Colorado Daily – Utah

November 27th

… CU in a few minutes …

Friday musings …

The good: This season, CU has had five different players who have rushed for over 100 yards in a game, only the second time in school history that has occurred (1954) … The bad: Four of those five games came in two blowout contests, with Michael Adkins and Christian Powell going for over 100 yards against UMass; Phillip Lindsay and Donovan Lee going for over 100 yards against Nicholls … The ugly: only one of the five 100-yard games has come in the past nine games (a/k/a Pac-12 play, with Patrick Carr going for 100 yards against UCLA). Colorado as a team hasn’t rushed for over 100 yards in the past three games, and is going against the No. 14 rushing defense in the nation in Utah;

– CU is only 1-3 against Utah in Pac-12 play, but all four games have been close, with the four games decided by a total of 21 points;

– After enjoying relative stability along the offensive line the past two seasons, the Buffs have had nine different starting lineups along the offensive line in the first 12 games of this year. Four different Buffs (Sam Kronshage in Week three: John Lisella in Week six; Shane Callahan in Week eight; and Sully Wiefels in Week ten) have seen their first games as starters this fall. The good news is that only Stephane Nembot is a senior, which will give CU considerable experience on the line in 2016;

– Colorado is giving up 28.1 points per game this fall. For the Buffs to give up over 30.0 points per game (CU surrendered 39.0 points per game last year), Utah would have to score 53 points Saturday. CU hasn’t allowed under 30.0 points per game since 2009 (28.8);

– CU still leads the all-time series  against Utah, 31-27-3, with a 14-15-2 record in games played in Salt Lake City;

– Nelson Spruce became the all-time receptions leader in Pac-12 history several weeks ago. Spruce will finish his career – in all likelihood – in the top 20 on the NCAA all-time list. Spruce, with 289 receptions, is currently No. 22 on the NCAA list. With three catches against Utah, Spruce will crack the top 20. With a huge day – 14 catches – he would move into the top ten;

– Sophomore wide receiver Shay Fields is right on Spruce’s heels, though. Fields has 92 catches in his first two seasons, third-best in CU history. Fields is already ahead of Paul Richardson (73) and Scotty McKnight (89), and is just behind Michael Westbrook (98) and Nelson Spruce (99).


CU’s 2015 seniors

Before we say good-bye, here is a list of CU’s 15 seniors:

Those with significant starting experience: DB Jered Bell; DB Ken Crawley; OL Stephane Nembot; RB Christian Powell; DL Justin Solis; WR Nelson Spruce; DB Marques Mosley

Others: OL Vincent Arvia; OL Ed Caldwell; FB John Finch; WR Calvin Johnson; FB Jordan Murphy; LB Hunter Shaw; LS Wyatt Tucker Smith; DL John Tuso


Salt Lake City Tribune – position-by-position review of CU/Utah match-up

From the Salt Lake City Tribune … After a rash of injuries and a troubling offensive performance against UCLA last week, Utah is literally and figuratively limping to the finish line. The stakes have dropped for the Utes from a possible playoff berth to a wide range of bowl possibilities, but a win over “rival” Colorado Saturday on the way to a potential 10-win season would be a nice consolation prize. However, the Utes also need to avoid coming out flat against a competitive, if not successful, Colorado team. Here’s a position-by-position look at this week’s matchup and which team will have the edge heading into Saturday’s game:

Continue reading story here


Friday Five Fast Keys for Utah game

From Neill Woelk at … When the Colorado Buffaloes line up against Utah in Saturday’s season finale at Rice-Eccles Stadium (12:37 p.m. kickoff, Pac-12 Networks), they’ll see a team in the mold Mike MacIntyre would like to build in Boulder.

Tough, physical defense and a balanced offense, solid special teams play, productive in the red zone and a team that is not prone to mistakes.

Not coincidentally, those have been some of the Buffs’ problem areas this year, and Saturday will be CU’s last chance to produce what would be a “quality win” in the Pac-12 this year.

The keys to getting there:

Continue reading story here



November 26th

CU in a few minutes …

CU/Utah “rivalry” stories …

… From a story at ESPN … “I think there’s got to be — I don’t want to use the word hatred, because that’s too strong — but a little animosity, a little bad blood maybe,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “A little something that adds a little flavor to it. I think that’s probably the basis.

