November 24th – Boulder          Colorado 20, Washington 14

On senior night in Folsom, quarterback Steve Montez threw for a touchdown and led a long final drive from the shadow of his own end zone to run out the clock as Colorado beat Washington 20-14.

Alex Fontenot added 105 yards rushing and a touchdown on 24 carries, springing free for a couple of first down runs on the Buffaloes’ last drive, which ran off the final 5:09. It began at the Buffaloes one-yard and ended with Montez taking a knee at the Huskies 18 to run out the final seconds. The victory for Colorado (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) snapped a nine-game losing streak to Washington (6-5, 3-5).

Laviska Shenault had 100 yards receiving on seven catches, including a spectacular 39-yard touchdown reception which had the home finale crowd of 44,618 watching the replay just to be sure of what they had seen. “That’s kind of the Laviska Shenault effect,” said Montez. “He goes out there and makes plays like that, it just kind of makes you look around and say ‘did he really just catch that?’. Those were the words that were coming out of my mouth coming back to the sideline.”

The Buff defense held the Washington offense to 238 total yards – with 32 rushing yards on 32 carries. The latter stat was aided by the Buffs sacked Husky quarterback Jacob Eason five times. The CU offense posted 430 yards of total offense, with 223 through the air and 207 on the ground.

The win not only was the first for CU against Washington as a member of the Pac-12, it was the first home win against Washington since 1990. Ironically enough, the win in 1990 was by the identical 20-14 score.

“I am just really proud of our football team,” said Mel Tucker. “It is a credit to our coaches and our players’ grit, determination and want to. It is hard to get better as the season goes, especially at this time of year, but we are getting better as a football team.”

Game Story … Senior quarterback Steven Montez opened his final game in Folsom Field with a 13-yard run, not insignificant against a Washington defense which had not allowed a single first down in the second half in its previous game against Oregon State. Montez took off on another 15-yard run for a first down across midfield, but the gain was nullified by a holding penalty, effectively ending the game’s opening drive.

A 62-yard punt by senior Alex Kinney then pinned the Huskies back at their one yard line. “I could do that thousand times and it just wouldn’t do that again”, said Kinney of his punt, which landed at the Washington two yard line, but then bounced sideways and out of bounds at the one instead of bouncing into the endzone.

Three plays later, the CU defense had its first three-and-out of the game, getting the ball back for the CU offense at the Washington 38-yard line after a short punt.

An Alex Fontenot 11-yard run, followed by a 10-yard run by Laviska Shenault two plays later, gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the Washington 10-yard line. The Buffs could penetrate no further than the five yard line, however, settling for a 22-yard field goal by Davis Price, giving CU a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

In the Huskies’ second drive of the game, the Washington offense moved the ball methodically down the field. Thirteen plays and 64 yards into the drive, Washington was at the Buff 11 yard line, facing a third-and-ten. There, however, Husky quarterback Jacob Eason was intercepted by Buff linebacker Nate Landman, ending the threat.

On CU’s ensuing drive, a 20-yard run by Steven Montez on a third-and-10 kept the Buffs from a three-and-out before Jaren Mangham took over, with four straight carries for 21 yards. Facing a fourth-and-three at the Washington 28-yard line, the Buffs turned to Laviska Shenault, who gained four and a first down. Two plays later, it was third-and-one at the Husky 15-yard line, but a holding penalty on an Alex Fontenot run for a first down stalled the drive. A seven-yard run by Montez left the Buffs with a fourth-and-four at the UW 18. Eschewing a field goal attempt, Laviska Shenault was given the ball again. This time, though, Shenault was just short of a first down, turning the ball over on downs.

A sack of Jacob Eason by freshman safety Mark Perry helped the Buff defense to its second three-and-out of the night, with an eight-yard punt return by Dimitri Stanley giving the Buffs the ball back at their 39 (the return was significant in one respect. In the first ten games of the 2019 season, Washington had allowed seven punt return yards … total. Stanley more than doubled that total in one return).

