Friday Fast Facts


Neill Woelk’s Fast Five Keys for the CU/Nebraska rivalry renewal

From … For the last six days, Colorado’s football coaches have been playing what amounts to an educated guessing game.

Not only do the Buffs not have any film on Nebraska, Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. matchup at Memorial Stadium (ABC) will be the first game of the Scott Frost era at NU. As Nebraska offensive coordinator (and former Colorado assistant) Troy Walters put it this week, “They don’t know what we’re going to do.”

That may be a bit of a stretch. The Buffs do know what Frost and his staff did for the last two years at Central Florida, and while the personnel will be different, the basic scheme should be the same. The Huskers will try to establish the run and bump up the tempo on offense and will play a stout, basic 3-4 defense with some big bruisers up front.

Still, there’s no doubt the Huskers will throw in some wrinkles for the Buffs — but remember, the opposite is also likely to be true. While Colorado showed plenty last week in the season-opening 45-13 win over Colorado State, the Buffs will no doubt have some new formations and plays — and maybe even some defensive adjustments — to throw at the Huskers.

What we do know for certain is that this week’s game has gotten plenty of attention from both fan bases. It’s the first meeting between the two old rivals in eight years, and it has opened up the memory floodgates.

But when it comes time for kickoff Saturday, nothing from the past will have any effect on the outcome.

What do the Buffs need to do to come away with a win? Our weekly Fast Five:

1.  Start fast and quiet the crowd. 

2.  Get pressure on Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez early and often,

3.  Stop the run game.

4.  Utilize all of their offensive weapons.

5.  Be ready to face adversity.

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Big Picture

— This will be the first game against Nebraska since 2010, a rivalry which was first played in 1898;

— Colorado is 701-501-36 all-time (.580). The Buffs are 25th in all-time victories; 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— Nebraska is the second former Big 8/12 foe the Buffs have faced since leaving the conference, with the other game coming against Oklahoma State in the 2016 Alamo Bowl;

— This is the first of four games scheduled between the teams. Nebraska will come to Boulder next September, with the teams to meet again in 2023 (Boulder) and Lincoln (2024);

— This is the only game before mid-October which the Buffs will play outside the state of Colorado. After opening last weekend with a 45-13 win over Colorado State, the Buffs will have three straight home games and a bye week before traveling to Los Angeles to face USC on October 13th;

— The game will be telecast nationally by ABC, with Bob Wischusen handling the play-by-play, former Washington quarterback Brock Huard on the color, and Allison Williams on the sidelines. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett handling the commentary;

— There are numerous watch parties scheduled throughout the state. A list of known watch parties can be found here


Buffs v. Cornhuskers

— The Cornhuskers lead the all-time series against Colorado, 49-18-2, with a 26-8 advantage in games played in Lincoln;

— The game will feature the two most recent National Coach of the Year recipients. Mike MacIntyre was the 2016 award winner, while Scott Frost earned the honor in 2017 for his work at Central Florida. The last time that occurred was in 2010, when TCU’s Gary Patterson faced off against Utah’s Kyle Whittingham;

— In the final seven years of the Big Eight, either Nebraska or Colorado won the title (the teams shared the title in 1991, when the two played to a 19-19 tie in Boulder);

— The highest passing yardage total for a CU quarterback in the series came in 1997, when John Hessler threw for 362 yards. The most yards receiving came in 2004 (Blake Mackey; 116 yards). Not that those numbers are in jeopardy this weekend … but I thought you might like to know … ;

— For the sixth time in the last eight games between the schools, neither team is ranked coming into the contest. Nebraska was ranked 23rd in 2006 and 16th the last time the two teams met, in 2010. The last time CU entered Nebraska week as a ranked team came in 2002, when 13th-ranked Colorado defeated Nebraska, 28-13;

— Between 2001 and 2004, the Buffs won three of four games against the Huskers. It was the best stretch for the Buffs since taking three-of-five between 1986 and 1990;

— Nebraska is using this weekend to induct seven new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame. Started in 2015, the Cornhuskers are finally getting around to honor Tom Osborne, Bob Devaney and Mike Rozier (the only football player or coach inducted with the inaugural class was Dave Rimington). Don’t believe me? Check it out here;

— Nebraska enters its game against Colorado with one win in the past 11 months. After opening the 2017 season with a 3-2 record, the Huskers went 1-6 the rest of the way, with the only win coming against Purdue in October (25-24). In the final three games of 2017, Nebraska was beaten by Minnesota, 54-21; Penn State, 56-44; and Iowa, 56-14.


