It was also junior running back June Henley running for 137 yards and catching passes for another 87 yards. Henley's 43-yard touchdown run gave Kansas a 33-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. (Henley's parents took in orphaned Ohio State wide receiver Terry Glenn when he was 13, which means that with Glenn's 175 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the Buckeyes' 28-25 win over Penn State, the Henley household of Columbus, Ohio, had a very good day on Saturday.)
In all, Kansas rang up 495 yards against a Colorado defense that had given up only 281.4 yards per game and had shut down Texas A&M and Leeland McElroy two weeks earlier. Yet it is Hankwitz who will be remembered as the coaching star of the afternoon. A collector of vintage football helmets and a connoisseur of college fight songs, Hankwitz left Boulder last winter in the swirl that surrounded Neuheisel's controversial hiring. He prepared his young defense—just two juniors and two seniors start—Friday night at the team hotel by showing them a montage of big plays from their first four games, set to the theme from Rocky. On Saturday, Hankwitz used a 13-man defensive huddle, pulling two men off the field when Colorado lined up. "He's an unbelievable coach," said Kansas defensive tackle Brett McGraw. "We know this game meant a lot to him."
As Hankwitz conducted a radio interview after the game, Neuheisel passed him and said, "Awesome, Mike, just awesome."
But of course there is another issue. Colorado had already won at Wisconsin and Oklahoma and had beaten Colorado State and Texas A&M at home, a schedule that ranks with Ohio State's as the toughest in the country. And they were playing Kansas. Players are human. The strains of Rock Chalk, Jayhawk do not send chills down a Colorado player's spine.
"There was no feeling we could skate through," said Colorado senior corner-back T.J. Cunningham. "But I think there was a feeling of getting it over with and coming out with a win. We just weren't as intense as we've been. And I couldn't give a reason why."
Try this: Blue jerseys with little birds on them. Colorado versus Kansas. Change is subtle, and players are as prone to miss it as the rest of us are.
Florida State senior center Clay Shiver stood in front of his dressing cubicle at Doak Campbell Stadium. It was nearly midnight, and Shiver, who sat in the stands for Wide Right I (the 1991 Florida State loss to Miami) and played in Wide Right II (the '94 loss to the Hurricanes), spoke about the rout. "I didn't want to just beat them, I wanted to beat them handily," he said.
He had watched the day's upsets on television, heard scores on the radio and picked up the Colorado final over the stadium public-address system as he stood in the huddle early in the game. "I know it can happen anytime," Shiver said. "But we've got a lot of experience around here at being Number 1. No letup from us."
Pass the word, Clay. Lesson for the fall.