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Late Flurry Sparks Colorado to 20-19 Win

September 28, 1997|From Associated Press

Colorado Coach Rick Neuheisel believes in creating luck. It worked for the Buffaloes on Saturday at Boulder, Colo.

Ben Kelly returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Jeremy Aldrich kicked an 18-yard field goal with three seconds remaining as 16th-ranked Colorado rallied and defeated Wyoming, 20-19.

Kelly's kickoff return came with 4:10 left in the game and Wyoming (3-2) apparently headed to victory after an 18-yard touchdown run by Marques Brigham that put the Western Athletic Conference Cowboys ahead, 19-10.

An onside kick failed after Kelly's dramatic return, giving the ball to the Cowboys at their 44 with less than three minutes to go.

But a minute later, the Buffaloes' Mike Phillips hit Brigham on a play up the middle and Ron Merkerson recovered the ball in the air, returning it 33 yards to the Wyoming 25.

"Sometimes you get lucky," Neuheisel said. "But I think we created our own luck. We returned special teams, and I think it paid off with a great kickoff return by Ben Kelly. We worked hard on defense in stripping the ball and that certainly paid off with Mike Phillips' strip, and Ron Merkerson picking up the fumble and getting us into range."

Phillips said he saw Brigham holding "the ball out there real loose, and I just popped my hand in there."

After Merkerson's fumble return, John Hessler passed 21 yards to Darrin Chiaverini to the Wyoming one with 1:06 left. Wyoming held the Buffaloes (2-1) out of the end zone on three plunges into the line before Aldrich made the game-ending field goal.

No. 18 Kansas State 58, Bowling Green 0--Eric Hickson, darting through huge holes, rushed for a career-high 163 yards and the Wildcats held the Falcons to 56 total yards at Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas State (3-0), with its third consecutive victory over a Mid-American Conference team and its fifth shutout at home in three seasons, totaled 638 yards. The Falcons (2-3) had minus-nine yards rushing.

No. 22 Texas A&M 36, North Texas 10--Dante Hall rushed for 156 yards and set up two touchdowns and Sirr Parker rushed for 124 yards and scored a touchdown as the Aggies overwhelmed the Eagles at Irving, Texas.

A 27-yard punt return by Hall and his 49-yard run helped the Aggies to the easy victory before 42,224 fans in Texas Stadium, the largest home crowd in history for the Eagles. The previous biggest was 27,183 at Texas Stadium for a game against Southern Methodist in 1974.

Texas 38, Rice 31--Ricky Williams ran for 249 yards and a school-record five touchdowns as the Longhorns bounced back from a sluggish start to hold off the Owls at Houston.

Williams, who carried 28 times, scored on runs of nine, 48, four, 25 and 15 yards as the Longhorns (2-1) tried to put behind them the humiliating 66-3 loss to UCLA.

Rice (2-2), trailing, 38-31 with 5:28 to go, marched to the Texas 12 with eight seconds left. Chad Nelson's pass into the end zone to Jason Blackwell was caught out of bounds. With two seconds remaining, Nelson, under pressure and with 53,811 fans screaming, threw incomplete into the end zone.

Oklahoma 35, Louisville 14--De'Mond Parker and Jermaine Fazande took advantage of Louisville's leaky defense, each rushing for more than 150 yards, as the Sooners rolled to victory at Norman, Okla.

Parker had 191 yards in 25 carries and Fazande had a career-best 151 in 18 carries against a defense that ranked 104th nationally. It was only the third time in school history two Oklahoma backs rushed for more than 150 yards in a game.

The Sooners (2-2) probably should have won more handily. They gained 551 yards but committed five turnovers and had a first-half drive end at the Louisville (1-4) one-yard line.

Oklahoma State 38, Northeast Louisiana 7--Nathan Simmons rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown at Stillwater, Okla. as the Cowboys improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1988.

The Cowboys led 38-0 before the Indians (1-4) scored on a long pass with 2:56 remaining.

Simmons, a sophomore and the son of Coach Bob Simmons, paced a running attack that produced 274 yards on the ground.

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