September 16th – Boulder           Colorado 41, Northern Colorado 21

Steven Montez threw for a career-high 357 yards and four touchdowns, leading Colorado to a hard-fought 41-21 win over Northern Colorado. In the first game between the two teams since 1934, the Buffs generated 569 yards of total offense (to 273 for the Bears), but clung to a 28-21 lead in the third quarter before pulling away with 13 unanswered points to close the contest.

Phillip Lindsay had 151 yards on 26 carries, but was held in check for much of the game. Montez threw touchdown passes to four different receivers, including Devin Ross, who led the Buffs with eight catches for 143 yards and a four yard touchdown reception.

“We need to improve everywhere,” said Mike MacIntyre of the Buffs’ effort. “I think today, I thought Steven made a step forward. We were throwing and catching the ball. The quarterback made some better reads, even on the run. Defensively, we’re still playing pretty stout against the run, which is important. You can’t let a team run on you or you’re going to have a really hard time winning the football game”.

Colorado moved its record to 3-0 for the 41st time in its 128-year history, but for the first time since 2008 and just the second time since opening 5-0 in 1998 (3-0 also in 2004; last time CU was 4-0 was in 1998).

The Buffs opened the game with designs on starting the game with intensity, but it was the visiting Bears who came ready to play. The Colorado offense quickly went three-and-out on its first possession, with the Northern Colorado offense setting up shop at their own 30-yard line.

Six plays later, the Buff defense surrendered its first touchdown of the 2017 season.

The Bears only faced one third down on the drive, and that was converted into a first down when defensive end Derek McCartney was called for being offside on a third-and-three at the UNC 37. Thereafter, the Bears moved quickly, scoring on a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Knipp to wide receiver Alex Wesley.

Slapped in the face by a Big Sky Conference team, the Buff offense responded. Quarterback Steven Montez hit wide receiver Devin Ross for a 37-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage. Two Phillip Lindsay runs went for 11 and 18 yards to get the ball down to the UNC nine yard line. Two plays later, Montez hit Fields for a four-yard touchdown, and the game was tied at 7-7 with 9:19 still remaining in the first quarter.

Just over a minute later, the Buffs were ahead to stay.

A botched snap on UNC’s next possession led to a 26-yard loss, and a recovered fumble for freshman linebacker Jacob Callier at the Bear five yard line. On the very next play, Phillip Lindsay took it in from four yards out. Colorado 14, UNC 7.

Order having seemingly been restored, the 44,318 on hand in Folsom Field settled back into their seats. The game, though, turned into a series of exchanged punts. Neither team generated much offense, with the Buffs slowly gaining on field position as Buff punter Alex Kinney got the better of his UNC counterpart.

After forcing a three-and-out inside the Northern Colorado ten yard line, the defense gave the Buff offense a golden opportunity to expand the 14-7 lead. Instead, on a short punt, returner Jay MacIntyre failed to warn off his blockers. The kick hit a Buff, and was recovered by the Bears at the 48-yard line.

Another three-and-out later, the Buffs did get the ball back, but this time back at their own 20-yard line.

No matter. The CU offense pieced together its second long drive of the first half, covering the 80 yards in seven plays. A 13-yard completion from Montez to Shay Fields on third-and-five kept the drive alive, followed by a 32-yard completion to Devin Ross. Two plays later, on third-and-eight at the UNC 28-yard line, Montez scrambled to evade the rush, eventually directing Shay Fields deep. Montez lofted the ball to a wide open Fields, who walked untouched into the end zone.

Colorado 21, Northern Colorado 7, midway through the second quarter.

A forced punt later, the Buff offense took over at the CU 27-yard line. Another seven-play drive … another touchdown for the Colorado offense. A roughing-the-passer penalty on the first play of the drive moved the ball to the 42, with two Montez runs, for 11 and seven yards, helping to keep the drive alive.  At the UNC 29-yard line, Montez connected with Bryce Bobo for the score.

Colorado 28, Northern Colorado 7, with 4:23 to play before the break.

Game. Set. Match.

Except it wasn’t.

The Bears were facing a third-and-seven at their own 13-yard line, with the Knapp pass to Hakeem Diggs falling incomplete. Instead of giving the ball back to the Buffs in good field position, however, the Bears maintained possession. A targeting personal foul was called on safety Afolabi Laguda, giving the UNC offense new life, and and Laguda an early shower.

