September 2nd – Denver          Colorado 44, Colorado State 7

Colorado wanted a fast start to the first game of the 2016 season.

The 2015 opener against Hawai’i opened with a three-and-out and a blocked punt from the Colorado offense, and the Buffs never really recovered … in that game, or really, the entire season.

Against Colorado State in the 2016 opener, though, the Buffs got off to a fast start, storming out to a 21-0 first quarter lead, never looking back in a 44-7 domination of the Rams.

Sefo Liufau went 23-for-33 for 318 yards and a touchdown, also contributing 66 yards rushing on 14 carries. Phillip Lindsay had 20 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns to lead a 260-yard rushing attack. The receiving corps also failed to post a 100-yard effort, but were more than happy to settle for Bryce Bobo’s 99 yards on five catches, and the 97 yards and a touchdown from Devin Ross.

In all, Colorado went for 578 yards of total offense, holding Colorado State to 225 yards (including only 63 yards passing). The Buff defense forced four turnovers, and surrendered only 12 first downs.

Colorado State got the ball to open the game, and the Colorado defense forced a quick three-and-out. Taking over at 27, the Buff offense pieced together an 11-play, 73 yard drive to take the lead for good.

Other than a ten-yard completion from Sefo Liufau to Bryce Bobo, it was the Phillip Lindsay show all the way into the Ram red zone. Five Lindsay runs totaling 39 yards, coupled with an 11-yard reception on a swing pass from Liufau, set the Buffs up at the Ram 13 yard line.

After an eight-yard run by Liufau, the Buffs’ quarterback kept the ball again, trying to score from four yards out. Liufau fumbled, though, with the ball – fortunately – being recovered by senior center Alex Kelley in the CSU end zone.

7-0, Colorado, just 4:29 into the 2016 season.

The first series for each team was about as good as any Buff fan had any right to expect … but the Buffs kept repeating the scenario.

Second drive for the Rams … three-and-out.

Second drive for the Buffs … six plays, 70 yards, touchdown. The highlight of the drive was a 31-yard completion to Devin Ross (which could have been a touchdown if the ball had been thrown better by Liufau). Ross got his touchdown two plays later, though, scoring on a 17-yard pass from Liufau to make it 14-0, Colorado.

Third drive for the Rams … three-and-out.

Third drive for the Buffs … a fumble by Phillip Lindsay, giving Colorado State a momentary respite.

Fourth drive for the Rams … three-and-out.

Fourth drive for the Buffs … three plays, 61 yards, touchdown. It was almost a one-play drive, with Liufau hitting Shay Fields on a bomb on the first play from scrimmage. Originally ruled a touchdown, Fields was tackled just short of the goal line. Two plays later, Phillip Lindsay scored from a yard out. Colorado 21, Colorado State 0 … with 1:39 still left in the first quarter.

When linebacker Jimmie Gilbert sacked Ram quarterback Nick Stevens three plays later, forcing a fumble which was recovered by linebacker Kenneth Olugbode at the CSU 13-yard line, the potential for a 28-0 first quarter was in the offing. Instead, the Buffs failed to move the ball for the first time all night, settling for a 30-yard field goal from Diego Gonzalez early in the second quarter.

After the teams exchanged three-and-outs, Colorado State picked up its first first down of the game five minutes into the second quarter, but punted three plays later. On the Rams’ next possession, Stevens was picked off by senior cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who returned the interception 14 yards to the Colorado 41 yard line.

The Buff offense then got in gear once again. After converting a third-and-four on a great grab by Devin Ross, Liufau hit Bryce Bobo for a 46-yard gain on a one-handed grab. On the next play, Phillip Lindsay did the honors from a yard out.

Halftime score: Colorado 31, Colorado State 0

Could Colorado State mount a comeback? The first drive for each team would tell the tale.

Colorado … a 16-play, 64-yard drive resulting in a 29-yard field goal by Diego Gonzalez.

Colorado State … an eight-play, 38-yard drive which resulted on an interception by Tedric Thompson on a fourth-and-eight at the CU 37-yard line.

