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September 2, 2006
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Hastings' 19-yarder made it 16-10 with 5:12 remaining. Stephone Robinson returned the ensuing kickoff 26 yards but cornerback Andre Fuller capped a great day by forcing a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Bryant Matthews at the Colorado 28.
That led to Hastings' 41-yarder with 2:58 left.
The Buffs' hopes for a comeback ended when Mason Crosby was short on a 63-yard field goal try with 1:11 remaining.
Hawkins, who was brought in from Boise State to restore a program soiled by scandal under Gary Barnett, was hoping to join Rick Neuheisel as only the second Colorado coach to win his debut since 1932. It looked like a good bet seeing as how Montana State was the first Division I-AA school the Buffaloes had ever faced.
The Bobcats, however, took a 13-10 lead when Jefferson beat freshman cornerback Cha'pelle Brown to the left corner of the end zone to haul in Carpenter's pass at 10:36 of the third quarter.
The Buffaloes never recovered, even though they put together a goal-line stand minutes later.
After three runs from the 1 went nowhere, Carpenter tossed the ball to running back Evin Groves, who was stacked up at the goal line by cornerback Terry Washington. Groves' left leg got into the end zone but the ball, tucked into his right arm, never crossed the goal line.
No matter, the Buffs' soon punted for the fourth straight time, and the Bobcats got the ball back at midfield, then went up 16-10 on Hastings' third field goal.
The Bobcats capitalized on four Colorado penalties and numerous other blunders to trail just 10-6 at halftime. Colorado fumbled but recovered the second-half kickoff. Afterward, they had a holding penalty and went three-and-out three straight times.
Colorado quarterback James Cox opened the game with the longest first play from scrimmage in school history, a 42-yard strike to wide receiver Patrick Williams, who raced past Fuller and hauled in the pass along the Buffs' sideline.
It was the highlight of the afternoon for Colorado, which bumbled its way through the afternoon before a stunned crowd of 45,513 that had expected to witness a blowout in Hawkins' inaugural game.
After Williams' big catch, Cox lost three yards on second-and-goal from the 3, then threw behind tight end Riar Greer wide open in the end zone on third down. Colorado settled for Mason Crosby's 24-yard field goal.
The Bobcats tied it at 3 on Hastings' 35-yard field goal after a drive in which Montana State converted a third-and-18 play when the Buffs had just 10 men on the field and also benefited from two flags, including Walter Boye-Doe's 15-yarder for a late hit out of bounds on Carpenter.
Following a 19-yard punt by Matt DiLallo, the Bobcats went ahead 6-3 on Hastings' 44-yard field goal before the Buffs took a 10-6 halftime lead on Cox's 1-yard plunge.For more coverage of the Colorado Buffaloes, check out BuffStampede.com.