November 3rd – Boulder        No. 15 Stanford 48, Colorado 0

The University of Colorado football program suffered its first home shutout in over a quarter of a century, falling at home to No. 15 Stanford, 48-0. Colorado quarterbacks were sacked seven times, totalling 46 yards of losses, resulting in the Buffs finishing with minus-21 yards rushing against the No. 2 defense in the nation.

In failing to score at home for the first time since being shutout by Oklahoma in 1986, the Buffs mustered only 76 total yards of offense, while surrendering 436 of total offense to the Cardinal.

Colorado won the opening coin toss, the last time the Buffs would have advantage all day.

Taking the opening kickoff, the Colorado offense went three-and-out, including the first sack of the day of a CU quarterback. Rather than surrender a quick touchdown (it took USC 50 seconds to score against the CU defense two weeks earlier; Oregon took a pedestrian 1:38 to score the week before), the Colorado defense also forced a three-and-out, much to the surprised delight of the 44,138 who came to Folsom to culminate Homecoming weekend.

The Buffs picked up their first first down of the game on their next drive, but then, on third-and-six at the Colorado 45-yard line, starting quarterback Jordan Webb threw the ball into the waiting arms of Stanford linebacker Ed Reynolds, who raced 52 yards untouched for all the points Stanford would need on the day.

7-0, Stanford, and the Cardinal offense had yet to generate a first down.

After Webb’s pick six, sophomore Nick Hirschman was sent in at quarterback for Colorado. Hirschman then led the Buff offense to two three-and-outs … on the same drive. The first three-and-out led to an unusual holding call on the defense during Darragh O’Neill’s punt, giving the ball back to the CU offense. The Buffs then went three-and-out again – with two more sacks – giving the ball back to the Cardinal.

The Colorado defense, though, rose to the occasion, forcing another Cardinal punt. A 35-yard punt by Stanford set the Buffs up at their 42-yard line. Sure, the Buffs were down, 7-0, but there were only eight seconds left in the first quarter, and the CU defense was playing well, not so much as giving up a first down to Stanford.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Buffs would make a game of it.

Nope.

On the first play of the Buffs’ drive, Jordan Webb, who had returned to the game, completed a pass to tight end Nick Kasa, who fumbled. The ball was recovered by Stanford at the Colorado 40-yard line.

It took all of three plays for Stanford to score, with Stephan Taylor running the ball in from 26 yards out.

What had been a promising first quarter was about to become a nightmare of a second quarter for the Buff Nation. Taylor’s touchdown came in the first minute of the second quarter. By the end of the first half, there would be 21 more points for the Cardinal.

A three-and-out from the Colorado offense led to Stanford’s first real drive of the game … an eight-play, 70-yard drive for Stanford’s third touchdown of the game, a one-yard run by Raymound Wright. 21-0.

Another three-and-out by the Colorado offense led to another long drive, a ten-play, 65-yard drive, finished off by a one-yard pass from Kevin Hogan to tight end Zach Ertz. 28-0.

Yet another three-and-out by the Colorado offense (sound familiar?) led to yet another Stanford touchdown drive. This time, the Cardinal took nine plays to cover 58 yards, with Stephan Taylor scoring his second touchdown of the game, scoring from two yards out with eight seconds to play in the half.

With eight seconds to play in the first quarter, Colorado was down, 7-0, but had the ball near midfield, and at least a modicum of momentum. Exactly 15 minutes of game clock later, the Buffs were again behind by the spread on the game … by halftime.

Halftime score: Stanford 35, Colorado 0.

With the outcome well decided at halftime for the third consecutive game, the only issues which remained for those in the stands who returned for the second half of play were two: 1) would Stanford extend the Buffs’ ignoble school record of surrendering over 50 points per game; and 2) would Colorado, which had all of two first downs in the first half (one by penalty), be able to score at all?

The Buffs’ string of surrendering over 50 points per game appeared to be very much in jeopardy early in the third quarter, as the Stanford Cardinal smartly marched the second half kickoff down the field before settling for a 31-yard field goal and a 38-0 lead.

A three-and-out by the Colorado offense, which was led by Nick Hirschman, failed to produce a first down on CU’s first drive of the half. Stanford then produced its final touchdown drive of the game, covering 77 yards in only eight plays, with Kevin Hogan connecting with tight end Levine Toilolo from 19 yards out.

45-0, with 5:03 still to play in the third quarter.

After that touchdown, though, both offenses shifted into slow gear – Stanford by design; Colorado by ineptitude.

An exchange of punts brought about another quarterback change for Colorado, with third-string quarterback Connor Wood getting the call late in the third quarter. A 14-yard completion to tight end Nick Kasa gave Colorado its first first down since the first quarter … and a sarcastic cheer from the sparse crowd still in attendance. Another first down – this time by penalty – doubled CU’s first down total to four as the fourth quarter opened.

That drive, though, also stalled, giving the ball back to Stanford. The Cardinal again settled for a field goal instead of a touchdown, keeping the score under 50. Still, it was 48-0, so holding the Cardinal to a field goal was of little consolation.

The Buffs’ two longest plays of the game – a 22-yard pass from Connor Wood to Tony Jones and a 20-yarder from Wood to Nick Kasa – gave the Buff faithful hope of a late score. But, even that hope was dashed as a Connor Wood fumble resulted in a loss of 24 yards … and Colorado’s positive rushing yardage. With the loss on the play, Colorado finished the game with a minus-21 yards rushing on the day – a fitting end to a disasterous day.

