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Colorado Daily – Washington Week

November 23rd – Game Day !

… CU in a few minutes … 

Related .. “Buffs Host Washington On Senior Day” … from CUBuffs.com

CU seniors: “Last game in Folsom, so you’ve got to go all out”

From the Daily Camera … This is a unique senior class for CU, as eight of the 17 began their careers at other schools, including three graduate transfers – tackle Arlington Hambright, tight end Jalen Harris and safety Mikial Onu – who are wrapping up their only seasons in Boulder.

Regardless of the paths each senior has taken, first-year head coach Mel Tucker knows it will be a special night for the Buffs.

“Senior day, you only get one of those, and it’s a special time,” Tucker said. “You get a chance to reflect back on how you got there and then there’s also a moment to think about where you’re going next. I’m looking forward to that for our seniors. We’ve got a great bunch of guys. I love them to death. They’ve worked really, really hard and bought into our culture and how we’ve shifted some things. I feel like we’re moving in the right direction and our seniors have been a big part of that.”

… Whether they’ve been here five years or one, many of the seniors are thankful for the opportunity to be Buffs and look forward to one last game at Folsom Field.

“It’s a pleasure to play in Folsom,” said cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr., who came to CU last year as a junior college transfer. “Last game in Folsom, so you’ve got to go all out.”

While it will be an emotional night, it’s also a game with significance because bowl eligibility is still possible if the Buffs win their last two games.

“That’s really the most important thing to me,” Montez said. “I can go out there and throw for zero passing yards and if we win, I really wouldn’t care. I just want to get these games and put some wins next to them and see what happens from there.”

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November 22nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU picks up its first commitment … from the Class of 2022!

Not ready to put together a heading yet for the CU Recruiting Class of 2022 … as we are 25 months away from those players being able to sign their Letters of Intent.

But, here we go …

Anthony Costanzo – WR/DB

Just the facts … Committed November 22, 2019 … Costanzo is a 6’2″, 190-pound wide receiver/safety from Monument, Colorado (Palmer Ridge) Rivals bio  247 Sports bio

What others say about Costanzo … Costanzo was not rated by either Rivals or 247 Sports at the time of his commitment, but Buff fans shouldn’t be too concerned at this point, as Costanzo is just wrapping up his sophomore season in high school.

Costanzo is a teammate of CU’s first commitment from the Recruiting Class of 2021, three-star athlete Kaden Dudley.

Costanzo had other offers from … Colorado State – at least for now.

In his own words … from his tweet announcing his commitment … “Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of playing Division 1 football. Now I’ve got the opportunity to … I just want to say thanks to the coaching staff at CU, Coach Cap, Coach Chev, and Coach Tucker for giving me the opportunity … With this being said, I am committing to the University of Colorado”. 

“Sitting down with Mel Tucker and seeing everything he is doing at CU, he is really turning it around and I believe in him… so does everyone else around me,” Costanzo told BuffStampede.com. “So, committing now felt like a really good idea. … Honestly, I just feel like I am at home when I am at CU.”

Here is a link to his sophomore year Hudl.com highlights.

Relentless – Episode 4

From BuffsTV:

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November 21st 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Laviska Shenault: First down/Touchdown machine

From CUBuffs.com … With his name already firmly etched in the Colorado record books, Buffaloes wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has two more games to add to those totals, beginning with Saturday’s 8 p.m. home finale against Washington (ESPN).

… But truth is, those numbers don’t begin to tell the entire story of Shenault’s versatility and value. His ability to run from the wildcat and his nose for first downs has made him one of the most productive offensive players in the Pac-12, as well as a projected first-round pick in next spring’s NFL Draft should he decide to leave school a year early.

When Shenault has run the ball this year — especially on third or fourth down — he has been outstanding. In nine rushing attempts in those situations, he has produced nine first downs, including a huge 5-yard gain on fourth-and-1 late in the game against Stanford that kept alive what proved to be the game-winning drive.

But Shenault’s first down productivity hasn’t been limited to short-yardage situations. Over his career, he has produced a first down (or touchdown on goal-to-go situations) on more than half of his offensive touches.

In his three years, Shenault has 172 offensive touches, and he has produced a first down or goal-to-go touchdown 99 times (57.6 percent). This year, he has 39 first downs or touchdowns in 60 touches, an astounding 65 percent.

Continue reading story here

Rashaan Salaam’s run to the Heisman – 25 years ago this week

… Related … Game story … 1994: “Iowa State: Salaam’s 2,055 overshadowed by Coach Mac’s announcement”

Remembering Ralphie V

Related … “Remembering Ralphie before her final game” – slideshow … can be found here

From CUBuffs.com … Ralphie turned 13 in October and is in great health; she receives regular veterinarian check-ups.  As the season progressed, she just wasn’t having the consistency she had displayed in prior years.  With past Ralphies, as they aged, their speed typically decreased; with Ralphie V, she has been so excited to run that she was actually running too fast, which created safety concerns for her and her handlers.  She also wasn’t consistently responding to cues from her handlers, and her temperament was such that she was held back from leading the team out for CU’s last two home games against USC and Stanford.