“I just don’t feel that with Colorado. I have a lot of respect for them, and every year it comes down to the wire. Coach [Mike] MacIntyre runs a great program. They play hard. They play the way you’re supposed to and we respect them for that.”

… From a story at the Salt Lake City Tribune … “Utah and Colorado are definitely not rivals,” said Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt. “Not the way USC and UCLA are or Washington and Washington State are.”

… “The best way to build a rivalry is to play in games that mean something,” Klatt said. “If we have three or four years when the winner goes to the league championship game, things will really get really interesting. Really heated.”

But that, clearly, is not happening this year. And maybe not anytime soon.

Klatt’s last two years at CU (2004-2005) were the most recent two years the Buffs have had winning records. Their string of consecutive losing seasons extends to 10 with this year’s 4-8 record.

“When you look at Colorado, and I have no problem saying this, it was one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen in my career in college football five years ago when they were getting going in the Pac-12,” Pac-12 Network college football analyst Yogi Roth said. “They came from a far deeper place than Utah did”.


Once again, lack of experience hurts Buffs’ bottom line

From Neill Woelk at …  While this year’s Colorado football team was touted as being a more experienced, deeper team when the season began, those terms are relative.

Experienced, yes — because a number of players who had significant playing time as freshmen and sophomores were back as sophomores and juniors. Experienced for the same reason.

But when the clock hits 00:00 for the 2015 Buffaloes on Saturday in Utah (12:37 p.m. kickoff, Pac-12 Networks), the Buffs will still be one of the younger teams in the nation.

After 12 games — a normal college football schedule — CU’s seniors have accounted for just 55 starts this season. That’s the fewest since 2012 (47), and the second-fewest since 2000, when Gary Barnett’s 3-8 team had 55 seniors starts in 11 games.

Saturday, CU will likely start five seniors against Utah and 10 freshmen and sophomores. This year, CU has played 19 freshmen, the 29th-most in the nation.

To be brutally honest, it’s one of the reasons behind the Buffs’ plethora of game-changing mistakes this season. Missed blocks, missed tackles, missed assignments — a handful of missed opportunities have left the Buffs bemoaning a narrow loss more than once this season, and many of those errors have been committed by underclassmen.

Continue reading story here


Lack of a successful passing game has hurt the Utes

From the Salt Lake City Tribune … If the Utes beat last-place Colorado at Rice-Eccles Stadium, they will have achieved their best Pac-12 record ever, at 6-3. As Kyle Whittingham has said a couple of times this week, there’s been progression in the program in 2015.

It’s just that a lot of that progress was buried in the rubble of unfulfilled expectation. A month or so ago, the Utes, to the surprise of everybody, were undefeated and ranked No. 3 in the country, staring down the pipe at a possible spot in the college football playoff or, at minimum, the Rose Bowl. Now, after three losses, they could end up anywhere from the Cactus Bowl to the Vegas Bowl to the Holiday Bowl, or, worst case, with a fourth loss, they could be shut out of the Pac-12’s seven affiliated bowls.

Even with their late slide, the Utes probably will end up with their top performance as a member of the Pac-12, despite having limped home with knockout injuries to their best overall player, Devontae Booker, their best running back, Booker, and their best playmaking receiver, Britain Covey. The defense also suffered from depleted ranks, but that side of the ball was seldom the problem this season.

It was the other side. Utah will finish second-to-last in passing offense, second-to-last in overall offense, ninth in scoring offense, and 10th in first downs. A year ago, it had similar results. Einstein, you don’t have to be to see what has to change for the Utes to take a step up: pass offense. Specifically, the wide receivers need to improve and the quarterback has to play better.

… It’s noted that Utah had a run-heavy attack, and the reasoning behind that, beyond having one of the league’s premier running backs, is one of two things: Either the Utes didn’t throw the ball effectively or proficiently because they didn’t have the players capable of doing so, or they didn’t throw the ball effectively or proficiently because the coaches chose not to.

But it’s come clear that in the fog of battle in the Pac-12, having a threat at quarterback is more a necessity than it is a luxury and having receivers who can get open at the back end of defenses falls into the same category.

