Colorado University Offense Overcomes Slow-Start

November 12, 1989 | Oklahoman, The (Oklahoma City, OK)
Author/Byline: Mac Bentley | Page: 9 | Section: SPORTS
407 Words

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State came up with a couple of wrinkles Saturday afternoon in hopes of upsetting Colorado.

The Buffaloes, though, said they ironed them out in quick order on the way to their 41-17 victory.

Defensively, the Cowboys inserted Cornell Cannon, a third-string safety, in a rover position behind the linebackers.

“”He was sort of mirroring the motions of the wingback, and it kept (quarterback Darian) Hagan from making some big plays from the inside out,” said Colorado coach Bill McCartney, whose Buffs trailed 10-0 early in the game. “”It kept Hagan from getting into the alley.”

Hagan, who came into the game with 794 yards rushing, picked up just 54 on 18 carries, but that included a 19-yard loss on a pitch batted away by Cowboy Mike Clark.

“(Cannon) didn’t cause us real problems, but it was something we had to adjust to,” McCartney said. “We treated him like a middle linebacker instead of a rover, and it really helped us out when we started going up the middle.”

Offensively, the Pokes tried a hurry-up offense, with no huddle, after getting an early lead. But they abandoned that idea when Colorado took charge with a 24-point second quarter.

The victory clinched a share of the Big Eight championship and an almost certain trip to the Orange Bowl for the 10-0 Buffs, who conclude the regular season at Kansas State next week.

“The Big Eight title was on the line, and this was Oklahoma State’s bowl game,” Colorado linebacker Michael Jones said. “But they got ahead and we settled down, and that showed a lot of poise and confidence.”

Several Colorado players said Cowboy quarterback Mike Gundy made racial comments to them during the game. Gundy, who has been a thorn in the Buffs’ side since he followed up a freshman promise to never lose to Colorado again with two lopsided victories, vehemently denied it.

“He said it to me and a couple of other guys on the field,” said outside linebacker Kanavis McGhee, a black. “It got me real upset.”

“Here’s a guy in the spotlight all the time, to say something like that is not cool at all. All it did was fire us up.”

Defenders Bruce Young and Alfred Williams, both blacks, and Okland Salavea, a Samoan, also told reporters Gundy made racial comments.

“”I didn’t say it,” Gundy said. “”It’s just not true. I’ve been here four years, and well over half of my friends are black.

“”I just did not say that; I wouldn’t say something like that.”

h/t: Tulsa City County Library Databases for Articles about Gundy and His Racist Past

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