August 31st – Denver          Colorado 45, Colorado 13

 

Colorado scored on its first three possessions of the game, never looking back in a 45-13 rout of Colorado State in Denver. Steven Montez was almost perfect on the night, completing 22-of-25 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns as the Buffs won the Rocky Mountain Showdown for the fourth straight time.

In rolling up 596 yards of total offense, there were many heroes for the Buff offense. Sophomore wide receiver Laviska Shenault set Rocky Mountain Showdown records, both with his 11 receptions and his 211 yards receiving. Virginia Tech graduate transfer running back Travon McMillian had 103 yards rushing (equaling the total rushing yards for CSU on the night) on only ten carries. K.D. Nixon also hit triple digits, with six receptions for 112 yards, highlighted by a 46-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

How big a night was it for the Buff offense? For the first time in school history, the Buffs had a 300-yard passer (Montez; 338), a 200-yard receiver (Shenault; 211) and a 100-yard rusher (McMillian; 103) in the same game.

The Colorado defense played well for much of the evening, holding the Rams out of the end zone for the final three quarters. The CSU offense, which went for 653 yards of total offense in its first game of the 2018 season, was held to 284 total yards.

“It’s always big to start [with a dominating win]. The kids get more confidence,” said CU head coach Mike MacIntyre. “When we go to coach them on Monday and correct them on everything; they’ll listen a little better. You can coach them more. They won’t be as down. I’m excited about what they did today, but we have long way still to go.”

 

Game Story … The last time Colorado faced Colorado State, the Buffs failed to score in the final 43:36 of the game, salvaging an ugly 17-3 win over the Rams.

The scoring drought against CSU carried over into the 2018 Rocky Mountain Showdown … for just over 90 seconds.

Taking the opening kickoff, the Buff offense needed only five plays to cover 75 yards. Two shovel passes to wide receiver Laviska Shenault were good for 25 yards, taking the ball to midfield. Two plays later, quarterback Steven Montez took off down the left sideline, covering 38 yards on the run for the score.

Colorado 7, Colorado State 0 … with 13:36 still to play in the first quarter.

The Rams punted on their first possession, giving the ball back to the Buffs at their 13-yard line. Four plays later, which included a 13-yard completion to K.D. Nixon and a ten-yarder to Jay MacIntyre, Montez hit Nixon in stride for a 46 yard touchdown.

Colorado 14, Colorado State 0, with over eight minutes still remaining in the first.

On their second possession, the Ram offense responded. The Rams needed only seven plays to cover 75 yards, with quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels hitting wide receiver Olabisi Johnson for a 26-yard touchdown.

Undaunted, the Buff offense remained in high gear. Three runs by Virginia Tech graduate transfer running back Travon McMillian, going for 15, seven, and 18 yards, pushed the ball into CSU territory. The nine-play drive was finished off by a four-yard touchdown pass from Montez to fullback Beau Bisharat, upping the lead to 21-7 late in the first quarter.

When the Rams not only failed to answer on their next drive, but also gave the ball to the Buffs at the CU 47-yard line after a short punt, it appeared that a rout was in the making. Instead, on the first play of the second quarter, Montez, who had yet to thrown an incompletion, got greedy. With a first down at the CSU 42-yard line – and an offense which had yet to face a third down – Montez went for a home run pass to Jay MacIntyre. The pass was underthrown, intercepted by CSU cornerback V.J. Banks at the Ram 15-yard line.

The Rams then held the ball for the longest drive by either team in the first half … and didn’t cross midfield. On the 12th play of the drive, from the CSU 49-yard line, a K.J. Carta-Samuels pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive end Mustafa Johnson, with the pass intercepted by linebacker Nate Landman.

On the ensuing drive, the Buff offense didn’t turn the ball over … but did face a third down for the first time in the game. On third-and-four at the CSU ten-yard line, Laviska Shenault, who had catches for 16 and eight yards on the drive, lineup in the wildcat formation. Shenault kept the ball on the snap, gaining five yards and a first down. Two plays later, Montez hit Juwann Winfree for a four-yard touchdown.

Colorado 28, Colorado State 7, midway through the second quarter.