“Ralphie V has served the department and the university well,” George said.  “She has been a very special buffalo and has truly been adored by many.  We hope she lives for many years to come and look forward to finding her successor.”

Ralphie V will make her final appearance as a spectator at CU’s final home game against Washington on Nov. 23.  She will not run but her career will be celebrated.

She will continue to live on her ranch – alongside a companion buffalo – under the program’s care as previous Ralphies have done.  She will make public appearances on behalf of the university as other retired Ralphies have done while her eventual replacement is groomed for the 2020 season.

“Ralphie V had an outstanding career as the face and symbol of our great university and athletic department,” said John Graves, the Ralphie Program Manager since 2015 and one-time handler as a CU student.  Graves has been around her since she was six months old and was one of the handlers for her first time leading the team out on to Folsom Field on Sept. 6, 2008.

“Ralphie V was our first Ralphie to serve in the age of social media,” Graves said.  “Thanks to her, we were able to incorporate an educational aspect to the Ralphie Program and hundreds of thousands of fans were able to meet her and learn more about her and buffalo in general, while countless more learned via social media.  As one of the biggest and fastest Ralphies, her love for running and power was showcased every home game during her career.  It’s almost like she knew she was the queen of campus and she loved to show that fact off when she ran onto the field and at her public appearances.”

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CU’s leading receiver, Tony Brown: “I tell myself: one percent better each day”

From the Daily Camera … At some point last offseason, Tony Brown was smacked with the reality that his college football career was coming to a close and he had yet to have his breakout season.

“I just knew this is it,” Brown, a Colorado receiver, said. “It’s senior year, so you’ve got to do something, so I did everything I could.”

Brown’s change in mindset has led to a career year with the Buffaloes (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12), who will host Washington (6-4, 3-4) in the home finale at Folsom Field on Saturday (8:10 p.m., TV: ESPN).

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior has caught 51 passes for 656 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Buffs in all three categories.

“Having an opportunity this year was great,” he said. “I took advantage of them and I’m going to keep doing that. I feel pretty great with the progress that I made this year. This is going to be the last game in Folsom, so I’m going to do the best I can to contribute and also have fun.”

Brown, who was coached by former CU quarterback Mike Moschetti at LaMirada (Calif.) High School, played his first two college seasons at Texas Tech. He appeared in 24 games with the Red Raiders, who his opportunities were limited.

In 2017, Brown transferred to CU, but had to sit out the season because of the NCAA transfer rule. Last year, he was a solid contributor, with 32 catches for 333 yards and a touchdown.

Going into his final season, Brown knew he hadn’t reached his full potential.

“I just had to snap out of it,” he said. “Being a young kid, I didn’t really get a lot of experience of being on the field a lot, but it’s just the mindset of me being like, ‘Hey, this is it; do something.’ So I made up my mind to actually start working hard, doing the little things, and it’s been doing a lot for me.”

Continue reading story here

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November 20th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Seventeen seniors to be honored, including six fifth-year seniors

From CUBuffs.com Of the 17 seniors to be honored at Saturday’s game in their final appearance at Folsom Field, six are fifth-year seniors. That group includes safety Lucas Cooper, linebacker Nu’umotu Falo Jr., punter Alex Kinney, center Tim Lynott Jr., quarterback Steven Montez and snapper J.T. Bale. The four-year seniors who have spent their entire careers at CU include tight end Beau Bisharat, quarterback Josh Goldin and kicker Davis Price.

None of those players ever lost to Colorado State, as the Buffs have won the last five in a row over CSU. Kinney played in all five games against the Rams, as he earned an injury redshirt year last season after the Colorado State game.

Another feather in the seniors’ cap will be their record against Nebraska, against whom they have posted a 2-0 record in their time in Boulder.

Over the last 18 years, Colorado has had 330 of its 364 seniors from the team earn their degrees (90.7 percent).

Read full story here

*Video – OC Jay Johnson talks about “rising to the challenge” of the Washington defense*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

CU Athletics: 2019 RAPID Report released

Full RAPID Report can be found here

Some highlights … After running a balanced budget for the past several years, the athletic department had a $3,696,000 deficit this past fiscal year (almost entirely due to Mike MacIntyre’s buyout … CU received $88.8M in revenue ($31.7M from Pac-12) and $92.5M in expenses … The Buff Club raised $27,068,825, the best fund-raising year in CU history …

From CUBuffs.com … Ever want an “inside” look at the University of Colorado Athletic Department, a place to find information that reaches beyond the scoreboard?

