November 24th – at California           California 33, Colorado 21

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez threw two interceptions for touchdowns in the first two minutes of the game, with the Buffs committing five turnovers overall in falling to California, 33-21. The five first half turnovers, including three interceptions by Montez and two fumbled punts by Ronnie Blackmon, led to 24 Bear points and a deficit the Buffs were unable to overcome.

The Colorado defense held the California offense to 217 total yards, and one-of-17 conversions on third down, but the Buffs were only able to muster 318 total yards of their own. A three-yard touchdown pass from Montez to Juwann Winfree late in the third quarter made it a 27-21 game, but the Buffs would get no closer.

The game did produce a CU milestone, however, on the Buffs’ final scoring drive of the season. On successive plays, Travon McMillian went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season (1,009) and Laviska Shenault went over 1,000 yards receiving for the season (1,011), marking the first time in school history in which the Buff offense produced a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season.

“Obviously you guys were at the game and we didn’t play very well early got behind three scoreswith turnovers and obviously that changes the game,” said interim head coach Kurt Roper. “But I think those guys really fought hard and they competed for the entire game and tried to battle back in it and gave us a shot. I just told those guys after the game is we really appreciate all the sacrifices they make for us as coaches to allow us to coach a game and moving forward it’s a great program and it’s going to do nothing but ascend.”

Game Story … The Buff Nation spent Thanksgiving week wondering how the Buff players would respond to the firing of head coach Mike MacIntyre. Would the team come out inspired, with bowl eligibility still a possibility? Or would the Buff players come out unprepared, and fold early against the Cal Bears?

In less than two minutes of game clock, it appeared that the Buff Nation had its answer.

On third-and-four on the first series of the game, Steven Montez threw a pick-six, with Elijah Hooks taking the interception back 34 yards for a Cal touchdown.

On third-and-11 on the second series of the game, Steven Montez threw a pick-six, with Ashtyn Davis taking the interception back 35 yards for a Cal touchdown.

With 13:04 left to play in the first quarter, the Cal offense had yet to see the field of play … yet the Bears were ahead, 14-0.

The Colorado offense didn’t get a first down on its third possession, either, but a three-and-out was actually an improvement. The Buffs successfully punted the ball away … after gaining two yards.

The Buff defense did its part on its first opportunity, forcing a three-and-out out of the Bear offense. The Cal punt, however, was fumbled by Ronnie Blackmon, with the Bears taking over at the Buff 29-yard line. Twice on the ensuing drive, the Buffs forced a fourth down. Twice, however, the Bear offense converted, with the second conversion coming on fourth-and-goal at the CU one-yard line. Chase Garbers connected with running back Patrick Laird for a one yard score, making it a 21-0 game with 4:41 still remaining in the first quarter.

The Cal stat line at the time was an odd one … 0-for-3 on third downs; one first down; 25 total yards … and a 21-0 lead.

The game turned more conventional over the next two drives, with the Buffs gaining 25 yards and two first downs before punting the ball away. The Bears posted one first down and 15 yards before punting the ball away.

On its fifth possession of the first half, the Colorado offense finally put together a drive. Sparked by a 29-yard completion from Montez to Kabion Ento, the Buffs pieced together a drive. A pair of runs – Steven Montez for eight yards; Travon McMillian for five – set the Buffs up at the Cal 27, where Montez hit Laviska Shenault for 22 yards to the five yard line. Two plays later, on third-and-goal from the one yard line, senior running back Kyle Evans finished off the drive with a short run to put the Buffs on the board early in the second quarter.

When the Buff defense forced a three-and-out from the Bear offense, there was a spark of hope for the Buffs.

Which landed as long as it took for the Cal punt to fall to the earth, where Ronnie Blackmon fumbled his second punt of the first half, giving the Bears the ball back at the CU 15-yard line.

In what could have been a “what the hell, if the rest of the team doesn’t care, why should we?” moment, the Buff defense again stiffened, with Israel Antwine and Javier Edwards teaming up for a sack. The Buffs forced a field goal, which was a moral victory for the defense. Still, Cal’s 24-yard field goal gave the Bears a three-score lead, at 24-7, with 8:14 to play in the second quarter.

