BOULDER, COLO., SEPT. 6 -- Tailback Eric Bieniemy scored from the 1-yard line with 12 seconds left after Colorado eschewed a tie, lifting the No. 6 Buffaloes to a 21-17 victory over Stanford tonight.

John Hopkins's 27-yard field goal with 4:17 left put Stanford ahead by 17-14 before Colorado drove 80 yards in 15 plays for the clincher. The Buffaloes needed four plays from inside the 1 to get it.

"No question, we were going to go for it," said Coach Bill McCartney, "If it were fourth and eight, we still would have gone for it.

Stanford Coach Dennis Green wasn't convinced Bieniemy scored.

"In my opinion, if we were at home, they don't get that call," he said.

The Cardinal (0-1) used a long punt return and a turnover to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. But Bieniemy, who missed the opener because of a one-game suspension, tied it with third-quarter scoring runs of 18 and 36 yards.

Colorado (1-0-1) needed several big plays on its last drive to squeeze.

Tight end Jon Boman caught a tipped pass from Darian Hagan for 30 yards. After reaching 25, Bieniemy went off the left side and fumbled. Offensive guard Russ Heasley recovered at the 11. Facing fourth and one from the 2, Hagan sneaked for the first down to the 1. Fullback George Hemingway's two plunges produced nothing, and a third-down pass fell incomplete. Then Bieniemy dived over the left side.