Buffs 2002 Win Over Bruins Key To CU Turnaround

After a 40-3 home loss to USC and a 1-2 record, the 2002 Buffs looked as if their season was finished when they hit the road to take on UCLA at the Rose Bowl.<p> Colorado beat the Bruins 31-17 and the win started an 8-1 run that helped the Buffs win a second straight Big 12 North division title. Series information and last years' game recap.

Series Notes


This is the back end of the third home-and-home series between the two schools; the two paired up immediately after the NCAA approved 12th games in 2002 and 2003.

UCLA leads the series by a 4-1 count, winning the first game between the two, 56-14, in 1980, and followed that up with wins in 1981, 1982 and 1984. Last year, the Buffs got into the win column in the series with a 31-17 verdict at the Rose Bowl.

The two schools have had preliminary talks about a future home-and-home series as well, but unless the NCAA comes back and okays permanent 12-game schedules, it won't be until the 2010's.

Series Did You Know?

CU's 31-17 win last year was the first regular season victory and only the second overall by the Buffaloes in the state of California? CU is 2-10-1 all-time in the Golden State, with a 33-21 win over Washington in the 1996 Holiday Bowl the only other time the Buffs have won in the confines of California's borders.

The Last Time COLORADO 31, UCLA 17 (September 21, 2002)

PASADENA, Calif.—Chris Brown rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns and Patrick Brougham made a career-high three field goals to lead Colorado to a convincing 31-17 win over No. 20 UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

The Bruins scored the game's first and last touchdowns, but in-between, Colorado went on a 31-3 spree in points and held a 393-130 in total yards.

After a scoreless first quarter, UCLA broke the ice and got on the board on the first play of the second. A little razzle-dazzle had wide receiver Jon Dubravac throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Craig Bragg to put the Bruins up 7-0. It came after two CU drives ended on third down sacks and the Buffs seemingly back on their heels.

But the Buffs came right back with an impressive 80 yards scoring march in just four plays. Brown ran over the left tackle and burst through for a 32-yard gain, followed by quarterback Robert Hodge's gain of 11 on a bootleg that set CU up at the UCLA 37. The Buffs then ran a reverse, with Derek McCoy taking the ball in for a score, but an illegal use of the hands call at the 9 penalized CU back to the 19. From there, Brown tried the left side, bounced off a sea of humanity, spun around and then raced untouched into the end zone. CU's answering quickly to the UCLA was quite a statement and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Brougham converted a 29-yard field goal to cap a 17-play, 67-yard drive just before the half that gave CU the lead for good, and then made a 39-yard nick on CU's first drive of the third quarter to make the score 13-7. On the very next series, Kory Mossoni picked off a Corey Paus pass at the UCLA 41, the Buffs needed just three plays to make the Bruins pay. CU tried some trickery of its own, as Robert Hodge threw the ball to Barry Kunkel, who in turn passed back to Hodge for a nifty 29-yard gain. Brown then gained five and scored from seven yards out, and Hodge and McCoy hooked up on a two-point pass play to make the score 21-7.

UCLA came back with a field goal, but used almost six minutes in doing so. CU and Brougham countered quickly, as he booted through a 35-yarder with 14:12 remaining to pad the Buff lead back to 14. Colorado then locked things up with a nine-play, 82-yard drive that was capped by Brown's third touchdown of the day, this time from eight yards out. The Bruins added a cosmetic touchdown with 4:12 left to play, but it took 13 plays and over five minutes to accomplish it.

Bobby Purify had 128 all-purpose yards to aid the CU cause, as he rushed for 87 on just 14 carries and added two receptions for 41 yards. Hodge completed 11 of 22 passes for 117 yards, as he was a bit more comfortable running the offense in his second career start. The Buffs had a balanced attack on defense, with 11 players registering between four and six tackles. The Bruins had just 62 rushing yards at the end of the day.

COLORADO................. 0 10 11 10 — 31

UCLA .................... 0 7 3 7 — 17

UCLA—Bragg 33 pass from Dubravac (Griffith kick) 0- 7 14:50 1Q

COLORADO—Brown 19 run (Brougham kick) 7- 7 13:34 2Q

COLORADO—Brougham 29 FG 10- 7 0:23 2Q

COLORADO—Brougham 39 FG 13- 7 11:31 3Q

COLORADO—Brown 7 run (McCoy pass from Hodge) 21- 7 9:04 3Q

UCLA—Griffith 30 FG 21-10 3:16 3Q

COLORADO—Brougham 35 FG 24-10 14:12 4Q

COLORADO—Brown 8 run (Brougham kick) 31-10 9:16 4Q

UCLA—Bragg 5 pass from Paus (Griffith kick) 31-17 4:12 4Q

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