September 1st – at Denver             Colorado 17, Colorado State 3

Colorado State out-gained Colorado in total yards, 397 to 345, but the Buff defense made plays when it counted, keeping the Rams out of the end zone in a 17-3 victory before a crowd of 73,932 at Sports Authority Field in Denver.

The Buffs raced out to a 17-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter, but were held scoreless the remaining 43 minutes of the game. Colorado State had two touchdowns (and two other long passes) called back by penalties, finishing the game 55 points shy of the 58 put up against Oregon State the week before.

“Calls can go either way,” said Mike MacIntyre, who improved to 4-1 v. CSU at Colorado. “You’ve just got to keep playing … I was proud of the way our guys played. Offensively, we bogged down a few times, and that kept them in the game”.

Phillip Lindsay led the CU rushing attack, with 19 carries for 140 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Quarterback Steven Montez went 21-for-29 for 202 yards, with his best play a 31-yard touchdown pass to Shay Fields early in the second stanza. Otherwise, Montez had an inconsistent night, including an interception thrown in the CSU end zone in the fourth quarter. “He was hot and cold”, said MacIntyre of Montez. “But he can make plays, and he’ll start making more plays”.

The win was the third straight for the Buffs against the Rams, giving Colorado its first three-game winning streak in the series since 2003-05.

The first question for the Buffs in 2017: How well will they play early? Colorado State had a game under its belt, a 58-27 rout of Oregon State, while Colorado hadn’t seen the field of play in nine months.

The answer: not bad at all.

CSU received the opening kickoff, and punted after three plays. The Colorado offense, backed up at its own ten-yard line to begin the drive, went three-and-out as well.

After the Buff defense forced another punt from the Rams, the CU offense set up shop at its own six yard line. Quick hitting passes to the sidelines from quarterback Steven Montez – ten yards and seven yards to Shay Fields; five yards to Juwann Winfree; 12 yards to Devin Ross – had the Rams on their heels. Then, at the CSU 45-yard line, the Buffs offered the Rams’ defense a change-up … Phillip Lindsay up the middle. Forty-five yards later, the Buffs were up 7-0 with 7:11 to play in the first quarter.

The Buff defense then forced yet another punt out of the Rams, taking over at their own 33 yard line.

After runs of 14 yards and 15 yards by Phillip Lindsay helped set up the Buffs at the Ram 29 yard line, a winded Lindsay was replaced at running back by Michael Adkins. Three straight runs by Adkins, however, netted only seven yards. Australian kicker James Stefanou was then called upon to make his Buff debut. The freshman connected from 39 yards, giving Colorado a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.

After the Buffs forced the fourth punt of the first quarter out of the CSU defense (and a 19-yard punt at that), the Buffs set up shop at their own 45-yard line. Five plays later, the score was up to 17-0 when a scrambling Steven Montez hit Shay Fields for a 31-yard touchdown.

Instead of folding, the Colorado State offense got its act together on its next drive, piecing together a ten-play, 62-yard drive. The Rams made it to the Buff 13-yard line, but could advance no farther. There, CSU kicker Wyatt Bryant snuck a 31-yard field goal attempt just inside the right cross-bar.

Colorado 17, Colorado State 3, with just under ten minutes remaining in the first half.

No one in the crowd of almost 74,000 would have guessed at the time that the Bryant field goal would be the final points of the game.

Game momentum shifted on CU’s next possession. A Steven Montez pass to Devin Ross appeared to be caught for a first down, but the ball was taken away by Ram defensive back Kevin Nutt, Jr., for an interception at the CU 47-yard line.

Their backs against the wall, the Buff defense forced a three-and-out … actually a four-and-out. The Rams went for it on a fourth-and-two at the CU 39, but a Nick Stevens pass fell incomplete, giving the ball back to the Buffs.

The Buffs couldn’t take advantage of the stop, however, quickly going three-and-out.

The Rams took over at their ten-yard line, and held the ball for 14 plays and the final 5:18 of the second quarter …

… and didn’t score.