It was 24-7, but the stats were still skewed … CU had more total yards (96-69), more first downs (5-to-2), and the Bears were 0-for-6 on third downs. Four turnovers were the difference, though, with the scoreboard showing the Buffs down 17 points.

A 14-yard run by Steven Montez on third-and-13 and a nine-yard completion to Laviska Shenault on third-and-eight helped the Buffs mount a drive on their next possession. For the second time in the half, it looked like the Buffs might make a game of it. Again, however, a turnover ended the hope. An interception thrown by Steven Montez – his third of the first half – gave the ball back to the Bears.

For the first time, however, the Bears were not able to convert a Buff turnover into points, punting the ball away.

Halftime score: California 24, Colorado 7

The Buff defense, which had allowed one touchdown drive in the first half (and that one going for all of 29 yards), continued its strong performance, forcing a three-and-out on Cal’s first possession of the second half.

Taking over at its own 40-yard line, the Buff offense set off on a nine-play scoring drive to make it a game again. The drive was kept alive with a nine-yard run by Kyle Evans on third-and-five at the Cal 44, with Steven Montez gaining seven yards on a third-and-six at the Cal 31. On the first play after the Montez first down run, Montez hit K.D. Nixon for a 24-yard touchdown.

Cal 24, Colorado 14, with 10:15 still remaining in the third quarter.

Yet another three-and-out later, aided by a sack by Mustafa Johnson, the Buffs had a chance to make a game of it.

Instead, the Buff offense went three-and-out as well, giving the ball back to the Bears at midfield. Aided by a personal foul call against Dante Wigley, the Bears were able to maneuver into field goal range. Cal kicker Greg Thomas hit his second field goal of the game, this one from 33 yards out, to give Cal a 27-14 advantage with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

On CU’s next drive, Buff history was made on successive plays.

On the first play of the drive, Travon McMillian went for 11 yards, giving him 50 yards for the game … and 1,001 yards rushing for the season.

On the second play of the drive, Steven Montez hit Laviska Shenault for 18 yards. The catch gave Shenault 54 yards for the game … and 1,000 yards receiving for the season.

The pair, with those two gains, became the first Buff players to team up for a 1,000-yard rushing season and a 1,000-yard receiving season in the same year in Colorado history.

But the Buff offense had other business to tend to.

Shenault’s catch put the ball at midfield, with a 24-yard completion from Montez to K.D. Nixon pushing the ball into scoring position. A seven-yard completion to Shenault on third-and-four kept the drive alive. Two plays later, on third-and-goal from the three, Montez hit Juwann Winfree for a three yard score.

Just like that, with less than a minute to go in the third quarter, it was a one score game: California 27, Colorado 21.

With the season – and a potential bowl bid – on the line, the Colorado defense, which had made stops all night, finally succumbed.

Cal put together an 11-play, 72-yard drive to retake a two-score lead, but the Buffs had their chances. After giving up a 30-yard completion on the first play of the drive, the Buffs forced a fourth down at the CU 36-yard line. Quarterback Chase Garbers, though, was able to convert on a four yard run, giving the Bears a fresh set of downs. A personal foul call against Drew Lewis kept the drive alive, with Garbers hitting Maurice Ways for a seven-yard touchdown, giving Cal a 33-21 lead (the two-point conversion attempt failed).

The Buff offense was not able to answer, punting the ball away after reaching midfield.

It appeared that the Buffs would have one last chance at a miracle comeback, forcing a punt with 4:36 remaining. On fourth down, however, the Buffs roughed the punter, giving the ball right back to the Cal offense. The Bears didn’t score, but did force Colorado to use up all of its time outs, and taking off five minutes of fourth quarter clock.

The Buffs were again able to take the ball out to midfield, but turned the ball over on downs to end CU’s final drive of the 2018 season.

Final score: California 33, Colorado 21

“It’s tough knowing this will be the last time I’ll be putting on black and gold, wearing Colorado colors, playing with my teammates,” said senior linebacker Rick Gamboa. “I wish it would have went a little better, wish we could have gone out on a win and gone to a bowl game. But it’s like Coach Mac always taught us, keep moving forward. You can’t do anything about the past, but you can do something about your future.” 

