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September 7th – Boulder          Colorado 34, No. 25 Nebraska 31 OT

James Stefanou hit a 34-yard field goal in overtime to give Colorado its first lead of the game, and the defense made it stand up, as Isaac Armstrong’s 49-yard attempt for Nebraska sailed wide right, giving the Buffs an unlikely 34-31 overtime win over No. 25 Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers dominated play for most of the contest, taking a 17-0 lead into halftime before 52,829 fans in CU’s first sell-out since 2016. The Buffs didn’t score until only 1:42 remained in the third quarter, when a Jaren Mangham 11-yard run made it a 17-7 game. Mangham’s score touched off a frenetic fourth quarter, in which the teams combined for 38 points. A Steven Montez 26-yard touchdown pass to Tony Brown with 46 seconds remaining in the game set the stage for CU’s dramatic win in overtime.

Steven Montez had a sluggish start to the game, but finished 28-for-41 for 375 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. K.D. Nixon led the receiving corps, with six receptions for 148 yards and an electrifying 96-yard touchdown – the longest touchdown in CU history – in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

The win gave the Buffs back-to-back wins over the Cornhuskers, with Scott Frost falling to 0-2 against his “ex-rival”. CU head coach Mel Tucker, meanwhile, not only posted a victory in his first game in Folsom Field as head coach, but did so by beating a ranked opponent.

“I am really proud of our players,” said Mel Tucker, who became the 10th coach to win their first two games at Colorado. “They did a phenomenal job of just continuing to play the next play. We were never looking at the scoreboard and played for each other.”

Game story … The first-game between Nebraska and Colorado in Folsom Field since 2009 started off unevenly for the CU offense. The Buffs overcame an offensive pass interference penalty and a third-and-25 (thanks to a personal foul against the Cornhuskers), and managed to hold the ball for 12 plays and over seven minutes of the first quarter … but gained only 33 yards before punting.

The Nebraska offense had no such issues on its first possession. The Cornhuskers covered 96 yards in only five plays to take the lead. Quarterback Adrian Martinez hit J.D. Speilman for a 65-yard touchdown, and, just like that, Nebraska had a 7-0 lead.

After CU gained only eight yards before punting on its next possession, Nebraska looked to make the game a rout. In six plays, the Cornhuskers marched to the CU 39-yard line, but there safety Mikial Onu forced a Martinez fumble, giving the ball back to the Buffs with new life.

Instead, it was a three-and-out for the Buff offense, with Nebraska taking off on yet another long touchdown drive. This time, the Cornhuskers covered 95 yards in 13 plays, aided by a roughing the punter penalty to keep the drive alive. This time, Adrian Martinez had the honors, taking it in from five yards out to make it a 14-0 game midway through the second quarter.

When Steven Montez threw an interception on the second play of the ensuing drive, it appeared to be game over. Nebraska took over on the CU 43-yard line, and in two plays was in the red zone with a first-and-ten at the Buff 15. There, however, the drive stalled, and the Cornhuskers settled for a 26-yard field goal by Isaac Armstrong. The Buffs had held, but it seemed only a moral victory, as the Cornhuskers took a 17-0 lead into the break.

Halftime score: No. 25 Nebraska 17, Colorado 0

The Cornhuskers punted the ball away on their first drive of the second half, but with a 266-84 total yards advantage in the first half, it seemed to be of little consequence to the outcome of the game.

It appeared that the 17-0 score might hold the remainder of the game, with the teams trading punts throughout the third quarter, including three straight three-and-outs from the ineffective offenses.

Late in the third quarter, the Colorado offense finally put together a sustained drive. Taking over at their 36-yard line, the Buffs quickly moved into Cornhusker territory with a 21-yard completion from Steven Montez to K.D. Nixon. A 14-yard completion from Montez to tight end Brady Russell, followed by a 14-yard run by receiver Jaylon Jackson set up the Buffs with their first scoring opportunity of the game. A pair of 11-yard runs by Jaren Mangham followed, with the second getting the Buffs on the board, making it a 17-7 game with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter.