Colorado State took full advantage of the inexperience of red-shirt freshman Trey Udoffia on its last possession of the half. On third-and-seven at the CSU 27, Olabasi Johnson caught a pass for nine yards in front of Udoffia. Then, on third-and-eight at the CSU 38, Johnson caught a pass for ten yards in front of Udoffia. Next, on third-and-10 at the CSU 48, Johnson caught a pass for 19 yards, again, guarded by Udoffia.

At the CU 33-yard line, however, the Rams’ drive stalled, with the half ending on two sacks of quarterback Nick Stevens. The sack of the season for the CU defense came courtesy of freshman Jacob Callier; the second, coming on the final play of the half, was by junior Rick Gamboa.

Halftime score: Colorado 17, Colorado State 3

The Buff offense had the ball to start the second half, but quickly punted the ball back to the Rams.

The Ram offense took advantage of its first opportunity of the third quarter, scoring two touchdowns in three plays …

… but neither one counted.

At the CU 27 yard line, quarterback Nick Stevens connected with wide receiver Detrich Clark for a score, but the play was called back for offensive pass interference. Two plays later, Stevens hit Olabasi Johnson for a 40-yard touchdown, but that play was also called back, this time for a personal foul. On the very next play, a Stevens heave was intercepted deep in CU territory by Evan Worthington.

Colorado had a chance to restore order on its next possession, and the offense did hold the ball for seven plays, including a 28-yard completion from Montez to Jay MacIntyre (which needed an instant replay review to be deemed complete). The Buffs, though, made it only as far as the CSU 36-yard line before punting the ball back to the Rams.

On their next drive, the Rams were again successful on offense, but came away empty on the scoreboard.

A 31-yard pass from Stevens to Detrich Clark on the first play got the Rams out near midfield. Two plays later, Stevens connected with Michael Gallup for 33 yards, only to have the gain called back by CSU’s third offensive pass interference penalty of the game. Three plays later, the Rams punted the ball away.

The Buffs then put together their best drive of the second half, taking 11 plays to cover 47 yards. With a first-and-ten at the CSU 33-yard line, now early in the fourth quarter, Steven Montez threw an ill-advised pass to the end zone. There Kevin Nutt, Jr. was waiting, collecting his second interception of the game.

Once again, the Rams marched into Colorado territory, with this drive ending on a fourth-and-five incompletion at the Buff 45-yard line.

Once again, the Buffs failed to capitalize.

An 11-yard run by Phillip Lindsay and a 13-yard completion from Montez to Shay Fields had the Colorado offense moving. The Buffs had a first-and-ten at the CSU 15 yard line, and seemed primed to put the game away.

There were 11 minutes left to play, with the Buffs up two scores with just over eight minutes remaining. Colorado was within easy field goal range, and a three-score lead would have all but ended the contest. Instead, Steven Montez took an ill-advised sack, losing 16 yards. Two plays later, James Stefanou was wide left on a 38-yard field goal attempt, and the Rams were still alive.

On the Rams’ third play on the ensuing drive, Stevens hit Warren Jackson for a gain to the CU 34-yard line, but Trey Udoffia, who had been picked on in the first half, redeemed himself with a forced fumble. The ball was recovered by Afodabi Laguda and returned to the CU 39-yard line.

The Buffs went three-and-out, but did take 2:11 off of the clock. The Rams took over at their own 12-yard line, but the clock was down to 2:58, and Colorado still led, 17-3.

The “bend-but-don’t break” Buff defense kept the Ram offense in front of them, surrendering yards while watching the clock tick down. With 54 seconds remaining, the Rams were at the Buff 20. Nick Stevens threw to the endzone, with the ball intercepted by Trey Udoffia.

Two kneel downs later, the Buffs were 1-0 on the 2017 season.

Final score: Colorado 17, Colorado State 3

“I was really excited about how hard our guys played,” said Mike MacIntyre after the game. “We started out fast and then we kind of stalled. We had some opportunities to score more points and let them hang around. But I was really proud of our defense and our special teams. I’m proud of the way our offense got us off to a fast start, then we just played good, hard-nosed football. We’ll look at this tape and we’ll improve. There’s always some rust in that first game and you could kind of see it, but we will find a way to fix that and move on to next week.”

