Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Colorado Turns Miscues into Win over Fresno St. Buffaloes Hold on despite Dilfer's 523 Yards Passing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Colorado Turns Miscues into Win over Fresno St. Buffaloes Hold on despite Dilfer's 523 Yards Passing

Article excerpt

Colorado withstood quarterback Trent Dilfer's rampage through several record books Saturday, successfully turning the page on a frustrating season.

No. 17 CU outlasted No. 24 Fresno State 41-30 in the Aloha Bowl, finishing a season of unmet expectations on an upbeat note.

"Merry Christmas," said Buffs tight end Christian Fauria. "I got what I wanted."

With the Bulldogs' help, the Buffs made their Hawaiian holiday bright by accepting five Fresno State turnovers to win their first postseason game since defeating Notre Dame 10-9 in the 1991 Orange Bowl.

CU, finishing 8-3-1 and hoping to move up in next week's final Associated Press poll, did what it believed it had to do in order to win. The Buffs' offensive line overpowered the Bulldogs at the line of scrimmage, springing sophomore tailback Rashaan Salaam for 135 of his team's 271 rushing yards.

Salaam scored touchdowns on runs of 2, 40 and 4 yards. James Hill, returning to fullback as CU frequently utilized a two-back set, scored on a 7-yard run.

Defensively, the Buffs rendered the Bulldogs (8-4) one-dimensional by limiting them to a season-low 3 yards rushing. That total takes into account 49 yards lost on sacks by Dilfer and 22 yards lost by tailback Ron Rivers, whose 130.9 yards-per-game average made him the nation's No. 4 rusher. Rivers, who had rushed for 100-plus yards in 12 of his last 17 games, gained 37 on 14 attempts - including one run of 30 yards.

"When Rivers commented on our secondary (he called it `not so hot' at midweek), the front seven kind of took it on themselves also," said junior cornerback Chris Hudson. "We thought that was disrespect. We wanted to go out and show the world what we could do, that even though we lost guys it didn't matter."

Hudson, named the game's defensive MVP, did more than his share to strengthen the secondary. He figured in three of Fresno State's lost fumbles, recovering two and poking the ball out of receiver Lee Harris' hands in the third quarter. CU safety Donnell Leomiti returned the fumble 28 yards for a touchdown.

The Buffs needed that kind of performance from Hudson to help offset Dilfer, a junior who is expected to declare his eligibility for this spring's National Football League draft. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.