The teams traded punts before a K.D. Nixon fumble near midfield gave Colorado State a chance at a score before halftime. It appeared that the Buffs had the Rams stopped, with a 56-yard field goal attempt falling short and right. The Rams were given new life, however, when defensive back Trey Udoffia was called for running into the kicker on the attempt. The second effort, a 51-yarder by Wyatt Bryan, was good, giving Colorado State a glimmer of hope at the break.

Halftime score: Colorado 28, Colorado State 10

Fully cognizant that the Rams had comeback from a 37-7 third quarter deficit against Hawai’i in game one (ultimately a 43-34 loss), the Buffs kept the pedal to the medal in the third quarter.

The Buff defense forced a punt less than a minute into the quarter, with the CU offense taking over at its 15-yard line. It looked like the Buffs were facing their first three-and-out of the game two plays later – third-and-14 at the 11. The Rams brought a blitz, but didn’t count very well. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault was left alone, with Montez dumping the ball off to Shenault around the 20 yard line. Two broken tackles later, Shenault had an 89-yard touchdown.

Colorado 35, Colorado State 10 … less than three minutes into the second half.

Any hope the 30,000 or so Ram fans had of a comeback (CU sold 38,399 of the 70,158 in attendance, with the Broncos/Ticketmaster selling 2,839) were dashed a few moments later.

Facing a third-and-one at the CSU 49-yard line, Steven Montez handed off to Travon McMillian. McMillian hesitated, then bounced outside, taking the ball the full 49 yards for a touchdown.

Colorado was now in complete control, owning a 42-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

After yet another punt from the Rams, the Buffs put together yet another scoring drive. Facing a third-and-12, Montez and Shenault hooked up yet again, this time for 43-yard gain to the CSU 26-yard line. There, the CU drive stalled, with the Buffs settling for a 39-yard field goal by James Stefanou.

The Buff offense had failed to convert a red zone opportunity into a touchdown, but the game was now officially out of hand at 45-10 late in the third quarter.

The teams, now substituting frequently, traded punts before the Rams put together a 10-play, 49-yard drive. CSU had a first-and-goal at the Buff two-yard line, but ultimately only came away with a 27-yard field goal, making it a 45-13 game midway through the final stanza.

The remainder of the game was noteworthy only due to the number of backup players who entered the game. Both of CU backup quarterbacks, Sam Noyer and Tyler Lytle, saw action, with Beau Bisharat and Alex Fontenot getting some quality carries.

Final score … Colorado 45, Colorado State 13

“(The win) felt really good, especially to see everything come together,” said linebacker and team captain Rick Gamboa. “After a long fall camp, it was good to finally play against someone else. All phases came together; offense, defense, and special teams. It went well
for us.”

In a night of statistical stars, Steven Montez led the way. In completing 22-of-25 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns (one interception), Montez finished with a quarterback rating of 246.4, the best for any Colorado quarterback throwing over 20 passes in a game.

“It felt like we were just clicking,” said Montez, who moved into ninth on CU’s all-time passing list (4,330 yards). I think that we’ve been working extremely hard across the board during fall camp. I think our guys have been hungry and were antsy to get onto the field. I think that’s just what happened today. Everybody wanted to play and the line was blocking well. The running backs were making plays and the receivers were making plays. The defense was playing stout as ever. They looked good out there today. I think things just clicked for us today and hopefully they click for us a lot the season.”

Here are the YouTube highlights of the game:

And the YouTube video of the entire game (note: the audio isn’t in sync for the first few minutes. CBS Sports came to the game late, so the audio is the KOA radio broadcast – Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett – over the CBS coverage):

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Game Notes …

— CU won its season opener for the third year in a row for the first time since 2003-05 (in both instances, all three wins coming over Colorado State);

— The win gave Colorado a 66-22-2 lead in the series (12-6 in Denver; 22-8 since the series resumed in 1983;

— As noted, above … For the first time in school history, the Buffs had a 300-yard passer (Montez; 338), a 200-yard receiver (Shenault; 211) and a 100-yard rusher (McMillian; 103) in the same game;

— For good measure, the game marked only the second time that the Buffs had a two-100 yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in the same game (Nebraska, 2009) … and the 44th time the Buffs had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game (with CU going 34-10 in such games);

— Eleven Buffs made their first career starts … CU Delrick Abrams, DE Israel Antwine, OLB Jacob Callier, TB Kyle Evans, DE Mustafa Johnson, ILB Nate Landman, WR K.D. Nixon, C Colby Pursell, WR Laviska Shenault, LG Brett Tonz, OLB Carson Wells;