The stats sheet gave Mike MacIntyre and his staff plenty of fodder for the Buffs to work on. Colorado State out-gained the Buffs, 397 yards to 345, with the Buffs gaining half of their yards in the first 17 minutes of the game. The Buffs had only one red zone opportunity the entire game, and that ended in a missed field goal (CU’s touchdowns came on a 45-yard run and a 31-yard pass).

Steven Montez completed 21-of-29 passes, but for only 202 yards with two interceptions. “There’s still a lot to learn for me and a ton to learn for the offense,” said Montez, who improved to 3-1 as a starter at Colorado. “My high school coach used to always tell me it’s tough to win, and so any win you get is a blessing. That’s what I’m taking it as tonight, it’s a blessing and we ended up leaving with a victory.”

Penalties were certainly a factor in the game, with Colorado State being flagged ten times for 120 yards (CU had seven penalties for 59 yards). In addition to being marched back those 120 yards, the Rams lost an additional 117 yards (and at least two touchdown catches) as a result of the calls.

Both coaches, though, were not ready use the calls as the defining moments. “Our standard is “E-D-G-E”, said CSU coach Mike Bobo, “and the last ‘E’ in that standard is ‘Excuse Free’. Don’t make excuses, or have others make excuses for us. We didn’t win the ball game. We didn’t come here to do what we wanted to do”.

“Calls can go either way all the time,” said MacIntyre. “I’ll watch it on film. You never complain about officiating. We have a quote on the walls at CU: ‘No excuses. No regrets.’ You have to just keep playing.”

The other big story from the game was the play of the Colorado defense, which held Colorado State to three points. The Rams had averaged 47.8 points and 533.8 yards per game the second half of the 2016 season, and had laid 58 points and 525 yards on Oregon State the week before. The Colorado defense, meanwhile, had lost eight starters on defense, including three defensive backs in the first four rounds of the NFL draft.

“I think this does a great job for our confidence in ourselves as a defense,” said Isaiah Oliver, who contained CSU star wide receiver Michael Gallup (five catches for 67 yards) all evening. “I mean going through the whole offseason, hearing about how many guys we lost and how we’re not going to be as good as we were and this and that so being able to come out here and show the world that we are ready to play every single week. I feel like it is going to do wonders for our confidence.”

Also doing wonders for the Buffs’ confidence … the next two home games. Up next were Texas State from the Sun Belt Conference, and Northern Colorado from the Big Sky Conference.

Even with the sloppy/ugly/lucky win, the Buffs were 1-0, with a 3-0 non-conference record well within their sights.

Game Notes … 

— Attendance (73,932) was the highest in the series since 2003, when the Buffs defeated No. 23 Colorado State, 42-35 (the last time either team came into the Rocky Mountain Showdown with a national ranking). The attendance was the fifth-highest in the 17 games played in Denver in the series;

— CU won it’s third-straight in the series (first three game winning streak over the Rams since 2003-05). The Buffs raised their record against the Rams to 11-6 in games played in Denver; 22-8 since the series resumed in 1983;

— The 17 points were the fewest for the Buffs in a season-opening win since 1970 (a 16-9 win at Indiana). The three points allowed were the fewest in an opener since 2010 (a 24-3 win over CSU);

— A total of 16 players saw their first action as Buffs against the Rams (mostly on special teams). Six Buffaloes, though, made their first career starts: defensive tackle Javier Edwards; linebacker Terran Hasselbach; offensive tackle Josh Kaiser; linebacker Drew Lewis; defensive lineman Chris Mulumba; and cornerback Trey Udoffia;

— Phillip Lindsay (140 yards rushing on 19 carries; two receptions for 16 yards) passed Lamont Warren, Lee Rouson, and Bobby Anderson to climb into ninth place on the all-time rushing list (2,373). Lindsay is already third on the all-time all-purpose yardage list, with 4,185 (rushing, receiving, returns);

— Shay Fields (six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown) became the sixth Buff with 150 career receptions, and the tenth to surpass 2,000 career yards receiving (2,007);

— New Colorado defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot had a sparkling debut, joining Mike Hankwitz as the only defensive coordinator at Colorado to debut with a three point game (CU defeated Fresno State, 45-3, in Hankwitz’s debut in 1988).