Continue reading story here


November  24th

CU in a few minutes …

Sefo Liufau surgery a success; he plans on being back on the field in 2016

From … Sefo Liufau had learned to play with and through pain, and no one ever questioned his ability to do either. But on Friday night, Nov. 13, it wasn’t so much that Liufau’s luck ran out as his body finally succumbing – at least in part – to his game’s mayhem.

Near the end of the first quarter of Colorado’s game against Southern California, Liufau’s left foot had the misfortune to be trapped under one or more of USC’s defensive linemen.

Liufau left Folsom Field on that Friday night two weeks ago knowing his junior season was finished. So is next spring, and his availability for the 2016 season depends on his progress during a rehabilitative period that could last over six months.

“Knowing me I’ll try and push the timeline,” Liufau said.

That’s not surprising; it’s been his mindset since he arrived on campus. His coach, Mike MacIntyre, isn’t the least bit skeptical about Liufau’s drive to heal and return. But MacIntyre knows recovery from a Lisfranc injury can’t be hurried.

“Lisfranc is not a guarantee,” MacIntyre said when questioned about CU’s quarterback competition still being open when the Buffs begin August camp. “You want to say (recovery) can be done in four, five or six months. I’ve had some guys come back in that time . . . he does have a redshirt year available but first and foremost is the health of Sefo.”

Whether he’s able to return next fall or later, Liufau’s goal is clear: “I expect to compete and win my spot back.”

Continue reading story here


Injury update …

From … MacIntyre said safety Ryan Moeller (concussion) is definitely out Saturday, as is running back Michael Adkins II (hamstring). Adkins has not played early September and has a redshirt season available. Receiver Jay MacIntyre and safety Ryan Severson will be game-day decisions … Guard Jonathan Huckins won’t be available Saturday


CU athletic director Rick George email update to Buff Nation

Dear Buffs Fan,

It has been a busy month in CU Athletics, with the fall sport seasons winding down and the basketball teams now fully underway.  There’s much to update you about.

Competition Update
We are very proud of coach Mark Wetmore’s cross country program – both the men and women swept the Pac-12 Conference and Mountain Regional titles.  It was the fifth straight for the men, who have won 17 conference championships in the last 20 years, while the women have two Pac-12 crowns and 13 league trophies.  The teams wrapped up their seasons with second place finishes at the NCAA Championships last Saturday; while the men were denied a third straight national championship (Syracuse was nine points ahead of us) and had a 10-meet win streak snapped, once that disappointment subsides, runner-up in the NCAA’s is an accomplishment every other school in the field wish they had.

Speaking of the men, in their five-year run of Pac-12 domination, they have won 19 of 24 meets with no finish lower than third; they own a record of 482-9 in this time frame (300-2 the last three seasons). That deserves a wow!

While we are all disappointed that the football team did not reach its goal of making a bowl game for the first time since 2007, there is obvious progress within the program in several areas.  But we also know there are other areas we still need to improve upon; no one is pleased with a 4-8 record with just one win in the Pac-12.  The seniors on this team have represented the school well and have fought hard to the very end.  Nelson Spruce will set around 50 receiving records here and also made his mark in the Pac-12 and nationally.

It’s down-the-stretch time in volleyball, with one weekend of competition remaining ahead of the NCAA tournament.  Liz Kritza’s team is currently 17-13, including a 9-9 record in the Pac-12 with two games against Washington State and Utah this Wednesday and Friday.  While we have a solid record against ranked schools (6-9), two more wins will like secure an invitation to the tournament.  Come on out and support these student-athletes in their bid to return to the postseason for a third straight year.

The soccer team had an uncharacteristic down year, finishing 7-10-3 after a solid start; five of the losses were by one goal to some of the top programs in the country.  We’re confident of the team returning to the NCAA tournament next year, but in the meantime, the team is getting it done in the classroom with six players named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team.

The women’s tennis team competes as individuals in the fall, and we’re very proud of junior Nuria Ormeño Ruiz.  She had a tremendous fall season and became the first singles player in school history to compete at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, held in Flushing, N.Y. earlier this month.    The rest of the team enjoyed quite a bit of success as well over the course of four tournaments.

