September 24th – at Oregon          Colorado 41, Oregon 38

Red-shirt freshman quarterback Steven Montez threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut, leading Colorado to a 41-38 victory over Oregon. Montez also ran for 135 yards and a score as the Buffs raced out to leads of 23-7 and 33-17 before needing an Ahkello Witherspoon interception in the end zone with 48 seconds remaining to preserve the victory.

Devin Ross had 153 yards and a touchdown receiving, with the Buffs rolling to 593 total yards overall. The victory was the first for the Buffs over the Ducks since joining the Pac-12, and the first overall since defeating Oregon in the 1998 Aloha Bowl.

“I would say this is a signature win,” said MacIntyre, whose team was 0-5 against the Ducks since joining the league. “These kids believe they can beat anybody.”

With senior kicker Diego Gonzalez out for the season, even the kickoff against Oregon brought drama, but true freshman walk-on kicker Davis Price sent the opening kickoff into the end zone, keeping the explosive Duck return team from making a play.

The Colorado defense forced a quick three-and-out from the Oregon offense, with the Buffs setting up at their own 20-yard line. On first down, red-shirt freshman quarterback Steven Montez, making his first career start, hit Bryce Bobo for a 16-yard gain. A pair of short completions to Devin Ross set up a 33-yard run by Phillip Lindsay down to the Oregon 20 yard line. After Montez kept the ball for a pair of runs down to the one yard line, Lindsay took it in for a 7-0 CU lead four minutes into the game.

The Buffs held the Duck offense to another three-and-out, including a sack by Samson Kafovalu, with the CU offense taking over on the Oregon 47. A Montez connection with running back Kyle Evans netted 21 yards on a third-and-13 to keep the drive alive, with Evans getting four straight carries thereafter (for 22 yards), before the Buff drive stalled at the Oregon six yard line. The Buff Nation held its breath when Chris Graham came on to attempt a 24-yard field goal, but the kick was good, giving Colorado a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

The Oregon offense, known for striking quickly, did just that on their third opportunity. A 50-yard run by Tony Brooks-James got the ball to the red zone, with Taj Griffin scoring from a yard out two plays later. Just like that – in 1:19 of game clock – it was a 10-7 game.

The Buff offense was not intimidated, however, piecing together a 13-play, 87-yard drive to retake the momentum. A pair of 16-yard passes from Montez, one to Phillip Lindsay and the other to Jay MacIntyre, pushed the ball deep into Oregon territory. A seven-yard connection from Montez to Shay Fields made it a 16-7 game in the final minute of the first quarter (with the Chris Graham extra point being blocked to keep it a nine-point lead.

Oregon could not respond on its next possession, with the Buff offense continuing to make plays on its end. A 61-yard pass from Montez to Devin Ross set the Buffs up at the Duck five yard line, with Montez doing the honors from three yards out. Suddenly, just three minutes into the second quarter, it was a 23-7 game.

It appeared that the Oregon offense was going to leave the field with another three-and-out, but the Ducks were successful on a fake punt, with a 29-yard run on fourth-and-three at their own 43-yard line. Two plays later, Oregon quarterback Dakota Prokup connected with Darren Carrington for a 25-yard touchdown. 23-14, Colorado.

The Buffs had a fourth down opportunity of their own on their next drive. The Colorado offense pushed the ball into the Oregon red zone, aided by a pass interference call and an 18-yard run by Montez. On fourth-and-four at the Oregon 26-yard line, though, Montez was sacked, giving the ball back to the Ducks.

Oregon responded with a long drive, but one which only netted a field goal. The Ducks went 11 plays, covering 43 yards, before settling for a 41-yard field goal by Aidan Schneider. The Buff defense had held, but the Ducks had scored ten straight points … Colorado 23, Oregon 17, with 2:31 remaining.

Most Buff fans would have been content with a lead of any size to take to halftime, but the Buffs not only held the ball, but put together a good drive. An “almost” touchdown pass to Devin Ross did not withstand replay review, with the Buffs settling for a 33-yard field goal by Chris Graham as the half expired.

Halftime score: Colorado 26, Oregon 17

The second half opened for the Buffs just about as well as the first half had done. The Colorado offense took the third quarter kickoff and marched right down the field for a score. A pair of Phillip Lindsay runs netted 13 yards before Steven Montez added a pair of runs for 14 more. On the fifth play of the drive, Montez hit Devin Ross for a 48-yard score, with the Buffs needing the replay booth to overturn an on-the-field call of an incompletion. Colorado 33, Oregon 17, just two minutes into the second half.