Four plays later, Knipp connected with Alex Wesley for a second time, this time for a 52-yard touchdown, making it a 28-14 game with less than two minutes to play in the half.

The CU offense was not content to run out the clock, with a 30-yard completion from Montez to Jay MacIntyre giving the Buffs a chance at a late score. Instead, Montez was intercepted, with the Stone Kane pick being returned 44 yards to midfield. Fortunately, there were only 18 seconds remaining, with Isaiah Oliver collecting his second interception of the season on the half’s final play.

Halftime score: Colorado 28, Northern Colorado 14

The Buff players were likely given a stern talking to at halftime for having allowed the Bears back into the game. Instead of coming out and taking charge, the Buffs again came out flat.

The Northern Colorado offense went 75 yards in seven plays to score, bringing out the boo-birds at Folsom Field. The Bears had to go for a fourth-and-one at their own 45-yard line to keep the drive alive, but there was no drama on the play, as the Buffs were drawn offside, giving the Bears a first down.

Two plays later, the Buffs lost another defender to a targeting penalty, with defensive lineman Chris Mulumba being ejected after a roughing the passer penalty. At the Buff 27-yard line, Jacob Knipp connected on his third touchdown of the game, this time to Michael McCauley.

Colorado 28, Northern Colorado 21, less than three minutes into the third quarter.

Consternation in the Buff Nation turned to outright fear on CU’s next possession.

The Buff offense showed a spark, going 55 yards in seven play, highlighted by a 16-yard pass from Montez to Devin Ross, a 12-yard completion to Bryce Bobo, and a 15-yard run by Phillip Lindsay. At the UNC 19-yard line, Michael Adkins had his only carry of the day … and fumbled.

The Bears now had the ball, and were down only one score.

The Buff defense, though, rose to the occasion, forcing a punt. The CU offense next put together a nine-play drive, bookended by runs of 17 and 12 yards by Steven Montez. The latter run, though, came on a third-and-23 after the CU offensive line was called for one of its (seemingly) numerous holding calls.

James Stefanou came in at the end of the drive to kick a 33-yard field goal. Not a touchdown, but a two-score lead for the Buffs, at 31-21, with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter.

The teams exchanged punts before the Buffs put together a drive which they were supposed to put together all afternoon.

The drive covered 85 yards in ten plays, chewing up almost four minutes of clock. The Buffs never faced a fourth down on the drive, which was highlighted by a 12-yard completion from Montez to Bryce Bobo, a 17-yard completion to Devin Ross, and an 18-yard run by Phillip Lindsay. A 14-yard touchdown completion from Montez to Jay MacIntyre upped the lead to 38-21 midway through the final stanza.

A three-and-out from the now dispirited Bear offense was followed by a time-consuming (5:23 of clock) nine-play drive by the Buffs. The scoring drive was capped by a 34-yard field goal by Stefanou with 2:15 remaining to cap the scoring.

Final score: Colorado 41, Northern Colorado 21

Steven Montez finished the game with career highs in pass attempts (41), completions (29), yards (357) and touchdowns (4). “He sat in the pocket well,” said MacIntyre of Montez. “The play he made where he gets out of the pocket and has the sixth sense to stay behind the line of scrimmage and just throws that ball to Shay [Fields] was a big-time play. I thought he did well. He ran the ball well today and did some good things there. He played much better.”

Colorado out-gained Northern Colorado, 569 yards to 273, but had 14 penalties (for 114 yards) and three turnovers. “You always want to clean everything up,” said MacIntyre. “In sports, nothing goes perfectly very often. You have to learn how to adapt and how to handle adversity and handle situations and keep playing. We just keep playing. When we won against Washington State and Utah at the end of the year, we were behind and we came back. We just kept playing. It wasn’t always pretty. We found a way to win. I believe this team has the same fortitude and same effort to be able to do that.”

With undefeated – and sixth-ranked – Washington coming to Boulder for the Pac-12 opener, the Buffs left Folsom Field with a 3-0 record, but an understanding that they would need more than fortitude to take down the Huskies.

Game Notes – 

— CU upped its  lead in the series with Northern Colorado to 10-2. It was just the fifth time in 12 games both teams scored, and the first that both did in double figures. The 62 total points was the most in the series.

