The man who scored on the most famous play of the 1990 college season - Colorado's fifth-down touchdown at Missouri - played the most prominent role in the Buffaloes' final march to an apparent national title.

Charles S. Johnson, the backup to starting quarterback Darian Hagan, came to the rescue Tuesday night in leading the Buffaloes to a 10-9 victory over No. 6 Notre Dame.Johnson took control Hagan went down late in the second half with a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee and was named Colorado's Most Valuable Player. Nose tackle Chris Zorich took the honors for Notre Dame by recording 10 tackles and one sack.

Johnson found out when he got to the locker room at halftime that he would run the Colorado offense in the second half and responded brilliantly. By the time the Buffaloes held their index fingers in the air laying claim to the national championship, Johnson had completed 5 of 6 passes for 80 yards.

"I just wanted to go out there and play within myself and the keep the team moving," Johnson said. "The coaches did a good job of keeping with the game plan and I just wanted to go out there and get the first downs."

Colorado Coach Bill McCartney said: "You've got to give Charles a lot of credit. He went out there and did a super job. He's done it before and we knew he could do it this time."

The one person who might not have been surprised by Johnson's heroics was Hagan himself.

"Darian came up to me at halftime and said, 'It's really weird but I had a vision earlier this week that you would have to go in there and win the game for us,"' Johnson said. "I don't think he was making it up just to get me psyched up or anything. He sounded sincere."