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Friday Fast Facts – Colorado v. Utah edition

Trivia question of the week I: The first game played by Colorado on what was to become Folsom Field was played on October 11, 1924. What local team was CU’s first of 500 opponents “on the hilltop”?

Trivia question of the week II: Colorado has defeated Utah 32 times in its history, the Buffs’ fifth-highest total against any FBS opponent. What four opponents have the Buffs defeated more times than the Utes?

Big Picture

— The forecast for Saturday is 29-degrees and snow showers. There has seldom been snowfall during a game in Boulder. In fact, only six times since 1949 has any real snowfall of note occurred during a game. It last happened on Nov. 11, 2000, when it snowed the entire game in a 35-27 loss to Iowa State. It marked the first time snow had fallen during a game in Boulder since 1996 (light snowfall throughout the first half in a 12-0 win over Kansas State on Nov. 16), and just the second time since 1991, when it started snowing lightly late in a 30-24 win over Kansas, also on Nov. 16th;

— As to playing in the cold … There have been only five occasions where the temperature was below 20-degrees at kickoff at Folsom Field in its history. The last time was the Iowa State game in 2000 mentioned under “snow” above. On Nov. 16, 1996, it was 16 degrees at the start of both halves in a 12-0 win over Kansas State, and the mercury reached 12 degrees with a wind-chill of minus-8 in a 19-19 tie against Nebraska on Nov. 2, 1991;

— Colorado leads the series against Utah, 32-29-3, with a 17-12-1 advantage in games played in Boulder. Mike MacIntyre is 1-5 against Utah; Kyle Whittingham is 5-2 against Colorado;

— Saturday’s game marks only the third game played between the two teams in which a ranked team played. In 1961, the 8th-ranked Buffs fell to the Utes, 21-12. The only other game was the 2016 game, when both teams were ranked. On that night, No. 9 Colorado defeated No. 21 Utah, 27-22, to claim the Pac-12 South title;

— The Utah game will be the 500th game in Folsom Field history. That total stands tied (with Texas’ Memorial Stadium) for 20th on the NCAA all-time list. The total is only good enough for fifth, however, in the Pac-12, behind USC’s Memorial Stadium (2nd overall, behind only Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium); Cal’s Memorial Stadium (4th); Washington’s Husky Stadium (7th); and Arizona’s Arizona Stadium (13th).

Pac-12 lines and television schedule … 

Lines from 5Dimes.com … Pac-12 schedule for November 17th:

— Colorado … a 7.5-point underdog at home to No. 21 Utah … 11:30 a.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … This will be the 500th game in Folsom Field’s history … Colorado leads the series, 32-29-3, including a 17-12-1 advantage in games played in Boulder …

— UCLA … a 3.5-point underdog at home against USC … 12:30 p.m., MT, Fox … USC leads the series, 47-31-7 …

— No. 17 Washington … a 33.5-point favorite at home against Oregon State … 2:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington leads the series, 64-34-4 …

— California … a 2.0-point underdog at home against Stanford … 5:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Stanford leads the series, 63-46-11 …

— Oregon … a 4.0-point favorite at home against Arizona State … 8:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Oregon leads the series, 19-17-0 …

— No. 8 Washington State … a 9.5-point favorite at home against Arizona … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Arizona leads the series, 27-16-0 …

Statistically speaking

— Utah is ranked in the top 25 nationally in a number of significant categories, including: Rushing defense (10th); total defense (17th); scoring defense (17th); tackles for loss (21st); tackles for loss allowed (10th); net punting (10th); and red zone scoring percentage defense (1st);

— Colorado, meanwhile, is ranked 100th or worse nationally in several categories, including: third-down conversion offense (102nd); fourth-down conversion offense (110th); and tackles for loss allowed (122nd);

— Colorado is ranked in the top half of the Pac-12 in only a few categories: passing offense (4th); total offense (6th); scoring offense (6th); rushing defense (6th); and punt and kickoff returns (5th). The Buffs are first in the conference (and 32nd nationally) in turnover margin (+.40/game).

Colorado and Utah … historical

In the 12 statistical categories tracked by Winsipedia, Utah leads Colorado in only two of 12 categories … though they are significant.

In all-time winning percentage, the Utes inched past the Buffs in the past few years. Utah has a .591 winning percentage (675-462-31), which is 32nd on the all-time list. With the decade long drought in Boulder, Colorado slipped to a .580 wining percentage (705-506-36), good enough for 41st on the all-time list.

The other category in which Utah has a lead is in bowl winning percentage. Colorado has a losing record in bowl games (12-16), while Utah has one of the best bowl winning percentages in the nation (17-4, 2nd-best in the country).

Otherwise, however, Colorado has significant advantages, including:

— Weeks in the Associated Press poll: CU, 304 … Utah, 118;

— Consensus All-Americans: CU, 31 … Utah, 8;

— NFL draft picks: CU, 271 … Utah, 156; and

— National championships and Heisman trophy winners: CU, 1 each … Utah, 0 for each.