— In his 28 seasons as an assistant or head coach in the pro and college ranks, this is the first time CU’s Mike MacIntyre has opened a season 3-0. He has had several 2-0 starts, including three at CU. MacIntyre’s team has also won eight straight at Folsom Field (6-0 last year), the longest home win streak for the Buffs since they won 10 straight from 1993-95.

— Along with career highs in attempts (41), completions (29), yards (357) and touchdowns (4), quarterback Steven Montez raised his record to 3-0 in career starts at Folsom Field. Montez also had his second game with 400 total offensive yards (357 passing, 68 rushing). Only three other players — Koy Detmer, Mike Moschetti and Sefo Liufau — had at least two career 400-yard games.

— Shay Fields  moved past Paul Richardson into fourth place on CU’s all-time receptions chart, bumping his total to 163. He also moved into seventh in receiving yards (2,186) and tied with Michael Westbrook for sixth in touchdown receptions with 19.

— Devin Ross (eight catches for 143 yards and a touchdown moved into a tie for 11th all time in receptions (111), and up to 13th in receiving yards (1,344).

Phillip Lindsay had his eighth career 100-yard rushing game (26-151, one touchdown) and moved into eighth on CU’s all-time list (2,611), surpassing Herchell Troutman and James Mayberry. He also moved past Eric Bieniemy into second on CU’s all-time all-purpose yardage list with 4,439.

— The efforts of Ross and Lindsay marked the 41st time in school history the Buffaloes had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game (31-10 in such contests).  TB Phillip Lindsay (26-151) and WR Devin Ross (8-143) also did it against Washington State last year, and the duo was seven yards receiving short of becoming the first 150/150 in CU annals (previous closest was nine rushing yards – the 1994 Miracle in Michigan game, and another instance with nine receiving yards (2010 at Kansas).



36 Replies to “Colorado 41, Northern Colorado 21”

  1. Here is another loan guy

    Sep 18 2017 1:28 PM
    I was surprised that HCMM reacted so negatively to McCartney’s assessment that the defense wasn’t ready to play. It seemed to me like HCMM isn’t willing to admit to problems and if you can’t admit to problems how can you fix them. It seems like McCartney had the more mature approach to the defensive woes.
    Allen B

    Sep 18 2017 1:30 PM
    I completely agree. I was really surprised by how MacIntyre reacted to that. I don’t think it’s a good look to say publicly that your senior captain “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” there are more tactful ways of responding if you don’t agree. But, you’re right, Mac doesn’t seem to be willing to admit any problems at this point. The “problems” he does talk about are very minor. Asked about giving up deep balls today, he said the two against UNC were the only two that were problems this year. He must have forgot about the lucky plays against CSU, the Texas State WR falling, the UNC receiver dropping a sure TD.
    Brian Howell

    Frigging exactly

    1. Did You know?

      Eric has it set up so that every time I post he gets notification. Those bankers don’ ya know

      When i posted the above which as you can see is from the Brian chat which I know Stuart likes, that ol loanminder immediately jumped on the chat and said this:

      Sep 18 2017 1:40 PM
      Just catching up here, but as it relates to the Mac and Mc “conflagration” although I only read the press conference quotes, vs. listening live, but my read was that Derek had his opinion “The D came out flat” and Mac said “He has a right to his opinion, but I think he’s wrong.” He started the presser saying he didn’t coach up the D line well enough, and didn’t coach up the “grid pattern” defense that led to the long TDs well enough. But other than that, the D did ok in that game. Now, I may be overly optimistic around here, but it struck me as Mac was saying “the players did ok, it was on us, the coaches”. Obviously, others see it differently, but why?

      Sep 18 2017 1:42 PM
      Eric, the issue was that McCartney said the defense wasn’t ready to play. when MacIntyre got up there, I told him what McCartney said, and MacIntyre fired back, “Derek doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” And, then yes he put some blame on the coaches, etc. But, when you say that your senior captain “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” in assessing how the team performed, that’s not good.

      Brian Howell

      and then again
      Sep 18 2017 1:50 PM
      Still not convinced, Bryan. How should that have been handled? “Yeah, the defense wasn’t ready to play, and that’s on us as coaches.” So, for the kids who were ready, fired up, and gave it 100%, what’s that say to them? I think people are reading wayyyyy too much into that. I guess we’ll see as the season rolls on. It struck me as an honest answer, that “maybe” could’ve been softened a bit, but the point was valid. And, it sure wasn’t coach speak.

