DENVER (AP) -- Just like brothers going at it in the backyard, this Rocky Mountain Showdown came down to the very end, and Kevin Eberhart's 35-yard field goal in overtime gave Colorado a 31-28 victory over Colorado State on Saturday.
Eberhart, a senior finally getting his chance following the departure of two-time All-American Mason Crosby to the NFL, sent the game into OT with a 22-yarder with 13 seconds left.
The Rams won the coin flip, but Terrence Wheatley intercepted Caleb Hanie's pass in the end zone and Eberhart calmly hit his game-winning kick.
The last five games between the rivals have been decided by 25 points, and none by more than a touchdown.
Freshman Cody Hawkins, son of Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, who has never lost a game in 60 starts dating back to youth leagues, completed 18 of 31 passes for 201 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Senior Kyle Bell returned to the backfield for the Rams after missing last season with a knee injury and rushed a career-high 40 times for 135 yards and a touchdown, and Hanie (20-of-27) threw three touchdown passes to tight end Kory Sperry and wasn't picked off until his final pass of the afternoon.
The Rams (0-1) scored two quick touchdowns coming out of halftime to take a 28-17 lead.
Sperry, who caught TD strikes of 2 and 6 yards in the first half, hauled in a 37-yarder from Hanie to put the Rams ahead 21-17. He dragged defender Brad Jones the final 10 yards into the end zone to give the Rams their first lead.
Jason Smith then squibbed a line drive on the ensuing kickoff that ricocheted off Buffs special teams captain R.J. Brown, who had turned his head at Smith approached the ball. Jermaine Walters recovered for the Rams and Colorado State drove 47 yards and went up 28-17 on Bell's 13-yard run.
Smith squibbed it again, but this time, Wheatley returned it 68 yards before Smith corralled him at the Rams' 21. Colorado, however, failed to score as Eberhart's 41-yard attempt sailed wide right.
The Buffs put together an 86-yard drive on their next possession as Hawkins converted three third-and-long plays before Demetrius Sumler took it in from the 3. The 2-point conversion, a pass to Riar Greer, made it 28-25.
The Buffs' game-tying drive was set up by Chase McKnight's 43-yard punt return and a pass interference call on Rams cornerback Joey Rucks on fourth-and-4 from the Colorado State 28 with 1:16 remaining.
While the Rams celebrated the return of their workhorse running back, the Buffaloes lost theirs on the first series. Hugh Charles took a swing pass from Hawkins and rumbled 15 yards before grabbing his left hamstring and stepping gingerly out of bounds.
In his place, Sumler ran 16 time for 85 yards, often taking the snap directly.
Neither team seemed to mind the 10 a.m. kickoff as both drove right down the field for touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Hawkins threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to childhood friend and fellow freshman Scotty McKnight, and added a 10-yard strike to tight end Tyson DeVree.
Sperry's TD catches capped the Rams' methodical drives. He finished with eight catches for 103 yards but could have had a much better day had Haney not thrown over the wrong shoulder on what would have been a 54-yard score early in the fourth quarter.
Hawkins' 31-yard completion to Patrick Williams on third-and-16 set up Eberhart's career-long 38-yard field goal that gave the Buffaloes a 17-14 halftime lead.