October 19th – Boulder          Colorado 43, Charleston Southern 10

Freshman running back Michael Adkins had four rushing touchdowns in leading Colorado to a 43-10 victory over Charleston Southern in Sefo Liufau’s first career start at quarterback.

Adkins, who had 178 rushing yards on the season coming into the game, had 13 carries for 137 yards to lead the Buffs in what appeared to be a rout on the final scoreboard. The score was 22-10 at half, however, after CSU put together two nine-minute first-half drives to keep the game close. The Colorado defense stiffened in the second half, however, as the Buffs slowly pulled away from the Buccaneers.

Colorado opened the game looking like the 31-point favorite that they were.

The Buffs took the opening kickoff and quickly marched down the field. After Sefo Liufau, making his first start at quarterback, threw and incompletion, Christian Powell tore off runs of eight, nine, and 12 yards, moving the ball from the CU 25 to the Charleston-Southern 36-yard line. An offside penalty on the Buccaneers, combined with a Liufau eight yard pass completion to Paul Richardson, put the ball at the 23 yard line. There, Michael Adkins scored his first touchdown as a Buff. Thereafter, punter Darragh O’Neill scored on a two-point conversion run.

Six plays, 65 yards. Colorado 8, Charleston Southern 0.

A three-and-out, as would be expected against an FCS team starting its third-string quarterback, quickly gave the Buffs the ball back. An 18-yard run by Michael Adkins pushed the ball into Buccaneer territory, and the game seemed well in hand.

Then the fun stopped.

A sack of Sefo Liufau lost 14 yards, and the Buffs were not able to recover, punting the ball away.

The Buccaneers’ offense then took off on an epic, time-consuming drive. Starting at their own 15-yard line, Charleston-Southern launched a 16-play drive, eating up all of the remaining first quarter, with the drive spilling into the second. Conversions on third-and-one, third-and-six, and fourth-and-four – with a 22-yard run kept the drive alive. Charleston Southern ultimately had to settle for a field goal, however, making the score 8-3 ten seconds into the second quarter.

The well rested Colorado offense quickly gave the ball back to Charleston Southern, with the Buccaneers given the ball and a chance to take the lead with 12:23 to play in the first half. Instead, the Colorado defense made a play. Senior defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe sacked CSU quarterback for a nine yard loss, also forcing a fumble. Defensive lineman De’Jon Wilson recovered at the Charleston-Southern 12 yard line, and the Buffs were in business.

Two runs by Michael Adkins, the first for seven yards, the second for five yards and a touchdown, righted the CU ship. Colorado 15, Charleston Southern 3.

A three-and-out by the CSU offense gave Colorado the ball back at their 32. Two runs by Christian Powell netted eight yards. Then, on third-and-two at the CU 40 yard line, Liufau hit Paul Richardson, who turned a short pass into a 60-yard touchdown.

Colorado 22, Charleston Southern 3.

Instead of folding, Charleston Southern took off on yet another nine minute drive. A 15-play, 87-yard drive was culminated by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Copeland to Kolton Corn with six seconds remaining before halftime.

The Buffs had a two-score lead, but Charleston-Southern had 21:51 of first half possession time (to 8:09 for Colorado) … and Buff fans nervous.

Halftime score: Colorado 22, Charleston Southern 10

The halftime speeches by the Colorado coaches did the trick, as the Buffs took care of business in the second half.

After surrendering a nine minute drive to end the first half, the CU defense forced a three-and-out to start the third quarter. The Buff offense then did its part, putting together a 13-play, 64-yard drive to give CU some breathing room. Sefo Liufau hit Paul Richardson for completions of nine, 18, and 12 yards before connecting with Nelson Spruce for 17 yards to get into the Buccaneer red zone. It took six rushes to finally push the ball into the end zone, with Christian Powell doing the honors from two yards out to up the CU lead to 29-10.

The momentum swing seemed complete when Jered Bell intercepted Kyle Copeland on CSU’s next drive, but the Buff offense responded with three incomplete passes and a punt.

The teams traded punts, with CU improving field position as the third quarter came to a close. Early in the fourth quarter, the Colorado offense put the game out of reach with a quick four-play, 54-yard drive. Completions to Richardson and Nelson Spruce moved the ball to the CSU 33-yard line, where Michael Adkins broke loose for a 33-yard touchdown and a 36-10 Buff advantage with 11:22 to play.

Some of the 36,730 in attendance had filtered out of Folsom Field by the time the Buffs put the icing on the cake. Sefo Liufau hit D.D. Goodson (28 yards) and Keenan Canty (15 yards) for big gains before Michael Adkins completed his 100-yard day with a 34-yard touchdown run to complete a five-play, 82-yard drive.

