“We’ll Correct It. We’ll Move On”

Colorado sold out its ticket allotment for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown, which translates to 38,859 tickets (11,395 students). Assuming that at least some of the tickets sold by the Denver Broncos and Ticketmaster were to Buff faithful, there were at least 40,000 CU fans (out of the 73,932 in attendance) at Sports Authority Field for CU’s 17-3 victory over Colorado State.

If you had gone up to those 40,000 Buff fans as they entered the stadium and offered them – sight unseen – a two-touchdown victory, I’m guessing that a good 90% would have taken the win and called it good.

And yet, after defeating the Rams by two touchdowns, and holding the high-powered CSU offense to three points, the Buffs were left to explain themselves.

“You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, nothing stays the same,” said Mike MacIntyre after the game. “We’re going to go back, look what we’ve done and improve. We’ve got a lofty goal ahead of us that I believe we can do. We have to keep pushing ourselves. We’ll do that. We’ll be a much more improved team next week”.

The CU offense looked good for the first 17 minutes, scoring 17 points. Thereafter, though, it was a series of mistakes and missed opportunities, as the Buffs went almost three full quarters without scoring. This from an offense which was supposed to carry the load for the team in 2017.

“We’ve got to go back to watch the film.  They brought a couple blitzes that confused us a little bit,” said Phillip Lindsay, who ran for 140 yards on 19 carries, including a 45-yard touchdown in the first quarter. “Other than that, we’ve just got to go out there and play Colorado football.  That’s just one snap and clear when we do make a mistake, and then score points.  Get our receivers involved, and get them the ball, take some more shots, and help our defense out”.

Still, the frustration is out there.

Quick quiz … who said the following?:

— A. “The goal was to come out here and win the game. I don’t care if we won by one point, or if we went into overtime and won in OT. We definitely got that done, but we also definitely know we have to go back to the film and clean some things up and make sure we get to work next week”;

— B. “Lots of good things, lots of positive things on both sides of the ball … We’re 1-0, baby!”;

— C. “Offensively, it was kind of a mixed bag. We did some good things, but far too many penalties. Far too many penalties overall as a team … Defensively, some real good things, some not so good things as well”.


— A. Washington head coach Chris Petersen. The Huskies were 27-point favorites over Rutgers, but trailed the Scarlet Knights, 7-3, late in the second quarter before a punt return for a touchdown sparked a rally which resulted in a 30-14 victory;

— B. Arizona State head coach Todd Graham. The Sun Devils only led New Mexico State, 14-13, at halftime, and had to hold on to win, 37-31, Thursday night.

— C. Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. The Utes opened with North Dakota from the Big Sky Conference, but were nursing a 17-9 lead over the Fighting Hawks at the break before pulling away for a 37-16 victory.

My point: there’s a lot of griping going on out there in the Buff Nation, and much of it is justified … but we’re not alone.

Can the offense get better? Almost certainly.

The 345 yards of total offense and 17 points were well off of what the offense produced in 2017, when Colorado averaged 437.1 yards and 31.1 points per game.

Especially frustrating was the Buffs inability to deliver a game-ending scoring drive in the fourth quarter. “We made a few mistakes here and there, the offensive line jumping offsides, a missed block or a missed read, those kinds of things”, said MacIntyre. “We’ll see that on film, we’ll correct it, and we’ll move on. We will be an explosive offense. Someday this group will really be explosive, and I can’t wait until they do it. Hopefully it’s next Saturday.”

Meanwhile, the defense – offensive pass interference penalties by the Ram receivers notwithstanding – played well. The story of the game was the play of the cornerbacks.

One one side of the field was Isaiah Oliver v. Michael Gallup, CU’s best corner v. CSU’s best receiver. “That was worth the price of admission”, said MacIntyre of the matchup. Gallup finished with five catches for 67 yards, but two of those catches (for 26 of those yards) came in the final drive of the game, when the Buffs were giving up yards in exchange for time off the clock. For most of the night, the Rams’ star receiver was a non-factor.