We have that place. CU officials have released the third annual “RAPID” report, a comprehensive annual review that includes information not only on the latest academic and athletic achievements of CU student-athletes, but also a look at department financials, programming and initiatives.

“This effort is something we started a couple of years ago and it has been well-received each time,” Athletic Director Rick George said. “This goes beyond wins and losses on the playing surface. This is a way for our supporters to see what we do for our student-athletes and how we do it. We want our donors and alumni to be confident that they are having a positive impact on our student-athletes. When they invest in the University of Colorado, they are helping students, the university, their community and the state.”

The RAPID report was originally designed along the lines of a Fortune 500 company review. It provides a detailed picture of how support funds are directed to assist CU student-athletes via programs ranging from facility renovation to expansion of the department’s Psychological Health, Nutrition, and Leadership and Career Development programs.

“These are tools that not only help our student-athletes compete at a high level on the field and in the classroom, but will help them thrive long after they have graduated,” George said. “That allows them to have a positive impact on their communities and future generations.”

The newest report also provides a quick breakdown of the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan developments. That includes the department’s best-ever graduation success rate, and CU Athletics’ continued commitment to gender equity that this year produced a benchmark participation rate.

The report is named after the acronym representing CU Athletics’ core values statement: Respect, Accountability, Passion, Integrity, Dedication.

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Laviska Shenault trying to get to 100 percent: “That’s been the hardest thing to do all year”

From the Daily Camera … Coming off a bye week, the Buffs have rested a bit and that’s a good thing for Laviska Shenault, who has battled bumps and bruises – or worse – throughout the season.

“It’s been frustrating,” said Shenault, who has 45 catches for 621 yards and three touchdowns, along with 119 yards rushing yards and two scores, in nine games. “Like I’ve always said, it’s hard to not do what you want to do; not do what you love to do; and not do what you’ve been doing all your life. It’s definitely hard, and it’s hard not being able to help my team in any possible way.”

In CU’s last game, a 16-13 win against Stanford on Nov. 9, Shenault left briefly with a knee injury. Add that to the core muscle injury that’s bothered him and other bumps and bruises and it made for good timing for a bye week.

“Very beneficial,” he said of the bye. “I didn’t have to do much; just trying to get to 100 (percent). That’s been the hardest thing to do this year.

“It’s football, so I just deal with the pain and keep moving.”

Continue reading story here

CBS projections: Shenault still a first-round NFL draft pick

From CBS Sports … Joe Burrow remains atop our latest mock draft but for the first time all season, Tua Tagovailoa is nowhere to be found. Days after suffering a dislocated hip, Tagovailoa underwent successful surgery on Monday. And while his doctors expect him to make a full recovery, we still don’t know when he’ll be able to return to football. So for now, he’s not in the first round even though he’s not just a first-round talent but one of the best players in this class.

This, of course, means a lot of shuffling near the top of the draft; quarterback-needy teams will have to decide whether to overdraft a player or stick to their boards. In the coming weeks and months, this could be good news for names like Justin Herbert, the Oregon star who has played better in recent weeks, Utah State’s Jordan Love, Washington’s Jacob Eason and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts.

Round 1 – Pick No. 24 – Minnesota Vikings … Laviska Shenault, Colorado … Yes, the Vikings have Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, but there’s not a lot of depth behind them. And Shenault, who can line up anywhere on the field, would add another dimension to an offense that already uses a heavy dosage of presnap motion, bootleg, and play-action concepts.

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November 19th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mel Tucker Tuesday Press Conference quotes

YouTube video, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

From CUBuffs.com

Opening Statement
“The bye week was really a time for us to get better and just build and establish some stronger relationships on and off the field. Our coaches hit the recruiting trail and saw some really good players. Whether it’s Colorado, California, Louisiana, Texas, we were able to get out and talk to some high school coaches and see who we thought has what it takes to be a Buff. Also, I want to personally thank you guys, some of the diehard media guys that had lunch with me last Thursday. I know that was tough, but I appreciate that and it’s always good to get to know you guys and for us to get to know each other outside of work. I think it’s important for coaches to understand and recognize that the women and men that cover our programs are vitally important to the culture here, and the success of our programs, and again I really appreciate that time.”

“We have a strong opponent coming in with Washington. They’re tough and they’re physical. They have some really good players in all three phases and they’re very well coached. I really want to thank our fans for the support that we’ve gotten all season long. Folsom stadium has been rocking and our students have been outstanding. This is one of the great places in college football to play and to coach at. It’s a great venue. It’s just as I remembered it from back in the day when I was fortunate enough to have played here, just a very tough place to play. It’s loud and the student section is into it. This will be our senior night and the last game for our seniors in Folsom. Ralphie is going to make her last public appearance on Saturday night and then Kordell Stewart is going to be in the house for the 25th anniversary of “The Catch” and we’re really looking forward to that.”