Game over.

The Buffs went on another long drive after the interception, a drive which once again ended in the red zone without a touchdown. The Buffs did take 4:28 off the clock, though, before settling for a Gonzalez 22-yard field goal. Colorado 37, Colorado State 0, late in the third quarter.

The Rams finally got on the board on the first play of the fourth quarter, with transfer Ram quarterback Faton Bauta hitting Marcus Wilson for a five-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal.

The Buffs fumbled the ball away on their next possession, with Sefo Liufau losing the ball on a ten-yard run (a run which also brought out the training staff, giving some Buff fans pause as to whether Liufau should have even been in the game at that point).

After the CU defense held on downs, however, the Ram defense was given a steady dose of running back Kyle Evans. Evans, a sophomore walk-on who was put on scholarship during Fall Camp, carried the ball eight straight times, collecting 41 yards and a one-yard touchdown run along the way.

The final play of the night for the defense came on, fittingly enough, a turnover, with freshman Tony Julmisse recovering a fumble with 2:10 left in the contest.

Final score: Colorado 44, Colorado State 7

The game was dominated by the Buffs, not only on the scoreboard, but on the stats sheet. Colorado State was held to ten total yards in the first quarter, and the advantage at halftime was 364 to 79. The 578 total yards of offense by the Buffs were the most since the 1994 Buffs (who went on to finish with a No. 3 national ranking) opened the season with 649 yards of total offense against Northeast Louisiana.

“It’s always good to come out and do well, which gives a lot of momentum to those young men”, said Mike MacIntyre. “We’ve been coaching them for 29 practices and they’ve gotten tired of hearing it. Now it validates what you’ve been telling them and what you’ve been teaching. They’ll come back ready to listen hard on Monday, because we’ve got a lot of things that we’ve got to correct.”

“It is just a surreal feeling being able to put one of those games out there like that”, said Sefo Liufau. “But there are a lot of things we need to work on, especially coming out in the second half. I think our offense dropped especially. I think we could have put a lot more points on the board. CSU is a great defense but I just think we were not executing as well as we should have. Overall, we are really happy as a team to get one of those wins.”

On the other sideline, Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo had little to offer. “They were very well prepared, very well coached, ready to play this game and we were not”, said Bobo. “That starts with me. I did not have this team ready to play. They were ready and they came out hot and they had the momentum and we were unable to do anything to slow it down. It’s one of those things, it’s embarrassing”.

Here is the YouTube video of the game … 


Game Notes:

— Attendance for the game of 69,850 was the most in the series since 2003 (76,219); this was the sixth-highest in the 16 games in Denver; Colorado sold 33,486 tickets (9,217 student) for the game; the Broncos moved 3,697 ducats; CU accounted for that number despite season ticket holders of just under 2,800 tickets opted out for the game to receive an equal value in number for a Pac-12 game;

— Mike MacIntyre raised his record against CSU to 3-1. The Buffs upped their advantage in the series against the Rams to 64-22-2, with a 10-6 record in Denver (so, for those scoring at home … even if CU were to lose the last three games in the series to be played in Denver – 2017, ’18, and ’19 – CU would still walk away with an overall lead in the Rocky Mountain Showdown games played in Mile High stadia;

— CU’s 44 points were the most in the series by either team since 1996, when the Buffs won 48-34 in Fort Collins;

— Two Buffaloes made their first career starts: S Afolabi Laguda and G Tim Lynott Jr.;

— A total of 14 players made their Buffalo debuts against the Rams (*denotes mostly on special teams):

True Freshmen(4): TB *Beau Bisharat, WR Johnny Huntley, WR/CB Tony Julmisse, QB Steven Montez
Red-Shirt freshmen (7): SN *J.T. Bale, TE *Chris Bounds, DB *Lucas Cooper, OL *Aaron Haigler, OG Tim Lynott Jr., QB Steven Montez, DT *Brett Tonz
Sophomores (2): ILB Drew Lewis, DB *Daniel Talley
Juniors (1): WR Kabion Ento

