October 22nd – at Stanford          Colorado 10, Stanford 5

Colorado became bowl eligible for the first time since 2007 with a hard-fought 10-5 win over Stanford. Buff field goal kickers missed three of four field goal attempts, making the game tense throughout, but four turnovers forced by the Buff defense preserved the victory.

Sefo Liufau connected with Shay Fields on a 15-yard score early in the second quarter, providing the game’s only touchdown. Otherwise, Liufau was largely held in check, hitting 12-of-25 for 135 yards, but was picked up by running back Phillip Lindsay, who had 12 carries for 131 yards.

In holding the Cardinal out of the end zone, the Buff defense had three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tedric Thompson had two interceptions, the second coming midway through the fourth quarter, setting up the Buffs’ field goal. Linebacker Kenneth Olugbode recovered a fumble at the Buff five yard line to snuff out Stanford’s drive to take the lead, with Isaiah Oliver collecting his interception in the final minutes to seal the victory.

“We have one goal, and that’s Pac-12 champions,” said running back Phillip Lindsay after rushing for 131 yards before leaving midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury. “Winning six games, that’s cool, it’s cute. But we have to continue to move on. We have bigger things to worry about.”

The question as to whether Stanford star running back Christian McCaffrey would return to action after missing the Notre Dame game the week before was answered on the Cardinal’s first series. McCaffrey carried twice for four yards before Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns was sacked by senior defensive tackle Jordan Carrell, ending the Cardinal drive with a three-and-out.

The Buff offense was able to push the ball out near midfield on its first drive, with quarterback Sefo Liufau hitting Devin Ross for gains of nine and six yards. There, however, the Buffs stalled, with two sacks of Liufau forcing an Alex Kinney punt.

Stanford then pieced together its only drive of the first half. A 21-yard run by Bryce Love was the highlight of a 14-play, 66-yard drive which stalled in the CU red zone. The Cardinal marched as far as the Buff nine yard line, but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Conrad Ukropina. Late in the first quarter, Stanford was up, 3-0.

The teams traded three-and-out possessions before the Buffs took over at their 27-yard line to open the second quarter. A 12-yard run by wide receiver Shay Fields was quickly followed by a 19-yard completion from Liufau to Bryce Bobo, setting up the Buffs in Stanford territory. Two plays later, Phillip Lindsay broke loose for a 19-yard gain to put the Buffs inside the Cardinal 15. On third-and-13 at the Stanford 15, Liufau hit Shay Fields for a touchdown to complete the nine-play, 73-yard drive. Colorado 7, Stanford 3.

After the Colorado defense forced another three-and-out from the Stanford offense, the Buffs looked to take control. An eight-yard completion to Bobo was followed by three quick runs by Phillip Lindsay, covering eight, eight, and 26 yards. A 13-yard completion to sophomore receiver Lee Walker pushed the ball to the Cardinal 25-yard line, but there the drive stalled. Chris Graham was called upon for a 42-yard field goal, but the kick was wide left, keeping the score at 7-3, Colorado.

Stanford’s next drive was officially six yards for a minus-six yards, but it was an interesting series. A 25-yard pass completion pushed the ball into CU territory, but then the Cardinal started going in reverse. Three penalties for 25 yards, coupled with a sack of quarterback Ryan Burns by Timothy Coleman and N.J. Falo, left Stanford with an unusual stat line: Fourth-and-46 at its own 19 yard line.

A 12-yard completion to Shay Fields, followed by a 14-yard run by Sefo Liufau, got the Buffs out near midfield with just under two minutes remaining in the half. There, however, the CU drive stalled, forcing another punt.

The Cardinal attempted a last minute drive, but a heave by Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns was intercepted by Buffs senior safety Tedric Thompson in the waning seconds.

Halftime score: Colorado 7, Stanford 3

The Buff offense came into the game having scored on its opening drive of the second half in four of its first seven games, and looked primed to make it five of eight. An 11-yard completion from Liufau to Phillip Lindsay was followed on the next play by a 23-yard run by Lindsay. A ten-yard completion to Devin Ross on third-and-seven kept the drive alive before Liufau hit Shay Fields for 15 yards to put the ball into the Stanford red zone.

