Friday’s Fast Facts


September 9th

Neill Woelk’s Five Keys to CU v. Texas State

From … With two games to go before their Pac-12 opener against defending conference champion Washington, the Colorado Buffaloes have plenty of areas in which they need to improve.

That preparation means making the most of every opportunity between now and then, beginning with Saturday’s noon home opener against Texas State.

Everett Withers’ Bobcats, just 2-10 a year ago, opened the season last week with a 20-11 win over Houston Baptist. While the Bobcats are still in rebuilding mode in Withers’ second season at TXST, they do have some quality athletes, including quarterback Damian Williams, a graduate transfer from Mississippi State, as well as some quality linebackers.

Here’s what the Buffs need to accomplish in their home opener:

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September 8th

Big Picture

— This Saturday’s game will open CU’s 94th season of play at Folsom Field. CU is 309-166-10 at Folsom, and went undefeated at home last season (6-0) for the first time since 1994;

— This is the sixth straight season CU is playing an opponent for the first time. A refresher: Sacramento State in 2012; Central Arkansas and Charleston Southern in 2013; UMass in 2014; Nicholls State in 2015). The streak will continue in 2018, when Colorado will entertain New Hampshire;

— CU is closing in on 700 all-time wins, with an all-time record of 696-494-36 (.596). With four more wins, Colorado will become the 25th team in NCAA history to surpass the 700-win mark;

— Ticket sales … CU sold 38,859 tickets for the Rocky Mountain Showdown (27,464 public tickets; 11,395 students). This total was reached even though 26% of CU’s season ticket holders opted out of the CSU game;

— Season ticket sales … CU has sold 20,551 public season tickets and 11,392 student passes (last year’s totals 18,011; 9,890). The 2,515 increase in season ticket sales is the sixth-highest increase year-over-year in school history. (In case you are wondering, 12,500 is the maximum number of student passes which can be sold);


Buffs & Bobcats

— The Colorado and Texas State have never played in football. The Buffs, though, have experience with teams nicknamed the Bobcats. There are three teams in the country named Bobcats: Texas State; Ohio; and Montana State. No games against Texas State or Ohio, but Colorado is (and it pains me to say this), 1-3 all-time against Montana State. Only one of those games was played in the past 90 years, but it was ugly (19-10 in 2006, “Quite simply, it was one of the worst losses in CU history“).

— Play-for-pay … Colorado is paying Texas State $900,000 for making a guest appearance at Folsom Field. That’s in line what other Power-Five schools are paying Group of Five conference schools this year. A few others: Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn – $1.4 million; Nevada at Northwestern – $1.3 million; Fresno State at Washington – $1 million; New Mexico State at Arizona State – $800,000. (Northern Colorado was to receive $625,000 for playing at Florida this weekend, but that game has been cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, and will not be re-scheduled);

— In case you missed it … The Buffs have been rearranging their schedule for most of the decade. From playing Cal as a “non-conference” opponent in 2011, to the Mike Bohn play-for-pay games at Ohio State and Michigan (and, God help us, at Toledo), the 2010’s have been a series of redrafted schedules. The original schedule for 2017 … Colorado State (Denver) … at Arizona State (Tempe) … Oregon (Boulder).

— Texas State has been playing football for 110 seasons, but this is just the sixth season for the Bobcats in the FBS. Texas State won two Division II national championships in 1981 and ’82. The Bobcats all-time record is a more than respectable 504-432-26 (Colorado State’s all-time record, by comparison, is 515-566-33, 105th in the annals of FBS);

— The Buffs and Bobcats both opened with a number of new starters. For Texas State, there were four new starters on offense and four new starters on defense. For the Buffs, there were five first-time starters on defense (DL Javier Edwards, DL Chris Mulumba, LB Terran Hasslebach, LB Drew Lewis, and CB Trey Udoffia) and one on offense (OL Josh Kaiser);


CU games v. the Sun Belt

— Colorado is 3-0 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference. The cumulative score of those games is 153-27, or an average score of 51-9;