Aided by a facemask penalty, Nebraska quickly drove to midfield, and it appeared that the Cornhuskers had taken back the momentum. A 15-yard penalty for an illegal block, however, stalled the drive, with Nebraska punting the ball back to the Buffs as the fourth quarter opened.

Starting the drive at their own four-yard line with 14:22 to play, Steven Montez and K.D. Nixon connected on the play of the game. Taking a pitch back in the end zone, Steven Montez hit Nixon near midfield. A dive by the Cornhusker defender was to no avail, and Nixon had the longest play from scrimmage – 96 yards – in school history.

“That call was guts,” said Montez of the play call that came from offensive coordinator Jay Johnson in the booth. “That was pure guts.”

Nebraska 17, Colorado 14, with still over 14 minutes to play.

Bedlam in Folsom Field … which lasted for all of one play.

After taking the ball at their 25 after a touchback on the kickoff, NU quarterback Adrian Martinez hit running back Maurice Washington on a short pass, with Washington doing the rest, taking it 75 yards for a touchdown.

Order restored: Nebraska 24, Colorado 14 … with still over 14 minutes to play.

But the Buffs would not go away. Five plays later, the Buffs were on the board again. Steven Montez hit Jaylon Jackson for a 57-yard gain to the Nebraska seven yard line, with Jaren Mangham taking it in on the next play.

At the 12:19 mark, it was a game again, at 24-21, Nebraska.

Needing a stop, the Buff defense got one. On third-and-eight at the Nebraska, Adrian Martinez was sacked by Mustafa Johnson, with defensive lineman Nu’umato Falo picking up his second fumble recovery of the game at the Nebraska 20-yard line.

Just like that, Colorado had a chance to take the lead. A 12-yard completion from Montez to Dimitri Stanley gave CU a first-and-goal at the Nebraska six-yard line. There, however, the drive stalled, with James Stefanou kicking a 20-yard field goal with 8:30 to play. The Buffs had squandered an opportunity to take the lead, but the score – remarkably – was now tied, 24-all.

The tie didn’t last long.

The Cornhuskers needed only 2:41 of game clock to cover 75 yards to retake the lead. On fourth-and-one at the CU six yard line, Adrian Martinez took it in for the score. Nebraska 31, Colorado 24, with 5:49 to play.

The Buffs’ chances at a comeback seemingly took a fatal hit on the ensuing kickoff. Laviska Shenault, who was held to 31 yards receiving and six yards rushing, returned the Nebraska kickoff 54 yards … but fumbled, giving the Cornhuskers the ball and the lead with 5:35 to play.

Unable to run out the clock or post a game-clinching score, the Nebraska offense went three-and-out, giving the Buffs one more opportunity to tie the game.

It took ten plays and 71 yards, but the Buffs did just that.

The Buffs faced a fourth-and-one at midfield, with Steven Montez sneaking ahead for a five yard gain and new life with 1:29 to play. After a nine-yard completion to K.D. Nixon and a ten-yard run by Jaren Mangham, Montez hit senior receiver Tony Brown for a 26-yard touchdown … with 46 seconds to play.

An interception by Chris Miller gave the Buff Nation hopes of a win in regulation, but Miller was ruled down at the CU 15-yard line.

End of Regulation: Colorado 31, Nebraska 31.

Steven Montez hit Laviska Shenault for 14 yard gain on the first play of overtime, but the gain was wiped out by CU having an ineligible receiver downfield. An Alex Fontenot 18-yard run, though, gave CU a first down at the 12. There, however, the Buffs’ drive stalled, with James Stefanou hitting a 34-yard field goal to give the Buffs their first lead of the game, at 34-31.

Needing a touchdown to win or a field goal to tie, the Nebraska offense went nowhere. Two Maurice Washington runs netted one yard before Adrian Martinez, on third-and-nine at the CU 24, was sacked by Mustafa Johnson for a seven yard loss.

Isaac Armstrong, the Nebraska punter who was pressed into duty when the Cornhusker kicker went out with an injury, was brought in to try a 48-yard field goal to force a second overtime. The effort was short and right, and CU’s unlikely comeback victory was secured.