A 14-yard run by Liufau gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the Stanford five yard line. A two yard run by Lindsay had CU primed to take a two score lead with a second-and-goal at the three. There, however, the Buffs got cute, with Liufau sacked on what was to be a pass to a tight end in the end zone. An incompletion on third down brought in Chris Graham, who was wide right from 28 yards out.

The Stanford offense showed signs of life on its first drive of the second half, including a 14-yard pass from Ryan Burns to Trenton Irwin on third-and-14. The Cardinal made it as far as the CU 36-yard line, but there a pair of incompletions on third and fourth down turned the ball over on downs.

The Buff offense then again marched quickly down the field … only to fail once again. A pair of runs by Phillip Lindsay, going for 15 and 18 yards, gave Lindsay his second straight 100-yard rushing performance, and pushed the ball to the Stanford 31 yard line. A nine-yard scramble by Liufau on third-and-eight kept the drive alive, with a pair of Kyle Evans runs for 13 yards gave CU a first-and-goal at the seven.

There, however, the Buffs again failed to convert. A pass interference call on wide receiver Shay Fields cancelled a touchdown pass to Bryce Bobo. On fourth down at the Stanford 15, punter Alex Kinney was called upon for his first career field goal attempt. Kinney, though, was no better at hitting field goals than had been Chris Graham. The 31-yard attempt was wide right, and the score remained … Colorado 7, Stanford 3, late in the third quarter.

The Colorado defense quickly forced a three-and-out, but good field position did not come about as a result. A 61-yard punt, coupled with a block-in-the-back penalty, forced the Buffs to set up shop at its seven yard line.

A three-and-out by the CU offense gave Stanford the ball at their 34-yard line as the fourth quarter opened. The Cardinal offense then put together its second real drive of the second half. The big play came on a 16-yard completion from Burns to Trenton Irwin, coupled with a 15-yard penalty on the Buffs. The 31 total yards gave the Cardinal a first down at the Buff 15 yard line. Two plays later, on first-and-goal at the four yard line, the Cardinal muffed the snap, with the fumble recovered by Buff linebacker Kenneth Olugbode.

Two runs by Kyle Evans totaling 26 yards got the Buffs out of the hole, but thereafter the CU offense stalled. A 59-yard punt by Alex Kinney pinned the Cardinal at its five yard line, but a 25-yard catch-and-run by Christian McCaffrey gave Stanford a first down at the 35. Two plays later, though, Tedric Thompson collected his second interception of the game, returning the pick 30 yards to the Stanford 20.

Taking over with 6:38 to play, the Colorado offense had the chance to put the game away. The Buffs did consume 4:25 of game clock on their drive, but it took CU eight plays to cover all of 15 yards. A fourth-and-one at the 11 yard line was converted on a five yard run by Kyle Evans, but the Buffs were unable, once again, to punch it in. On fourth-and-goal at the five, Chris Graham returned for his third attempt of the game. As the Buff nation held its breath, Graham connected, making it a 10-3 game with 2:13 to play.

Chris Graham then kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving Stanford the ball at their 35. On third down, though, the Buff defense again rose to the challenge. Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns was intercepted on a deep pass by sophomore Isaiah Oliver, giving the Buffs the ball back, with the lead, with 1:37 to play.

And yet, it still wasn’t over.

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the interception set the Buffs up at their 15. Three kneel-downs by Sefo Liufau left the Buffs at their two yard line … with eight seconds still remaining. Liufau ran the ball out of the end zone for a safety on fourth down. The score was now 10-5, but the game was not yet over.

Four seconds left.

Stanford downed the free kick at its 18, with one trick play to try and pull out a miracle ending. The pass was completed, but it went for all of seven yards … finally ending the game.

Final score: Colorado 10, Stanford 5

“It’s what good teams do — you find a way to win,” a jubilant MacIntyre said in the locker room. “Every game is different. You’re not going to play perfect. But good teams make the plays that win games. Today, our defense just kept coming up with those big plays.”

Colorado was held to 359 yards of total offense, but won the game by holding the Stanford offense to 263 total yards. Christian McCaffrey, who went for over 220 yards of total offense in the 42-10 rout in Boulder in 2015, was held to 92 yards rushing (on 21 carries) to go with two catches for 26 yards.