The rest of the third quarter, however, was all Oregon.

The Buff defense did force a punt from the Duck defense on Oregon’s first possession, but on CU’s next possession, Steven Montez made his first mistake of the afternoon. After three Kyle Evans runs (for 30 yards) and a Montez run for 12 had pushed the ball to near midfield, Montez was picked off Brenden Schooler, with the return setting the Ducks up at their 49-yard line.

Five plays later, the Ducks were on the board, with a Tony Brooks-James one-yard run cutting the Buffs’ lead to 33-24 midway through the quarter.

A quick three-and-out from the Buff offense led to Alex Kinney’s first punt of the game. The 41-yarder was (thankfully) uneventful, but the Oregon offense was now in sync. A ten-play, 74-yard drive was culminated by a three-yard touchdown run by Kani Benoit. The Autzen field crowd of53,974 was now in the game, with the Ducks back to within two, at 33-31, with three minutes remaining in the third.

Two plays later, the Duck crowd was even louder, with Montez throwing his second interception of the game on the Buffs’ second play from scrimmage. The Troy Dye interception gave Oregon the ball at the CU 27-yard line. On second-and-one from the Buff 18, Dakota Prokup hit Darren Carrington for the second time. The touchdown gave the Ducks their first lead of the game, at 38-33, as the third quarter came to a close.

Having lost a 21-7 lead against Michigan the week before, many expected Oregon to pull away in the fourth quarter, but the opposite happened … after giving up three touchdowns in less than seven minutes of playing time, the Buff defense did not allow another Oregon score the remainder of the game.

Still, the Buffs were now behind. After an exchange of punts, Colorado took over at their 30-yard line. A 21-yard pass from Montez to Bryce Bobo was nullified by a holding penalty, but Montez got the Buffs out of the hole with a 32-yard run two plays later.

Two more Montez runs, totaling 17 yards, gave the Buffs a first-and-ten at the Duck 31-yard line. After two incompletions, Montez hit Bryce Bobo in the Oregon end zone. The catch was initially called incomplete, but, as with the Devin Ross in the third quarter, the call on the field was overturned by replay, giving the Buffs the lead back. Montez then connected with Bobo again, this time on a two-point conversion, making it a 41-38 game.

The game was far from over, however, as there was still 8:43 left on the clock.

Oregon drove as far as the CU 40-yard line on its next drive, but was forced to punt. Needing a first down to keep the ball away from the Ducks, the Buffs nonetheless went three-and-out, with Montez stopped for no gain on third-and-one.

Taking over at their own 42-yard line, with 2:57 remaining, the Ducks were in prime position to pull out the victory. A Jimmie Gilbert sack of Prokup left Oregon with a third-and-17 at their 41-yard line. Rather than face a 58-yard field goal attempt to tie, the Ducks picked up a pass interference call against the Buffs, giving the Ducks 15 yards and a new set of downs.

A Prokup pass to Dwayne Stanford for 16 yards gave the Ducks a first-and-goal at the Colorado seven yard line. Less than a minute remained, but the Ducks appeared poised to post the win.

Instead, on the next play, Prokup lobbed the ball to the back corner of the CU endzone. Looking for Carrington, Prokup instead found CU cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. The turnover, the first of the day for Oregon, allowed the Buff offense to come back on the field to take a knee, giving the Buffs their biggest win to date in four years under Mike MacIntyre.

Final score: Colorado 41, Oregon 38

For the game, Colorado had 593 yards of total offense, compared to 508 for Oregon. The Buffs posted 260 yards rushing, over half coming from quarterback Steven Montez (135, on 21 carries). Devin Ross became the first Buff in the 2016 season to go over 100 yards receiving, posting seven receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown.

“Pretty much a legendary game for his first one,” MacIntyre said of the 333-yard passing; 135-yard rushing day for Steven Montez. “I knew he was good, but to set the record for Colorado history (for the most total offense by a quarterback in his starting debut), I would say he exceeded my expectations.”

Noteworthy … While not overwhelming, the Buff special teams held their own against the Ducks. The kickoff return team allowed 97 yards in returns, a 19.4 yard average, but did not allow a game-breaking return. The punt team, which was a disaster against Michigan the week before (two blocked kicks, another returned for a touchdown), was more than adequate. Alex Kinney had only three punts on the day, but averaged 40.3 yards per kick … with no returns.