30 Replies to “Colorado 17, Colorado State 3”

  1. Wow Rosen

    Sumlin lost it

    Went into turtle mode

    Just goes to show. Ya gotta hero pouring it on

    Fox got fired by Elway because of that

    Sumlin already in the hit seat may join that group


  2. Yo Stuart,

    Lots of good to take from this game on the defensive side of the ball.

    — Rick Gamboa and newcomer Drew Lewis are gonna be a beastly pair of inside linebackers for opposing offenses. Everyone seemed to be worried about Lewis, but he’s gonna be really good.

    — Same goes for Afolabi Laguda, Ryan Moeller and Evan Worthington at Buff back and safety. Those three are gonna bring some hurt.

    — Isaiah Oliver may turn out to be the DB ever at CU and that’s saying A LOT.

    — Trey Udoffia had some jitters and made some mistakes, but for a RS Freshman in his first ever game he was outstanding.

    — We already knew we could expect good things from Derek McCartney, but Leo Jackson really impressed.

    — If Jacob Callier can play like that in game one of his true freshman season, watch out over the next four years. He wasn’t the only freshman who got to play some either. Things look good for the future of the Buff D.

    However, on the offensive side of the ball, still some lingering concern with the play-calling. I’m hoping that Mac, Lindgren and Chiaverini sort of played their hands close to the vest and purposely dialed things back after getting out to the 17 point lead. They could tell (I hope) that the Buff D would keep CSU at bay.

    — Very exited about Montez. The guy made some plays that we haven’t seen since Kordell. He made some youthful mistakes but I saw some doozies from Darian Hagan and Koy Detmer too. Steven will be just fine.

    — This may turn into one of those real special seasons for Phillip Lindsay. The T.D. seems stronger and more explosive than ever. That should scare everyone we play.

    — The O-line now has two games to become a cohesive unit before the Washington game. Klayton Adams will have them ready.

    — Those receivers are gonna learn that Montez can hit them anytime and anywhere and they need to keep moving until the play is over. Look for some amazing broken play TD’s season.


    1. Mark,

      Montez needs to stay in the pocket a bit longer. He “escapes” early. But the Oline plays a big part in that. Waiting for the best oline in 10 years to show up. And it ain’t just because 1 guy was missing.

      I am expecting a great season as long as the Offense really does mature from a players and coaches perspective.

      As someone said”

      The talent on the field surpasses the capabilities of Lindy.


  3. The Oline has to be more consistent. There were still to many jail breaks against them by and average CSU front 4, however CSU does have some good linebackers. Who can complain about the D as they just seemed to get stronger as the game progressed?

    Some posters are complaining about the play calling and it did seem to come and go in spurts. Except for the middle of the 1st Qtr and most of the 2nd there really was no rhythm it seemed to the play calling or execution by the O. Were they trying different things to see how well the players would execute, I don’t know, but it was very unimpressive. Hopefully the next two games will work out to be good tuneups for Udub because if they play on O like they did for the majority of last night and the play calling gets away from what is working, the result will be worse then the PAC 12 Title Game last year.

  4. 1st Game W !! A W in the Bank, if the Buff’s are going to compete for a P12 Conference Championship it is the best way to the season.

    Two additional WINS last night, SENIORS & TEAM CAPTAINS (Irwin & Frazier) were offered great sideline seats to view the win, but NO ACTION now that is ACCOUNTABILITY !!! So, if you want to WIN and PLAY message SENT to players, recruits and FANS W.T.T.F.

