Colorado can't forget 2005 blowout loss to Texas
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Struggling through one of the most embarrassing days in his football career, Colorado defensive tackle George Hypolite remembers wishing the game at Reliant Stadium could have ended much quicker.
Linebacker Brad Jones has tried to blot away memories of that day, figuring his team's 70-3 demolition at the hands of Texas was nearly three years ago. What good, he said, does it do to bring up bad memories?
"I don't like to talk about that game," Jones said.
Saturday's game will be the first between the two teams since the Longhorns' infamous 2005 Big 12 Championship Game victory over the Buffaloes, which set a record for the largest margin of victory in a conference championship game.
That embarrassing loss catapulted the Longhorns into the national championship game and also brought an unceremonious end to Gary Barnett's coaching tenure at Colorado.
"Coach Hawkins talks a lot about a perfect storm where everything is clicking with your offense, your defense and special teams," Hypolite said. "That was definitely the case for them on that day. I honestly believe that Texas could have beaten the New England Patriots the way they were playing on that day."
The Longhorns scored on 10 of their first 11 possessions and rolled up 486 yards in the game.
It didn't make it any easier for Hypolite, who was a freshman on that Colorado team, to finish the game after Texas jumped to a 42-3 halftime lead and scored four more touchdowns during a span of less than four minutes early in the third quarter.
"I'm a competitor and sometimes you just have to take your medicine," Hypolite said. "At that time, we didn't have the mentality to make a game out of it. They clicked on cylinders and we just weren't prepared."
Colorado running backs coach Darian Hagan, who was on Barnett's staff in that game, told the Boulder Camera he hasn't forgotten that day or Texas' reaction to the Buffaloes before it.
"I remember warming up and those guys were laughing and joking over there," Hagan said of the Longhorns. "They didn't respect us. We thought we could go in there and hang with them. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be 70-3. And then in the fourth quarter, blitzing and piling it on, I didn't think that would happen, but it did.
"What they did was pretty much try to clown us on a national stage, but you can't carry that. We have to let it roll off our back, but it's going to be in the back of our minds, I can tell you that."
Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt was knocked out of the game with a concession after he was hit on a blind-side blitz by Drew Kelson on a play in which the Texas defender received a roughing-the-passer penalty. Klatt never played again for the Buffaloes, missing the team's appearance at the Champs Sports Bowl several weeks later.
If Texas coach Mack Brown had been malicious, the Longhorns could have reached 100 on that sunny day in Houston. The Longhorns scored 70 points in the first 37-plus minutes of the game and clearly took their foot off the accelerator for most of the second half.
"Colorado had a lot of effort, but we were just on the top of our game," Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo said. "We basically tried not to run the score up on them at the end of the game."
The Buffaloes ran into a hot team in the Longhorns who were intent on showing their national championship aspirations. It wasn't pretty.
"I remember it was a fun game," Orakpo said. "A lot of us are from Houston and we just played well offensively and defensively. Guys were flying to the ball, pinning the ears back and getting after people. It just seemed like it was a perfect game because everything was going so well for us.
"We were one game away from playing for the championship and didn't want to leave anything behind. Colorado was the next step for us on the way."
Dan Hawkins now is coaching the Buffaloes. That switch in leadership has undeniably changed how the Buffaloes are approaching Saturday's game.
"It's a different team for Texas and a different team for us," Jones said. "I don't think revenge will play any part for us."
But Brown expects that most Colorado fans haven't forgotten about that 2005 game and will remind the Longhorns when they arrive at Folsom Field on Saturday. The game is already sold out and should have as much intensity as any in the previous 16-game history of the series.
"The air will be light, I know that," Brown said earlier this summer. "[The stadium] will be full because it's been full every time we've been up there. There are enough Texans that move to Colorado for the summer so there is a natural rivalry between the two. And Dan has done a good job and they're competitive. So it will be like it is everywhere else we go to play. We'll have to be ready."