Friday’s Fast Facts



Big Picture

— ESPN Game Day Radio will be in Boulder for the CU/Washington game next weekend. The ESPN Game Day television program, however, will originate … from Times Square in New York City;

— Colorado is playing an FCS opponent for the seventh time in its history (4-2). After getting off to a 1-2 start in playing such teams, losing to Montana State in 2006 (“Quite simply, it was one of the worst losses in CU history“) and Sacramento State in 2012 (“The Shirt of Shame“), the Buffs have won three straight, including a 56-7 win over Idaho State (“Great(er) Expectations“) last season;

— CU is closing in on 700 all-time wins, with an all-time record of 697-494-36 (.596). With three more wins, Colorado will become the 25th team in NCAA history to surpass the 700-win mark;

— Season ticket sales. A total of 20,776 season tickets have been sold, or 2,762 more than in 2016 – the sixth largest jump from one season to the next in CU’s history.  In addition, CU has sold out of the entire allotment of student passes – 11,500 – for the first time since 2009.


Buffs & Bears

— Colorado holds a 9-2 record all-time v. Northern Colorado, but the teams haven’t met since 1934. The 11 games were all played between 1900 and 1934, with most coming when both teams were members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference;

— The last time the teams played was in 1934, with Northern Colorado coming away with a 13-7 victory in Greeley. That game is credited with being the first night game in the state of Colorado, with the Bears bringing in “arc lights” for the game;

— In that 1934 season, the Bears won a share of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title for the only time when the Buffs were members of the conference (1910-37). Northern Colorado and Colorado both finished with 6-1 conference records that season (in ’34, the Conference also included Colorado State, Utah, BYU, Wyoming, Denver, Colorado Mines, Colorado College, Western State and Montana State). As a member of the RMAC, Colorado won seven conference titles;

— When the teams played in 1934, Northern Colorado was known as Colorado Teachers College;

— When the teams played in 1934, Colorado was still about a month shy of adopting “Buffaloes” as its nickname. The best player on the Buffs was future CU Athletic Hall of Famer Kayo Lam … with all 11 starters for the Buffs weighing in at less than 200 pounds;

— When the teams played in 1934 … Franklin Roosevelt was President … A gallon of gas cost 10 cents … John Dillinger was gunned down in Chicago, two months after Bonnie and Clyde were killed;

— Play-for-pay … A week after paying Texas State $900,000 to come to Boulder, Colorado is paying $350,000 to make the trip down from Greeley (Northern Colorado was in line to collect $625,000 from Florida last weekend, before the game was cancelled due to the impact of Hurricane Irma);

— 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).


CU games v. the Big Sky

— Colorado is 11-6 all-time vs. current members of the Big Sky Conference, with most of those games coming against Northern Colorado (9-2). Others … CU is 1-0 v. Eastern Washington; 1-3 v. Montana State; and 0-1 v. Sacramento State;

— Northern Colorado is 2-14 all-time vs. current members of the Pac-12 Conference. In addition to the 2-9 record against CU, the Bears are 0-2 vs. Arizona State and 0-3 vs. Utah.


Statistically speaking

— After a (relatively) statistically lackluster start on offense to the 2017 season, CU is ranked 100th or worse in national rankings in at least two categories: Rushing offense, 101st (117.0 yards per game); and quarterback sacks allowed, 116th (3.5 per game);

— Meanwhile, Colorado is in the top 20 nationally in at least five categories: Scoring defense, 2nd (3.0 points per game); fourth down conversion defense, 1st (0.00, with no first downs in four attempts); quarterback sacks by: 10th (4.0 per game); turnovers gained, 9th (5); and red zone scoring percentage, defense: 9th (50% – two field goals in four attempts);

— Colorado has held eight of its last 16 opponents to 16 points or less, including four Pac-12 foes. The last time the Buffs had a similar stretch was back in the 1992-93 seasons;

— The six sacks against Texas State marked the first six-sack game for the Buffs since 2011 (v. Utah);

— Last season, the Colorado offense did not have a single scoring drive of over 90 yards. In the first two games of the 2017 season, the Buffs already have two, a six-play, 94-yard drive against CSU, finished off by a 45-yard touchdown run by Phillip Lindsay, and a nine-play, 96-yard scoring drive against Texas State, capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Steven Montez;

— 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

Isaiah Oliver has been targeted by opposing quarterbacks 23 times this season, with Oliver allowing only seven completions (.304). Last season, Oliver allowed a .431 completion percentage, and that was good enough for second-best in the Pac-12;