— Overall, 34 players made their Colorado debuts against CSU, the highest total in memory (since records have been kept);

— Colby Pursell became just the third freshman (true or redshirt) to start an opener, joining Bryan Stoltenberg and Andre Gurode (both of whom went on to be come All-Americans);

— Nate Landman’s interception in the second quarter was the first of his career. His 14 tackles were tied for the most for any Buff in their first career start (four unassisted, plus two tackles for loss, three third-down stops, and a quarterback hurry);

— Steven Montez completed his first 12 passes, tying a school record for most pass completions to start a game (matching Joel Klatt v. Missouri in 2005);

— Montez’ 38-yard scoring run to open the game was the longest for a Buff quarterback since 1994, when Kordell Stewart scored on a 60-yard run by Kordell Stewart;

— The 89-yard touchdown pass from Steven Montez to Laviska Shenault was the longest play from scrimmage for the Buffs since 2002 (a 94-yard touchdown pass from Robert Hodge to Jeremy Bloom). The 89 yards covered represented the fourth longest pass play in school history, and the eighth-longest play from scrimmage.

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21 Replies to “August 31st – Colorado 45, Colorado State 13”

  1. Wow I was at the game so I didn’t see Roper managing Mac on the sidelines. Did they show that on TV. An assistant that stands up to Mac would have been a highlight for me. But I watched many highlights on Friday night.

    1. Yes, several different occasions. And dang nab it, Roper was stern and Mac knew he was right. You know how Mac can get.

      BuffaloUp

  2. Only ONE true criticism. I thought with the Lindy gone we would never see a run into the middle of the line on a 3rd and 17. Wrong. It happened. Who the hell called that play ?

    With all the positives, it’s easy to overlook that ONE play…. but I won’t. That was a cocklebur under my saddle last year….. NOTHING ate at me worse than that. Sooooooo glad Lindy is gone.

    Sad note. Bobo is a good man. He’s been to more bowl games in his present tenure than M2 so I won’t criticize him. I felt badly for him watching his painful gimping around on the sidelines, knowing he was in terrible pain. Peripheral neuropathy is painful as hell…. constant and unrelenting. Give the man a break. Mac respects him a lot. That’s good enough for me.

    GO BUFFS. KICK NE’s ARSE.

    1. aye to that. he has always been slim, but appears emaciated. when the camera panned to him, his gait was at best cringe worthy. I suspect there is more than just the run of the mill peripheral neuropathy we see every day in old folks and diabetics in play here. I worry about something else eating away at this guy, and I hope the Rams can get their season turned around for him.

    2. That play call was to symbolize the past and bury it. Nothing more. But if I had to guess it would have been………………..?/

      Buffs.

  3. Like most of the other posters have written, CSU is certainly not even close to some of the tests that the Buffs will face this season. That said though this was pretty impressive, and particularly when one observed the excellent talent on this team. Sorta reminiscent of McCartney years, with guys like Michael Westbrook, Charles Johnson the WR, the great Linebackers, a solid Dline, an Oline that did dominate as it should and just all around good team complimentary football.

    Nebraska will be a good test win or lose, and if this team stays healthy, keeps their head about them, this could be a fun year, as one just has a feeling that they will compete with everyone they face and that the potential is there for them to win some close games, where in the past they at times got overwhelmed (including the coaches) when things got a little tight.

    1. AZ, as always I love your optimism. Havn’t we done this before? Keeping key injuries in check will be a big part of the year. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to see the 2nd and third string qb’s throw. Other than that, it was fun to watch.

  4. We often become hyperbolic when a new dynamic player comes on the scene, but I can go there on at least 3. Shenault is beyond anything I expected. Seems he wants to score every time he touches the ball and is the strongest RAC wideout I can remember at CU. Travon is big, plants that leg and runs downhill. Nate L has that “it” factor, a tackling machine that has a nose for the ball. (And I am not forgetting Nixon, he’s really good, and both lines were solid.)

  5. That was a nice win. I think CSU is terrible this year, but still a good win. Looking forward to seeing this team in Lincoln. I think they will stomp the cornhuskers too.

    Go Buffs.

