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Salaam Leads Colorado, 45-7 : Big Eight: He runs for 161 yards and scores four times in the first half against Oklahoma.

October 16, 1994|From Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. — Rashaan Salaam ran for 161 yards and four first-half touchdowns and No. 4 Colorado overwhelmed No. 22 Oklahoma, 45-7, Saturday night for its 10th consecutive victory.

Salaam moved ahead of Washington's Napoleon Kaufman into the national rushing lead at 175.7 yards per game and also solidified his position as the nation's leading scorer, increasing his total to 16 touchdowns.

Colorado, 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Eight, posted its highest point total ever against the Sooners (3-3, 1-1), who averted a shutout with 23 seconds left on Garrick McGee's nine-yard touchdown pass to P.J. Mills.

The Buffaloes scored on four consecutive first-half possessions, with Salaam capping each series with a scoring run--the first three from seven yards out.

Salaam's 36-yard run set up his touchdown around left end as Colorado went up 7-0 midway through the first period. Late in the quarter, he ran seven yards off the right side to culminate a 41-yard drive that followed Oklahoma's inability to move beyond its own five. Quarterback Kordell Stewart kept that drive alive, scrambling for a nine-yard gain on third and eight.

The Buffaloes turned two second-quarter turnovers into touchdowns. McGee fumbled at the Sooners' 18 and Colorado linebacker Matt Russell recovered, setting up Salaam's third consecutive seven-yard scoring run, this time up the middle.

Three minutes later, safety Donnell Leomiti intercepted McGee's pass at the Colorado 39. Wide receiver Michael Westbrook ran 40 yards on a reverse, and Salaam romped nine yards up the middle to give Colorado a 28-0 advantage with 7:19 left in the half.

The first-half outcome might have been worse except for two fumbles by Colorado punt returner Chris Hudson. The first, following a 54-yard return, turned the ball back to Oklahoma at its four. The second fumble, at the Colorado 28, gave Oklahoma its only serious scoring threat of the half, but Hudson atoned with an end-zone interception four plays later.

Oklahoma had only 11 yards in the first quarter and 64 at the half, compared to 251 for Colorado.

Salaam's third-quarter replacement, freshman Herchell Troutman, accounted for all of the yardage on Colorado's four-play, 51-yard drive for a 35-0 lead. Troutman started the drive by turning a short pass into a 39-yard gain, then finished it with a four-yard run.

The Buffaloes extended the lead to 38-0 on Neil Voskeritchian's 32-yard field goal early in the final quarter. Backup quarterback Koy Detmer's 59-yard pass to Westbrook set up the kick.

Detmer took the Buffaloes 65 yards in seven plays for their final score--a one-yard run by freshman Lendon Henry with 3:27 left.

The Sooners, victimized by five turnovers and a sputtering offense, mounted a desperation drive in the closing minutes, and Mills made a sliding catch on fourth down to avoid Oklahoma's first shutout in 126 games.

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