— Colorado now has three wide receivers with over 100 career catches … the only team in the nation which can make such a claim. Shay Fields has 155 career receptions, while both Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo surpassed the 100-catch mark against Texas State (both are now at 103);

Phillip Lindsay has 90 career receptions, just ten short of giving CU a lineup with four players with 100+ career receptions;

Leo Jackson III has three sacks in the first two games. His 1.5 sacks per game average is tied for ninth in the nation;

— With his 55-yard punt return for a touchdown against Texas State, wide receiver Laviska Shenault became the 15th Buff to score a touchdown on his first collegiate touch. Shenault scored on a fumble by Isaiah Oliver, but it is recorded as a punt return by the NCAA;

— Shenault’s punt return for a score was the second for the Buffs in their last eight games (Isaiah Oliver had a 68-yard return for a score against UCLA) … that’s after CU had gone 11 years without a punt return for a score (Stephone Robinson vs. Iowa State in 2005);

— In Week One against Colorado State, six Buffs earned their first career starts. In Week Two against Texas State, there were no newcomers. In fact, the starting lineup on offense was exactly the same for the Bobcats as it was against the Rams. The defense had two different starters, with Ryan Moeller starting at linebacker over Terran Hasselbach, and Evan Worthington starting at strong safety in Moeller’s place.


Pac-12 Notes

— With a 19-4 non-conference record to date, the Pac-12 is guaranteed of posting its 34th consecutive season with an overall winning record in non-conference play. The league is 12-4 against FBS competition … and 7-0 against the Big Sky Conference;

— There were 258 former Pac-12 players on the NFL opening day rosters. USC led the conference with 42, followed by UCLA with 30 (Colorado had 13 players on NFL rosters);

— Stanford running back Bryce Love is averaging 170.0 yards rushing per game, fourth-highest average in the nation;

— The Pac-12 has five quarterbacks in the top 15 in completion percentage: 5th, Luke Falk, Washington State; 6th, Justin Herbert, Oregon; 8th, Tyler Hillinski, Washington State; 12th, Sam Darnold, USC; and 15th, Tyler Huntley, Utah;

— Oregon’s running back Royce Freeman is tied for the nation’s lead in scoring, averaging three touchdowns per game;

— Arizona is heading to Texas for some Friday Night Lights. The Wildcats will take on woeful UTEP Friday Night in El Paso (8:15 p.m., MT, ESPN) as 22 1/2-point favorites;

— There is one Pac-12 conference game this weekend, with Oregon State (1-2) taking on Washington State (2-0). The Cougars are 21-point favorites;

— The Buffs’ next opponent, No. 6 Washington, will not likely be tested this weekend (7:00 p.m, MT, Pac-12 Networks). The Huskies are a 33-point pick over the Bulldogs.


6 Replies to “Friday’s Fast Facts”

  1. “It gets real on September 23.”?????

    Sorry it is real now, today, last week. For the last four years.


    Note: Wow Chad is pointing out weaknesses of lil mac. Same tree.

    1. Yes. A very real 10 and 4, from worst to first in the Pac 12 South last year, in year four of an epic rebuild. And a very real 3 and 0 this year.

      Nobody expects CU to beat UW, other than maybe me, and the guys in the program.

      UW is a legit top 10 team. CU is working to become a legit top 20 team, and break into the top 10. They’ll get there. And, if they play a good game and get or force a couple breaks, I think they can steal that win Saturday.

      On another note, so, you weren’t at the game today? Hitting the putt putt windmill again instead? Oh, you must have been there, but listening on your Pac 12 app from the stands? Come on, man.

      Go Buffs.

  2. I just can’t believe the offense is ranked that low

    There must be some error in the mathematics used
    to calculate those numbers. Mein Gott we’ve played
    Teo group of five teams. The ol fogger must be using
    TI kalkalator to gin them up

    Total offense 78
    Passing offense 40

    Is the loan boys favorite coach back at CU.,,,.,
    …,,, KENT BAER Coaching the offense? No wonder. Gotta be it
    Imagine Lindy and the Baer-trap together sgain????………

    Some place. Somewhere.


    1. You’re really reaching, buddy.

      Even if they’d been firing on all cylinders the first two games (or three) you’d be howling that it’s non-conference cupcakes, so, not a good barometer. Just wait until the Pac 12 games start. They’ll get it going.

      It gets real on September 23.

      Go Buffs.

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