A 24-yard Montez-to-Brady Russell completion, followed by a 21-yard run by Alex Fontenot, quickly put the ball back into Washington territory. After a pass interference penalty in the end zone, the Buff had a first-and-goal at the UW two yard line … but couldn’t punch it in. Evan Price connected on his second short field goal of the game, this time from 23 yards out, gave the Buffs a 6-0 lead midway through the second quarter … but it felt to the 44,618 on hand for the late night game (8:00 p.m. kickoff) wondering if a golden opportunity to take control of the game had been lost.

A Terrance Lang sack of Eason, though, gave the Buff defense its third three-and-out of the half, and the ball back at their 40-yard line.

The Buffs, though, could do nothing with the opportunity, and the teams traded punts before CU took over at its 38-yard line. Two plays later, in part thanks to a defensive holding penalty, the Buffs were at the Washington 39-yard line. There, Steven Montez lofted the ball into the end zone in the northwest corner of the stadium. It appeared all the world that Montez had thrown an interception (and the Husky fans in that corner of the stadium were cheering), but when the players rolled over, Buff wide receiver Laviska Shenault came up with the ball, flicking the ball away absent-mindedly, as if to say, “What? You’re surprised? It’s my job to catch the ball”.

With the score now 13-0 with less than two minutes before halftime, the Huskies tried to mount a drive. A sack of Jacob Eason by Davion Taylor at midfield, though, blunted the threat.

Halftime score: Colorado 13, Washington 0

Washington, which came into the game averaging 33.3 points per game, did not take being shut out in the first half kindly. Aided by a questionable personal foul call on an incompletion which would have ended the drive, the Huskies went on to complete a 15-play, 75-yard, seven-minute drive with a Richard Newton one-yard touchdown run.

Suddenly, it was 13-7, and a brand new game.

Instead of folding, however, the Buff offense responded with an impressive drive of its own. The Buffs went 82 yards in 11 plays to recapture a two-score lead, highlighted by a pair of Alex Fontenot runs which netted 19 yards, and a pair of completions from Montez to Tony Brown which netted another 23.

At the Washington 18 yard line, Fontenot took over. The next four plays were Fontenot runs, the last being a two-yard touchdown run. With 2:40 remaining in the third quarter, it was Colorado 20, Washington 7.

The Huskies’ second drive of the half was just as efficient as the first. Washington covered 75 yards in 12 plays, scoring on a 15-yard pass from Eason to Cade Otten. With 12:35 to play in the game, it was 20-14, Colorado.

The Buff offense didn’t have an answer for the second Washington touchdown drive. The series opened with great promise – a 31-yard completion from Montez to Shenault – but then stalled, with the Buffs forced to punt the ball back to the Huskies.

The Huskies could do no better on their next drive, giving the ball back to the Buffs at their 34-yard line with 7:45 to play.

The Buffs had been faced with almost the exact scenario several weeks earlier, taking over with a 31-28 lead with 7:58 to play against USC. In that game, the CU offense punted the ball away less than two minutes later, and the Trojans marched down the field for the winning score.

Against the Huskies, the Buffs took over with 7:45 to play … but went three-and-out, taking less than a minute off the clock. The USC nightmare was being relived – and the fear of a second straight fourth quarter collapse was only reinforced after a 54-yard punt return gave the UW offense the ball at the CU 37-yard line (no one knew it at the time, but a touchdown-saving open field tackle by defensive lineman Jalen Sami on the punt return was about to turn into a game-saving tackle).

Backs against the wall, with only 37 yards of Folsom Field turf to defend, the CU defense held. The Buffs forced a three-and-out and punt after Mark Perry picked up his second sack of the night. The Washington punt, though, was downed at the CU one-yard line.

Given a second opportunity to ice the game, the Buff offense came through. Steven Montez enticed an offsides call against Washington to give the Buffs some breathing room, then ran a quarterback sneak … for 12 yards.

Three plays later, the Buffs faced a third-and-16 at their 12-yard line. Over five minutes remained in the game. Another heart-breaking loss seemed imminent … until … Steven Montez hit Dimitri Stanley for a 27-yard gain and a first down. On the next play, Montez hit Stanley again, this time for 18 yards. Suddenly, the Buffs were on the Husky side of the field, and the Huskies were forced to call time outs to stop the clock.

