After an hour of monastic silence in the Mile High Stadium locker room last Saturday before his team played archrival Colorado, Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick could take it no longer. "Would somebody say something?" he said. "Cough, jump up, giggle. It's O.K. to do that."
A day after the Rams forced six turnovers and made nine sacks in a stunning 41-14 upset of the 14th-ranked Buffaloes, Lubick said he had misread his troops. "I thought they were scared," he said. "They fooled me."
They fooled everyone, especially the Buffaloes. Lubick watched the game tape Sunday to see how much of the Rams' rout might have been a fluke. Not much, he decided. "I think we're a little better than people gave us credit for," he said. "This is going to do wonders for us."
Colorado, meanwhile, must pick up the pieces. The word since coach Gary Barnett arrived eight months ago had been that the mental lapses that plagued the Buffaloes during the Rick Neuheisel era were a thing of the past. A PROGRAM OF FINISHERS, said the headline in the Colorado media guide. Forget finishers. It's clear that the Buffaloes are shy a few starters. After the game Barnett described his team as being in shock "We just couldn't fight back," he said.
Virginia Kicker Delivers
Cavs Get Off on The Left Foot
Virginia kicker Todd Braverman got tired of hearing that his left leg was all accuracy and no length. The truth hurt. His missed field goals figured in two of the Cavaliers' three defeats last season: Virginia lost to Georgia Tech 41-38 after Braverman's 54-yard attempt fell short with 27 seconds left, and the Cavs lost the Peach Bowl to Georgia 35-33 after Braver-man's 48-yarder hooked right with 19 seconds to play. "I would swing my leg hard and turn my shoulder [on long kicks], and everything would go to the right," the junior says. He spent the summer lifting weights so that his normal leg swing would be sufficient.
Last Saturday, with 27 seconds to play, Braverman made a 50-yard field goal to beat ACC rival North Carolina 20-17. "This year," he says, "I just wanted to shut everybody up and tell them not to worry about kicking. Worry about something else."
UCLA Parking Scandal
A Quarterback's Toughest Call
Last Saturday, Drew Bennett, a former walk-on who had waited four years for the opportunity to start, made his debut as UCLA's quarterback. His parents and three brothers arrived four hours before the Bruins' season-opening game, against Boise State, and parked in one of the choicest spots at the Rose Bowl. After all, they had a blue handicapped parking placard affixed to their rearview mirror, issued because Drew's brother Richie has cerebral palsy.
Flash back, now, to January, when news broke that some UCLA football players had forged doctors' signatures on applications that claimed they had disabilities—the bogus infirmities included a broken ankle, a herniated disk and Bell's palsy—to obtain handicapped parking permits. Nine current and five former players were eventually charged with misdemeanors, and other players are reportedly under investigation. All told, 11 current players, including seven starters, were suspended for the game against Boise State (which UCLA would win 38-7) and this week's game against 13th-ranked Ohio State. Seven of them have already pled no contest and were each sentenced to two years' probation, a $1,485 fine and 200 hours of community service with the disabled. Two others were granted a continuance, and the other two have yet to be charged.