      Sep 18 2017 1:51 PM
      There’s a way to be honest and more tactful than saying “Derek doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” A better way to handle it is, “I don’t know if I agree with that. I just think …” It says the same thing, but isn’t as harsh.
      Brian Howell

      The Banker and Mac2 The Charge of the light Brigade

      1. Well? I made it a day. Just VK bein’ VK again.

        As to the ol’ notifications? VK, that was the old Buffzone chat deal. I didn’t do anything special. It just emailed me to replies to my comments. I’m not that smart to figure out how it did that. I guess you weren’t either.

        Regarding your posts here? I just know you’re on here more than I am, and it frustrates you to no end, when someone counters your “super inside the program knowledge” narrative. Clearly, you’re a super insider. You watched the last game from your couch, and you live right there. Big fan, no doubt. And I enjoy pointing out the flaws in your logic, and incessant hand wringing and nay-saying aka complaining about the same thing. Over, and over, and over again.

        Regarding my take on the Mac and Mc “conflagration”? It’s a whole lot of nothing out of nothing. And, in my reading of the press conference, I don’t think Mac was out of hand, nor heavy handed in how he handled it. Just my opinion.

        You? Continue sowing strife where there is none. It’s how you roll.

        Go Buffs.

        1. Interesting. Your loyalty is excellent

          But yiy pretty much got eaten up on that chat

          As you should have been

          It was terribly out of line. And perhaps you missed
          other d players saying similiar things

          Not a good look


          1. If you say so, vk. If you say so.

            Talk to you Saturday. Test yourself, in the meantime. See how long you can go without trolling. I take the under on a day.

            Go Buffs.

  2. Gosh, Stuart! Didn’t realize you’re running an Armchair Quarterback Fantasy League with Eric and V/Q/K/B/?

    I’ll bet they sit in their barca-loungers just like those old dudes in the TV commercials for satellite TV and bet each other on the replays of the game!

    1. That’s funny codger. I often cringe that most of the posts here are vk and me going back and forth. I find it difficult to ignore his incessant, repetitive, rarely specific, negative narrative. And, I do enjoy pointing out the flaws in his one-sided world view of our Buffs. Even if, like a broken clock, he may eventually be “on time” with one of his rants.

      I’ll do my best to chill out this week, and let vk be vk.

      Go Buffs.

    2. Ol one,

      The loan shark is fine until you mention:

      The lacking of Lindy
      The badness of Baer
      The missings of Mac

      Wait that is you too.

      Hello from the other side.

      See, it just rankles the launderer and you and others, when the opposite of what you want to believe, (Fanatic eh) is put in front of your pink eyes.

      Even when it is pointed out to you (Telling you Baer should be fired then he is) (That lindy has peaked…while at Northern Arizona…..and now buffs have middle of the pac 12 Offense) (That Mac has an ego that rivals the flatirons and pretty much is talk talk talk and then Talk walk talk……then you see it daily and weekly…………Still has a losing record………..The D coach saved his arse….and a bit of a carnival guy)

      Yup you guys must be members of the cheer squad. Dance around, do the splits, see little of the game and understand less as your focus blinds your scope. Now don’t get me wrong the cheer squad is great to have at games and on these type of sites as well.

      Okay then

      Hello from the other side


      Note: Making excuses and happy reasons why events aren’t going they way you want them to and then sweet coating it with “I know they’ll fix it, I am sure they can, I really am” is so “Blinded by the lights”

  3. Right now last year’s team which was still and unknown quantity was better at this point then this year’s team. I will qualify that by saying it does look like this year’s team does have a much better kicking game.

    1. They’ll be there when they earn it. In my eyes, they’ve not really done that yet. They’ve done what they were supposed to do.

      See you next Saturday.

      Go Buffs.

  4. Interesting………….

    Unveiled this week in print form was CU’s 2017 football media guide, which featured no less than eight pictures of MacIntyre on the cover. There are none of any players, even such highly-decorated and very likeable seniors like Lindsay or Shay Fields. The face of the franchise needs to get his troops in line, or Washington will make it a long Saturday night next week at Folsom Field.

    Buff Zone

    1. Editor’s note … If anyone is interested, I have media guides dating back to the early 1980’s. I can post front covers with McCartney … and Neuheisel … and Barnett … and Hawkins … and Embree …

      1. C’mon, Stuart! Let QV Dusseldorf, KV Heindschwarz or whatever, have his geezer AC-QB fun!

        Don’t confuse him with FACTS: He’s an old man and already comes confused.

