Bears Topple Buffs in Triple-OT Thriller
Oct. 7, 2006
Joe Pawelek's leaping interception in the third overtime clinched Baylor's 34-31 victory over Colorado at Folsom Field in Boulder.
Ryan Havens made a 22-yard field goal for the lead before Pawelek's walk-off interception gave the Bears (3-3, 2-0 Big 12) back-to-back Big 12 wins for the first time since joining the conference in 1996.
The Buffs (0-6, 0-2) remained winless under new coach Dan Hawkins on what was widely viewed as their best chance for the rest of the season to get that elusive `W' - on homecoming, with the players still playing hard, against a traditional conference doormat.
Now, it's CU that's the doormat, in need of a win next week against Texas Tech to avoid eclipsing the program's longest losing streak, first set in 1963-64.
Pawelek's interception was a beauty, though it helped that CU quarterback Bernard Jackson threw far downfield and into heavy coverage on third-and-6 from the 21, even though the Buffs only needed a field goal to extend the game.
While the freshman linebacker was mobbed at the goal line - the Bears can now legitimately think "bowl game" - Hawkins gently took off his headset, placed it on the sideline and gave an enthusiastic hand to his team, which could have easily lost this game much earlier.
Paul Mosley ran for 85 yards for the Bears, and his 28-yard burst through the middle gave Baylor a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter and all the momentum. Jackson answered by leading the Buffs on an 80-yard touchdown drive for CU's first fourth-quarter points of the season. The key play was the quarterback's 19-yard scramble on fourth-and-1.
The overtimes were typical college back-and-forth. Baylor scored first, helped by a ticky-tack pass interference call against defensive back Lorenzo Sims - the kind of calls that always seem to go against teams with 0-6 records.
Colorado answered in four plays, then Hugh Charles scored from 25 yards on the first play of the second overtime. Shawn Bell (31-for-44, 272 yards) kept Baylor alive when he hit Trent Shelton for a 10-yard touchdown on fourth-and-7 in the second OT.
The Bears were held to a field goal in the third extra session, but Jackson's interception on CU's possession kept Mason Crosby - arguably the nation's best kicker - off the field.
Not even Crosby was an automatic on this day, though.
Trailing 10-7 at halftime, CU's kickoff team recovered a fumble to open the third quarter. It could have been a huge momentum swing, but the Buffs couldn't gain a yard, then Crosby snap hooked a 36-yard attempt and gave a huge boost to Guy Morriss' team.
The Bears, averaging 27 yards rushing so far this season, finished with 110.
CU, meanwhile, surpassed 14 points for the first time this year, but it wasn't enough to prevent matching the worst losing streak since the start of coach Eddie Crowder's 11 seasons in Boulder.