Links to some of the best CU games against Nebraska: 

— 1986: Colorado 20, No. 3 Nebraska 10 – “The Signature Wins of all Signature Wins” (my personal favorite);

— 1989: No. 2 Colorado 27, No. 3 Nebraska 21: “This is the Greatest Game I’ve Ever Been a Part Of”

— 1990: No. 9 Colorado 27, No. 3 Nebraska 12: “Eric Bieniemy’s Four Fourth Quarter Touchdowns send Buffs to the Orange Bowl

 1991: No. 15 Colorado 19, No. 9 Nebraska 19: “Fit to Be Tied

— 2001: No. 14 Colorado 62, No. 2 Nebraska 36: “The Score Says It All!” (my second-most favorite game of all-time);

— 2004: Colorado 26, Nebraska 20: “Numerous Records Fall as Huskers Finish 5-6“; and

— 2007: Colorado 65, Nebraska 51: “Buffs Finish 6-6 in Sealing Bill Callahan’s Fate


Injury Report

In addition to the players who have been previously listed as out for the season (OL Isaac Miller, knee; TE Jared Poplawski, shoulder; DL Jalen Sami, knee; S Jaison Sanchez, knee; and LB Jacob Stoltenberg, knee), the injury report for Nebraska is mercifully short:

— WR Jaylon Jackson … foot … suffered injury in practice August 14th; rehabbing … Out

— OLB Jacob Callier … shoulder … suffered injury late in the first half v. CSU … Probable


Some Nebraska jokes, just for fun

… With thanks to those who have posted some of these jokes on CU message boards …

— Why doesn’t Nebraska have ice on the sidelines? … Because the guy who had the recipe graduated

— How many Cornhuskers does it take to screw in a light bulb? … One – but he gets three credits

Or … How many freshmen Nebraska players does it take to screw in a light bulb? … None, it’s an upper division course

— The toothbrush was invented in Nebraska. How do we know? … If it had been invented anywhere else, it would be know as a teethbrush

— What do tornadoes and Nebraska graduates have in common? … They both end up in trailer parks

— Did you hear about the fire at the University of Nebraska library? … The tragedy was that half the books hadn’t been colored in yet

— And … the all-time favorite … What does the “N” on the Nebraska helmets stand for? … Nowledge.


Statistically speaking

… Not much to go on yet, as CU has played only one game, and Nebraska is opening up its 2018 season against the Buffs … 

— As a team, Colorado leads the Pac-12 in passing offense (338 yards) and total offense (596 yards), and is third in scoring offense (45 points);

— Colorado averaged 9.17 yards per play against Colorado State. The last time CU averaged over eight yards per play against an FBS opponent came back in 2004, with the Buffs went for 8.14 yards per play against North Texas;

— The CU offensive line did not allow a sack by the CSU defense, just the fourth time in the past 23 season openers in which a Buff offensive line opened the season with a clean slate;

— The Buffs are 19-8 under Mike MacIntyre in games in which they score at least 30 points; and

New rule changes for 2018 … The kickoff return team now has the option of a fair catch inside the 24, with the ball spotted at the 25-yard line … The play clock will be set at 40 seconds after a touchdown in order to expedite play (Hawai’i was called for a delay of game penalty on the first play of the game last week for failing to get off a play in time) … Players can play up to four games in a season without losing a season of eligibility.