— Sefo Liufau (33-23-0, 318, 1 touchdown, 160.6 rating; 14-66 rushing; 384 yards total offense). He became CU’s all-time leader in passing yards (7,715, passing Cody Hawkins, 7,409, 2007-10), and he also passed Hawkins in all-time offensive plays with 47 against Colorado State, giving him 1,356 (Hawkins had 1,335);

—  Center Alex Kelley scored the first touchdown by a Buff offensive lineman since Oct. 28, 1995, when offensive guard Heath Irwin recovered a fumble in the end zone in a 44-21 loss to Nebraska.  Kelley is the first offensive lineman in CU history to score the team’s first points of the year (127 seasons).


29 Replies to “Colorado 44, Colorado St. 7”

  1. I’ve seen it here and other places speculating about Coach MacIntyre job security but I’d have to say I’m not so much concerned about Coach Mac as I am with losing Coach Leavitt after this year. Given the improvement he made with the defense last year and through game 1 this year, I have to believe he will be very attractive again to another program as the head coach. He’s the one cog this team can ill afford to lose if it wants to return to it’s former glories. Coach Chev may work himself into that position as well but being a former Buff I rather doubt he would be temped to leave.
    I’m hoping this week that if the Buffs get up by 21 Coach will empty the bench. One thing I really appreciated about Bill McCartney was he would play the reserves in a blow out such that the following year when the seniors moved on, he had some underclassmen that had live game experience. Besides he has got to keep his powder dry for the PAC-12 season. When Sefo was down after the fumble, I thought if he’s hurt, it’s on Coach Mac because there is no way he should have been in the game that late with victory clearly wrapped up. If Sefo goes out again, Montez isn’t ready to go into Ann Arbor or PAC-12 play and it is going to be another “almost” kind of year. Coach Mac can least afford that going into his fifth and final year of his contract.
    Speaking of Michigan… I can’t but help look past Idaho St and I’d bet there is plenty of that in the locker room as much as they will deny it. I’m sure CU will be a huge underdog as many are putting Michigan in the BCS championship game. I’d vote for 1994 all over again!
    Shock the world! Go Buffs.

    1. I don’t know if you watched the press conference today. All slicked up he was. Looking good with the hair in place.

      When the question was asked ” Had the coaches discussed how long they played Sefo and how long this up coming game.” He shut it right down. “Nope”

      When asked about the speed of the offense and how quick it is, his response was
      “We did hurry up last year. It is just more organized this year.”

      Mac never makes a mistake nor admits he made one if he did.
      Mac never gives credit to his assistants.

      We all know why the defense is better.

      We all know why the offense is better.

      Perhaps someday Mac will acknowledge it.

      Seems like a nice guy, but has not earned my trust yet.

  2. As far as coach mac2 goes the same discussion should be applied to him as the players.

    Has the facilities
    3rd and 4th year players (like him)
    Improved coaching staff (Took him a while to realize what he brought from SJS was down level)

    2-25 in the Pac12

    This is the 4th year. Gotta have it now. Mac1 did it and the same “ashes situation” was in place.

    We will see. Bowl game gotta happen. Gotta win at least 4 games in conference.

    My biggest question about Mac2 is:

    What is his ceiling?”

    Based on his experience, it is unknown.

    Has he hit it? Is there more?

    After the first 3 years given all the issues blah blah blah, he has done an admiral job changing the direction of the program.

    We will See.

    He has a dream

  3. I was really glad to see all the new faces contributing, especially Beau Bisharat. Giving him the ball ( even tho’ late, late in the 4th qtr. ) got his feet wet. Glad to see the RS burned because he is going to help being a factor on offense later down the road in the middle of the PAC-12 fray.

    Lindsay had his best game to date discounting the fumble, however I like seeing the carries distributed around more, especially in Non-conference play. Why risk injury when he is going to be the principal TB when we get into league games? This game was really important tho’, so I can’t be too critical.

  4. Stuart, on the poll, the four options were WR, OL, DL and secondary. HIH do you differentiate the four when all were outstanding. It was a total team effort.

    I vote for all four.