Game Notes … 

— The win gave California a 7-5 advantage in the overall series, including a 4-0 record in games played in Berkeley;

— The 2018 season finale marked the first game of the season in which the Buffs never led;

— The loss left CU interim coaches with a 2-3 record (Mike Hankwitz, 0-1, 2005; Brian Cabral, 2-1, 2010; Kurt Roper, 0-1, 2018);

— Colorado had a positive ratio in turnovers all season … until the final three games. The last turnover generated by the Buff defense was a Nate Landman interception against Arizona. CU finished that game with a +4 mark in turnovers for the season … but the Buffs went a collective -12 in the final three games, including a five turnover effort against Cal;

— As noted above, Travon McMillian (1,009 rushing yards) and Laviska Shenault (1,011 receiving yards) became the first tandem to post a 1,000-yard rushing and 1,000-yard receiving season in the same season. McMillan efforts marked the 17th season with a Buff over 1,000 yards rushing in a season (15 players), while Shenault had the 10th 1,000-yard receiving campaign (7th player);

— Linebacker Rick Gamboa tied the school record for most games by a defensive player, with 50. Gamboa finished with 385 tackles in his career, sixth on the all-time list;

— Steven Montez finished the season with 19 passing touchdowns, a record for a junior. With 46 career touchdown passes, Montez finished the 2018 season third all-time, behind only Cody Hawkins and Sefo Liufau, who both had 60 career touchdown passes.



24 Replies to “California 33, Colorado 21”

  1. So Kingbury put out a nice note to TT after he was fired.

    WacMac has said nothing. Which reflects what he has done for CU. Okay okay off the field. But on the field nothing.

    Mac has no clue . Didn’t have it then.

    Doesn’t have it now. And whining lilmac can just head on down the road.

    Mac held chev back big time. Big time.
    Chevs offense scored against Cal. .scored 21 points against a Cal defense that gave up 14 to USC, 19 to Washington State, and 10 to Washington. Two screw ups by the qb cost them the game. Period

    Mac couldn’t get along with his better (Leavitt) so left for a better gig and more cash.

    RG knows what he wants. Got Mac help. Mac helped it back.

    Head on down the highway boy.


  2. 1). I love the “AZ Challenge” for VK.

    2). VK, do you have a little bird that sings inside the cage ? If you do, I congratulate you. Wish all of us had that kinda access. Is it pure coincidence… or, are you privileged enough to be on the coaches selection panel ? Or, neither ?

    3). One thing I know. VK would not select anyone that doesn’t have their Proven S – – – (stuff) together.

    *** I Like Leavitt too VK.

  3. Just wondering if someone can explain to me what WacMac did to improve the Football Buffs the last six years? Not the family stuff and the do good stuff and the “build them into men stuff” but on the football field? Don’t see it!! Didn’t see it 4 years ago……. Didn’t see it yesterday.

    LilMac was whining about his father not coaching him his last game. What? Did he miss the last 5 years here? Oh well he is gone now as his his pa.

    Just about over the last 6 years. Can’t wait for the new guy (Anybody know who it is?) HeHeHe!!

    I’ll support him like crazy like I always do until he proves Peter is close to him and the learning curve is too steep. Just how it is.


    The three big words. Accountability is a tough one to deal with when you’ve spent your career in deflecting mode and someone finally steps up and says Yur outta here cause you had the responsibility, you had the authority and you are now being held accountable.


    1. OK VK, here is the challenge you have hinted, not too subtly I might add to the fact that you already know who the new Head Coach will be or is. The only way you can prove this is to send the name to Stuart in the mail. Stuart will not open the envelope until the new Head Coach has been announced and accepted the position. Stuart will then announce to Buff Fandom if you are truly “Carnac The Magnificent.”

    2. Whoever you are, if you cannot admit that Mac leaves the CU football program in vastly better shape than he inherited it, you are either completely clueless, letting your dislike for the guy blind you, or both.

      And if, as you seem to believe, Chiaverini was really rick’s hire? That does not leave me with much confidence in his next move. However, I don’t buy the “rick brought leavitt and Chiaverini” nonsense. So, he still has a shot at getting this move right.

