Colorado wins <br>Houston Bowl

<!--Default For Colorado is to ignore-->Colorado defeated <!--Default NodeId For UTEP is 649,2004--><A HREF=>UTEP</A> 33-28 in the <!--Default For Houston is to ignore-->Houston Bowl Wednesday. The win puts the Buffs at 8-5 on the year and sends Colorado into the offseason on a positive note. Inside, postgame quotes and notes.

Two former walk-ons, quarterback Joel Klatt and safety Tom Hubbard, were awarded the offensive and defensive MVP, respectively.

Klatt was 24-of-33 for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Hubbard had two interceptions, four tackles and a crucial pass broken up.

The following are postgame quotes and notes from coaches and players.

Opening Comments
This is my second visit to this room, and this one is much better. (CU lost to Oklahoma at the 2002 Big 12 title game at Reliant Stadium).

Most of the games during the year, we hung in there until the end, and that is a testament to this team.

We challenged our juniors to make this the first game of next year, and they did just that.

UTEP exploited us in the secondary, which was our weakness. We were able to make some plays to keep us in the game.

It was extremely frustrating on offense. We had the ball a lot, but we had to take a lot of field goals instead of touchdowns.

We came up with some big plays with the long passes when we needed them. We had some battlers out there.

We really didn't come after them a whole lot more in the second half. We just played a lot smarter than we did in the first half. We just did not play very smart to start the game.

On the successful fake punt
We called it from the sideline. We've been working on it all year. We just haven't been able to use it. John (Torp) has done this before, just not this year. It worked out for us.

On special teams play
We've been a team that has pulled together all season, and the kicking game has been a great part of that.

We knew they would try to give the ball to (Howard) Jackson and throw the ball to No. 1 (Jayson Boyd). Jordan (Palmer) did a good job of throwing the ball to all his receivers. They were fired up to play us.

The former walk-on was awarded a scholarship prior to the season and made his way into the starting lineup at safety late in the year. He came up with two interceptions and knocked the ball loose from a UTEP receiver on what would have been a sure-first-down reception late in the game. The junior was awarded the defensive MVP.

Hubbard (on his picks): We were in man-free on the first one, and I just rolled over to the play. On the second one, he threw it right at me. It couldn't be any easier than that.

The junior tight end caught five passes for a career-high 134 yards. On his 78-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter, Klopfenstein stiff-armed one safety out of the play, then outran the other to the goal line. The play is the longest in CU bowl history and longest reception by a CU tight end in any game.

Klopfenstein (on the catch): We ran that same play earlier. I expected to get hit, but when I looked up there was no one around. I just stiff-armed the next guy and I just ran towards the end zone.

UTEP head coach MIKE PRICE
Obviously, it was an exciting game for everyone. The well just went dry for us in the second half offensively. We made a couple of mistakes and that's what happens; they made the plays and we didn't.

They blitzed more in the second, and when you blitz and get away with it, you are going to keep doing it. I think that was the main thing; they blitzed and we tried to run. If we could have busted a big play when they blitzed, that would have been the difference.

On CU's fake punt
We've been saying all week as soon as they get in punt formation watch for the fake. Perhaps we watched too much instead of tackling.

Scoring streak
Colorado has scored in 34 of its last 39 bowl quarters, dating back to the '93 Fiesta; Oregon (three quarters) and Wisconsin (two) are the only teams to shut CU out in a quarter in that span. On Wednesday, CU added to its school-record consecutive games scoring streak, as the Buffs have now scored in 197 straight games dating back to a 7-0 loss at Nebraska in 1988. That streak is the sixth longest in the nation and the longest in the Big 12 (Nebraska is second at 113). CU has now scored in all 26 of its bowl games in its history.

Bowl trends
Colorado is now 12-14 all-time in its 26 bowl appearances. Gary Barnett moved to 2-4 in bowls as a head coach, and 2-2 in bowl games as head man at Colorado. Only three teams have more bowl wins since 1990. Miami (9-4), Florida State (9-5) and Michigan (9-5) lead the way, followed by the Buffs (8-4); Tennessee (7-7) could pull even with CU as it faces Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

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