Game 4

Result: Colorado 29, Texas 22.

When: Sept. 22, 1990.

Where: Austin, Texas.

Bottom line: Buffs find their focus, save season.

Something needed to change after his team's disappointing 1-1-1 start to the 1990 season. Coach Bill McCartney recognized that much going into another tough game at No. 22 Texas in what was the home opener for the Longhorns.

McCartney packed every member of his team into a small room before heading to the airport to travel to Texas and told them he didn't like what he saw in the eyes looking back at him.

Colorado tailback Eric Bieniemy ran for two touchdowns, including the winning score, in the Buffs’ 29-22 victory against Texas at Austin in 1990.
Colorado tailback Eric Bieniemy ran for two touchdowns, including the winning score, in the Buffs' 29-22 victory against Texas at Austin in 1990. (Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman)

He wanted to see fire and resolve and it wasn't there. McCartney acknowledges now, 25 years later, he didn't have his team prepared well enough for such a grueling schedule to start that season.

"We probably could have done a better job in the early fall of preparing," he said. "We might have accelerated, turned up the tempo. We could have done that better maybe."

The Buffs were wounded coming off their first regular-season loss in nearly two years and facing another road trip against a ranked opponent. While it might have required the bumpy start to get there, McCartney now had his team's full attention. The Buffs were finally focused and they pulled out a 29-22 win.


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"This one, the preparation, the incentive, the way we went about it, it had a similar intensity that you would get in our big games that were coming," McCartney said.

It turned into one of the best games in the memorable career of fullback George Hemingway, who scored CU's first touchdown on a 38-yard pass from Darian Hagan and later helped seal the victory with a key block on the game-winning touchdown. He finished with 130 yards of total offense.

Once again, for the fourth consecutive week, the game came down to the fourth quarter, but this time the Buffs needed a comeback. Texas led 22-14 early in the quarter but the Buffs put together two long drives capped by Eric Bieniemy touchdown runs and a safety from Alfred Williams to win.

PLAYER PERSPECTIVE

George Hemingway, fullback: "(On the game-winning TD by Bieniemy) I went up to the line and I knew it was a very important down and we had to get in there. I actually pointed right at where the play was coming. It was pretty much me and that linebacker. The linebacker pretty much had to stop me in order to stop EB, and I wasn't going to allow that to happen. I actually pointed at the guy and told him the play was coming his way. I went ahead and made my key block and got Eric into the end zone."

QUOTING MCCARTNEY

"I always feel when you play the best, it brings out the best. You have to dig deeper, draw closer, be more of a team. Those kind of challenges make you better unless you don't have the right ingredients. Then too many of those will break you. We had the right ingredients. We were ready for those kinds of challenges."