Player Notes

— Quarterback Steven Montez, off of his 22-of-25 for 338 yards and four touchdowns performance against Colorado State, is 1st in the nation in completion percentage; 3rd in passing efficiency; 15th in passing yards and 15th in total offense (372 total against the Rams);

— Wide receiver Laviska Shenault (11 receptions for 216 yards) is 2nd in the nation in all-purpose yardage; third in receiving yards; and fourth in receptions;

— Defensive end Israel Antwine started against CSU, becoming the first true freshman to start a game for the Buffs since 2015;

— Seven players have been selected as captains for this season: linebacker Rick Gamboa (who was also a captain last year); receivers Kabion Ento, Jay MacIntyre and Juwann Winfree; safety Nick Fisher; offensive tackle Aaron Haigler; and punter Alex Kinney. Haigler is a junior – the other six are seniors;

— Nebraska, by contrast, has four captains, three who are from the state of Nebraska;

— Rick Gamboa has started 38 consecutive games … but no other Buff has a consecutive start streak longer than 13 games;

— At 31 years of age, kicker James Stefanou is the oldest player in college football … and is only a sophomore;


Pac-12 Notes

— Four teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the second week of the Associated Press poll … No. 9 Washington … No. 10 Stanford … No. 17 USC … No. 23 Oregon;

— Five of the six teams in the Pac-12 South are underdogs this weekend: No. 17 USC at Stanford; UCLA on the road against No. 6 Oklahoma; Colorado on the road against Nebraska; Arizona on the road against Houston; and Arizona State at home against No. 15 Michigan State. Only Utah, which is on the road against Northern Illinois, is a favorite among teams from the Pac-12 South;

— CU sophomore linebacker Nate Landman was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week for his 14 tackle effort (Pac-12 stats have him at 16 tackles, but CU goes off of coaches’ tapes). The other two honorees this week were Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside (226 receiving yards; three touchdowns v. San Diego State) and USC kicker Chase McGrath (five field goals in USC’s win over UNLV).


4 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Why is it so windy in Oklahoma? ‘Cause Nebraska SUCKS!

    Good luck boys. I agree with what Stuart said a few days ago…I would rather beat Nebraska then Washington

  2. How do you get a Nebraska football player that has graduated off your porch? You pay him for the pizza.

    I think people are counting too much on Scott Frost making too big of a difference too fast. Look at Kelly down at UCLA. Starting the freshman qb, transfer rb tells me you have some serious recruiting depth problems. The thing that struck me once I finally got to watch the game was how fast and physical we looked versus CSU. I remember when we used to look like CSU and I would look forward to a game against a big school that may be having a down year because we might be able to catch them. But then th grind would set in and that team would just pull away in the second half. It wasn’t that we didn’t have some talent but we didn’t have any depth and our talent was not broad enough. They found 5he wholes and exploited them.

    I got a feeling………

    Buffs may just destroy the Huskers. We are looking a lot like we did in 2016. The Huskers are not who they used to be and in 2016 we blew through bad teams….. Montez had one bad pass the whole game! He didn’t push the ball down the field because he didn’t need to but they attacked the short part of the field from nearly every angle. I love the fact that Montez is getting the ball out so quickly. I always thought Lindgren had him holding the ball way too long.

    I don’t think we are going to get the inside yards we got last week but I think it will be hard to deal with the speed and size we have on our skill players. Macmillan and shenault are amazing. Montez is throwing dimes. Win free is going to break out once he gets his timing back with Montez. Land man is a freak! Watching him play does not look real at times. He starts the play by shuffling as the play is developing, never over playing staying in good positition and then once he diagnoses where he play is going it is like he hits fast forward while everyone else is playing at regular speed. It is awesome. And the d line rotating like they do is keeping them fresh. I think in the fourth quarter that is going to really matter.

    My warning now. When we win this one big it will be a big step for the buffs because it means we can beat an ok team on their turf when they are psyched up. But this is not the Nebraska of old so when it gets out of hand don’t start talking about national championships….. maybe a run through the south again would be nice. God I hate USC. And thumping Chip Kelly’s Bruins will be nice as well.

  3. I try (with the emphasis on try) to stay at an even keel with our Buffs, it doesn’t always work. This week I have been really excited about Playing the Nubs. I think we have a better than even chance of winning this game because of the QB experience ( Montez showed me something last week) and our linebackers . Oh my goodness I hope we thrash The Korns. GO BUFFS!

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