The men’s and women’s golf teams both wrapped their fall seasons with solid efforts in their final meets, both in the strongest field they had faced to date.  Roy Edwards’ men had four returning veterans merge successfully with five newcomers, and he also signed another solid recruiting class.   Anne Kelly’s women were ranked as high as No. 11 early and closed with a fourth place effort in the Pac-12 Preview, a finish that bodes well for the upcoming spring.

Tad Boyle’s men’s basketball team has opened with a 3-1 record; after a hard fought 68-62 loss to seventh-ranked Iowa State, we have rallied to win three straight, including a 91-84 win at Auburn.  There were roughly two dozen rule changes this year, the most noticeable of which is the shot clock is now 30 seconds instead of 35.

Linda’s Lappe’s women’s team has started out of the gates at 2-1 and hosts its annual Omni Hotels Classic this Friday and Saturday; the field includes Florida, Massachusetts and Ball State.  The big change in the women’s game this year is that they now play four 10-minute quarters instead of 20-minute halves.

Graduation Rates
The NCAA released its annual graduation rates report earlier this month, and our student-athletes are faring very well.  The data covered the six-year period for those who enrolled in 2008.  The numbers showed that the graduation success rate (GSR) for all scholarship student-athletes was 86 percent, including 77 percent for football and 83 percent for men’s basketball.  CU’s overall rate of 86 percent for all our student-athletes matched the national rate for Division I college athletes.  The women’s basketball, soccer and tennis programs all had perfect 100 percent rates.

Hall of Fame
We inducted our 12th class into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame on November 5, enshrining 11 new members.  This is an exciting evening celebrating great accomplishments from our past.  I strongly encourage you to attend in the future as we are now inducting classes on an annual basis and it’s an event every Buff fan truly enjoys.

If you weren’t in attendance for the USC game and the tribute to Larry Zimmer, here’s a link to the ceremony where we honored him for his 42 years as the “Voice of the Buffaloes” ( (,lmbb,2a,6wgy,6idd,3hbj,2bk0&MLM_MID=1008695&MLM_UNIQUEID=27a6f1a700 ),lmbb,2a,ck2b,ecbm,3hbj,2bk0&MLM_MID=1008695&MLM_UNIQUEID=27a6f1a700 (just scroll down a bit).  His final game will be this Saturday at Utah as he closes out a Hall of Fame career calling over 1,500 football and basketball games combined.

Construction Update
Everyone has now moved into the Champions Center, as there are just some minor finishing touches being applied and the Dal Ward renovation is close to being complete.  The third and final phase of our Athletics Complex Expansion remains on schedule to be finished in February; that includes the Indoor Practice Facility, a state-of-the-art indoor track and a 550-plus space parking garage.

Finally, congratulations are in order for former Buff Mason Crosby; in Green Bay’s 30-13 win over Minnesota Sunday, he kicked five field goals and in the process became the Packers’ all-time leader in field goals made.  The ’06 CU alum became Green Bay’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season.

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and at the same time remind you that we are still fundraising for our Sustainable Excellence Initiative and “The Drive to 105.”  We have secured over 80 percent of our goal but aim to reach and even surpass it in the coming months.  For more information, please visit  (,lmbb,2a,2c3k,ba58,3hbj,2bk0&MLM_MID=1008695&MLM_UNIQUEID=27a6f1a700 ),lmbb,2a,4ars,bssy,3hbj,2bk0&MLM_MID=1008695&MLM_UNIQUEID=27a6f1a700 and to learn about other ways to support the Buffaloes, you can find those out by visiting  (,lmbb,2a,gvbc,64wn,3hbj,2bk0&MLM_MID=1008695&MLM_UNIQUEID=27a6f1a700 ) (or phone the Buff Club office, 303-492-2200).

Go Buffs!

