ANAHEIM, CALIF., AUG. 26 -- If not for an ugly first half, the inaugural Pigskin Classic might have been just that -- a classic.
Mike Pritchard helped give No. 5 Colorado a two-touchdown lead with runs of 78 and 55 yards, but Andy Kelly's sensational passing brought No. 8 Tennessee back for a 31-31 tie today in the Disneyland-sponsored 1990 college football opener.
"No one felt we were out of it," Kelly said. "We take pride in sticking to our game plan and not quitting. We have a lot of mature guys on our team. This is going to give us confidence. We were in a few games like this last year and were able to come back and win. We're an experienced team."
The teams, each 11-1 last season, matched contrasting styles.
Pritchard, a converted wide receiver who led Colorado with 12 catches last year, gained 217 yards on 20 carries.
The passing of Kelly, who finished 33 for 55 -- both figures school records -- got Tennessee down to the 4, and Chuck Webb scored on a draw play with 2:25 left to make the score 31-30.
Coach Johnny Majors elected to go for the tying extra point by Greg Burke rather than a two-point try, and seemed correct as the Volunteers again held Colorado and got possession on their 23.
"We thought about it the whole game, we talked about it the whole game," Majors said about kicking the point after. "I felt we'd get the ball back. And we did. I know darn well we didn't deserve to lose.
"It might be different in a championship game, but a tie is a lot better than a loss."
A 13-yard run by Webb on a draw play and a penalty got the ball to the Colorado 41, but the game ended as Webb ran another 25 yards before being run out of bounds on the 16 as time expired. The Vols had used their last timeout with :39 left.
Webb, who had seven 100-yard games as a freshman, gained 131 yards on 27 carries.
The Buffaloes needed their big plays, because they committed five of the game's eight turnovers and Tennessee had a hot quarterback in Kelly, who passed for 368 yards, 262 in the second half. Colorado had only 13 turnovers in the 1989 regular season.
The Buffaloes became tired and couldn't keep up the pressure, Coach Bill McCartney said.
Colorado tailback Eric Bieniemy was serving a one-game suspension for an altercation at his parents' house last month.
Vaughn's Knee Better
Maryland running back Andre Vaughn may be cleared to play in two weeks, his left knee injury termed not serious by team physician Stan Lavine.
Vaughn injured the knee in practice Aug. 20. It was the same knee that required major surgery in the spring of 1989 and sidelined him for last season.