent the Buffs to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

The Oklahoma defense dominated the Buffs and the offense could never get in gear, but it was missed field goals that really hurt the Buffs. On their first possession, CU drove down to the OU 23 yard line, but Patrick Brougham's field goal attempt sailed wide. OU came back and marched 77-yards in 13 plays and took the first lead when Hybl found Trent Smith in the end zone for a 3-yard score. The Sooners made it 13-0 after a 21-yard TD pass from Hybl to mark Clayton early in the second. Phil Jackson blocked the extra point and the Buffs began to drive again.

After two long runs by Brian Calhoun, the Buffs got to the OU 14. They came away empty again when the drive stopped at the OU 14 yard line and Brougham missed again, this time from 32-yards out, and the half came to an end.

Colorado was still in the game although they had not played well and they came out of the locker room and held the Sooners to three-and-out. Then it was Mr. Excitement's turn. Jeremy Bloom fielded a Blake Ferguson punt at his own 20 and busted up the middle 80 yards for a touchdown. It was his second punt return for a TD and suddenly it cut the Sooner lead to 13-7.

The defense did their job again and forced OU to punt, and on their next possession, Brandon Drumm broke up the gut for a 44-yard run into the OU red zone. But the momentum quickly disappeared when Brougham missed his third field goal of the night, this time from 33-yards out. The Sooners seized the opportunity and scored quickly when Quentin Griffin broke free for a 36-yard touchdown and a 19-7 lead.

The forth quarter was all Oklahoma and when the Sooners drove from there own 5 to the CU 5 in a long 16-play, seven plus-minute drive, and time was slipping away from Colorado. The Buffs did make OU settle for a field goal and a 22-7 lead, but the CU offense could move the ball. Griffin finished the evenings scoring with a 27-yard TD run and the Sooners had the game and the Big 12 title.

After the way the season started, the fact the Buffs were even in the Big 12 Championship game was amazing. Colorado finished with a division title and a 9-4 record.

Oklahoma vs Colorado (Dec 07, 2002 at Houston, Tx)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Oklahoma............ 7 6 6 10 - 29

Colorado............ 0 0 7 0 - 7

The 2002 football season came to a disappointing end as the #14 Buffs lost in overtime to unranked Wisconsin 31-28 at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

Mike Allen kicked a 37-yard field goal in overtime and Wisconsin's Brooks Bollinger threw two touchdown passes and ran for the tying score with 51 seconds left in regulation. Colorado got the ball first in OT but ended up going backwards and Patrick Brougham picked up were he left off in the Big 12 Championship game by missing a 45-yard field goal attempt.

There were a few highlights for the Buffs though. Chris Brown continued to tear up college defenses as he rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on an Alamo Bowl-record 28 carries for Colorado. Brown, who missed the last two games with a bruised sternum, also missed most of the fourth quarter with a mild concussion. His impressive season saw him finish with 1,744 yards. Don Strickland set an Alamo Bowl record with a 91-yard interception return and D.J. Hackett caught two touchdown passes.

Colorado starting quarterback Robert Hodge did not go out the way he would have liked to. He did throw a touchdown pass early but then proceeded to throw three interceptions in the first half before he was lifted late in the second quarter for Zac Colvin. Colorado's offense struggled with out Brown and the Buffs tried to hold onto a 28-21 lead after Colvin threw an 11-yard TD pass to Hackett in the third quarter. The Senior Colvin from Texas gave his family and friends one more chance to cheer as he threw his first TD of the season. But the CU defense couldn't stop Bollinger and the Badgers tied it up with under a minute to play.

Wisconsin, which ranked second in the nation in turnover ratio, nearly gave the game away with four against Colorado. But in the end, Wisconsin got the win and the Buffs fell to 1-2 in bowl games under Head Coach Gary Barnett. Is it a surprise to anyone that the Buffs recruited two place-kickers?

Wisconsin vs Colorado (Dec 28, 2002 at San Antonio, Tx)

Box Score (Final)

Colorado 14 0 14 0 0-28

Wisconsin 7 14 0 7 3-31

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