      Hey, why don’t you stand by your opinions and tell us who you are, anyway?

      Go Buffs

  4. I hope the new staff really opens up the competition at all positions. You can all you want about arm strength but timing with your receivers and reading the defense post snap is more important. Maybe there is no better option but at least find out before we go through another year like this

  5. Mike leach on why they lost “they blocked better than we did, and they tackled better than we did”.

    Jimmy Lake had a slightly different perspective.

    I wouldn’t mind Lake coming to Boulder. As long as he could bring a good OC with him.

    Go Buffs

  6. Can someone, anyone, explain what Chiaverini did to improve the wide receivers and the offense the last two years?

    Great guy. Great Buff. Good recruiter. But the rest? Needs a lot of growth. A lot.

    Man, here’s to hoping rick gets a quality hc hired. Ideally this week.

    Whoever it is, I hope they clean house, maybe with the exception of Wilson and some defensive coaches.

    Go Buffs

    1. Yo Eric,
      Not often we agree, but you’re right on here. The entire offensive staff needs to go. Also, recruiting prowess needs to include linemen. Without the big boys, not a lot else matters.

      Mark / Golden Buffs / Boulderdevil

      1. Since we’re in an agreement whirlwind, I also agreed w/ your thoughts/reply to whoever he is re: Bohn and what he did while at CU.

        To me, the biggest question is whether Rick can close the gap between his preferred hire/s, and who prefers to be in Boulder, vs. other options they may have. We all know Boulder’s a special place. But, I don’t think that sentiment rings true through the coaching community. Still. Or maybe yet.

        And, regardless of who the HC is, they’d better be able to bring in a solid staff – also relates to my concern outlined above – or it won’t matter. Fortunately, they can at least offer some more long-term contracts, which is a huge help in that arena, vs. during the last few transitions.

        Will also be interesting to see if they go offensive minded guy to run the show, with strong defensive staff, or vice versa.

        Again, glad it’s not my gig to sort it all out. Looking at the coaching carousel every year, the odds are something like 90% “failures” particularly when we factor in the guys who’d never even consider coming to Boulder.

        I hope RG works it out right. On the bright side, he’s smart, a good guy, and has a lifetime of contacts through his career in sports management. And most importantly, he’s pretty good at raising money. There’s Mac’s buyout. Assistant buy outs. The new guy’s salary. And the whole new staff to pay for.

        Go Buffs

  7. Forget Mark Kisla. He is nothing more than a scavenger and Mr. Obvious. He doesnt know Jim Leavitt or much of anything else….although I do think we need Leavitt.
    Kisla is part of the problem. His outright inflammatory lies over the so called scandal that brought Barnett down was the beginning of the current wandering in the football desert. Howell, if you are reading this I hope you finally read “Buffaloed.”
    How many fan bases out there open their wallets after over a decade of losing?
    I just hope RG has been burning up the phones since the OSU game. He doesnt have the time to do the kind of vetting that would have brought us Peterson instead of Hawkins. Thats why Leavitt is the front runner in my opinion.
    I sure wish I knew who was responsible for the pre AND post Lindgren play calling. I sure hope RG knows. Was it MM overriding the call in critical situations? If so it might save Chev’s bacon.
    If not Leavitt we need someone who really really knows offense. It was a joy watching ND’s O line play last night. Is there a 3rd Kelly lurking out there somewhere?

    1. Chip long is nd’s oc. Not sure who their line coach is. Long did well at Memphis, only making $345k. Didn’t see what nd pays him. No idea if he has the wherewithal to run a program, but seems like a good oc, so far. Having Ian book and that supporting cast may help.

      I just hope rick can close the gap between who he wants to run the program, and who wants to be in boulder.

      Go Buffs

  8. Is Jim Leavitt the right guy ? He did have the issue of striking a player as head coach at South Florida. Would that keep him from getting another HC job ? I am not saying pass on him because of that but could that prevent him from being hired ?

    On the game i did love how the players never gave up. I do enjoy watching and rooting the young dudes on. They deserve the best and a bowl game next year.

