Interim coach Brian Cabral remains undefeated as the Colorado Buffalos (5-6, 2-5) outlasted the Kansas State Wildcats (6-5, 3-5) in a 44-36 shoot-out that marked the 2010 Folsom Field finally. The Buffs, led by Rodney “Speedy” Stewart’s career day, ran wild on the Cats and the defense was able to hang on to keep the Buffs dream of a bowl game alive.
The Buffalo O-Line dominated the smaller K-State front all day and allowed the CU offense to carve up the Cats defense to the tune of 476 total yards. Two hundred and fifty-one of those yards came on the ground and Rodney Stewart, who eclipsed the century mark in the first half, finished the game with a career high 195 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Stewart added a touchdown pass for good measure when he hooked up with Tony Clemons on a 23-yard half-back pass and hauled in two passes for 49-yards.
Stewart was aided on offense by a pair of seniors who were honored (with all the other seniors) before the game. Scotty McKnight caught four balls for 74-yards and two touchdowns setting a school record for touchdown receptions (22) in a career. Cody Hawkins, whose father was fired two weeks earlier, had an admirable final game in Boulder with over 200-yards through the air, three touchdowns and most importantly no interceptions.
The defense did give up 36 points but, was strong against K-States potent running attack holding tailback Daniel Thomas (3rd leading rusher in the Big 12) to only 57 yards on the ground. The Wildcats couldn’t run consistently against the Buffs so they took to the air where they found much more success. K-State quarterbacks combined for 310 passing yards and two touchdowns but it wasn’t enough to take down a determined CU team.
Overall, the Buffs played an exceptional game. CU was only penalized twice for a total of five yards, converted nine of fourteen third do
wn attempts, averaged over five yards every time they ran the ball and they did not turn the ball over once. In fact, the only two issues were a missed extra-point and the lackluster pass defense which had more to do with the emphasis on stopping the Wildcats ground game than anything else.
The second impressive win in a row is bitter sweet for this Buffs team. Under Coach Cabral we’ve seen this team at its best but we have also witnessed what might have been. Instead of fighting for a .500 season, this team could legitimately be fighting for a Big 12 North title and a berth in the title game when they face-off against arch rival Nebraska on Friday but the game of football is unforgiving. It’s not about what might have been, it’s about cold hard truth and the truth is this is a 5-6 team that missed opportunities early in the season that may come back to haunt them.
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Written by Matthew Stiles