— 1994 … No. 8 Colorado 48, Northeast Louisiana (Louisiana-Monroe) 13 … “Break out the record books“;

— 1995 … No. 9 Colorado 66, Northeast Louisiana (Louisiana-Monroe) 14 … “Records fall like rain

— 2005 … Colorado 39, New Mexico State 0 … “Klatt Attack: Former walk-on leads Buffs to shut-out win


Statistically speaking

— After a statistically lackluster opener, CU is ranked 100th or worse in national rankings in at least three categories: Scoring offense, 17.0 ppg. (102nd); passing defense, 309.0 ypg. (101st); and quarterback sacks allowed, 5.0 (116th);

— Meanwhile, Texas State is also 100th or worse in at least three categories: Passing offense, 135.0 ypg. (111th); total offense, 290.0 ypg. (101st); and third down conversion offense, 28.6% (101st);

— Colorado is in the top 20 nationally in at least three categories: Scoring defense, 3.0 ppg. (9th); turnovers gained, 3 (11th); and interceptions, 2 (9th);

— Meanwhile, Texas State is in the top 20 nationally in at least three categories: Third down conversion defense, 14.3% (12th); quarterback sacks by, 6 (3rd); punt return yardage defense, -4.0 (2nd);

— Colorado’s opponents in 2017 went a combined 75-74 a year ago, with only five of the 12 making the post-season (entering the 2016 season, the numbers were 90-65, with ten of the 12 teams going bowling the previous year, with Idaho State and Oregon State being the only exceptions.


Player Notes

Phillip Lindsay went for 140 yards in the opener against Colorado State (5th-highest total in the Pac-12; 45th nationally). It was Lindsay’s seventh career 100-yard game. Lindsay has moved into 10th on CU’s rushing list, moving past Bobby Anderson. With 4,185 all purpose yards, Lindsay is now 644 yards away from becoming the Buffs’ all-time leader in that category;

Isaiah Oliver had four passes broken up against Colorado State. Only one player, Denzel Ward of Ohio State, with five, had more in Week One;

— Linebacker Drew Lewis led the Buffs with 12 tackles against the Rams. Linebacker Rick Gamboa had 11 tackles, the eighth double-digit tackle game of his career. The other Buff in double digits in tackles was defensive back Afolabi Laguda, who also had 11 stops;

— There were 13 former Buffs on NFL opening day rosters … DB Chidobe Awuzie, Dallas … OT David Bakhtiari, Green Bay … DB Ken Crawley, New Orleans … K Mason Crosby, Green Bay … LB Jimmie Gilbert, San Francisco (injured reserve) … C Daniel Munyer, Arizona … OT Stephone Nembot, Baltimore (injured reserve) … WR Paul Richardson, Seattle … DB Jimmie Smith, Baltimore … OT Nate Solder, New England … DB Tedric Thompson, Seattle … DL Josh Tupou, Cincinnati (practice squad) … DB Ankello Witherspoon, San Francisco

— The 13 Buffs represent four more than were on NFL rosters at the end of the 2016 season.


Pac-12 Notes

— With a perfect Week One, every Pac-12 team enters Week Two on a winning streak. The longest streak belongs to USC, at ten straight wins. Next in line is Stanford, with seven (those two teams face off this weekend). Arizona, Cal, and Utah have two game winning streaks … everyone else, including, Colorado, is on a one-game winning streak;

— The Pac-12 Special Teams Player-of-the-Week was long-snapper Jake Olson, who is legally blind. Olson came in late in the Western Michigan game to successfully snap the ball on an extra-point attempt;

— Oregon leads the nation in scoring offense after Week One, having put up 77 points on Southern Utah. On the other end of the spectrum, Washington State is tied (with seven other teams) for the nation’s lead in scoring defense, after shutting out Montana State, 31-0;

— UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen is second in the nation in passing yards, at 491.0 yards per game;

— Oregon’s running back Royce Freeman is second in the nation in scoring, with 24.0 points per game;

— Two long dormant series will be renewed this weekend. UCLA hosts Hawai’i … for the first time since 1938. Washington, meanwhile, hosts Montana … for the first time since 1951.


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