Final score: Colorado 34, No. 25 Nebraska 31

“We have great pride here and great tradition,” said Mel Tucker. “We have great facilities. There is not a better place in America to be a head football coach, in my opinion. We had some big time recruits here and they could really feel the passion in this place, in this community and on this campus. It was a great day for the Buffs. My hat goes off to our entire organization and our administration. It was a team effort by everyone involved.”

The comeback from a 17-point deficit matched the fourth-largest in school history. “My message to the team was that they gave us their best shot and we hadn’t even scratched the surface of what we could do on either side of the ball,” said Tucker. “It was just a matter of playing the next play, never looking at the scoreboard, doing what we do, believing in each other, playing harder, hitting a little bit harder and executing. When we went out into the tunnel those guys were energized. They were ready. They were ready to play ball. Our guys want to play football. We had an opportunity in the second half to come out and put our best foot forward. We did that.”

Buff players, who were instructed by their head coach not to engage in trash talking during the week, were willing to talk more openly after the game (CU and Nebraska won’t play again until 2023 [Boulder] and 2024 [Lincoln]).

“I love the way it felt,” said Mustafa Johnson, who had three sacks and a forced fumble which allowed the Buffs to tie the game in the fourth quarter. “I happened to be walking through campus on Friday with all of my senior gear on, and Nebraska fans were booing me, so it’s great being able to send them home with a loss.”

Game Notes … 

— While Colorado is certainly not the first team to accomplish the feat, the Buffs did at least tie an NCAA record. In the final game book, there is always a stat: “Time Spent in the Lead“. For the CSU game, for instance, the final game book reads: “Time Spent in the Lead … Colorado: 43:36; Colorado State: 4:12″. For the Nebraska game, the final game book reads: Time Spent in the Lead … “Nebraska: 47:35; Colorado: 0:00”.  So, yes, Buff fans, Colorado won a game in which the Buffs – officially – never led;

— Attendance of 52,829 (sellout) was the largest (and third crowd of 50,000-plus) since Folsom was reconfigured ahead of the 2015 season. It was CU’s largest home opener crowd since 2009 (53,168 vs. Colorado State). The attendance of 52,829 was the largest at Folsom since 2010, when 52,855 were in the house for the Georgia game (a 29-27 win);

 — Colorado is now 7-8 in overtime games in its history (1-1 vs. Nebraska; in the 1999 OT game won by the Huskers, CU rallied from down 27-3 tie the game but missed a 33-yarder that would have won it;

— Colorado gained 258 yards in the fourth quarter after having 193 at the end of three;

— CU had six quarterback sacks in the game, four coming on third downs (all in the second half). Mustafa Johnson had three of those sacks, the first three-sack game for a Buff since Leo Jackson had three against Texas State in 2017;

— Chris Miller had his first career interception;

 It took nearly 65 years to break one of the oldest records in school history, but the 96-yard pass was the longest play from scrimmage in Colorado history (a 95-yard run by Emerson Wilson in 1954).  It was the longest play since Robert Hodge-to-Jeremy Bloom covered 94 yards for a touchdown against Kansas State on Oct. 5, 2002;

— Steven Montez (28-for-41 for 375 yards, two touchdowns; one interception) moved into second place on CU’s all-time passing yards list (7,448), trailing only Sefo Liufau (9,568) as he passed Cody Hawkins (7,409) and Joel Klatt (7,375) in the Nebraska game.

Here are YouTube highlights from the game:

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21 Replies to “CU 34, No. 25 Nebraska 31, OT”

  1. So…..I turn on the TV to start watchin’ the game and all I see is Friggin RED (take that any way you wish). The camera was at the NW end of the stadium……..then they panned around the West Side to the SW side, then the South End Zone and Finally the East Stands.

    What the hell is wrong with you ticket holders sellin off tickets like it was a Super Bowl ? Compare that to a game at Memorial Stadium (Also called, The Sea of Red) where all you see is Red, except where a couple of hundred CU fans got dibs. There’s no way the Kobbers would sell their tickets to see an infiltration of Black and Gold.

    You all saw what I did. Did it make you just kinda’ mad ….OR DID IT BURN YOUR ASS like it did mine ? I’m certain there was smoke profusely streaming from my ears. My huge bowl of popcorn usually lasts about 3 quarters as I eat it one kernel at a time…. By the time the 1st quarter had elapsed, I was slammin hand-fulls in my mouth and the bowl was empty. FUMING BABY. Could hardly stand it.

