Posted: Friday December 31, 1999 06:26 PM
TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- Ben Kelly returned a punt for a touchdown, Cortlen Johnson ran for two scores and Colorado had two defensive TDs. And that was all in the first half.
The Buffaloes tied a bowl record with 45 first-half points and made their first postseason trip under Gary Barnett a successful one with a 62-28 pounding of Boston College in the Insight.com Bowl.
"You hope the guys who are here won't have any doubts now about what we are trying to do," Barnett said. "It feels good to get that first bowl win, but right now I just feel cold from all the ice water down my back."
Colorado's 45 first-half points equaled the total by Oklahoma State in a 62-14 victory over Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl.
Jeremy Aldrich's 26-yard field goal 29 seconds before halftime accounted for the final three points.
The Buffaloes (7-5) set an Insight.com Bowl record for points while Boston College (8-4) had the worst defensive outing in school history.
Linebacker Jashon Sykes and defensive back Rashidi Barnes both brought back interceptions for scores in a 5 1/2-minute span of the first half as the Buffaloes posted the biggest rout in Insight.com Bowl history.
"They did an excellent job of staying away from some of our best players," Boston College coach Tom O'Brien said. "We had several guys with the flu since we got here, but every team goes through things like that and I'm not using that as an excuse."
The first 13 minutes belonged to the Buffaloes' offense. It opened the afternoon by driving 65 yards in 13 plays and taking a 7-0 lead 3:55 into the first quarter on Johnson's 10-yard TD run up the middle.
"Those holes and the game we played against Iowa State when I had 185 yards," said Johnson, who carried 15 times for 201 yards. "When the safeties where coming up they weren't wrapping me up, so I just kept on busting through."
Boston College's John Matich missed a 43-yard field goal on the ensuing possession and Colorado marched 74 yards in 12 plays, with Mike Moschetti's two-yard quarterback draw making it 14-0 with 1:47 left in the first period.
Moschetti completed 14-of-24 passes for 149 yards and was intercepted once.
"They are a lot bigger up front than us, but the game is changing and you need guys who can run," Moschetti said. "They were playing a lot of cover-two (defense) in the secondary, playing the pass, and took that away, so we kept it on the ground and got the job done there."
On the third play of the Eagles' second drive, Sykes grabbed Tim Hasselbeck's floater and scampered 27 yards for his first career touchdown. Sykes, a sophomore from Los Angeles, set a school record during the season and led the nation with seven forced fumbles.
"I read it all the way," Sykes said. "We were in man coverage and I had the back coming out of the backfield and as soon as I saw him coming I read it and jumped on it. Then it was just a matter of not letting the quarterback jump me, and I couldn't let that happen. That would have hurt me real bad."
"I think when Sykes intercepted that pass it showed momentum was going our way," Barnett added. "From the first drive we had the ground game going, so we really never showed what our passing game can do. We didn't get to do some of the things we wanted to get to in the passing game."
Aldrich could not connect on a 43-yard field goal early in the second quarter, but the miss would soon become meaningless.
First, Barnes picked off freshman Brian St. Pierre and went 21 yards untouched down the left side for a score.
Boston College went three-and-out and Kelly made them pay, weaving his way for an 88-yard touchdown, his sixth career kick return for a score. Kelly also brought back the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in last year's Aloha Bowl victory over Oregon.
Defensive back George White returned an interception 78 yards for a TD for Boston College with 7:22 to play in the first half, but Colorado answered less than two minutes later as Johnson completed a four-play, 75-yard march with a two-yard scoring run.
"I think after the second interception for a touchdown, I realized this is isn't going our way," Boston College defensive lineman Chris Hovan. Sixty-two points later, it was over."
In the second half, Colorado got scoring runs from Roman Hollowell and Zac Colvin and a 21-yard field goal by Aldrich.
Hasselbeck threw a fourth-quarter touchdown for the Eagles, who allowed 100 points in their final two games.
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