Same song, fourth verse

Zac Reicks

BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado showed its incredible depth at running back in a 41-27 win over Iowa State Saturday night that clinched the Big 12 North division title.

Folsom Field spectators saw backup running back Bobby Purify rush for 174 yards and a touchdown while the nation’s leading rusher, Chris Brown, added 127 yards and a touchdown. Brown left the game in the third quarter with a bruised sternum and turned things over to Purify, who cemented the win with a six-carry, 80-yard drive for the last touchdown of the game.

“They definitely have a strong running attack. We made every effort we could to stop them but just fell short,” defensive tackle Jordan Carstens said. “Both guys are great backs that gave us great looks. They have got a great running back tandem in Colorado.”

But even with the success the Buffaloes had rushing the football, Iowa State found itself in a great position with a little under six minutes remaining in the game.

Down 27-20, Colorado running back Marcus Houston fumbled the football and ISU linebacker Brandon Brown recovered at the Colorado 25-yard line.

Two plays later, quarterback Seneca Wallace mishandled a high snap and the ball fell on the turf. Safety Medford Moorer returned the fumble 71 yards for a TD with 5:12 left as the Buffaloes took what appeared to be a comfortable 34-20 lead late in the fourth quarter.

“I saw it on the replay and it was a high snap. Seneca bobbled it but just didn’t make the play,” ISU wide receiver Lane Danielsen said. “I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in college football. He is our guy.”

Wallace struck again quickly, though, as he completed four passes for 64 yards and finished the drive off with a 6-yard touchdown run that cut the lead to seven.

Even with three timeouts remaining, the Cyclones could do little to stop Purify as he ran all over Iowa State in the fourth quarter. “The fourth quarter was the difference. They made the plays and won,” ISU head coach Dan McCarney said. “We’ve got a ways to go if we’re going to be out there celebrating a Big 12 championship.”

Wallace totaled 367 total yards for the game, completing 24 of 35 passes for 265 yards with a passing and a rushing touchdown.

Once again, it was costly turnovers and mistakes that kept Iowa State from their eighth win of the season.

Trailing 17-14 midway through the third quarter, Cyclone fullback Joe Woodley blasted through the left side for a 1-yard touchdown. The subsequent extra point was blocked, however, and Colorado would soon tie it up with a 40-yard field goal.

For the second game in a row, Wallace had trouble taking care of the ball. He committed two fumbles and threw a costly interception late in the first half.

With the loss, Iowa State completed a stretch of games that saw the Cyclones take on four of the top 15 teams in the country, all on the road.

“Part of me is glad that’s over, part of me wants to replay a few of those games,” Carstens said. “We’re disappointed with the last four or five games. We will move on and hopefully win this last game.”

“Nobody in America has had to play the teams that we have in the last five weeks,” McCarney said.

And nobody in America has the same talent at running back that Colorado does. “Brown is an excellent back and so is Purify,” McCarney said. “I don’t see many teams in the Big 12 or country that Purify couldn’t play or start for.”

“We tried to play a tough base defense and control the line of scrimmage,” Carstens said. “They finished blocks and were tough, which they showed tonight.”

With a home win against Connecticut next week, Iowa State can be the first Cyclone team to go 7-0 at home and also have another chance to make school history.

“With a win next week, we can be one of only three teams in school history to win nine games,” McCarney said. “Hopefully we’ll learn from this so maybe next year, we’re out there celebrating this win.”

Iowa St-Colorado Stats

Iowa St. 7 7 6 7— 27

Colorado 3 14 3 21— 41

First Quarter

Col—FG Brougham 43, 10:37.

ISU—Wagner 5 run (Benike kick), 8:07.

Second Quarter

Col—Hackett 8 pass from Hodge (Brougham kick), 13:39.

ISU—Young 50 pass from Wallace (Benike kick), 6:58.

Col—Brown 5 run (Brougham kick), 2:45.

Third Quarter

ISU—Woodley 1 run (kick blocked), 9:54.

Col—FG Brougham 40, 6:09.

Fourth Quarter

Col—McCoy 6 pass from Hodge (Brougham kick), 10:20.

Col—Moorer 71 fumble recovery return (Brougham kick), 5:12.

ISU—Wallace 6 run (Benike kick), 3:56.

Col—Purify 5 run (Brougham kick), 1:43.



First downs 27 28

Rushes-yards 38-207 51-331

Passing 265 187

Comp-Att-Int 24-35-1 17-29-0

Return Yards 56 88

Punts-Avg. 5-43 3-41

Fumbles-Lost 4-3 4-2

Penalties-Yards 3-21 6-40

Time of Possession 27:51 32:09


RUSHING—Iowa St.: Wallace 15-102, Wagner 14-53, Danielsen 2-27, Thompson 6-24, Woodley 1-1. Colorado: Purify 20-174, Brown 25-127, Houston 3-17, Bloom 1-7, Hodge 2-6.

PASSING—Iowa St.: Wallace 24-35-1-265. Colorado, Hodge 17-28-0-187, Kunkel 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING—Iowa St.: Danielsen 7-73, Whitver 6-77, Wagner 5-22, Young 4-83, Knock 2-10. Colorado: Purify 5-51, Hackett 4-69, McCoy 3-25, Williams 2-13, Drumm 1-11, Sypniewski 1-10, Bloom 1-8.