    Final thoughts: If this D trend continues, COLORADO will annually be a TOP 20 TEAM ! The Offense was not what I had hoped for in this game, Montez had a couple of less than stellar throws (that INT looked early Sefo’ish), but damn that kid has an arm and like Sefo the moxie to get hit and bounce back and make plays. I’ll take the W to the BANK !

    As I mentioned in my prediction post, both, FAN GROUPS left the stadium KNOWING the BUFF’S ARE THE BETTER FOOTBALL TEAM, irrespective of Official decisions.

  5. “Mixing it up” for Lindgren must be adding a little jelly to his peanut butter sandwich. Its obvious he will never change or fool anyone. Montez had to change the play for “half” the touchdowns

    1. Careful that ol depens guy is gonna kick you off his lawn


      Mike “John Fox” MacIntyre will never change.

      Lindgren is a qb coach who is given a chance by Mike “John Fox” MacIntyre to be an OC in a big time conference and will never change.

      And you see Lindy is already teaching Montez the QB dive play.

      Man I love the Buffs and all but 3 coaches.


  6. Okay then 1-0. Few years ago this win, no matter how it happened, would be totally celebrated. This year it is a great win, regardless of the multiple negatives, and referee influences. The rise continues. 3-0 then the Huskies. Hope the offensive coordinators are saving the “real overhyped offense” for the Huskies. Dang it was not impressive on that side of the ball. At least for the whole game.

    Special note: Yup the oline is over hyped big time even with the LT being suspended for “making Mistakes.


    Note: Head Coach, Mike “John Fox” MacIntyre gets a good win.

    Note 2: Must have been first game jitters for the offense and the Offensive coordinators. Saw that lindgen called that qb dive that he made famous with Sefo. Would like to rag on the play calling but that responsibility is on Mike “John Fox” MacIntyre. Get a lead and go into “turtle mode”

    Note 3: The defense, just like last year saved the offenses arse. Pretty impressive. As predicted the D was better than most thought.

    Note 4: Now did the refs influence the game? Yup. Ramalamadingdongs are penalty prone. So I don’t care about whether the refs influenced the game or not. They are undisciplined and not well organized. Lotta cheap shots especially on Montez. The Rams played like the lesser “everything” they are. They were done when they stepped on the field. But I like that big receiver…Buffs were after him too…. and that running back. There Oline is pretty good.

    Note 5: Good impact by the Buff Freshman.

    End note: Very pleased with the result and the Mighty Buffs. Room to grow and you know they will.

    1. VK Dusseldorf criticizing the OC? What madness is this???

      Oh, wait. It wouldn’t be a VK post without criticizing the head coach or OC. I always forget that VK is All Conference Arm Chair QB. He deserves, too!

      Those butt grooves don’t develop themselves ya know!

      That aside, Eliot’s defense and El’s special teams showed well. Great to see the freshman true and redshirt, came to play. Udoffia got better and better as the game went on and those LBs will be special.

      And don’t give me the “penalties killed CSU” crap. Yeah, hurt ’em on three possessions, but what about the other twelve possessions? Five punts, three TO’s, sack to end the half and 0 for 3 on 4th down! Last week the Lammies were braggin’ on their “seven for seven scoring” on possessions against mighty OSU! Heck, the Lammies couldn’t even pull off a “hail Mary” at the end of the half!

      And I won’t even mention all the Lammie non-calls for holding that kept Stevens from getting killed—the kind where you could see Buff jerseys being yanked or CU blitzers being tackled by badly-beaten CSU OL…..

      Win is a win = No style points in football!

      1. Style points?/


        Too bad you didn’t see the game. You missed a good one.


        Defense looked good

        Offense look so “lindyfied”


      2. Clearly you have never been to Dusseldorf. Beautiful city with lots of history.

        Ol one your infatuation with “Butt-Grooves” could be discerning to some. Butt as I recall you said once you were a “San-Fran” boy. San Francisco also is a beautiful city with lots of history. Congratulations.


        Note: That missed field goal was forgotten, but it was important.

  7. What a snoozer. I thought the Buffs had them on the ropes early in the second quarter and were primed to wear them down and throw some knockout punches. Never happened, obviously. Play calling became curious, offensive line lost their early edge, etc. Still, a win is a win.

