Colorado, Hodge Handle Kansas State
He didn’t throw well enough, they said, and he was too small to be an effective major-college quarterback.
Robert Hodge had a resounding response to his skeptics Saturday, completing 13 of 20 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns as Colorado defeated No. 13 Kansas State, 35-31.
“I don’t know what people think of me,” Hodge said. “I just want to go out there and do what I can for my team to help us win.”
Hodge got his first start three weeks ago against USC, after Craig Ochs was sidelined because of a concussion, and Hodge was dreadful. Colorado managed only 61 total yards in a 40-3 drubbing.
“I knew I could be a lot better than that,” he said. “I wanted to prove to my teammates I could get it done.”
Hodge’s passing performance on Saturday was the sixth-best by a Colorado quarterback.
“I thought Robert played very valiantly,” Colorado Coach Gary Barnett said.
“He just keeps getting better. He has improved every game he’s played. I’ve told a number of people that he throws a great deep ball, and he proved it today.”
Chris Brown ran for 167 yards and two scores as the Buffaloes held on to win the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
Colorado (3-2) opened defense of its conference championship with 483 total yards and scoring plays of 94, 85 and 71 yards.
Kansas State (4-1), which had scoring plays of 71 and 80 yards, rallied from a 35-14 deficit early in the third quarter but had to settle for Jared Brite’s 35-yard field goal with 2:16 left instead of a tying touchdown.
Wildcat quarterback Ell Roberson, who ran for 178 yards and threw for 83 more, was sacked by defensive tackle Sam Wilder for a nine-yard loss on third down at the Colorado 18 in the waning minutes.
Brite kicked the field goal, but Kansas State didn’t get the ball back. On third down, Hodge’s pass fell incomplete, but defensive back James Dunnigan was called for pass interference, giving Colorado a first down with 1:24 left.