BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Colorado tight end Joe Klopfenstein kept
anticipating the big hit that never got delivered. His Buffs
teammates kept waiting for the strong challenge that never really
Klopfenstein had 99 yards receiving and quarterback Joel Klatt
threw for 398 yards and three scores Saturday -- two of the many
stars for Colorado in a wire-to-wire 41-20 win over surprisingly
overmatched Texas A&M.
"There were a few times where I'd catch the ball, turn around
and expect to get hit, but there was no one there," Klopfenstein
It was, indeed, one of those nights for the Buffs (4-1, 2-0 Big
12), who finished with 559 yards and clicked from start to end,
taking a 41-6 lead through three quarters.
Texas A&M (3-2, 1-0) came into the game ranked last in the Big
12 in passing defense and won't likely get a bump up after this
"It was one of those days where we had a great plan that
worked," CU coach Gary Barnett said.
Last week, the Aggies showed signs they might be in for a
struggle this season when they almost allowed Baylor its first Big
12 road win in 37 tries before pulling out a 16-13 win.
And while this hardly ranked with A&M's 77-0 loss at Oklahoma
two years ago, it was much uglier than anyone expected from a
three-point underdog -- a noncompetitive effort that certainly will
ratchet up the hand-wringing over Dennis Franchione's team in
"I don't have an answer for you," Franchione said when asked
if some of his players might be doubting themselves.
It was bad right from the start for the Aggies.
On their second play from scrimmage, Reggie McNeal connected
with DeQawn Mobley, who slipped behind Buffs cornerback Lorenzo
Sims. Mobley made the catch and looked like he'd score. Instead, he
fumbled without being hit and the Buffs recovered. The turnover
went down as a 60-yard gain, which helped make A&M's rough night on
offense look a little better on the stats page.
"I just thought, Lorenzo Sims just had his butt saved,"
Barnett said of the sudden momentum shift.
McNeal, the multiple-threat quarterback the Buffs stressed about
all week, didn't get the Aggies into the end zone. Their two
touchdowns were purely cosmetic, both coming late with the second-
and third-teamers on the field. McNeal finished with 146 yards
passing and a minus-14 yards rushing after averaging 227 passing
and 92 rushing over the first four games.
"We know this is not the A&M team that was out there," McNeal
said. "Offense and defense, nobody executed the game plan that we
Adding this to their 34-0 win over Oklahoma State last week, the
Buffs have won two straight against the Big 12 South after nine
consecutive losses. The win might be enough to put CU in the Top 25
for the first time since Sept. 7, 2003. Next week, the task gets
much tougher -- a game at No. 2 Texas.
"We've got a good football team," Klatt said. "We're excited
to go down there and give them a run for their money."
Before that, though, CU can take a little time to enjoy this
highlight-reel of a game.
Klatt, a senior, finished 28-for-36 with no interceptions. This
was his third 300-yard game. He was well on the way to his third
400-yard performance, but Barnett gave him the rest of the night
off after he hit Quinn Sypniewski for a 36-yard score and a 41-6
lead midway through the third.
Charles added to his stellar start this season, finishing with
67 yards rushing, 85 receiving and a 4-yard touchdown run to go
with his long scoring catch.
Lawrence Vickers had 48 yards and also scored twice.
Klopfenstein had five catches, including a one-handed grab on a
pass thrown behind him for a 7-yard gain in the second quarter.
Seven plays later, Vickers scored from a yard for a 28-3 lead.
"We've moved the ball every week," Klatt said. "But tonight,
I thought we were more focused on details. We didn't stall out. We
didn't make mistakes. It's exciting on offense, when you put the
ball in the end zone like that."