Here are some YouTube highlights, courtesy of BuffsTV:

 

Game Notes … 

— Steven Montez (23-of-32, 333 yards passing; 21 carries for 135 yards rushing) had the fourth-highest passing total for any Buff quarterback in their starting debut. In terms of total offense (including rushing yards), Montez had the best starting debut for a CU quarterback in history. The 300/100 effort was the first of its kind ever for a Buff;

— Devin Ross (seven receptions for 153 yards, one touchdown). Ross had his second career 100-yard game, and his fourth consecutive game with a receiving touchdown tied him for the third-longest streak in school history (school record: 7);

— The Buffs scored on their first possession of the game for the fourth consecutive game. The only other season the Buff offense was so efficient was the 1989 season (11-1). The Buffs also scored on their first drive of the second half for the third time (two touchdowns/one field goal);

— Ahkello Witherspoon’s game-saving interception allowed CU to extend its nation-best streak of forcing at least one turnover each game to 17;

— The Buffs’ win made the series 12-9 in favor of the Ducks. The victory was the first for Colorado in Eugene since defeating Oregon, 17-13, in 1967 … in the first game ever in Autzen stadium;

— Colorado kickers extended their streak of consecutive extra points to 156 – a school record – before Chris Graham’s second quarter offering was blocked;

— In the first four games of the 2016 season, the Buffs out-scored the opposition in the first quarter, 72-14 (16-7 against Oregon), with a total yardage advantage of 815-197;

Still to come … Locker room quotes and more Game Notes …

 

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31 Replies to “Colorado 41, Oregon 38”

  1. Mac and co are putting the lost decade of CU football behind us.

    I was curious if they really had a legit two-deep. Nice to see they do.

    Great win. Go get another. Taking the south and the pac 12 championship are not out of reach.

    Go Buffs!

  2. 1. Bryce Bobo deserves to start against Oregon State as a reward for that spectacular one handed grab
    2. Tedric could have saved everyone a ton of anxiety had he made the int earlier in the last Oregon drive. The DB’s have had a number of sure int’s dropped. Last week against Michigan they had drops that could have determined a different outcome. Coach Chev needs to give them a few pointers the way he has the WR’s who are catching passes way better than last year.
    3. The defensive front 7 needs to get a blow earlier in the game because last week and this they are running out of gas in the late 3rd and 4th quarters.
    4. CU has great senior leadership but that could be a double edged sword in that next year, there will not be experience to step into their shoes except for Montez. Hopefully this week the understudies can get significant playing time and experience to pay dividends next year.
    5. I’d start Montez again to give Sefo another week’s rest. That would give them the best chance of going into the LA Coliseum against USC and coming out with a Win.
    6. A watershed win like their breakout victory over Nebraska in 1986(?) when Soupy Campbell did the end around for a TD. Nebraska had beaten down CU for decades and Coach McCartney had circled them on the schedule for years as their prime opponent. It served notice back then and again now that the Buffaloes are ready to run and opponents need to get out of the way or get run over.
    7. High altitude bred! They need to keep turning up the heat and use their high altitude training to their advantage. Fast, Furious, Precise and Mistake Free Football!!!
    8. Having Stan Brock on the sidelines contributing commentary was awesome for this old Buff fan that was at CU when he played. Hats off to the radio team of Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett. Listening from Florida, they called a great game and were very insightful.
    9. I like this team’s attitude. They feel they can go anywhere and play anyone which is exactly where the old McCartney Buffs were.
    10. It’s been a long haul for the loyal Buff fans but that just makes it all the sweeter.
    Run Ralphie Run! Go Buffs!!

  3. Big plays win games. The throw and catch for the touchdown to come from behind, and the pick in the end zone to preserve the lead were big time. Good to see the Buffs grind the way they did and then make the big plays when they count.

  4. The coaching of this team is phenomenal. The lack of penalties on the Buffs is proof. Great job coaches. No cowering and going conservative with the play calling. I love the dipsy doodle plays. Even though they didn’t go for real long gains, lots of imagination there. Keep it up Buffs.

  5. DUST OFF THE BRICK THAT WAS WAITING TO BE PERMANENTLY PLACED ON THE WALL WITH “SIGNATURE WINS.”

    Don’t let Sefo play until he is fully healed AND MOBILE.

    Does Sefo deserve to retain his #1 depth chart position when he’s healthy ? DAMN RIGHT !!!!

    Watch out here comes the HERD !!!!! Stomp baby stomp !!!

  6. Montez exceeded my expectations by far. And the guys finally got over the hump and found a way to win a tight ball game. . Personally I am going to celebrate this long awaited win against the Ducks with a glass of champagne and a big cigar. Beautiful.