Final score: Colorado 43, Charleston Southern 10

“I thought our kids played hard today, and in the first half if we could have held them on a couple third downs I don’t think they would have been able to hang around as well” said Mike MacIntyre. “That option offense is a good offense, they did a good job with it, but I thought our two freshmen, Sefo (Liufau) and Michael Adkins did some good things today. I’m very thankful that Charleston Southern wanted to play us or we wouldn’t have been able to play today, that was great for the city of Boulder, great for our campus and great for our football team. I really appreciate those guys they’re a good football team, they’re a very, very good (FCS) football team there’s no doubt”.

Colorado ended up with 416 yards of total offense on the day, to only 196 to Charleston Southern. At first glance, it appears to be a dominating performance, until it is noted that, at halftime, CU’s edge in total offense was 164-150. The Buffs’ defense did manage to hold the Buccaneers to 46 yards of total offense and two first downs in the second half, but the game still ended with CSU holding a huge advantage – 36:47 to 23:13 – in time of possession.

Sefo Liufau, in his first career start at quarterback, went 14-of-20 for 198 yards and a touchdown. Fellow freshman Michael Adkins, though, stole the show, going for 137 yards and four touchdowns on just 13 carries. “My reps have been increasing every week,” said Adkins. “So I just took advantage of the carries that I got. It got me into a rhythm, just stay in the holes and keep having that consistent pounding that eventually turned into long runs.”

Game Notes –

– Sefo Liufau’s efforts (198 yards passing) were the fourth most by a freshman quarterback in their first career start (Koy Detmer, 418 yards v. Oklahoma, 1992, being the highest). Liufau became just the tenth freshman (and sixth true freshman) to start a game at quarterback at CU. Liufau also became the first freshman to win his first start (and fifth overall) since Cody Hawkins in 2007 (v. CSU).

– Michael Adkins set a freshman record by rushing for four touchdowns in his first career start. His 137 yards rushing were the fifth most (Billy Waddy, 202 yards v. Wisconsin, 1973, being the highest).

– With his fifth forced fumble of the season, Chidera Uzo-Diribe, at the season’s midway point, is already within two of the season record at CU (seven by Jashon Sykes in 1999). At ten for his career, Uzo-Diribe just needs one more forced fumble to match the all-time record of 11 (held by Brian Cabral and Barry Remington).

Paul Richardson … At the midway point of the 2013 season, the junior wide receiver had numbers challenging most of the CU single season receiving records. Richardson’s eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown gave him 43 catches (single season record 78, D.J. Hackett, 2003), 782 yards (1,149, Charles E. Johnson, 1992) and six touchdowns (11, Derek McCoy, 2003).

– The 137 yards rushing by Michael Adkins and the 122 yards receiving by Paul Richardson gave Colorado its 34th-ever double 100-yard rusher and receiver in the same game, and the first since Tony Jones (105 yards rushing) and Nelson Spruce (103 yards receiving) did the trick against Washington State in 2012.

– Redshirt freshman defensive back John Walker had his first career start, coming in as a nickel back to open the game.

– With seven “three-and-outs” forced against Charleston-Southern, the CU defense hit 33 three-and-outs at the midway point of the season. In all of 2012, the Buffs forced a total of only 29 three-and-outs.

– The game (thanks in part to the two nine-minute drives by CSU in the first half) took only 2:50 to play. It was the first game for the Buffs to take under three hours since 2011.

3 Replies to “Colorado 43, Charleston Southern 10”

  1. Stuart,

    Nice to get the big win with a differential even greater than the 31 points the betting line started at.

    I don’t know what was said at halftime, but it was great to have the defense come out staunch in the 2nd half. It was bad enough to have ASU have two long, time consuming (8 minutes plus) drives in the 2nd half in Tempe. It was downright embarrassing to have Charleston Southern have two of them also in the first half. They clobbered us on time of possession by almost 14 minutes in the first half alone. Ouch.

    I really like this group of freshmen. Gillam is already a beast. Sefo will be interesting. Adkins looks like he is the explosive back we’ve been looking for. Awuzie is getting better and better. And a host of others are starting to make their mark as well.

    Look for my post tomorrow, though, about the unsettling tendencies of our offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren. Way too many east-west passes on a north-south playing field. The Buffs can get away with it against overmatched teams, but our Pac-12 opponents have been eating it up. If they hope to compete against our conference rivals the rest of the way out, they are really going to need to become much less predictable.

    After last year, I am ecstatic to be 3-3 after 6 games. We still need to turn the corner against better teams, though.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

  2. I think any reasonable Buff fan at the beginning of the season would have thought a 3 win season was perfectly acceptable (i.e., not great but good enough to indicate we are on the right path). Now that we are there, the rest of the year we are effectively playing with house money. We just need to play loose and be aggressive the rest of the season and we may just get a couple of upsets along the way. Nothing to lose, a whole lot to gain. I’m going to my first game at Folsom in 15 years next week — would be awesome if it starts there!

    1. Have fun at the game, Cameron. I think you are right about expectations. I think this game came at a perfect time for the team. The rest of the season will be a big challenge, but I think there is enough on this team to be able to steal a big win here or there. I see Arizona, Cal and Utah as the best possibilities. But anything can happen and I think that there is progress being made.

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