    GO BUFFS !!!

    1. But even after the original story, reports were coming out of ESPN and other places that Leavitt had met with Miller and his father and apologized for his actions. Miller’s own father even back tracked on his statements.

      Paul Miller, the player’s father, said “I stand behind the university and coach Leavitt 100 percent. I truly believe there was no malicious intent to hit anyone. He grabbed his shoulder pad, but it was like a motivational thing,” the father told the newspaper. “After talking with Joel, he was satisfied there was not a slap, not at all.”

      Miller the player had this to say a few days later. “I believe that my family’s story was misrepresented,” Joel Miller said.

      “I told this to the school when they interviewed me for a half-hour or hour on Tuesday. Basically, I wasn’t having a good game on special teams and he tried to motivate me. He [Leavitt] never did any of those things and he never has that I’ve seen. I had some things on my mind because my Grandfather had died the day before. Coach Leavitt cares about me. We talk all the time.”

      Tampa bay times.

      It was pretty much a mess. Joel Miller and his possee changed their story several times even threatening a civil law suit……………….never happened………..couldn’t win……….


      USF reached a settlement with Leavitt, paying him $2.75 million to resolve the wrongful termination suit he filed after his dismissal.


      Note: Turned it off after the 2nd TD pass by Montez to Utah. I am sure they fought hard. I was sure they were gonna lose.

      Note 2: Can’t sleep. What a frigging wasted two years…………….or more…………….If you didn’t see it two years ago………….then boo to you……………..

    1. I really wanna make some excuses for Chev…………………..I can’t. Peter has arrived early for him….. Accelerated Learning curve has forced a crash. Back to the past………..(RC and WRC or gone)

      I can make no excuses for Adams. He just needs to go. 4 years as OL Coach and nothing. He just needs to be gone. WacMac loyalty program.

      Bernardi has no excuse. This was his last year given to him by the “great loyalist” as a gift for his loyalty. Bye Bye to a wasted position

      Roper has no fire. His ” supposed expertise” was wasted on Montez. A weak WacMac clone. Thanks for coming.

      The Buff RB situation is pretty much weak. Hagan needs to go back to his admin role.

      Jbuff…………..I guess you are correct…………..

      Go Buffs

      Note: It keeps being said that the Buffs have a lot of talent and playermakers on offense. Lotta of em on various watch lists……………Nothing…………….Gone…………..Montez declare early rumors…………..Shockingly I hope he does…………..Backup qb’s got limited play…………….Physical talent minus the brain talent………….maybe the issue? Can the big time talent words be just another lie…………………….?? ………….Offense Coaches suck……………FACT. WacMac was the problem…………….His lax attitude still is there………………New coach has gotta come in with Clorox and get that stink outta there………………quickly………….

  9. Hats off to Laviska and Travon. Congratulations on making Buff history. Wish the effort wasn’t wasted on this lost season. Whomever the next coach is, I hope they can reestablish a solid identity and install a smash mouth mentality. This next week will be very interesting…

    Go Buffs

    1. Had you asked that question prior to this season I would have said yes. But if you look at it, the Defense has continued to be the strength of this team. CU still has been recruiting great D players. to me, 2016 came down to exceptional leadership on the team. I do agree with Kiszla (for the first time) that Leavitt knows the culture that RG talked about and there might be the opportunity to keep some of the staff and overall less culture change/re-build time. I really hope they keep Drew Wilson as the strength coach, he’s done a great job getting guys strong and athletic. Keep Drake, Ambrose, Chev, Hagan, and Roper.

      I Can’t see any coach that’s been mentioned other than Day, that would be better than Leavitt. But maybe RG has a wild card no one is talking about.

      Please figure out the trench position.

      And lets be completely honest with ourselves in regards to Kiszla’s comments. He’s right, We do not have the fan base or the money to be a top tier program. Fans continue to complain but don’t go out and support nor do they open up their wallets. and that probably has more to do with CU’s fall than anything else. CU has fallen way behind in the last 20 years and is still a long way from climbing out of the hole.

      Go Buffs

      P.S. Is there some sort of deadline to find a new coach in the next couple of weeks that I don’t know about??

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