  5. So much for that Buff-prehension you were feeling before the game, Stuart. Great win for the Buffs. Now they’ve gotta show they can handle a little prosperity.

  6. Went to the game last night but I just watched the half time comments from Mac. We are up 31 points and he is talking about doing things better. The expectations have changed. Perfection is expected. Dominance is expected. I am fired up about what we can do this year.

  7. Great win last night. Loved the tempo and the defense looked great. Why, when we are up 30, are we calling running plays for Sefo? Makes no sense to me.

  8. I was most impressed by lack of stupid, momentum ending penalties. This team played nearly flawless football. I havn’t enjoyed watching the Buffs play with this kind of spirit in a long time. Lindsey has to take better care of the ball. Watch out Pac 12, a herd is a comin’.

    1. well said……I don’t remember any of the broadcasters (radio or TV) mentioning the lack of penalties.I guess the only big question left hanging is how good (or bad) is CSU???
      We will find out at Ann Arbor..

    2. Billy, I agree, this was the first game in how many years where the Herd- plain and simply – stomped the opposition? That and relatively error-free football.

      What a JOY !!!

      The HERD IS-A’ COMIN’ and the Buffs are gonna stomp some PAC-12 butt !! Print it.

  9. Had to mention this BOBO’s one handed catch was #3 on the ESPN top ten list tonight. That was an awesome catch!!!! Hope he has a great year GO BUFFS !!!!!

  10. I have never been treated as badly and been so disrespected by opposing fans in my life. It was wonderful, as my family and I entered gate 3 in a sea of green the wanna be student section from CSU was chanting “F%$& CU” even going as far as to scream it repeatedly at my 7 year old son who was wearing his CU football uniform. What a bunch of jerks!
    As I walked up the ramp to my seats all I Could think was that this might end up being another fluff story but suddenly I realized that these losers would all be gone by halftime. The little angel on my shoulder was right. The sea of green began clearing at the end of the first quarter and by the end of the third the ram faithful were making their way through the DUI checkpoints on the way home to Fort Collins after getting rammed. The Ram nation entering the stadium were speaking in tongues entering gate 3. Translation? They wanted to get dominated by the Buffalo and ill be damned if that was not the case.
    As for my 7 year old son. Friday night he told coach Mac at the Pearl Street stampede that we were going to crush the Rams to which Mac replied “Your eyes are going to tear up tomorrow night.” his prophecy came true. After Chidobe picked the first interception, the little guy began screaming” I cannot believe this is happening!” his eyes were glassy with tears and his life was forever changed. My boy has been to 21 football games in his 7 years but that is only the fourth victory he has witnessed and the first blowout.
    As for those unbelievably immature green idiots? LOL. What a bunch of losers. I hope the Big 12 was watching tonight. The Ram performance tonight just amplified why CSU is not going to make the cut. Maybe they can go kill some flowers? 44-7 baby! Its been a long time since the Buffs did that to an FBS squad.

    1. the students behavior can be seen at any school almost anytime.It’s far from lack of decorum…it’s a reflection on the death of civility.Having a good time while young and in collage is a gift few get to have anymore.But behavior can (not always and perhaps not even frequently) devolve to a level so low it’s had to see where it comes from…

      An I’d take another look on the fact your 7 yo was actually crying over a collage football game…ecstatic?deliriously happy?..sure,even great

      1. In 46 years I’ve forgotten more game day experiences then you’ve ever had Willie.
        There is no excuse to act like a child because your football team has a Napolean complex. Watching a child well up with pride is what this game was about. Seeing drunk stupid losers at Rocky Mountain Showdowns in Mile High is what made it so beautiful.

