Recapping Colorado's amazing stampede-from-behind victory over Washington State to get their first victory of the season. Buff Bites brings news, links, and videos.
It might not have been 1994's Miracle in Michigan, but for the 2012 Colorado Buffaloes, it couldn't have been bigger. On a hazy, smoky Saturday in the Palouse, desperate and determined CU rallied from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit with three touchdowns in the final 7:06 to stun Washington State 35-34 for the Buffs' first win this season. With 9 seconds remaining, CU quarterback Jordan Webb scampered 4 yards on a designed draw to tie the score at 34-34. Will Oliver's extra point broke the tie and undoubtedly every WSU heart in Martin Stadium's homecoming crowd.
Jordan Webb scored on a 4-yard run in the final seconds, the last of three Colorado touchdowns in the final 7 minutes, to beat Washington State 35-34 on Saturday in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams. Webb threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more for Colorado...
Connor Halliday threw four touchdown passes for Washington State (2-2), which was looking for its first three-game winning streak since 2006. Washington State was ahead 34-28 when Colorado took over on its 30 and marched to the WSU 4. On fourth down, Webb bootlegged up the middle for a touchdown to tie the score. Will Oliver's extra point gave Colorado its first lead, 35-34, with 9 seconds left.
Colorado had pulled within 31-28 on Webb's 70-yard touchdown pass to Nick Kasa midway through the fourth quarter, followed by Tony Jones' 84-yard scoring run with 4:23 left. On the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars wasted Teondray Caldwell's 56-yard return and had to settle for Andrew Furney's 42-yard field goal. That set up Webb's final drive and touchdown run.
Colorado isn't a complete disaster: When Colorado was losing 31-14 at Washington State early in the fourth quarter, it appeared everything was mostly going to script. In fact, it even felt like an uptick for the woeful Buffaloes, who had started 0-3 in the worst possible way. But something seemed to click, and instead of accepting defeat, the Buffs fought back. Their efforts were rewarded with a three-touchdown barrage that gave them a 35-34 win. The specter of a winless season is now gone. That is a worrisome demon to exorcise. And the young Buffs got to see that good things sometimes happen to teams that fight back. A win might not signal a massive transformation -- the issues that led to the 0-3 start are still present -- but it certainly will help coach Jon Embree get a good night of sleep.
After a week of Buffs bashing nationally, locally and, some suggested, even internally, the only real antidote was to answer on the field. Colorado football had become Bottom Ten fodder, a sad punchline after maybe as bad an oh-no-and-three start as the school has suffered through. The suffering stopped Saturday afternoon.
Down 17 points in the fourth quarter, CU stormed back with three touchdowns in the final 7:06, tied the score on quarterback Jordan Webb's 4-yard middle draw and won on Will Oliver's extra point with 9 seconds showing. It was a savory afternoon for CU, with big-playmakers sprinkled throughout the 66 available players who traveled. Webb, the Kansas transfer, ran for a pair of scores and threw for another pair. Tailback Tony Jones had a career-best 84-yard TD run and tight end Nick Kasa a career-best 70-yard TD reception. Both were part of the near-miraculous fourth-quarter.
But when it came time to award game balls, a pair went to Jamie Guy and John Snelson. No, they're not on the roster, but you can find them on the CU staff directory. Here's their back-story and why coach Jon Embree believed they were worthy: Early last week, Guy, CU's director of sports video, woke up with the idea of using former players to tell a roster full of young players "what it means to be a Buff" and "what singing the fight song means to them." Guy approached Embree, who immediately got on board and told Guy and his guys to get to work.
With help from Snelson, his top assistant, and student assistant Connor Cassidy, Guy got in touch with about a dozen former players, explained the project and asked for their help. Needless to say, Guy only had to ask once. It wasn't meant as an in-house answer to anyone on the outside, not an attempt to silence any critics.
What it turned out to be was a meticulously edited, powerfully presented 15-minute video that Embree showed to his team on Friday night. (You'll be able to see it in its entirety at the Parade of Buffs rally on Thursday night at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield. Snippets will run on CUBuffs.com in the four-day run-up to the event.)
Bieniemy spoke passionately and it turned out, prophetically, of what it means to be a Buff: "You’re going to get knocked down. Are you willing to stand up and get knocked down again? It’s not what you do in the first and second rounds, it’s what happens in rounds 14 and 15."
This came from Marquez: "You’ll have fans and family behind you, but nobody will be behind you like former players." The current Buffs watched the video and were moved. "It meant everything . . . I started tearing up," said junior defensive back Parker Orms.
"This program means so much to so many people, me and my family. It always has. I’m just glad these guys got an opportunity to sing the fight song (Saturday) and know what that means, know what it feels like. The locker room was the greatest since I’ve been here." "It gave me chills, honestly," Webb said of the video. "We don’t take that legacy lightly. After seeing that, I think some of the freshmen really got a sense of what this place is about."
Count freshman tailback/fullback Christian Powell among them. He called the video "personal. Everybody who was interviewed, that came from the heart. It was very inspirational and I think it carried over to today."