EUGENE, Ore. -- There was a feel-good moment for fans of Colorado football Saturday at Autzen Stadium, but it happened before the opening kickoff.

Former CU tight end Ed Reinhardt was honored in a pregame ceremony before the second-ranked Ducks pounded the Buffs 70-14.

Reinhardt's life changed forever on the Ducks' home field 28 years ago. He came here with the Buffs as the leading receiver in the country on Sept. 15, 1984 and left the stadium fighting for his life after suffering a blood clot in his brain after an ordinary hit late in the game.

Reinhardt underwent emergency surgery and spent more than a month in a coma at a local hospital. He never fully recovered but he did regain the ability to walk and can communicate on a limited basis, almost always doing so with a smile on his face.

"Wow," Reinhardt said when asked about the tribute from Oregon fans.

Reinhardt was accompanied by his father, Ed Sr., who has been at his side almost constantly since the day he was hurt. Reinhardt's former roommate is CU coach Jon Embree who watched the pregame ceremony Saturday from a tunnel in the west end zone.

"It's special because every time I have been back here since the incident it's something that is at the forefront of your mind," Embree said. "Ed was a great player. There is no doubt in my mind he was a guy that would have played on Sundays. It was just tragic that that happened."


Embree said Saturday he is certain that previous concussions played a part in Reinhardt's injury. He said concussions were treated differently at the time and weren't always properly diagnosed. He said Reinhardt had been complaining of headaches leading up to the game.

Embree said his experience watching his friend battle for his life and the lasting damage from the blood clot and subsequent surgery has shaped the way he deals with players who have multiple concussions in their careers.

Embree told former defensive back Will Harlos he would not be able to play football for the Buffs any more earlier this season after Harlos suffered another major concussion. Harlos remains at CU pursuing his degree on scholarship.

"I truly believe that played a part in his injury," Embree said of Reinhardt's concussion history. "I don't want to sound like I played with leather helmets, but back then you were used to getting dinged and smelling salts and all that other stuff. Obviously the way the medical field has progressed, you know now that back then there were probably times you shouldn't been doing it, but you didn't know better at the time."

Powell packs a punch

CU freshman running back Christian Powell was definitely the bright spot Saturday with the second 100-yard rushing performance of his career.

Powell rushed 20 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in a short span early in the third quarter. Powell already has the sixth highest rushing total for a season among CU freshmen and could make a run at the top spot if he can stay healthy.

He has been in and out of the lineup this fall with a leg injury.

"It's still not 100 percent," Powell said. "It's about 90, but it's way better than it was a couple weeks ago."

Iron man

Defensive tackle Will Pericak started his 45th consecutive game, tying former linebacker Jordon Dizon for the most consecutive starts by a defensive player in CU history. Pericak should claim the record for most starts by any player in CU history next month. Former offensive lineman Ryan Miller holds the current record of 47.

Pericak forced two fumbles against the Ducks, giving him four this season. That is the most forced fumbles by one defender since former safety Michael Lewis forced four in 2000. It's the most forced fumbles by a CU defensive lineman since Garry Howe forced four in 1990.


Senior Ryan Dannewitz started at left tackle in place of David Bakhtiari who suffered minor knee injury in practice this week. ... The Buffs allowed a punt return for a touchdown for the first time since 2009. ... When the Buffs held the Ducks' reserves scoreless in the fourth quarter, it ended a CU record of 24 consecutive quarters in which the Buffs had surrendered points.

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