On the other side of the field was CU’s red-shirt freshman Trey Udoffia, lined up against Olabasi Johnson. Late in the second quarter, Johnson collected first down catches against Udoffia on three straight third-and-long situations (fortunately, the drive stalled, ended with CU’s only two sacks of the game). Udoffia was replaced by Dante Wigley early in the second half, but came back to force two late turnovers, the first on a forced fumble; the second on an interception in the end zone to end the Rams’ final threat.

“(Trey Udoffia) really did a good job to keep fighting,” said MacIntyre. “He knew just like all 73,000 people knew that they were going to throw at No. 8, and he’s going to start to get that confidence”. Added teammate Isaiah Oliver, “Oh he played great, I mean for his first start in college football I know he was nervous before the game, talking to me about it and everything so he got his confidence up after the first half and just kept on playing great football so he’s going to be huge for us going forward, and his confidence in himself.”

The defense as a whole can take away some confidence out of this game. Colorado was ranked in the top 20 in the nation last season in both scoring defense and total defense, and no one expects them to produce similar numbers in 2017 … but they are off to a great start.

Colorado will face better offenses over the course of the season, but the Buffs have time to improve. The next two games, against Texas State and Northern Colorado, should be mere tuneups for the start of the Pac-12 campaign.

Can the Buffs stay with the likes of No. 8 Washington?

Well, last season, Rutgers lost to Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State by a combined score of 224-0. In the 2017 opener, the Scarlet Knights kept Washington from scoring an offensive touchdown in the first half, before eventually succumbing, 30-14.

Perhaps, just perhaps … other teams are not as high and mighty as the preseason prognosticators make them out to be.

Perhaps, just perhaps … the CU offense will get its act together, and the defense will continue to surprise.

For now, just enjoy the two-touchdown victory, regardless of how it came about.

If you happen to live in a world with CSU fans, and will be facing them next week (and for the next 51 weeks) hearing about how the Pac-12 officials cost the Rams the game, be ready with the following:

— CU has won three straight in the series … Mike MacIntyre is 4-1 v. CSU at Colorado (6-1 all-time, counting two wins while at San Jose State) … CU has now won 8 of the past 11 Rocky Mountain Showdowns, is 11-6 in games played against the Rams in Denver, 22-8 since the series resumed in 1983 … and owns a 65-22-2 mark overall;

— And this … “We’re 1-0, baby!” …


15 Replies to ““We’ll Correct it. We’ll Move on””

  1. Moving on

    Damn right

    And 1 and 0

    A big and important win

    Next 2 will be wins as well

    3-0 going into conference play. Nice

    Lotta goals here by this team

    Minimum is ensuring a bowl game. Gotta have those 15 extra practices.

    2 on the road and 2 at home. Yup that be 7

    Sneak another one in on the road and a big upset win at home

    And the Mighty Buffs be moving on


  2. …“We made a few mistakes here and there, the offensive line jumping offsides, a missed block or a missed read, those kinds of things”, said MacIntyre. “We’ll see that on film, we’ll correct it, and we’ll move on. We will be an explosive offense. Someday this group will really be explosive, and I can’t wait until they do it. Hopefully it’s next Saturday.”

    Yup by the players and the coaches. Gawd some of those play calls were awful


    1. VK…. I actually think you know a lot about the game of football. I look forward to your posts. But can you give it a break when it comes to criticizing the OC and the play calling. It seems like your criticism is constant. Give him a little credit once in a while. The team did win 10 games last year. Does the offense need to improve on Friday night’s performance? Yes. Next year, might the Buffs like to see a different OC? Possibly. But it’s not happening this year. So let’s make the most of what we have in 2017. Use your football knowledge to point out how we might have called some different plays. Rather than simply stating “gawd some of those play calls were awful.” I’m tired of you constantly harping on Lindgren needing to go. Give it a break until the end of the season. Concentrate on what he’s doing wrong if you like, but quit telling us all how he needs to go until the season is over.

