On this day 26 years ago, the Colorado Buffaloes received a gift from the Football gods when they were granted an extra down against the Missouri Tigers and used it to win the game.
The Buffaloes had the ball on first-and-goal at Missouri’s 3-yard line. Quarterback Charles Johnson spiked the ball on first down to stop the clock. Colorado then tried to run the ball on second and third but couldn’t get in the end zone. Johnson spiked the ball on fourth down in another attempt to stop the clock.
Ball game, right? Two seconds remained; all Missouri had to do was run one play to bleed the clock. Well, no. The down marker on the sideline indicated it was still third down. Johnson kept the ball on “fifth down” and ran it in.
Colorado won that Oct. 6, 1990, game 33-31. The Buffaloes improved to 3-1-1, and they would finish 11-1-1, good enough for a split of the national title with Georgia Tech.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch dragged up its original fifth-down game story today, which you should check out if you get the chance.
“For starters, this may be the first time in college football history that fans of the losing team tore down a goal post,” Jim Thomas wrote. “Of course, Mizzou fans thought the Tigers won. Ditto for Mizzou players and coaches. And they may think so for some time.”