  11. Glad to see them win that was fantastic. Plenty to work on , those fumbles and Sefo ya gotta get down and slide. He could have been seriously hurt. MacIntyre has got to take control of Sefo he just decided he was going back in and that was that. I’m i the only one that is not sold on coach MacIntyre as the head coach going forward? I can’t really put a finger on it he just rubs me the wrong way ya know ? I Like his enthusiasm but that isn’t the first time Sefo’s done that and i don’t care for it. This is Sefo’s team not MacIntyre’s. If this offense has a fast start and fizzles against the likes of Michigan,Oregon etc.. those teams will eat them up. Jim Leavitt and crew did a real good job of shutting down the young rams offense. That was the 14th straight game CU has had at least one turnover in a game. They were the only power 5 team last year to have at least one in every game. Only Boise State(18) Illinois(14) and Toledo(14-dont believe they had any against Arkansas St?) have a longer streak heading into tomorrow per Kevin Gemmell of ESPN.Chidobe Awuzie is the best player Colorado has had in a long time on defense. If this D can stay healthy it will be a great year for the fellas. I like Cu’s chances this year just gotta shore up the fumbles and Sefo please slide. According to FBSCHEDULES.COM CSU is on the Buffs schedule only 4 more times. In 2017,2018,2019 in all Denver and 1 more in 2020 in Fort Collins. I doubt this series is going to continue but as it stands in 2023 and beyond there is room on the non-conference slate. The rams are the closest team the Buffs have in the way of a football rivalry. Of course it really isn’t one anymore than CU and NU. I guess we have to hang our hat on the season ending game with Utah as our top game of the year. Going to be strange being the only FBS team (as far as i am aware) without a true rivalry game. Anyway here is to a great season and GO BUFFS !!!!!!!!

    1. 2021 Non Conference Schedule
      UMASS – TEXAS A&M – MINNESOTA All in Boulder

      2022 Non Conference Schedule

    2. Jim,
      Sorry but no, just no. Mac is the best coach we have had since Mac. Lets go through them shall we? Neuheisel took a Ferrari of a program and drove it into a wall and then “slick rick” slunk off. Barnett won some games but the allegations permanently tarnished the University’s reputation. Being a D1 coach is about priorities, class, and culture and we shouldn’t sacrifice those just to win a game (it is a GAME). Hawkins was a fraud with a penchant for nepotism that burned the program down. Embree was an ill-equipped “players coach” that did nothing for the culture nor the W-L column.

      Now on to Mac. Every year the quality of the program both in how we look on the field and how the players carry themselves has improved. This may not be reflected in W-L but under Hawkins and Embree the wins and game play was always “gimmicky” some flukey thing, not real football. Mac went to a turd of a program. Lets be honest it was a stinking turd that most decent coaches would never touch. All “pride and tradition” was either a faint memory or a punchline. He actually got a decent recruiting class and more importantly retained them despite a turd of a program and facilities that were already obsolete 20 years ago.

      In my mind this is year 1 of the MacIntyre era. He gets 5 years once he has remotely competitive facilities and the rancid turd smell of the program has abated. The last three were just getting out of the outhouse hole we found ourselves in. This is year one and I think it is going to be one hell of a year.

      1. I completely agree. If you look at the players, coaches and schemes Mac has improved the program. I like the fact that two years ago, the defensive coordinator was let go. Likewise, this year, while not canning Lengren, Mac made changes. That is what is needed. CU finally looks competitive in over 10 years.

      2. Peter , Well i hope that is the case and i certainly want what is best for this program. They have only played one game against a poor Colorado State team and have Idaho State next. We will really see what this team is like when they play Michigan and the PAC-12. If it is the same result as last year in the PAC-12 i don’t see how you give him a fifth year? He isn’t the first coach to inherit a poor program and he won’t be the last. Some have succeed some have failed but at some point you can’t keep using the same old accuses. Last year was a bit of a down year for the PAC-12 it was the perfect time for this team to come out of there shell. They just couldn’t get over the hump. I know it isn’t just the coaches fault it is also on the players. I think four years is enough for any coach to prove himself. As far as past coaches go i think getting rid of Barnett was a bad choice. He wasn’t perfect mistakes were made but they won. That wasn’t the first drama CU has had either. Embo made horrible coaching choices. If he had hired the best coaches instead of his friends he very well might be here today. Can’t argue with Hawkins such a bad choice from the former AD. Should have hired his assistant who is now leading Washington and is ranked 17th in the nation. Wasn’t happy how Ricky left the program. Again i want the same thing in the end as you and everyone else. I want this team to win , be successful in life and live long productive healthy lives. Hopefully this season turns out to be a season to remember. Anything less than a bowl appearance should not be accepted. I can’t see giving MacIntyre more time for more of the same if that ends up being the case. Only time will tell. I will continue to support this program regardless of whom the coaches and players are. GO BUFFS !!!!!

