Mason Crosby gave more than he got on his 21st birthday. He may have gotten a victory against rival, Colorado State, but he gave the entire city of Boulder, along with the Buffaloes, a win that will go down as one of the best in Rocky Mountain Showdown history.
"It's probably the best birthday present I could ever ask for," the junior place kicker said after the game.
Crosby is touted as one of the best kickers in the country and certainly proved why on Saturday. With 4 seconds to play in the game, he lined up on the right hash mark from 47 yards out and drilled the pigskin through the uprights.
"Before the kick, I was just looking at the uprights, knowing I was going to get it," Crosby said. "I ran out onto the field not even knowing how far the kick was."
Last year, Crosby led the NCAA in field goals made from 50-plus yards with six including a 55-yarder against CSU and a 60-yarder against Iowa State. He also made all 15 of his field goal tries from inside the 40-yard line. His gaudy stats earned him a near unanimous selection for preseason first team all-American.
When Colorado head coach Gary Barnett was asked from where he would let Crosby kick, he replied, "anywhere across the 50."
That's the kind of confidence the Buffs have in their kicker.
"Thirty-five percent of the game is kicking," said Barnett. "(Mason) is an unbelievable weapon."
Mistakes lead to a tense game
It may have been because it was the first game of the year. or maybe it was the rivalry atmosphere that caused the players some jitters, but Saturday's game was certainly sloppy.
"We overcame so many mistakes," said head coach Gary Barnett. "It's amazing we overcame them and won."
Colorado committed five fumbles in the game while senior quarterback Joel Klatt threw one interception. As far as penalties, the Buffs notched nine for a total of 87 yards.
CSU fumbled the ball once in the game but senior quarterback, Justin Holland, threw four interceptions. The Rams committed nine penalties for 73 yards.
Other than the obvious mistakes made by the Rams, turnovers ultimately lost the game.
The Buffs were able to score 18 points off CSU turnovers.
Numbers that speak
1 Time CSU has used the all white uniforms in a game as they did Saturday
4 Spot that CSU cornerback Robert Herbert's crushing body slam of a CU player appeared on ESPN Sportcenter's Top 10 plays
54,972 Attendance at Saturday's game; a Folsom field record
4 Seasons in a row that the final score margin has been seven points or less
Record for Sonny Lubick during his thirteen-year career at CSU when leading after three quarters. (81-5 after Saturday)
72 Yards on a punt by Colorado punter John Torp
The last four years decided in the final minute
2005: Mason Crosby kicks game winner with 4 seconds to play
CU wins 31-28
2004: Rams fail to score from the one-yard line in the final seconds.
CU wins 27-24
2003: CU running back Bobby Purify runs for a 9-yard touchdown with 40 seconds to go.
CU wins 42-35
2002: Buffs last attempt to score is broken up on the 2-yard line with 20 second to play.
CSU wins 19-14