Collaboration and Unity,

Rick George



November 23rd

CU in a few minutes …

Utah’s leading receiver joins Utah’s leading rusher on the “out-for-the-Colorado-game” list

… Devontae Booker, Utah’s leading rusher, was already out (quarterback Travis Wilson is Utah’s second-leading rusher. Now the Utes’ leading receiver, Britain Covey (41 catches for 518 yards and four touchdowns) will be out for the CU game as well …

From the Salt Lake City Tribune … True freshman wideout Britain Covey will not play against Colorado, Whittingham said Monday, saying later that on the other hand, senior safety Tevin Carter “is probably going to be able to play.”

Whittingham said he’s not sure about Covey’s status for a bowl game, possibly dependent on which bowl Utah draws.

The value of Covey was thrown into sharp relief during Utah’s 17-9 loss to UCLA on Saturday, Covey appearing to injure his ankle and hopping the width of the field before falling between the hash marks and the numbers.

He re-entered the game soon after, but for only a few plays. He spent the second half wearing a boot on the sideline while Utah failed to score on its final five drives.

Covey had been to this year’s Utes what Kaelin Clay was to last year’s, leading the team in receiving, with 41 catches for 518 yards, and ranking among the nation’s best returners (11.7 per punt, taking one for a touchdown and another to USC’s doorstep).

The former Timpview quarterback plans to serve an LDS mission after the season.

Coach MacIntyre talks with media after Monday’s practice

From YouTube, courtesy of


More than pride at stake for Buffs in finale against Utes

From Neill Woelk at … With the Colorado Buffaloes once again guaranteed to be home for the holidays, conventional wisdom suggests the Buffs have little to play for Saturday — other than pride — when they wrap up their season at Utah.

Two thoughts in that regard:

One, pride should be enough. Any team worth its salt won’t go away quietly, and if there’s one thing this team has shown for much of the season, it’s a refusal to quit. The Buffs haven’t always played well, but their character has never been questioned. They’ve always played hard, and it  would be a surprise if they showed up Saturday in Salt Lake City and played any other way.

Two, there’s plenty more than pride at stake. With another year of no bowl practices and no postseason reward, the season finale could prove to be a springboard to 2016 — if the Buffs can make it a game worth remembering.

After Saturday night’s 27-3 loss at Washington State, head coach Mike MacIntyre was asked whether he thought his team would have the resolve to be emotionally ready for one more game. MacIntyre said hoped his seniors would “have enough pride in them that they’ll do it.”

But the season finale is about much more than a senior class that has endured four years of struggling to build a foundation while playing under two — and in one case, three — head coaches.

Continue reading story here



November 22nd

CU in a few minutes …

Utah must reset goals after losing three of its last five games

From the Salt Lake City Tribune … A short list of things we’ve learned about Utah in the last month:

1. Utah will not play in the College Football Playoffs.

2. Utah will not play in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

3. Utah is not the same team without the likes of Devontae Booker, Hunter Dimick, Tevin Carter, Filipo Mokofisi, Reginald Porter, Chase Hansen, Siale Fakailoatonga and Britain Covey. And

4. Utah looks much more beatable while losing the turnover battle (averaging one more per game than opponents in closing 2-3) than it did while winning it (averaging two fewer than opponents in starting 6-0).

The 2015 Utes came “close, but no cigar,” Kyle Whittingham said after Saturday’s 17-9 loss. And that’s the naked truth.

After losses in consecutive weeks to Arizona and UCLA, Utah is 8-3, playing Colorado for a shot at Whittingham’s fourth 10-win season and to bid its seniors a fond farewell.

Many fans, given the power, might’ve “taken that” before the season started.

But considering Utah was the AP’s No. 3 this time last month and is now unranked, it’s a less savory prospect.

What remains in play for the Utes depends on a few factors.

No. 1, obviously, a win over last-place Colorado. That’d make Utah 6-3 in conference, available for selection over any team, per conference rules, except an 8-1 Stanford that lost in the Pac-12 Championship Game to USC or UCLA.

… Should Utah lose to Colorado, the Vegas and Cactus bowls could also opt for 4-5 Cal, ASU or Washington. That may be unlikely, but it’s remarkable that two weeks ago Utah was playing for a spot in the playoffs, but it needs to beat Colorado to guarantee itself a spot in a Pac-12-affiliated bowl.

Continue reading story here


Colorado a 16.5-point underdog to Utah

The line for Colorado at Utah (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) at opened at 15.5-points, but quickly moved to 16.5-points.

