The final: WSU 47, Colorado 26.
Sure, the Cougars' second half intensity was inconsistent, and the fourth quarter downright sloppy. The penalties were again numerous and untimely. And Drew Dunning missed another PAT. But in the end it didn't matter because the Cougars made so many big plays --- on offense, defense and special teams --- that it seemed no amount of help could bail out the No. 16-ranked Buffs.
How good was it for Ol' Wazzu? So good that just minutes after Matt Kegel fired the longest TD pass of his career --- 74 yards to Sammy Moore --- he bested the milestone with a 76-yard scoring aerial to Scott Lunde.
It was so good that just seven days after making every national highlight tape with his acrobatic TD at Notre Dame, Moore assured himself another appearance on SportsCenter by taking the opening kickoff of the second half 99 yards to paydirt. It was the second-longest return in Cougar history.
It was so good that the Cougar defense --- led by Jeremey Williams and his fellow trenchmen --- limited the Buffs to just 3 of 15 third down conversions and 90 net yards rushing.
Indeed, it was so good that Kegel completed passes to eight different receivers en route to his finest day ever in crimson, completing 17 of 33 passes for 304 yards, three TDs and one interception. Meanwhile, the ground attack, led by Jonathan Smith's 73 hashes, piled up 167 total yards
All week long Cougar coaches preached the virutes of "finishing," something that the Cougars hand't done in either their shutout of Idaho or overtime calamity at Notre Dame.
Saturday in Boulder, with a crowd just shy of 50,000 looking on, the Cougars showed that they took the lessons of the past to heart.
The offense was its old big-play self, taking advantage of man-to-man coverages and controlling the line of scrimmage in the face of what seemed blitz after blitz. None of WSU's scoring efforts took more than seven plays.
On defense, Jason David took a risk on backup Colorado QB Erik Greenberg's first pass of the day and turned it into an unmolested sprint to the house, giving WSU a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was one of five Buff turnovers the Cougars forced.
And the special teams, with Moore's kickoff return the cherry on top of the cake, shined with generally solid coverage, two Dunning field goals and Kyle Basler's incredible 53.9-yard average on seven punts.
WSU—Moore 74 yard pass from Kegel (Dunning kick)
CU—Klopfenstein 3-yard pass from Klatt (kick blocked)
WSU—Lunde 76 yard pass from Kegel (kick failed)
WSU—David 41 yard interception return (Dunning kick)
CU—McCoy 46 yard pass from Greenberg (Crosby kick)
WSU—Dunning 43 yard FG
WSU—Moore 99 yard kickoff return (Dunning kick)
WSU—Smith 26 yard run (Dunning kick)
WSU—Darling 11 yard TD pass from Kegel (Dunning kick)
WSU—Dunning 39 yard FG
CU—McCoy 1 yard pass from Greenberg (kick failed)
CU—Klopfenstein 2 yard pass from Greenberg (Crosby kick)
WSU --- Smith 11-73, Green 9-41, Bruhn 6-26, Kegel 4-16, Swogger 1-(minus 1)
Colorado --- Purify 17-56, Calhoun 11-36, Griffith 1-6, Greenberg 4-3, Klatt 1-(minus 4).
WSU --- Kegel 17-33-1-310
Colorado --- Klatt 13-25-0-149, Greenberg 19-30-2-199
WSU --- Darling 4-74, Green 3-11, Moore 2-96, Smith 2-25, Bienemann 2-11, Jordan 2-10, Lunde 1-77, Boyd 1-6
Colorado --- McCoy 11-131, Hackett 7-63, Donahoe 3-53, Klopfenstein 3-12, Purify 2-20, Vickers 2-12, Monteilh 2-12, Bloom 1-33, Calhoun 1-12
TACKLES (leaders only):
WSU --- Coleman 15, Paymah 12, J. Williams 13, D. Jackson 12
Colorado --- Billingsley 10, T. Washington 10