  6. Only 25 pass attempts with 338 yards passing! Holy Moses!!! Started fast with the Z06 offense and ended with a battering Silverado run game!! That’s the Chevy offense! Superior talent on the field for sure!! Raw unfiltered talent!! Literally only a few things to clean up!! Situation play calling was excellent!!! Nebraska should be fun to watch!

  7. Well Well Well………………..Okay the Rams are not that good but regardless the Mighty Buffs looked pretty darn good.
    Negative out of the way. 3 fumbles but only lost one. That is about it really. 6 penalties 44 yards.

    The pluses. The defense is a swarming monster. The DL, as predicted is so much better . 103 yards rushing yards given up. 2.6 per carry. The linebackers (The Hammer is amazing) did their job as the DL did theirs. Very nice to see the front 7 dominate in every area. (The depth in the front 7 is excellent…no question here) DB’s may be a little suspect………but you have to like the aggressive style. I am totally impressed with this defensive unit. Emphasis on UNIT. 9 qb hurries, 6 TFL, 3 sacks 1 interception out of the 76 plays the Rams ran (ran….haha..they sure did) meaning 25% of the ram plays had no chance to be successful. Impressive! Middle Note: The Buffs Oline gave up 3 tackles for loss, 1 hurry, and no sacks WHAT!!!!!!!!?)
    This is a different defense. A good difference. The ol Defensive coaches have done a great job. So impressive. 27 different players had tackles in this game. Holy Moly.

    Montez was excellent.
    Damn excellent Nixon and Shenault…………great as predicted……Big Beau showed some attitude that he hasn’t shown in the past. Oline was smooth in most cases. Travon is a big Lindsay. Evans is such a great story. No passes caught by tight ends. Don’t worry it’s coming.

    Now that offensive scheme, play calling, adjustments did not look ‘Lindgrenized’ (Thank God) at all now did it……..some people, the ‘TOWDK,s’ stated it would be the same with some tweaks. Hahahahaha ro you…..”rode the six hundred.” Trying to remember how many bubble screens were run or qb up the middle plays there were. Mein Gott after 5 years of that crap what a pleasure to see a real up tempo scheme that really was uptempo and creative with excellent blocking schemes mixed in. What we saw is just a very small piece of the new Offense. Seriously. Ok bad defense by the Rams…….BUT…..a lot of it caused by play design, play calling and execution by the Mighty Buffs.

    It is a happy day…….now on to Stinkn Linkn to renew a real rilvary. Gonna be a good test. Frost has em up and running. Starting a very talented QB freshman. This will not be the kornkoler team we have seen the last few years.

    Up your Buffalo.

    Note: Roper………….Most impressive in how he manged the sidelines but really impressive is how he managed Mac………..several times telling him to get out of the officials face and back on the sidelines. That right there is a huge difference in how this team rolls.

    1. “Lindgrenized” LMAO!!!! That was a HUGE concern of mine, especially on those damn predictable WR sweeps and end runs…so glad he’s gone. Love the W, but next week will be our true tell. CSU is a hot mess, but still, clean up a few issues TOs, catching punts inside the 5 yd line and this team can be special!!!!

  8. Yes it’s early and there are far bigger challenges ahead. And yes it was an out manned CSU team. But I can’t say enough about the defense. On the line I had been hearing for months about the high energy tutelage of coach Kwahn Drake, and it for now seems to be rubbing off on those guys. And WOW to LB Nate Landman. He looked like a blend of Greg Biekert and Jordan Dizon all rolled into one.

  9. Holy Shenault, I am so glad Lindgren is gone. Way to keep ripping their hearts out, relentless attacking play. Montez looked great, got cocky on one throw but overall very pleased.
    Defense looked good, fast and nasty, but could have been the terrible Ram offense (they need to fire Bobo). Good momentum heading into the corn.

    1. Montez should have never thrown that pick but I think it was Jay on a deep route which never should have been called in the first place. Why they did?…. I will leave that up to VK

      1. I didnt hate the call. All they were doing up to that point was dink and dunk football, which isnt bad, but you have to take your shots to keep the defense honest. They took a shot and it was a bad throw. A bad throw is bound to happen every now and then, and unfortunately it was picked. But ill give it a pass right now because his other 24 throws were on target. 22 completions and 2 drops is a good night.

        Go Buffs

      2. Yup lilmac on a deep route was stupid. He had no chance never did never will

        Bad call. Him being deep and montezthrowing to him

        Won’t ever see that again

        Buffs

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