All year long it was the Buffs dominating ground attack that had led the team to victories over CSU, San Jose State, Kansas and Kansas State. It was time the passing game got involved.
On a day when the Buffs amassed only 170 yards rushing and an average of 3.3 yards per carry, CU made enough plays through the air to get the job done.
With the Aggies keying on all-world TE Daniel Graham, WR Derek McCoy came alive catching 5 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown. With the Buffs down 14-6 and time running out in the second quarter, QB Craig Ochs drove the Buffs down the field and capped the drive off by hitting McCoy for a 7 yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the half. It worked so well they tried it again.
Trailing by two, Colorado went for the two-point conversion. The play looked like the exact same play they scored the touchdown on and and it had the same result. McCoy got open, caught the ball for the conversion and at the half the Buffs and Aggies were tied.
While the stampede of runningbacks were having problems against the "Wrecking Crew" defense, they still manged some decent yards. Cortlan Johnson led all Buff backs with 64 yards and a touchdown, while Chris Brown accounted for 40 and Bobby Purify 42 yards. And let's not forget that other runningback the Buffs have. Marcus Houston saw more playing time and finished with 22 yards on 6 carries, including a nice 13 yard scamper that brought on flashbacks from last season.
But it was the CU special teams and defense that iced the victory for Colorado.
Jeremy Flores not only continued to make his fieldgoals, he also stepped in for an inconsistant Make Mariscal and punted. Flores drilled fieldgoals from 18, 51 and 39 yards and had eight punts for 308 yards and a 39 yard average.
Meanwhile the Colorado defense continues to play great. The Buffs did allow A&M to rack up 376 total yards, but they only gave up 42 yards rushing. With the Aggies not being able to run the ball, QB Mike Farris was forced to throw the ball and throw he did. Farris completed 30 of 49 attempts for 334 yards and three touchdowns but was also picked off twice.
The two interceptions were big for the CU secondary that for the second straight week lost a starter to injury. CB Roderick Sneed, playing for the injured Phil Jackson, left the game early in the first quarter with a torn hamstring and is doubtful for Saturday's game with Texas. Phil Jackson, playing with a cast on his hand, gave it a noble effort but was ineffective. Enter this week's hero, Terrance Wood. The fifth year senoir, who wasn't even listed on the pre game two-deep roster, had a huge game and accounted for both CU interceptions. This from a guy who has seen limited playing time throughout his stay in Boulder.
But players stepping in and stepping up is what this CU team is all about. LB Joey Johnson, making his second straight start for the injured Jayshon Sykes, came up with the play that iced it for the Buffs. With just under a minute to go in the game and CU hanging on to a 3 point lead, Colorado surprised the Aggies with a two man blitz. LB Kory Mossoni got through and nailed Farris, forcing a fumble that Johnson easily picked up and took back 52 yards for the score and the win.
Before a packed house of 49,500 fans, Colorado showed that they have learned how to win close games and beat good teams.