  8. Great 1st half by the Buffs. Great 2nd half by the Buffs Defense.

    If you want to understand what went wrong with the Buffs Offense in the 2nd half, look no further than the play-calling on our very first 3-and-out to start the Third Quarter. I predict Lindgren’s play calling will get Montez injured before our 6th game of the season. Montez is not Liufau and running him all the time will prove to be a foolish decision.

    1. Lindgren is not a problem. He IS the problem


      Note: Stuart, just replying to a Lindgren basher. And at some point (this is the fifth year) you have so see it, acknowledge it and join in.

        1. Oh, silly VK.

          Yes, yes, yes. I’m a lemming. That’s me. Right there with the rest of the media, coaches, and fans who believe Mac really earned basically every coach of the year award, last year. The thing about it? I said he’s a good coach since he got to CU.

          Yep. I’m in the camp that the dude actually knows a little more about the game, his staff, and players, than you or anyone posting around here.

          I’m in line w/ the camp that recognizes that Lindgren helped guide a kid with mediocre raw skills to break almost every QB and offensive record in school history. The dude who’s helped build one of the most prolific offenses in CU history, as well. Oh, and who, as the team and those around them grow together, went from worst to first in the Pac 12 South, and competed for the Pac 12 title, so… that key stat, the almighty W’s, have begun to fall in line w/ the others.

          Were they exposed by better teams against UW and OSU last year? Absolutely. Everyone’s got room to grow.

          And, on the defensive side, I clearly follow those thinking that Leavitt’s imprint is exclusively what lead to last year’s turnaround season. And, that it’s entirely Leavitt’s work that has kept that D growing and performing well so far this year. Mac’s work on the defensive side of the ball had nothing to do with it.

          Yeah. Ok.

          Troll on VK.

          Go Buffs.

          1. You keep harping about Lindy being a good/great/excellent QB coach.

            Well dang nab it make that his only job then cause as a 7 year OC “A man’s got to know his limitations he ain’t cutting it other than some School stat records.

            Mac “John Fox” MacIntyre is blind to the issues here and always blames it on the players and so loyal. Look at the TE Coach. And I gotta say he is boring but then so is ol hogher. Twins??

            When that “Next OC to be HC came out the hope was Lindy would be on it, cause that would be great for him to get a HC job at say, Northern AZ where he was OC. But he didn’t make the list. Lots of tears here don’t ya know.

            Maybe this is the year some division V school comes calling for a combo
            HC/OC/QB coach all in one, due to finances. Lindy is the answer. Perhaps a campaign is in order.

            Hey Lindy works hard.


            He does not have the “IT” factor.


            You LS hope you are doing well and for you next life the lemming genes are gone.

          2. So let me get this straight: your big gripe now is that some journalyist, analyst or blogger happened to not think lindgren was head coach material, so that confirms your narrative that he is not a good offensive coordinator?

            Let me know if I am understanding you correctly. You may need to talk to me like I am new to this whole thing.

            Go Buffs.

          3. The defense is good. We will see if it continues and I have a good feel about the new OC. Good coach? As good as Leavitt? Maybe he is. Sorry Mac don’t be coaching the defense, just like he didn’t coach it last year. Input? yup. Make the calls during the game? Nope

            If one could only say the same about the other side.


          4. Clearly Lindy is HC Material.Cause he ain’t OC Materisl



            SO A&M

            Do they have better players? Their classes rank higher and they do look bigger so I say maybe they do.

            Do they have better coaches? No question. And for dang sure at the OC positions.

            Special Note: Mac “John Fox” MacIntyre I hope you are watching A&M. That’s how ya do it Eh? (Play to win not play to not lose the game sheesh)
            Course you need an OC to do that so i understand.

  9. Good thing we have some glorified scrimmages coming up. Have a lot rust to knock off before the huskies come to town in 3 weeks. Tonight’s team will be lucky to win 7 games this year if they continue to play like that…

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