    Guess there isn’t anything in the Fusker state to watch other than FUSKER FOOTBALL. They probably don’t know what a symphony is, what a facility like the DAM is….. what a theme park such as Elich Gardens is, what a professional Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer or Lacrosse team is.

    All they have is Fusker Football. POOR SOULS.

    Too often, Fox did a video pan of the stadium…..I’m certain they were thinking The Big Red is rollin and CU has no way to stop ‘em……….WELL….. GUESS WHAT ? ……We got to see one the most beautiful comebacks in CU history. Credit the coaches for half-time adjustments and HCMT for great goals with conditioning.

    GO BUFFS

  2. For the first time in a long time, we have a coach and a leader who understands what it takes to win. He knows talk is cheap, something the over-confident and mouthy Nebraska coach, players and fans learned the hard way. As a lifelong Buffs fan who went to my first Buffs game 56 years ago, my only disappointment is in the Buffs “fans” who sold their tickets to Big Red fans. Shame on you! Those extra bucks will be gone soon but my memory of being at this Buffs victory for the ages will live forever. GO BUFFS!

  3. Know doubt….this was an epic win…one that will be savored buy the Buff Nation for years to come. That said…as 30 year season ticket holder my heart sank when I walked into the stadium and saw the west stands. HOW COULD YOU….HOW COULD YOU SELL OUT TO THE RED HORDE!!!! Cowards…
    Oh and by the way….I had a woman clad in red inform me that it it didn’t matter if the Corn lost ’cause ….”Sal is dead”.
    They are devoid of class….

  4. So wonderful to have an intelligent, classy coach that seems to understands football and what it takes to win. I am glad I decided to buy season tickets once again, (promise to Coach Tucker.). I will never, never sell my seat to an opposing team fan. I will give it away to a BUFf fan rather than have anything but black and gold in my seat. As my friend and former co-worker, Derek McCoy,the amazing former BUFF football player once told me, “I never wear red.” I never wear it either. As Coach McCartney says, “Better dead than red.” -Sandy, BA MA CU Alum ’06

  5. First a POX on all the CU season ticket holders that sold tickets to that rabid red refuge of a hoard. I can live with the section down on the far north west (visiting team ticks) but I couldn’t believe the how many of the quality tickets that long time ticket holders along the west sideline had let the NE fans purchase. Shame Shame Shame.

    What a game what a great win, and while this team continues to play and hopefully win and learn from this new staff and their system, avoiding injuries they should get even better as they eventually enter conference play.

    No 7 game tail spin from this group of players and coaches, as I think HCMT already has instilled something that the previous staff had never been able accomplish.

    1. Yo az.

      Nah no pox on em. They got to watch it on tv. LIke you.

      It was a trap. A frigging trap.
      Corn has a bad year last year
      Corn wins a couple at the end of last year
      Corn makes an impression on writers
      Corn gets hype and makes hype
      Corn get ranked
      Corn is back
      Corn is a favorite to win the big 10 west
      Corn wins their first game
      Corn players are talking
      Corn fans are talking
      Corn fans buy tickets at enormous prices
      Corn fans take over boulder with their red crap
      Corn fans take over the stands
      Corn players fail to take over the field
      Buff fans take over the field
      Corn fans stay in the stands
      Corn fans go home

      A perfect week eh.

      HCMT IS ACTUALLY DOING WHAT HE SAYS.

    2. A pox? They got something worse than a pox. They lost a football game to their own image of the weed smoking hippies in Boulder. In Nebraska where football is desperation, arrogance and the only thing they have as a diversion from the never ending fields this has to hurt worse than a pox…(ummm can someone tell me what a pox actually is?)
      As the game turned out there was a small silver lining to the Red faced attendance. They spent so much money on the tickets they wont be going out on a big night on the town for a runza and will be having creamed corn at home.
      And a message for Mr. Doman. We are happy you didnt come here,and will be even happier if you stay there as we are sure you will be too (snicker)

      1. Pox definition: a disease characterized by multiple skin pustules.

        Many of those Red Clad Bovine Corn People already have the early stages of a Pox. If you get real close to them you can see the beginning of them. Stay away from your wife’s relatives as they can be contagious.