That’s not much love for a Buff team which will be facing a Utah team which managed only nine points of offense last weekend against UCLA.

Other Pac-12 lines:

– Cal is a 4.0-point favorite at home against Arizona State;

– Stanford is a 3.5-point favorite at home against Notre Dame (the line opened with the Irish a 2.0-point favorite);

– USC is a 3.0-point favorite at home against UCLA, in a game which will decide the Pac-12 South champion;

– Oregon is a 33.5-point favorite at home against Oregon State;

– Washington State at Washington … no line set (probably waiting for word on the status of Cougar quarterback Luke Falk).


CU will face an unranked Utah team

Five weeks ago, Utah was undefeated and ranked No. 3 in the nation. The Utes were just behind Ohio State and Baylor, and, for the first time in school history, receiving votes (16 in fact) as the No. 1 team in the nation.

Since then, Utah has lost three of five games, the latest being a 17-9 home loss to UCLA. The loss to the Bruins prompted a trading of places between the two teams, with UCLA rejoining the Associated Press poll, in at No. 22, while Utah has dropped to No. 26 in the latest poll. (If you had been willing to bet a month ago that the Buffs would face a ranked Washington State team and an unranked Utah team, you would have had plenty of takers).

Only three other teams from the Pac-12 are in the latest poll – Stanford, up two spots to No. 13; Oregon, up five spots to No. 18; and Washington State, up four spots to No. 20. Joining Utah on the outside looking in this week is USC, dropped down to No. 32 after being blown out by Oregon over the weekend.

This week’s Associated Press poll:

1.Clemson (55)11-015181
2.Alabama (6)10-114693
4.Notre Dame10-113175
6.Michigan St.10-112869
8.Ohio St.10-110512
9.Oklahoma St.10-19954
11.N. Carolina10-190012
14.Florida St.9-268016
20.Washington St.8-335424
23.Mississippi St.8-3132NR

Utah 100, Pittsburgh 60, LSU 33, Texas A&M 27, Wisconsin 21, Air Force 15, USC 8, Arkansas 7, W. Kentucky 6, Georgia 5, BYU 3, Tennessee 2, South Florida 1, Arkansas St. 1, West Virginia 1


ESPN Pac-12 Power Rankings

From ESPN … Stanford, Oregon and Washington State from the Pac-12 North are 1-3 on the latest list.

The Bottom Three:

10. Arizona Wildcats: Offensively, Arizona is just a different team without Anu Solomon at quarterback, and that was evident in the loss to ASU. The Wildcats’ regular season ends with a 6-6 mark and a lot of lingering “what-ifs” after they were gutted by injuries.

11. Colorado Buffaloes: All that’s left is a “rivalry” game with Utah. The good news for the Buffs is that this has been a drama-filled contest since both teams joined the league in 2011, with all four games being decided by one possession.

12. Oregon State Beavers: For the second time this season, the Beavers gave up 45 points in the first half. That pretty much sums up how things are going in Corvallis.


9 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Utah”

  1. Devin Ross is, by far, the worst D-1 wide receiver I have ever seen. He must have more drops than catches. He should be playing DB.

  2. Drive safe Scott.

    One never knows about the game. However……………. you may be one of the few who sees the Buffs rising like the proverbial Phoenix and bringing home a “W.”

    Hope you are rewarded for that long drive.

  3. We will score 10 points at most. Look for 27-10 game. Maybe 30-10, Boring and long. And I’m dumb enough to take the long drive.

  4. I think both had a part in it .problem is some coaches are better at getting point across better then some. just like some players are better then others . just hope that the true Buffs show up to play. sure seemed by what I have read that the OC had a really bad year of getting point across to his players and maybe he does need to go seem easier to change him out instead of a hole offense.

  5. Utah could play its entire 2nd string offense and score as many points as the Buffs…..and that is no reflection on CU’s defensse

    1. Let Walters call the plays. Might as well see what we have before we go get a new oc. It’s not the kids it’s the calls.

      1. Rob, someone on buffzone suggested leaving Lindgren home and taking Sefo to call plays. I know that’s not happening, but I bet Sefo could do a better job than Lindgren.

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