August 29th – Denver           Colorado State 31, Colorado 17

Colorado opened the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown with a 10-0 lead, but was run over by the Colorado State Rams in the second half, falling 31-17. Colorado State posted 266 yards rushing, with two backs, Dee Hart and Treyous Jarrells each going for over 100 yards as the Rams finished the game on a 24-0 run.

Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau completed 24-of-39 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns (no interceptions), with Nelson Spruce collecting both scoring passes in going for 104 yards. Michael Adkins led the Buff rushers with 68 yards, but the Colorado rushing attack was but half (134 total yards) of what the Rams were able to post.

In remembering the game, most of the 63,363 who attended will not recall that, for much of the first half, the Buffs dominated.

After the teams traded punts to open the game, Colorado got on the scoreboard with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Sefo Liufau to Nelson Spruce. 7-0, Colorado, with 10:31 still to play in the first quarter.

The Colorado defense opened the game playing well, giving up only two first downs in the first quarter, with one of those by penalty. The Buff offense, though, was able to find holes in the CSU defense, finding success both in running the ball and in the short passing game. After forcing the Rams into their third punt of the first quarter, the Buffs took over at their 45-yard line. An eight yard pass from Liufau to tight end Sean Irwin, followed by a seven yard runs by Michael Adkins and Liufau (who finished second on the team in rushing for the game, with 47 yards) and a seven-yard completion from Liufau to freshman Shay Fields set the Buffs up with a first down at the CSU 26 yard line. Three runs from Michael Adkins, combined with another short completion to Fields, got the Buffs inside the ten.

From there, however, the Buffs stalled. Facing a second-and-three at the CSU seven yard line, a second Buff touchdown seemed imminent (full disclosure: at that moment, I said to Brad: “They have to keep running the ball. If we can’t get seven yards in seven carries, we don’t deserve to score”). Christian Powell runs of two and three yards gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the two, but three more runs netted only one yard, and the Buffs, at the start of the second quarter, had to settle for a Will Oliver field goal and at 10-0 lead.

The Colorado State offense, held to 26 yards in 11 plays in the first quarter, sprang to life midway through the second stanza after Will Oliver missed a 41-yard field goal attempt. The Rams pieced together a nine-play, 76-yard drive (aided by two 15-yard penalties against the Buffs), with Dee Hart scoring on a seven yard run with 2:39 to play before halftime.

The momentum had shifted, and the Rams were looking to get the ball back before the break, but an offsides penalty on third-and-two gave the Buffs a first down, and the ability to run out all by 46 seconds of the remaining time.

Halftime score: Colorado 10, Colorado State 7

Even though the Buffs had the halftime lead, the end of the second quarter made it feel like a deficit. The Buffs, though, seized the early second half momentum. After Colorado State had pushed the ball to the Buff 34-yard line on their first drive of the third quarter, Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson was sacked by red-shirt freshman defensive lineman Derek McCartney, forcing a fumble which was recovered by Josh Tupou.

Taking over at their 38-yard line, the Buffs put together their best drive of the game. After Michael Adkins gained ten yards in two carries, Liufau hit Shay Fields for 16 yards, putting the ball at CSU 36. Senior Tony Jones then took over, with 10 yards in three carries. After a Liufau scramble got the ball into the redzone, Liufau hit Nelson Spruce for their second scoring hookup of the game, this one from 12 yards out.

Colorado 17, Colorado State 7, with 9:39 to play in the third quarter.

From there, it was all Rams.

Taking over after a 43-yard kickoff return, Colorado State needed only seven plays to cover 56 yards, with Treyous Jarrells taking it in to make it a 17-14 game with 6:11 left in the third.

On their next opportunity, the Buffs pushed the ball to midfield before punting. This time, the Rams put together a 12-play, 92-yard drive taking up over five minutes of game clock. A 16-yard touchdown pass from Grayson to Rashard Higgins gave Colorado State its first lead of the game, at 21-17, with 13:10 to play.

The Rams were now on a role. The CSU defense forced a three-and-out from the now dysfunctional CU offense, giving the hot Ram offense the ball at the CSU 40-yard line. This time, it took only seven plays to march down the field. A three yard touchdown run by Dee Hart put the game out of reach, though 9:28 was still left to play.

A quick punt from the Buffs gave the Rams the ball once again. Content to run clock, Colorado State was still able to get into scoring territory, with Jared Roberts putting the final nail in the CU coffin, hitting a 52-yard field goal.

Final score: Colorado State 31, Colorado 17

After a slow start, Colorado State rolled to 400 yards of total offense, to 375 for Colorado. The Rams ran up 266 yards rushing on 45 carries (a 5.9 yards per carry average), while the Buffs settled for 134 yards rushing. CSU had two 100-yard rushers, with Dee Hart going for 139 yards and two touchdowns, with Treyous Jarrells going for 121 yards and a score.

Nelson Spruce was the offensive hero for Colorado, with seven catches for 104 yards and two scores, with true freshman Shay Fields collecting eight catches for 46 yards.

