Buffs Open Big 12 Season With Ugly Win

They were sloppy, made mistakes and were penalized for 110 yards, but the Buffs re-grouped and scored 14 points in the forth quarter to beat Kansas 27-16.

With American flags around the stadium at half-staff and the American Red Cross accepting donations at every gate, the Colorado Buffaloes tried to put the horrible terrorist attacks of September 11th out of their minds and concentrate on football.

It took them three quarters to do so.

CU let Kansas hang around all game long and found themselves down 16-13 early in the 4th quarter, before QB Craig Ochs hit TE Daniel Graham on a 17-yard touchdown pass, capping an 11 play, 86 yard scoring drive. It was the first time that Graham was a factor as the Jayhawks shut down the big tight end for most of the day.

It was a challenge getting the ball to him, we were able to run routes where two receivers run off each other and got him open that way, Coach Barnett said.

Graham finished the day with a team high, three receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown.

With the offense amassing 524 total yards, it was hard to believe CU only had 13 points after three quarters. Although they were driving up and down the field, the Buffs just couldn't finish several drives. Penalties, a missed field goal and turnovers foiled many of the Buffs scoring opportunities.

The one consistent aspect of the Buffs offense though was once again the running game. CU finished with 338 yards rushing and put the game out of reach when RB Chris Brown busted up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown run mid-way through the final quarter. Brown also had a 7-yard TD run in the first quarter and finished with 140 yards on 22 carries.

The Buffalo running stampede also got 54 yards rushing from Bobby Purify and 113 yards Cortlan Johnson.

Both teams definitely looked like they had two weeks off. The Kansas offense managed only 278 total yards and had 11 penalties of their own for 106 yards. The lone KU highlight was a 38-yard touchdown from red-shirt freshman QB Mario Kinsey to WR Roger Ross.

While Coach Barnett and the Buffs were happy to open up the Big 12 conference schedule with a win, they know they will have to eliminate penalties and mistakes if they want a chance at beating the #12th ranked Kansas State Jayhawks in two weeks.

Injury Report:
The Buffs will be without their number one receiver John Minardi for the rest of the season as the senior suffered a torn ligament in his left knee.

Minardi suffered the injury after he caught a 5-yard pass on Colorado's first drive of the game. Minardi became the 16th CU player in school history to gain 1,000 yards receiving in a career.

CU will probably petition the NCAA to get Minardi a medical red shirt.

QB Craig Ochs did not start the second half after he was on the receiving end of a couple of helmet-to-helmet hits late in the second quarter. The CU medical staff demanded Ochs rest for 20-30 minutes before he returned.

I was having some vision problems and wasn't feeling to good Ochs said.

He did return midway through the third quarter after missing three CU possessions and led the Buffs to two forth quarter scores.

RB Cortlan Johnson suffered a minor concussion (is there such a thing?) and CB Clyde Surrell broke a bone in his hand. Both will welcome some time off and should be cleared to play against Kansas State in two weeks.

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