Sefo Liufau, who set a new school record (his 80th) for consecutive passes, with 148, was held to 135 yards passing on 12-of-25 passes. Phillip Lindsay, who had 12 catches for 131 yards before leaving in the third quarter with an ankle injury, was spelled by Kyle Evans, who had 60 yards on 14 carries.

Here is the YouTube video with highlights from the game …

Here is the KOA recap of the game … 

Game Notes … 

— Colorado moved to 6-2, 4-1 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2005 (7-2, 5-1 in the Big 12);

— When Colorado took a 7-3 lead in the second quarter, it was the first time the Buffs led the Cardinal since holding a 37-34 lead late in the 1993 game (five games overall);

— The ten points CU scored in winning the game represented the lowest winning total since the Buffs beat Missouri, 6-0, in 1992;

— The safety allowed with four seconds remaining was the first by a CU opponent since 2013 (USC);

— The Buffs snapped a ten-game losing streak in games played in the state of California, with the all-time record raised to 3-20-1;

— With Stanford taking its time with the game clock (33:02 to 26:58 overall, after holding a 19:34 to 10:26 time of possession advantage in the first half), the game took only 2:58 to play, the fastest game for CU since 2013 (2:50 at Washington);

— Linebacker N.J. Falo recorded his first career sack, while Isaiah Oliver recorded his first career interception;

— Tedric Thompson recorded his ninth and tenth career interceptions, tying him for 13th on the all-time list. The last time a CU player had two interceptions in a game was by Jered Bell v. Nicholls in 2015;

— The Buffs had a 4-0 advantage in turnovers, marking the (FBS-best) 21st straight game with at least one turnover.





22 Replies to “Colorado 10, Stanford 5”

  1. Gray – Grey I don’t care how you spell it, it’s ugly. The color attracts negative energy. The all-white is my favorite road color. Traditional gold-black-gold the favorite at home.

    Guess it doesn’t matter as long as the Buffs keep winning.

    Stuart, it would be interesting to poll your loyal following and see what color combo most like the best. ( Heck, it’s better than the upcoming vote Nov. 8th ).

  2. This was tough one to watch. It was a 5-point blowout. The tree never really threatened to win the game, but the Buffs kept them in it with poor FG kicking and worse red zone play calling/execution. Somewhere between 9 and 21 points were left off the scoreboard by the Buffs offense, and yet Buffs still won!

    It’s gonna be a showdown with the Utes (our hated rival) the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the PAC 12 South. Can’t wait!

    1. It sure would be nice if the annual Utah game turned into that; a true rivalry. This could be the first year that it has enough meaning to make it that way. There is nothing like a good rival and no, the Rams are not that team!

    2. 83, your assessment of the game was spot-on, “Somewhere between 9 and 21 points were left off the scoreboard,” yet we prevailed against the Tree. KO’s fumble recovery was the key to the “W”, otherwise we might still be licking our wounds.

      As for a rivalry, one wants to pick the “Most Likely’ to be the dominant team in their conference or division (over a period of time) to be their rival…. that’s what Coach Mac-1 did by picking the Nebraska, and he put them on notice.

      If one were to use that as a model, I would have to say, pick the Trojans. They regularly ( EASILY ) pick-up more 4 & 5 star talent than anyone in our division and we have yet to beat them in PAC-12 play…..plus, the Buffs were the doormat everyone wanted to play against when CU became part of the PAC-12. Put USC On Notice. They may have ruled the PAC-10 & PAC-12 in the past, but that rein is comin’ to an end. Plain and Simple.

      As far as Utah, let that be just a border war, nothing more, nothing less. Treat them like the illegitimate child.

      Go Buffs.

  3. Great win for the defense. IMHO, Olugbode’s fumble recovery down on the 5 was the play of the game. Players make plays and that was a miracle.

    As good as the Buff secondary is, Tupou, Samson, and Carrell are the heart of the defense. The defense doesn’t get pushed around anymore because these guys don’t get pushed around. That’s a big change, especially against teams like Stanford.

  4. Not one of Sefo’s better games, however sometimes you have to suffer through those. Before we assuredly lost those games. Now we are finding a way to win them. The stars are alined. Hopefully the mono kicker will cut his recoup short. We can’t afford another effort like this weeks.