Four straight runs by Fontenot were good for 22 yards, with his last run, a three-yard run on third-and-one at the Washington 20-yard line with 1:21, was the game-clincher.

Final score: Colorado 20, Washington 14

“It is important to be able to run the ball on your terms, when you want to run it and when you need to run”, Mel Tucker said of his team’s five-minute drive to end the game. “When everybody in the stadium knows you are going to run it you still have to slam it up in there. We were able to do that tonight.”

“One main thing I would say is that we don’t quit”, said senior linebacker Davion Taylor. “We’re going to keep on pushing no matter what the scoreboard says. No matter what the critics say. We’re going to continue to push and win every game. That’s our goal.”

Alex Fontentot, who posted his third 100-yard game of the season (24 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown, tried to put a finger on CU’s two-game winning streak after a five-game losing streak. “The family aspect of the team,” said Fontenot. “That’s really what’s been pushing us just to get better and better. That’s what Coach Tucker has been preaching. That unity is what really drove us.”

Here are video highlights of the game:

Game Notes … 

— Washington’s lead in the series dropped to 12-6-1, with CU picking up its first victory over the Huskies since joining the Pac-12. The Huskies had won nine straight in the series overall, dating back to the 1996 Holiday Bowl, and four straight in Boulder. The last win by the Buffs against the Huskies in Boulder was in the 1990 national championship season … and by the identical score of 20-14;

— CU won back-to-back Pac-12 games for the first time since opening with two league wins to open the 2018 season;

— The Buffs wore “V” gold helmets, in honor of retiring Ralphie V;

— The 22nd Annual Buffalo Heart Award. As presented by the “fans behind the bench” who observe first-hand in their opinion which senior has epitomized the true meaning of being a Colorado Buffalo throughout their career, this year’s recipient is C Tim Lynott, Jr.  He’s the first offensive lineman to win the award and was presented with a plaque postgame at the CU bench;

— The Buff defense registered five sacks … against a Husky offense which had surrendered only 13 in its first ten games;

— The CU defense held consecutive opponents under 20 points for the first time since doing so in three consecutive games in the 2016 season;

— The Buffs shut out an opponent in the first half for the first time since the 2018 New Hampshire game;

— The game represented the 48th time in school history with a 100-yard rusher (Alex Fontenot; 105 on 24 carries, with a touchdown) and a 100-yard receiver (Laviska Shenault; 100 yards on seven receptions, including a touchdown). CU upped its record to 37-11 in such games;

— The Steven Montez touchdown pass to Laviska Shenault gave him 61 for his career, breaking the tie for the all-time record with Cody Hawkins and Sefo Liufau. Montez also had his 72nd “touchdown responsible for”, tying him with Liufau on the all-time list;

— Senior punter Alex Kinney, with a 62-yard punt in the first quarter (which bounced out at the one) set the new team record for punts inside-the-15. Kinney had three against Washington, giving him 62 for his career;

— Colorado finished its 2019 home slate with 44,618 on hand for an 8:00 p.m., MT, kickoff (39-degrees at kickoff). The total for the season reached 297,435 for the season (49,573 per game), the best numbers for Folsom since 2009 (300,527, or 50,355/game).

Video of Ralphie V helmets:


15 Replies to “Colorado 20, Washington 14”

  1. Yo Stuart,
    You are right. Wow! Mel Tucker continues to impress and he was spot on about the guys learning their program… and that it was just a few mental mistakes that were making the difference in some of the games. Last night was a revelation about how good this team will be going forward. The defense was FLYING around the field making plays instead of having to think about what they were supposed to be doing. It was so impressive.

    Washington has a reputation under Peterson of having dominant lines and being able to smash their way to victory. But Colorado’s lines dominated in both sides of the ball.

    The Buffs held Washington to 32 yards rushing on 32 carries! I doubt a Peterson team has ever been so thoroughly dominated like that. And Colorado did it without their best defensive lineman. As Tucker says, “Next man up!”