  7. Just returned from Eugene !!! My first time back in 49 years and both times I was privileged to see the Buffs WIN !!!!! That was a well earned victory against a very good [though, not great] Duck squad; but, the most important thing today CU is a TEAM and they now know for sure that they can beat very good teams !! GO BUFFS !!!!

      1. Hey Billy in case you missed it

        Top-graded Saints players from #MNF
        CB Ken Crawley 83.9
        RT Zach Strief 79.6
        WR Brandon Coleman 78.9

  8. Signature win for the program! Happiest of all for the players who stuck it out through the hard times and didn’t lose faith. What a great performance by many but Montez was awesome in his first start. What a joy to experience this win. Looking forward to next weekend and the rest of the season. Go Buffs!!!

  9. Funny how history can repeat itself. 1985 the turnaround started with a win over oregon on a red zone defensive stop to preserve a win. 2016 and here we go again…

  10. Yo Stuart,

    Hope you enjoyed the symphony. I had been green with envy of you because I thought you were at the game. The Devin Ross TD did not stand up to review because the replay did not show whether he kept control of the ball as he went out of bounds. It was awesome that the Pac-12 network got the head of referees on to explain the call. Should have been a touchdown… but with the win… who cares?

    Signature win, baby.

    I expected (hoped?) it. After the game at Michigan, I had pain in my stomach until the final punt of the game.

    So proud of our Buffs. They could have folded after that 3rd quarter, but they kept after it. So impressed by their resolve.

    Montez is gonna be a beast. So proud of Sefo for being there to calm Montez. His guidance was immense. Plus, our receivers are as good as any in the nation. The O-line under Adams is gonna be monstrous in the future. Chiaverini, Adams, and even Lundgren have made our offense a machine that can move on anyone.

    Leavitt, Tumpkin, Jeffcoat and Clark have made our D a force to be reckoned with. From the front seven to the defensive backs, these guys are play-makers.

    I fully expect a bowl game now… but I want better than that and it’s very obvious the Buffs want and EXPECT better than that as well. Hell, let’s be bold. I want Michigan back in the Rose Bowl. My dreams have been coming true today, so might as well ask for the stars.

    This is so sweet because we as fans have been waiting for so long, but more importantly, it is such a fine reward for the work of the Colorado Buffs’ student athletes. These guys came in to help revive a down program and for the rest of their lives they will be able to look back in pride to what they accomplished.

    Once again, I am so proud of these young men. I am proud of the coaches, but the young men DID the job and do the work. So happy for all of them.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

    This win is as important as any turnaround win in Colorado’s history.

  11. Yes!!!
    This team is solid!
    Critique:
    Why so much passing in the 3rd quarter. And at the very end too. Should have run it with Evans imho. I was surprised that Thompson dropped the sure game clinching int, and followed it with the devastating pass interference.

    That said, amazing overall!!

  12. Not going to be much sleeping in the buff nation tonight. Signature win-check… and Montez…wow, what a future, 1st buff to have 300 and 100

  13. Ok i am officially drunk on the kool-aid. Coach MAC and this team really showed me something awesome today. Peter you were right and coach MAC has my respect !! Hiring the CHEV was the best move for this offense to flourish. The BUFFS finally have a back up and the future looks bright. Did not know that Jeffcoat had recruited Montez. You can see a lot of Sefo in this kid never quit never give up 100 % about the team. Go get yourselves the north and shock the College Football world. GO BUFFS !!!!!

  14. Great win! When Oregon was driving with less than two minutes left, I was thinking that the great Buffs teams of the 90’s would stop those drives with an interception………..

  15. What a great great win. Road win. Against a good team. Never gave up. Came back from errors. Buffalo Up

    This is year 4. Mac1 turned it in year 4. Mac2 has to as well, and is on the way.

    Wonder what the crowd count will be for OSU

    Go Buffs

    1. Looks like the Offense Co-Coordinators have ascended almost to the apex of that imposed learning curve someone set way long time ago. Having players that make plays along with a decent OL also helps a lot. The D got a little gassy but one just had a feeling that they would come up with one more big play and it happened at the most opportune moment.

      Now STs just need to become solid, probably nothing to flashy this year but just error free and workman like. The UofA is hurting here in Tucson so there are other road wins available.

      One win at a time though and OSU before a big Folsom crowd would be great.

      1. A great win.

        What is really great is”:

        The Buffs have 8 conference games left
        5 conference home games
        3 conference road games
        1 and 0 in conference.

        Put that in your pipe and get high.

        3 wins. Half way to December practices.

        Buffalo Up and whip OSU……………badly.

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