      1. Okay I won’t say he has to go. Promise.


        Note: But “gawd some of those play calls were awful.” Hopefully you saw them

  3. Based on pre-season comments like “best offensive line in the last 5 years”and “perhaps the top receiving corps in the nation”I expected ol CU to put up 35 to 50 points in this game. Maybe running the same 8 plays over and over again was the problem. It did take the Rams the entire first half to figure this out, and in the second half they bottled up CU nicely.

    Here’s a wild off the wall, outside the box, pushing the envelope suggestion: in the second half CU runs 8 brand new plays. I know I know this is asking a lot from the OC, but 17 points a game just might not cut it against USC, UW or Wazoo.

    1. Same game plan as the last two games last year.

      Sometimes you (I) just gotta wonder.

      Oh Well Mac loves that style don’t ya know.

          1. I am predicting 7-5. Would like more but any team that loses as many players on their best side of the ball has to feel the effects. I also think the loss of Julmise is a big hit too, although I have to give Udoffia a lot of credit. The Rams really went after the guy and he did pretty well, all things considered.

            Mac2’s trends are similar to the Mac 1 teams. I have to believe that it is the effects of building a team from the ground up. It takes time to mature, you hit a pinnacle at year 4 as that first big group reaches their final year. Then there is a small drop as the team makeup evolves to a more diverse distribution of recruiting classes contributing as starters. Hopefully from there, the sky is the limit.

            Just so we all remember, Mccartney’s teams went as follows starting his first year in 1982.

            1-0 so far

            Finally, I can distinctly remember the fan frustration at the predictable nature of the Mac 1 offenses, particularly early on, but that was a pretty good program I think we would all agree. Once the talent level got high enough, they were really able to do some creative things on offense because every position was filled with talent that begged to be utilized. That was a more than 10 years down the road though.

  4. Well said, Stu. 1 and 0, as it should be.

    CU handled CSU, as they should have.

    Was it the game anyone expected? Not really, other than the result. That’s probably true, more often than not. That’s why they play the games.

    My key takeaways are: Mac is a DB savant, and a pretty darn good defensive coach (well, overall coach, but his foundation as a coach, and player, is all on the defensive side).

    The new additions to the staff seem to be a nice fit. Well done. I expect continued improvement as the season progresses. Matching up w/ UW on 9/23 will be awesome. UW won’t be the same team as last night, but… I’m feeling good about CU beating them.

    Jay Mac – dude pretty much just makes plays. That catch was huge. Enough said. I expect Cheviarini’s kid (along w/ the other freshmen and RS Freshmen) to fit that same mold, as they develop.

    Offensively? I’ll chalk it up to growing pains for Steven and the O-line. Some really good stuff (like working the edges, loosening up the D, then running Phil right up the gut for 45 yards to the end zone). Not bad when Phil can get 145 yards on 19 carries, or whatever it was. Going “turtle”? I didn’t see it. If Montez hits the pylon that’s a TD vs. his under thrown interception. The interception from Ross was just a nice play by their DB.

    It looked to me like they opted to slow the pace, and control the game a bit. That, along w/ some miscues (and some good plays by CSU’s D) led to the scoring lull. But? On the bright side, they’ll need to be able to rely on that tactic in the season. It won’t be Folsom Fast all the time. There’s value in being able to salt a game away, too.

    I think by November, that offense is likely to be one of the best, most fun, and prolific offenses in the country, backed by a super stingy D, and solid special teams – not quite special, special teams, but solid.

    Looking forward to seeing continued improvement the next couple games, w/ a lot of the players deeper on the roster getting time, and then? It gets real. Beat UW.

    Go Buffs.

      1. Oh, that’s right. You believe people hit a point and can no longer improve. AKA, your favorite Peter Principle.

        So, when was it that you hit your max potential?

        Go Buffs.

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