        1. 1983 – McCartney and Victor Scott
          1985 – McCartney, Barry Remington, and – ironically enough – Jon Embree
          1986 – only McCartney
          1995 – Neuheisel only
          1999 – Barnett only
          2006 – Hawkins, along with McCartney and Eddie Crowder
          2011 – Embree only

  5. I hope these Buffs lose their sense of entitlement and gain the edge/focus that made last year’s team successful.

    Still looking like a 7-6 team headed to the Sun Bowl…

    1. Interesting. Your loyalty is excellent

      But yiy pretty much got eaten up on that chat

      As you should have been

      It was terribly out of line. And perhaps you missed
      other d players saying similiar things

      Not a good look


  6. It was a sloppy, suboptimal performance but it was a win. I don’t care what anyone says…they were looking past UNC and almost got caught.

    And wow…that officiating crew really wanted to be on TV.

  7. More than one player talked about the attitude and being ready to play not being there. Interesting. It sure looked like it, but it has kinda looked like it the last 3 games as well. And 2 were captains. But the HC says no. Interesting.

    New deal for Mac2. No not the contract. The situation. Done a nice turnaround at two schools now. First time being the HC where things are not in turn around mode. He keeps saying it. “Not rebuilding we are reloading”, “This could be the best oline in many years”, “This offense is really good and really explosive” blah bleet, blaH

    And you know “turning around” and “running” are totally different animals and require different skill sets etc. across the board. Many turnaround experts have tried running it and been much less than successful.

    Managing expectations is critical. His espousing has raised the expectations perhaps to his and the teams detriment.

    Mac is Mac so………….that’s what it is.


    Note: 3 wins……Half way to a bowl…………gotta be 3 more wins out there right?

    Note 2: After 3 games I may have to modify my overly eager, mac-believing, predictions.

    6 and 6 sounds about right.

    1. Been saying it for a long time, VK (well, at least since last year’s mid-way point). Achieving success is one thing. Maintaining it is another.

      You seem to think Mac and Co cannot sustain it. I disagree. I believe he, and they, can, and will.

      We’ll see as this season and those beyond roll on.

      Go Buffs.

  8. Hey at least we are not Nebraska! That made me feel a lot better. Today we didnt play well but it was mostly because of stupidity and not because of talent. A muffed punt a midfield, the fumble in the red zone and the pick are all things you cant do against FCS teams. The defense looked like they didnt care, knew they were going to win so not going to go all out. Hopefully they now want to play with passion and intensity because now the real season begins.

  9. Yo Stuart,

    What MacIntyre still doesn’t seem to get is that blame should ALWAYS go to the coaches, not the kids. In public, praise the players only. In private, you correct their mistakes.

    Mac never seems to think game planning (or play calling, or adjusting, etc.)is on the coaching staff. It’s always the little things the PLAYERS are doing wrong. They can only do as well as they are taught.

    Too many dumb mistakes. Too many missed tackles. Too much bad blocking. This was an FCS team pushing around the Buffs in the trenches. If things are not much better this week, last year’s 41-10 thrashing by the Huskies will be a fond memory.


  10. Mac on the D not coming ready to play: “That’s not true, Derek (McCartney) doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

    So consistent

    For Mac it is never ever a coaches fault. Really
    it never is.

    Buffs. A win is a win

    Washington. Could be a blowout

    1. “I did a really poor job of coaching our defensive line today,” Mike Macintyre.

      You’re right he never claims responsibility.

        1. Never mind I found it

          Funny it came later in the press conference after in an earlier interview he said that mcartney didn’t know what he was talking about when he said
          they were not prepared



          1. Here’s the one you referenced (courtesy of Buffzone):
            “We didn’t come out very hard today and UNC played really hard and that was one thing that was just different between us,” outside linebacker Derek McCartney said. “(On defense) we just didn’t come ready to play and we have to get better.

            “We’re not really proud of the way we played, but you learn from it and that’s what we’re going to do.”

            Asked about McCartney saying the Buffs weren’t ready on defense, MacIntyre said, “That’s not true. Derek doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We gave up two long balls. If you take away those two long balls and three late hit penalties … they don’t have very many yards at all.

            “So, I disagree with what Derek was saying there.”

            You’re right. Context is important.

            Go Buffs.

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