        1. What magical fairyland do you live in, Jim B?

          Last year the Pac 12 was touted as the equal of the SEC and didn’t have any team in the Final Four only because the Pac teams beat each other up during the regular season (instead of playing FCS patsies as the SEC does.)

          As for HCMM, he didn’t inherit a bad team, he walked into a dumpster fire of a program, with NO facilities, little support (from fans ignorant just like you), the Admin. the Media and a locker room full of mediocrity with bad attitudes. Its taken him three years just to change the culture so players will even speak to one another and cheer for each other. This team was very competitive in the Pac last year, but didn’t finish with wins, because they didn’t know how; they hadn’t been there before and they were young. Now with a full set of upperclassmen and good team leadership, they will win, despite maybe being behind in overall talent. (Look at what all the “great talent” for U$C did this weekend against Bama—ZERO and they were flat out embarrassed! Did U$C have a player on the field who wasn’t at least a 4* recruit?)
          I might agree that four years is time enough for a typical team to show its coach’s colors, but this was not a team thing—ths was a program thing. HCMM has changed the program with help from Rick George. You don’t change horses in the middle of the stream, just to change; just as HCMM hasn’t merely changed coaches, but rather upgraded the staff, as smart leaders do. You may claim those changes were “forced” by RG, but then, HCMM has made those changes work on a synergistic level. Other HCs maight have sulked or sat on their hands. HCMM has made it work!

          1. Magic fairyland no old codger just reality. I have never said things haven’t changed or not improved. Things have obviously gotten better except in the wins and loses category. At the beginning of last season everyone was calling the PAC-12 won of the best conferences in the power 5. It certainly did not turn out that way. You don’t think the SEC beat up on each other during there conference games ? You are aware that schedules are made years in advance and CU has an FCS team this year and 2 next right? Don’t forget Idaho States HC is the the same HC that brought Montana State in here 10 years ago and defeated CU. Not saying the same thing is going to happen just food for thought. Alabama just happens to be the absolute best team in the FBS. That beat down was as much a revenge game for Kiffin than anything else. Kent Baer(UNLV) actually left the program on his own he was not fired so he had to make a change. He had to make a change with concern to OC. Still not thrilled that Lindgren is still here are you? I’m no more perfect than you or anyone else. But we all myself included have to wait a few games to really see where this team is at. We also need to see CSU in a few more games as well. They could turn out to be a team good enough to get back to a bowl game but they might also be a 3 or 4 win team this year. Maybe I’m wrong and coach MacIntyre is the right man for the job? Only time will tell. Ignorant i think not. I am just a passionate BUFFS fan !! Something I’ve been for several decades. GO BUFFS !!!!!

  12. I have never been so happy to be so wrong about a score prediction. This was a team on a mission and I saw speed that I have not seen from this program in years. The fact is we have not defeated a FBS team beginning to end like that in a very long time. I know CSU was young, and thin, but they have a very good offenseive line and we shut them down. We should always be CSU like that. I know it’s early, but this team can definitely get to six wins.

  13. Fun game to watch. Domination in every area. The only thing I question is whether the zone-read should play such a big part of the offense with Sefo at the helm. It makes me cringe. He needs to stay healthy this seasn so he doesn’t play like last season.

    1. I go back and forth on that one. Our achilles heel the last 2 seasons has been a failure to finish. How do you cure that? BY FINISHING!!! But yes read plays were a bad idea. Not a bad idea to get your starters accustomed to extending a dominant performance in 4th quarter though…

      1. Back and forth me to. But he got hurt in the 4th game last year when they played him so much. If you are correct, this week they gotta get the backups in early if it is a blow out.

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