1989 Colorado Buffaloes football
Big Eight champion
Orange Bowl, L 6–21 vs. Notre Dame
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 4
APNo. 4
1989 record11–1 (7–0 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorGerry DiNardo (6th season)
Offensive schemeI-Bone option
Defensive coordinatorMike Hankwitz (2nd season)
Base defense5-2
MVPDarian Hagan
CaptainSal Aunese (honorary)
Bill Coleman
Mike Jones
Erich Kissick
Bruce Young
Home stadiumFolsom Field
(Capacity: 51,463)
Seasons
← 1988
1990 →
1989 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 4 Colorado $ 7 0 0 11 1 0
No. 11 Nebraska 6 1 0 10 2 0
Oklahoma 5 2 0 7 4 0
Iowa State 4 3 0 6 5 0
Oklahoma State 3 4 0 4 7 0
Kansas 2 5 0 4 7 0
Missouri 1 6 0 2 9 0
Kansas State 0 7 0 1 10 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1989 Colorado Buffaloes football team represented the University of Colorado at Boulder during the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. Colorado finished with the most wins in school history, surpassing the 1971 team, and their first conference championship since 1976. The Buffaloes played for the national title but lost to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. The team dedicated the season to senior and former starting quarterback Sal Aunese, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in February and died on September 23 due to complications from the disease.

In another feel good story, the team was host to a Make A Wish recipient Chad Henry for the big game against Nebraska in Boulder. Henry was an up-and-coming high school football player from Indiana, Pennsylvania and the son of college/NFL coach Jack Henry, who began following the Buffaloes after reading about Sal Aunese's battle with cancer while himself battling a very rare and dangerous form of abdominal cancer. After cheering on the Buffs to the biggest win in school history, Henry and his family were also invited to attend the National Championship game as guests of the university. Henry went on to defeat the disease and did play football for his high school again in 1990. Although his once promising football career was ended following that season due to complications with side effects from the intense chemotherapy he endured, Henry went on to coach football at his high school and became a scout for the NFL's Detroit Lions and is currently with the Indianapolis Colts.

Schedule

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 45:30 pmTexas*No. 14ESPNW 27–647,269
September 91:30 pmColorado State*No. 9
W 45–2044,921
September 161:30 pmNo. 10 Illinois*No. 8
  • Folsom Field
  • Boulder, Colorado
CBSW 38–746,747
September 302:00 pmat No. 21 Washington*No. 5KCNCW 45–2869,152
October 71:30 pmMissouriNo. 3
  • Folsom Field
  • Boulder, Colorado
W 49–351,855
October 141:00 pmat Iowa StateNo. 3KCNCW 52–1741,515
October 211:30 pmKansasdaggerNo. 3
  • Folsom Field
  • Boulder, Colorado
W 49–1750,057
October 2812:30 pmat OklahomaNo. 3W 20–375,004
November 412:30 pmNo. 3 NebraskaNo. 2
  • Folsom Field
  • Boulder, Colorado (rivalry)
CBSW 27–2152,877
November 1112:30 pmat Oklahoma StateNo. 1KCNCW 41–1741,000
November 1811:10 amat Kansas StateNo. 2KCNCW 59–1120,117
January 1, 19906:00 pmvs. No. 4 Notre Dame*No. 1NBCL 6–2181,191
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Mountain time
Source:[1]

Roster

1989 Colorado Buffaloes football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 1 Eric Bieniemy
WR 84 Jeff Campbell Sr
OT 77 Bill Coleman
RB J.J. Flannigan
OG 62 Joe Garten Jr
QB 3 Darian Hagan So
FB George Hemingway
FB Eric Kissick
C 52 Jay Leeuwenberg So
OG Darren Muilenberg
TE John Parek
WR 9 Mike Pritchard Jr
OT 72 Mark VanderPoel Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
CB David Gibbs
S Tim James
ILB Terry Johnson
ILB Michael Jones
CB 12 Dave McCloughan Jr
DE 96 Kanavis McGhee Jr
DT Okland Salavea
NG 93 Joel Steed So
DT Arthur Walker
DE 94 Alfred Williams
S Bruce Young
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
PK Ken Culbertson
P Tom Rouen
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
  • Redshirt

Rankings

Further information: 1989 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. т = Tied with team above or below. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Final 
AP 14 9 8 6 5 3 3 (2) 3 (3) 3 (1) 2 (2) 2 (4) 2 (3) 2 (3) 1 (53) 1 (55) 1 (51) 4 
Coaches 14 11 7 5 5 4 4 (1) 3 (1) 3 (1) 2 (2) 2 (5) 2 (4) 2 (4) 1 (39) 1 (42) 4

Game summaries

Texas

See also: 1989 Texas Longhorns football team

Colorado State

See also: Colorado State Rams football and Rocky Mountain Showdown

Illinois

See also: 1989 Illinois Fighting Illini football team

Washington

See also: 1989 Washington Huskies football team

Missouri

See also: 1989 Missouri Tigers football team

Iowa State

See also: 1989 Iowa State Cyclones football team

Kansas

See also: 1989 Kansas Jayhawks football team

Oklahoma

See also: 1989 Oklahoma Sooners football team

Nebraska

#3 Nebraska at #2 Colorado
1 234Total
Cornhuskers 7 770 21
Buffaloes 14 373 27

See also: 1989 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and Colorado–Nebraska football rivalry

[2] [3]

Oklahoma State

See also: 1989 Oklahoma State Cowboys football team

Kansas State

See also: 1989 Kansas State Wildcats football team

Notre Dame (Orange Bowl)

#4 Notre Dame vs. #1 Colorado
1 234Total
Fighting Irish 0 0147 21
Buffaloes 0 060 6

Main article: 1990 Orange Bowl

See also: 1989 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

[4]

References

  1. ^ 2011 Colorado football information guide
  2. ^ "A look back at Nov. 4, 1989: Colorado 27, Nebraska 21". Denver Post. November 22, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1989". Husker Max. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Lackluster Colorado Leveled by Notre Dame". The New York Times. January 2, 1990. Retrieved January 1, 2019.