Colorado and Utah – head-to-head

This will be the 65th meeting between the two schools, in a series which dates back to 1903. Colorado leads the all-time tally, 32-29-3.

Colorado won the first three games in the series, winning the games played between 1903-05 by a combined score of 101-11. Utah’s best run in the series came between 1925-33, when the Utes ran off nine straight wins. CU had a nice run of its own, winning eight of the ten games between 1951 and 1962 before the rivalry went dormant.

Utah won four of the first five meetings after the pair joined the Pac-12, with the Buffs breaking a four-game losing streak with a 27-22 win in 2016. Before joining the Pac-12, the two teams hadn’t met on the gridiron since 1962.

The Buffs lead the series in games played in Boulder, 17-12-1. Colorado won the first game between the rivals in their new conference, taking a 17-14 decision over the Utes in Salt Lake City in 2011.

The Utes then won the next four games between the two teams, with every Utah win being close … 42-35 (2012); 24-17 (2013); 38-34 (2014); and 20-14 (2015).

In the only game between the two teams in the series with both teams being ranked was played in 2016, with the Buffs winning, 27-22, to claim their first Pac-12 South title.

Last year, in a game between two 5-6 teams looking for bowl bids, Utah ran away from the Buffs, winning 34-13. Utah went on to win its bowl game (the only Pac-12 team to do so), finishing 7-6 with a boost in momentum for the 2018 season. CU, of course, finished 5-7, and stayed home for the holidays.

Player Notes

— Quarterback Steven Montez remains ranked nationally in a number of categories: completion percentage (21st – .666); passing efficiency (43rd – 143.3); and total offense (31st – 278.2 yards/game);

— Defensive lineman Israel Antwine has been on the field for 373 snaps this season, already a freshman record for defensive linemen/outside linebackers, passing Josh Tupou’s 343 plays in 2012. Antwine’s total is currently 9th on the all-time list for all freshmen at Colorado;

— Travon McMillian has gained over 50 yards on both rushing (75 yards – twice; then 64 yards against Washington State) and receiving (57 yards v. Arizona), becoming just the 12th Buff to have both a run and a reception of over 50 yards in the same season;

— Travon McMillian has 910 yards rushing this season. There have been 16 1,000-yard rushers in Colorado history, with Phillip Lindsay the most recent, posting 1,189 yards in 2016 and 1,474 in 2017;

— Laviska Shenault has 882 yards receiving this season. There have been nine 1,000-yard receivers in Colorado history, with Nelson Spruce the most recent, posting 1,198 in 2014 and 1,053 yards in 2015;

— If McMillian and Shenault both surpass 1,000 yards this season, it mark the very first time in CU history that there has been a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season;

— Defensive end Mustafa Johnson is 1st in the Pac-12, and 43rd in the nation in sacks per game (.65);

— Running back Travon McMillian is 7th in the Pac-12 (33rd in the nation) in rushing yards per game (91.0 yards/game);

— Defensive back Ronnie Blackmon is 2nd in the Pac-12 (20th in the nation) in punt return average (10.6 yards/return).

Pac-12 Notes

— The Pac-12 boasts four of the top 10 running backs in the nation – Eno Benjamin, ASU (4th); J.J. Taylor, Arizona (6th); Zack Moss, Utah (7th); and Jermar Jefferson, OSU (8th);

— Three teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the latest Associated Press poll … No. 8 Washington State, No. 17 Washington; and No. 21 Utah. “Others receiving votes” include No. 36 Arizona State and No. 37 Stanford;

— Nine Pac-12 teams have been ranked at one time or another this season.  Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon State are the three teams to never crack the poll in 2018;

— Washington has a home-game winning streak of 13 games, tied for second-longest in the nation (Alabama is No. 1 at 23 straight). Washington State it tied for fourth, with 12 straight home wins;

— Pac-12 teams are just 25-18 at home in conference games, after going 18-3 at home in non-conference games;

Trivia question answer I: On October 11, 1924, Colorado defeated Regis College, 39-0. The Buffs went 8-1-1 that season, without giving up a point until the season finale (game seven was a 0-0 tie against Denver University). The first points given up all season came on a January 1st game on the road against Hawai’i, with the Buffs falling, 13-0.

Trivia question answer II: Colorado has defeated Colorado State 66 times, Iowa State 49 times, Kansas State 45 times and Kansas 42 times.

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4 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Do we only have one receiver? It’s annoying and I love my Buffs, but Montez sucks so much. I would be pissed as a receiver to come to this school. You would think Montez could look off a little. Can’t wait for 2020.

  2. Speaking of snow at a CU game, I was at the Colorado-Oklahoma game on October 29, 1960, which CU won 7-0. There was a lot of snow that day. After the game ended we sat in the stands for about a half hour marveling that not only did the Buffs beat mighty Oklahoma, we held them scoreless. I had about 3″ of snow on my hat when we left Folsom Field.

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