Boulder, Colo. — The turning point that began the Colorado Buffaloes’ spiral came when Nebraska kicker Alex Henery just cleared the crossbar with a 57-yard field goal in Lincoln last year with the Cornhuskers trailing by a point in the closing minutes.
“If he doesn’t make the kick, we beat Nebraska, in Lincoln, and we go to a bowl game,” Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said. “And — voila! — everything is magically different.”
No calls for his job during this year’s 3-8 debacle? No fan protests at games? No incessant chatter on message boards and call-in shows about shipping “Hawk Love” out of town?
Hawkins learned Thursday that he’ll get a fifth season in Boulder despite four straight losing seasons and a 16-32 record, including 2-20 on the road and 10-21 in the Big 12.
That made for a happy Thanksgiving at the Hawkins household on the eve of the season finale against Big 12 North champion Nebraska (8-3, 5-2 Big 12) at Folsom Field.
The Cornhuskers have already wrapped up the Big 12 North, so they’re hoping to use this game as a tuneup for the conference championship against No. 3 Texas on Dec. 5.
But they are coming off a short week after beating Kansas State while the Buffs have had a full week since losing at Oklahoma State last Thursday night.