“I think in the first half we played really well,” said CU head coach Mike MacIntyre. “In the second half they hit a couple runs. Some of them weren’t the defensive line’s fault. They’re cutting back and we have guys there to make a tackle and we just have to make them. We have to do a better job coaching that and do a better job of tackling.”

“It was just a play here or there,” lamented quarterback Sefo Liufau. “I’ve harped on it since last year and it’s all about consistency. We had good drives; it was just a matter of finishing them, and we didn’t do that tonight. We can’t blame the defense or special teams; you put all that on the offense. That goes on me and we have to be able to punch it in on those drives, especially the three times we were in the red zone.”

– Game Notes –

– The win gave Colorado State 22 in the series, still lead by Colorado 62-22-2 (but only 8-6, CU, in games played in Denver).

– Colorado did not have a turnover in the game, the second straight season opener for the Buffs without a turnover;

– Will Oliver connected on both extra point attempts, giving him 62 straight (the school record being 66). His five points gave him 194 for his career, moving him past Tom Field (190) for third place on the kick scoring list;

– Four Buffs made their first career starts; wide receiver Shay Fields; center Alex Kelley; defensive end Derek McCartney; and defensive end Christian Shaver. Shaver is just the sixth player on defense to start a season opener as a true freshman; Fields is the fifth true freshman to start a season opener as a true freshman. The only other year that Colorado had two true freshman start in the season opener was in 1980 (a season in which CU finished 1-10);

– Fields eight catches (for 46 yards) tied the school mark for catches in the first game of a career. Scotty McKnight and Nelson Spruce also had eight catches in their first career games;

– Nelson Spruce had his third career 100-yard game (seven catches for 104 yards). His new total of 106 career catches tied him with Daniel Graham for 10th-most in school history. His career yardage of 1,200 yards moved him from 20th to 15th on the all-time yardage list;

– Linebacker Addison Gillam had ten tackles, the only Buff in double digits.




12 Replies to “August 29th – Colorado State 31, Colorado 17”

  1. I too drank the kool-aid. My bold prediction that the Buffs win 35 – 24 was looking god until the speed and strength of the Rams kicked our butts.
    I again go to my pessimistic alter ego and say 3 wins will be very very hard for this team.
    And looking at our next draft class I am skeptical at best that we turn it around any time soon.
    Like I have said before this bunch of coaches had better be very very very good. The talent level aint there.

  2. slow and pushed around and running backs CSU has a nice group of RB`s . they looked tried and when your DB`s are makeing tackles your DLine and linebackers are getting beat .which also leads me to say what line backers ??? Rams man handled them in thesecond half . what happened to these great WR`s ??? One game down and alot to go .come om Buffs you can do this . Go Buffs

  3. When the offense could not score from within the 5 yard line, I knew we were in trouble. Both offensive and defensive lines were manhandled. Wow!! No running game and we could not stop CSU’s running backs. Are we sure about our QB? Not very mobile and too many check downs to short yardage receivers.

  4. Wow that was embarrassing not expecting this at all.I to was drinking the kool-aid very underwhelming.They literally looked no different than they did in there 8 loses last year.I know this is one game and it’s a long season but if it doesn’t get better it’s gonna be a long season. I did predict a 6-6 season which is attainable and Mark Johnson pointed out last night the rams lost to the buffs last year and ended up winning a bowl game. Don’t know if the buffs have it in them but i will continue to support the fellas and hopefully they will get this turned around. I don’t expect an easy game next week needless to say it is a must win.At least where not as bad off as Iowa State they lost to North Dakota State 34-14. GO BUFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Yeah! The Fluffs did it again. One thing that nobody seems to remember though was the terrible officiating which had a very obvious impact. The interference call against Crawly was total fantasy and led to the initial momentum shift. A blatant late hit and targeting to the head of Sefo which was followed up with a tackle by the facemask on the same drive. Both 15 yard penalties would have completely changed the momentum and possibly the game. The Buffs run D was terrible, but those refs should be called out for the shotty job they did.

  6. I’m not ready to give up hope but as usual the koolaide was a little too sweet this preseason, while I guzzled it down!. Reality sets in, this is a work in progress for all aspects of the team, including the coaching staff. I was never truly thinking bowl anyhow, just wishing, but you gotta stop the run guys…yikes!

  7. Small and slow is how I would describe this team. Gonna be lucky to win 2 games. Even both of our TD’s should have been called back for offensive interference. Ouch, gonna be another long season and then hard to recruit. This stinks. It is a vicious cycle and we are doomed to suck.

    1. Troll much?

      Yeah, Buffs’ 300+lb. DLs are way tooooo small. We need some 400 pounders!

      Back under the bridge for you!

      1. I believe the Buffs only have 1 300 lb lineman. I was seriously questioning Mac’s logic of asking his D line to shed 30lbs apiece last year. Its good to be fast but its better not to get dragged 5 yards across the first down marker. How about recovering today with a few milkshakes?

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