Final score: Stanford 48, Colorado 0.

“It was a perfect storm,” said Colorado head coach Jon Embree, who fell to 4-18 as head coach in his second season. “When we had people open, we had protection issues, and when we did have protection, we couldn’t get people open. It was one of those things, but protection was a problem today.”

Stanford, despite the lopsided score, ran up only a modest (for CU opponents) 436 yards of total offense. The story, rather, was the complete lack of production by the Colorado offense. Stanford held the Buffs to six first downs (two by penalty), and only 76 yards of total offense. Colorado trotted out three quarterbacks, and all three had four completions. Starter Jordan Webb went 4-of-10 for 19 yards and an interception for a touchdown when the outcome of the game was stll at issue. Nick Hirschman went 4-of-6 for 12 yards, while Connor Wood went 4-of-7 for 66 yards. The three quarterbacks were sacked a total of seven times by the Cardinal defense.

The Colorado rushing “attack” was led by Christian Powell, with 17 yards on six carries, while the Buffs’ leading receiver was tight end Nick Kasa, with three catches for 34 yards. The defense was led by linebacker Brady Daigh, with ten tackles, including two tackles for loss. It was a successful return for Daigh, who had been carted off on a stretcher the last time the Buffs played at home three weeks before.

Of the Buffs’ offensive woes, senior tight end Nick Kasa had this to say: “I think it was just guys getting into their heads too much. We need everybody to do their job for a play to work, and today it was just a little too much frantic stuff going on with our offense. We all need to get together collectively and watch more tape together, prepare, and do the things we know we can do.”

With three games left in a dreadful season, it was becoming less and less likely that the Colorado offense would figure out “the things we know we can do”.

It was becoming more and more apparent that the home record string of 150 straight games without being shutout was just the latest record to fall.

Up next … the first last place finish in conference play since 1915, and the first 11-loss season in school history …

Game Notes –

– The last time Colorado suffered a shutout loss at home was 150 games earlier, against Oklahoma in 1986 (28-0). The only other home shutout loss, dating back to 1963, came in 1979, a 44-0 loss to LSU.

– Colorado held the ball for almost ten minutes of the first quarter, and still trailed, 7-0. Stanford, though, then held the ball for over ten minutes of each successive quarter, holding the Buffs to a season-low 23:43.

– The last time CU was held under 100 yards both rushing and passing was on Oct. 10, 2009 in a 38-14 loss at Texas (42 rushing, 85 passing).

– The six first downs by the Buffs were their fewest since Oct. 21, 2006, when they had 5 at Oklahoma in a 24-3 setback.

– Linebacker Brady Daigh and defensive lineman Justin Solis earned their first career starts. Solis was taken off the field in the third quarter on a stretcher. The move, though, was described as “precautionary”, with Solis having feeling in all of his extremities before he left the field.

– The minus-21 yards rushing was only the second worst total in school history. In a 2007 game, Florida State held the Buffs to a minus-27 yards rushing.

Injury Report

– In addition to Justin Solis (above), there were several other injuries suffered in the Stanford game.

– Offensive lineman Ryan Dannewitz suffered a sprained knee, and will undergo tests.

– Players who were injured during the game, but returned or kept playing – defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe and cornerbackB Greg Henderson

– Cornerback Kenneth Crawley (illness) did not dress but should be back at practice Monday

– Injured in practice this past week were linebacker Jon Major (hyperextended elbow) and defensive tackle Nate Bonsu (ankle sprain). Both dressed but did not play.

2 Replies to “Stanford 48, Colorado 0”

  1. Well, another game, another step into the grave for this once proud and successful program. Is CU even in the top 25 all time winningest programs anymore? The saddest thing is that the fans have grown numb to the continuous sorry play the Buffs have displayed for SEVEN straight years now. At the game today and it wasn’t the same. The reported paid attendance was 44,128 but in reality about 30,000 were in attendance and less than that after the 1st half. There was no gameday buzz or excitement like it used to be. Subdued and catatonic was more like it. Seemed as if everyone in the stadium knew, the fans, the players and even the coaches, that this game would end like all others anymore; a 40-50 point beat down of an overmatched, uninspired group of young men whose spirits have been shredded.

    Where do the Buffs go from here? Dare I say they’ve officially hit rock bottom? Nope. They could continue to lose in the horribly punishing fashion they seem to have settled into and produce the all-time worst season in CU history. Listening to Embo’s post-game radio interviews makes it clear that he’s as frustrated as the fan base with the level of play and poor results on the field. I’m not at all confident that he has a plan to turn this ship around. Even the homer announcers (Johnson, Zimmer and Chad Brown) commented on his demeanor and how he appeared “numbed” from the shellacking his team just received. If that’s truly his state of mind, welcome to the land of the numb, coach, Buff Nation has been here for quite awhile.

    After a lifetime of pulling for my Buffs, and the last 11 years as a season ticket holder, I’m hard pressed to justify the continued expense, financially and emotionally, for this team. I’ll wait until the stench of this season settles before making that decision but its hard to even get upset about games like today. Maybe the numbness will eventually wear off and I’ll care again but, today, it’s just another blow out loss for the worst college football team in Division 1/FBS.

    Go BUFFS, turn it around and prove us wrong.

  2. the only question and thing I really want to know is if the coaching staff will be retained. This is an embarassment for past, present, and future buffs.

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