  5. Great win for the Buffaloes !! Loved how the Defense were able to dominate the game today. Offense needs to work on turning those red zone opportunities into TD’s. But they did move the ball well most of the game just gotta finish. Hopefully Price gets well soon the kicking game needs him. Coach McIntyre promised the guys IN-N-OUT if they won check out the link below.
    GO BUFFS!!!!!

  6. Yo Stuart,

    Big win. Important win. The Buffs are starting to shake those monkeys off their backs. It is very tough to beat Stanford at home. And you have to go back to 2007 to find the “Trees” held to so few points. Also, a win that improves by 50% the number of wins in the Golden State for CU.

    Great defensive game plan by Leavitt and gang. The most important thing, however, is now the Buffs know they can win a conference game on the road in which they did not play very well offensively or on the field goal team. I won’t just say “special teams” because the punting and kickoff teams were excellent (other than an ill-advised kickoff return from deep in the end zone and poor block in the back penalty).

    Well earned win for our Buffs, who will be coming home bowl eligible and in first place in the Pac-12 South and firmly in control of their own destiny. And since Utah plays Washington next week, there is a very good chance the Buffs will be alone in first place by the time they play UCLA in a Thursday night game.

    I’m so proud of these young men for the work they’ve put in and the resolve they have shown. And I was very pleased with how vocal the Colorado fans were at “The Farm” — you could hear the CU fight song over and over on the telecast. It was awesome.

    Go BUFFS!


  7. Great win, honestly I think that after looking at the last few games Montez is the better QB while Sefo is probably a better leader.

    1. Couldn’t quite figure it out. Sefo looked more like the inconsistent QB from last year, with the over and under throws, a little hurried when he shouldn’t have been, and unaware of pressure when he should have been. Thank you DEFENSE!

  8. Did Lindsey get hurt after his big runs in the third? Announcing was awful this game, they didn’t even seem to realize he was out.

  9. Great win. Thank you coach Leavitt. A real football coach.

    The qb coach, Co-Offensive coordinator, play caller should be
    fired tomorrow.

    Go Buffs

    Note: Mac2 I thought you hired a quality control person
    To help the kickers? Is he the cousin of Toby?


    1. Oh those coaches they just put those players out there against a bunch of rinky dinks and they aren’t properly prepared or coached for the game. Gimmee a break. The kickers that CU has right now just aren’t that good and Gary Barnett said it on the radio, that the ST’s will need to get better but it just may not happen this year, and it will be a knuckle biter to the end of the season with that phase of the game.

      Talent and mature players will out and right now CU has more talent then in the past and more mature players than in the past. Firing coaches now isn’t gonna get this team any farther than they are. But they sure have come a long ways from what we have seen.

      Enjoy the year, enjoy the players and appreciate the coaches as they are all working very hard to make this the best year in a long long time. Every team that has a successful year has some rough games but they just keep on trucking’, and that is what this team will do for the next 4 games.

      1. The hyperbole argument doesnt work. Red Miller once told me the Broncos kept Craig Morton around cause he won enough games to fill the seats.

        With mature players and a PREMIER coach on D we did win this game but the play calling once again suffered. Why not look for an O coach on Leavitt’s plane? Why be satisfied with status quo? Why not do everything you can to reach that playoff Scenario? You are either moving forward or moving back.

        Aside from that I am glad to see you are back. Your absence had me worried you had moved on to that par 3 course in the sky

        1. Though I am not a huge fan of Lindgren, I will give him some credit, as the QB coach, for developing two pretty good quarterbacks in Sefo and Montez. He was also part of the Fales equation at San Jose State. I think you ride this horse out personally.

          I can also only see this season from a “half full” perspective. Every win being a good thing! In the coming years I hope that they can fill their deficiencies, particularly on special teams and not struggle at times. But even Mac I needed a 5th down when they won the National Championship.

          By the way, I have never experienced a team having to use a third string field goal kicker. I have my doubts that the results would be much better anywhere else. I recall the “uber team” (Alabama) losing a couple of big games rather recently due to their first string field goal kicker hacking some kicks. Since they can basically get whoever they want to go there (see annual # of 5 star recruits) I think it is more of a crap shoot than one might think.

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