    And the offensive line made sure that Colorado could run on their own terms. The future is bright in Boulder once again.



  2. Coach Tuck has turned our defense into an ultra-aggressive unit w/NFL level blitz packages. Like a great offense Tuck has installed blitz schemes with 2-3 complementary plays that stem off the original looks. Totally outclassed Coach Chris in the 1st half…that was 100% on Tuck vs. Pete, their O line was totally confused and Eason was seeing ghosts.
    The amazing part of the blitzs we are installing is that Coach Tuck is able to teach the principals…we haven’t had a terrible coverage bust and no big passes (except for the catch/run vs. Stanford) while we have bodies running all over the field as they disguise defenses.
    The defensive turnaround is nothing short of amazing…no Mustafa, still no CBs..good on Rackstraw!!

  3. Honestly the score doesn’t tell the story of how dominant the Buffs were in this game. If it weren’t for some poorly timed offensive penalties and a bad throw in the red-zone, the CU lead would have been another 7-14 points. 14 point underdogs? pfft.

    Oh yeah, favorite play of the game was when the UW player had the long punt return, and watching all 320 lbs of Jalen Sami run him down and save the touchdown. Great example of never-give-up football.

  4. Wanna make Utah a rival? End their CFP slim chance…..and of course head to a bowl of our own.
    The next step in improvement will be turn those red zone FGs into TDs. No let down with the D, get a few bounces and/or turn overs and make the Utes hate our guts.
    The another approach would be to let Lytle, if he is healthy, or Stenstrom get some experience for next year. Sorry I couldn’t resist rubbing it in.

  5. Great win.

    Now, go into slc and turn that sack Lake city thing right around on Huntley. That is a tall order though. This team will have to figure out how to stop a more dual threat qb. That hasn’t been a strength so far. Hopefully it will be this week.

    Have a great thanksgiving everyone. Nice to have the season finale matter. This is how rivalries are built.

    Go Buffs

  6. During this late season mini-surge the improvement on defense has been nothing short of dramatic. In the Buffs first six conference games spanning from ASU to UCLA the defensive unit was lit up to the tune of an average of 485 total yards allowed per game. But in these last two games versus Stanford and WA that total yards per game allowed number has been slashed to an average of 304. It took time, but perhaps the earlier issues were simply a matter of players learning curve and not the play schemes of Tyson Summers. As per the latest poll question, the 5 wins thus far this season feel eons better to me than the 5 wins of the previous two seasons.

  7. I had a solid Johnson the entire game. Last time that happened was 50 yrs ago.
    Life once again is now tolerable, Hopefully off the snide forever.

  8. Now my mind has gone to if we won the 3 home games we lost we are 8-3 going into SLC and maybe even ranked. But that’s not what this is about. I’m proud of our seniors to close out their Folsom careers with a victory. I’m proud of how Steven put the game away and got us out from the 1 yard line. I love my buffs and think winning these last 2 home games will give us some great momentum for next year.

  9. So……………….

    Buffs win. The future of the HCMT Mighty Buffs offense and defense has been exposed.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Key Stat. Rushing…………..Montez, 6 for 57 . Dual threat…………………And a freshman qb will lead the leap into the future…………….

  10. Excellent effort by the Buffs. Love that this staff and these kids did not fold when 3-1 turned into 3-6. Apropos of nothing, I loved the V decal on the left side of the helmet.

  11. Excellent win.


    Note: I like the Pac 12. Nice conference. Beat each other up. That national championship playoff is an East Coast Bias anyway. Sheesh. Keeps a lot of mouthy idiots employed on tv.

  12. I haven’t seen a cu defensive line absolutely dominate an opponents offensive line like that in years. Washington’s offensive line, especially in the first half, was just last out embarrassed.

    Hurts that the buffs blew that game against usc, or Arizona, or air force. Or they would be blown eligible right now instead of being to beat Utah.

    Also wtf Oregon. You were the chosen one, you were supposed to bring balance to the playoff, not destroy it!

  13. Great win! First game of the season we played solid start to finish. The D was stout and I think they’ve turned a corner finally. Run game was also really solid, very proud of my Buffs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *