Seniors Set for Folsom Farewell, ISU
BOULDER - This weekend, when the No. 17/18 University of Colorado football team (7-3, 5-1 Big 12) looks to capture the North Division title against Iowa State in the last home game of 2002, 22 Buff seniors will say their final farewells to Folsom Field.
Knowing that Saturday's game means much more than just a final opportunity to play in Boulder's friendly confines, the Colorado seniors continued preparations for the Cyclones (7-4, 4-3 Big 12) Wednesday evening, focused in on their biggest game thus far.
"Saturday's game is huge," senior captain and guard Wayne Lucier stated during the afternoon. "Not only is it the last time we will play in front of our home crowd, it is a chance for us to win the North and get to the Big 12 (Championship) game."
For the Cyclones, who have lost three of their last four games-to teams ranked No. 2, 7, and 12-they come to Boulder after being routed by Kansas State last week, 58-7. The Buffs, who are coming off an overtime win (42-35) against Missouri, will come back to Folsom Field for the first time in two games since beating Texas Tech, 37-13 on Oct. 26.
"It feels like forever since we have played here," head coach Gary Barnett stated. "This game is really big for a lot of reasons. We know we are in control of our own destiny. We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but this is a challenge we have worked hard to get."
"I couldn't think of a better way to close out my career here in Boulder than to beat Iowa State," Lucier continued. "We have had so many great moments, but this one would rank right up there. If we come out and take care of business, it should be one to remember."
According to the CU coaching staff, the seniors-especially CU's fifth-year seniors-have put in at least 2,400 hours of football work over the last several years. Certainly a commitment that has produced extreme dedication and hard work, this year's Buff graduates want to go out with a bang.
"This is going to be incredible," fifth-year senior and captain Justin Bates said after practice. "I am sure I will be in denial and not realize just how great it is until after we've played. No doubt, it will be something very special.
"This is going to be my last show on my home field" he continued, "and it is going to be one that will be a great fight between two tough teams who want the same thing."
"To beat Iowa State and go to the Big 12 title game again would be amazing, especially if we were able to get it done at home," senior fullback Brandon Drumm stated. "This will really be a special game for us."
"All season long we have been striving to reach our goals," Bates continued. "Now, all this hard work is rolled up and capsuled into one game. Everything that you ever wanted in one game is going to be there."
Other seniors who will see their last action at Folsom Saturday include: DE Dylan Bird, DT Tyler Brayton, PK Pat Brougham, WR Jason Burianek, QB Zac Colvin, OT Josh Foster, C Ryan Gray, LB Zach Griffith, QB Robert Hodge, LB Joey Johnson, LB Aaron Killion, OT Rawle King, P Mark Mariscal, SS Kory Mossoni, WS Rod Sneed, CB Donald Strickland, LB Drew Wahlroos and TE Beau Williams.
Practice Notes: Barnett said that junior linebacker Sean Tufts (ankle) and sophomore tailback Marcus Houston (knee) would probably not play this weekend, as the two will not be at full strength until the Nebraska game.
ISU-CU Game Notes: Since 1984, the Buffs lead the series 17-1, going 8-1 in Boulder... The Buffs lead the all-time series 43-12-1... Last year in CU's 40-27 win, Buff tailback Cortlen Johnson became the first player in school history to have more than 100 yards rushing (172) and receiving (105) in one game... The Buffs and Cyclones will kick off at 5:09 p.m. MST Saturday, in a game that will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net.