        I once had a good friend from Denver that was a big Buff Fan. He moved to NE went into business and in order to make a good life there became a big NU football fan. He died……I’m not sure what of but if you are interested maybe we could get a Go Fund Me going and have him exhumed. I’ll bet 10 Buffalo Roasts to a Bushel of Corn that he still would show the remains of a POX.

        1. Burr really he meant…………….

          “…..If the kind of pox was not otherwise specified, the “great pox” (syphilis) was what was meant. So “Pox on you!” means “I hope you get syphilis!”….

          az is such a very mean person

  6. Unbelievable! Looked like two completely different teams. This coaching staff made great adjustments which, last year would not have occurred. Congratulations to Mel Tucker! Signature win in first at Folsom Field. Icing on the cake were all those red invaders being left slack jawed and dumb founded! Shame on all those so called Buff fans whose decisions allowed 70% of the stands to be clad in red. Should never happen! That said…2-0, will take it. Go Buffs!

    1. Shall I state the obvious? They’re already dumb, having found themselves going back to Lincoln, NE, ….. back to LINCOLN, ….. after being handed their hats in beautiful Boulder. Losing to their archenemies and then needing to return to Lincoln. That’s a double negative.

  7. I am proud to be a Buff! A good football team finds a way to win and they did! It was ugly but Mel Tucker pulled off what CU coaches have failed at for year. Run, run, run even if you only get a yard keep rushing because in two quarters the other guys are gonna be out of gas! That is how you beat teams down!

  8. I’m proud to have been there today. This team has guts and toughness. I wish many more Buff fans could say the same. The number of Husker’s in the stadium was an embarrassment.

  9. Wow. A different team in the second half. Just wow. Now to get good first halves too… it will come. Coaches that can adjust like this mid game can def do it to start once they get their legs under them.
    Bravo buffs!!!

    PS I took too long to involve Viska, and when we did we leaned on him too heavily. I hope his injuries don’t linger into the coming weeks!

  10. Mel Tucker’s Buffs are a breath of fresh air!
    You should see the bugahaw meltdown on their message boards…is it a rivalry yet?

  11. George T
    I agree it was a shame to see all of the red in the stadium. If you don’t want to go to the games, SELL YOUR SEASON TICKETS!!!
    Thank God Mickey mac wasn’t the coach, because the buffs would have folded like a cheap tent at halftime. Go Buffs!!!!

  12. Actually it turns out I am happy that 25,000 red freds came to Folsom to watch their cobs choke for the 2nd year in a row. You know half of them live in Colorado so they will have to listen to Colorado fans gloat for a while. Their buns are frosted, so to speak. The ones going home undoubtedly wont stop until they get to the first nub truck top for some cardboard chicken fried steak and instant potatoes.
    Awwww….anyone heard some excuses lately?
    Having said that can we start out fast for a change? Thank god we started throwing downfield in the 2nd half. The first half play selection sucked, unless Mel was setting em up for the second half.
    I now he wants to run the ball but the passing game is the strength of this team.
    And oh yeah
    The South is still wide open. UCLA is 0-2. ASU had problems with Sacramento State.
    final thought….who will be the QB on the scout team in this week’s practice?

  13. Holy Sh!t what a 2nd half!!!! 2 games in a row that halftime adjustments were made and executed, unlike last year where the 2nd half we saw no adjustments and the Buffs out coached. And damn all you alumni that sold your tickets to Cornholer fans, you should be ashamed as I am of you. Do us all a favor and get rid of your tickets permanently!!!!!! So proud of this team and HELL OF AN EFFORT staying in and taking it!!!!! Go BUFFS!!!!

    1. What a game!!! What a win for Mel Tucker!!! He is the real deal.

      You could see the belief in the team in the second half. The defense deserves a ton of credit for making the adjustments. The offensive line in the second half was way better too. I was very unhappy at the half, but the game just had a feel to it that we were waiting to explode.

      What more can be said. Wow, just wow!!!

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