Our guys have worked really hard. We’ve had a good week of practice so far. We understand what our challenges are and what our opportunities are. We’re going to build on some things that we’ve done well, and we’re just really looking forward to this opportunity. Our guys are really coming together in terms of playing complementary football. Our offense, defense, and special teams are all working together. We saw that in our last opportunity on the field. We’re going to continue to work and prepare and we’re looking forward to putting our best foot forward in front of our fans and our students in Folsom on Saturday.”

On Playing An Elite Team Like Washington
“There are some great, great teams in the PAC-12. We all know Coach (Chris) Peterson is one of the outstanding coaches in this country and in this business, college or pro. Washington is known for playing darn good football and this year is no different. It’s going to be a challenge for us and we’ll be up for it. We’re going to prepare for this opportunity. You only get so many chances and so many games. For our seniors it’s winding down and this is the last opportunity in Folsom for our guys. It’s going to be special.”

On What He Remembers About His Senior Day At Wisconsin
“I remember my parents being there. That’s what I remember the most, just having my mom and dad there. You only get one senior day. It’s a special time. You get a chance to reflect back on kind of how you got there, and then there’s also a moment to think about where you’re going next. I’m looking forward to that for our seniors. We’ve got a great bunch of guys. I love them to death. They’ve worked really, really hard, and bought into our culture and how we’ve shifted some things and I feel like we’re moving in the right direction and our seniors have been a big part of that.”

On The Journey Of Sr. CB Delrick Abrams, Jr.
“He’s a special guy and he’s had an interesting journey to get to this point. What I know about him is that he’s a high character guy. He’s a really good teammate. He’s very coachable. He loves football and he’s very driven to succeed. He’s gonna be successful in anything that he decides that he wants to do and I’ve really enjoyed coaching “Slim” and being part of his career.”

On Changing The Culture At Colorado
“I believe our guys are really starting to come together and play complementary football and that’s what you have to be able to do to be successful. You just can’t have production on one side of the ball. It has to be offense, defense, and special teams all working together. I feel like our guys have a pretty good understanding of that now, along with an attention to detail, sense of urgency, discipline, hard work, drive, and having a relentless attitude and mindset. All of those things, along with consistency and performance, is how you become successful, by being consistent in everything that you’re doing. In creating good habits I feel that the culture shift is taking place and we’ll continue to build on it and we’re going to get there. We’re going to get it done.”

On The Defensive Performance Against Stanford
“We talked about resetting the standard on defense and moving forward and building on things that we did well. Anytime you have success you should be able to gain some confidence from that. We’re a work in progress on defense so there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I feel like we’re moving in the right direction and we have some young players that are developing. We have some older guys that are starting to play their best football and starting to come into their own a little bit. Our guys have continued to fight and scratch and claw and just strive to get better. They have just never stopped. They’ve always played hard.”

On His Favorite Memory Of Ralphie V
“It’s kind of hard to describe when we’re in the shoot and we’re waiting for that garage door to open, and there’s a countdown and the music is playing. They raise up the garage door and you walk out and you see the handlers right there and Ralphie is in there ready to go. My whole deal is I just want to make sure I can get a good stride and get a good burst and not get ran over, and then veer off to the left and let her do her thing. It’s really the Ralphie show at that point. It’s one of the great traditions in all of sports and I just feel very blessed and fortunate to have experienced that. Our players look forward to it and I think our fans look forward to it as well. This is something that is very unique in sports and I’m looking forward to doing it again with the next Ralphie.”

On Sr. QB Steven Montez
“I’ve told you guys from day one that I have a lot of respect for Steven as a person and as a player. Since I’ve been here and since our staff has been in place he’s been about business. He comes to work every day. He works really hard and he’s shown leadership and we’ve seen improvement in him. Even today he and I were talking about some things that he’s been working on and that coach (Jay) Johnson was working with him on. You can see it in practice and he’s a guy that I know what we’re going to get from him. He’s going to compete, he’s going to give us 100%, and he’s going to play hard for his teammates. I just wish I had more time with him, I really do.”

Continue reading story here

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*Video – A Day in The Life of Mel Tucker* – from 9News

From YouTube:

CU likely to lose status as one of only eight schools at over 100% capacity

From the Daily Camera … For a number of reasons – including the late start time, which wasn’t announced until Sunday; and the start of the Thanksgiving break – ticket sales are down for this game. As of Monday afternoon, CU had distributed about 42,000 tickets and will likely fall well short of this year’s average of 50,563 (capacity: 50,183). CU has had at least 48,913 at each home game.

Tucker is hoping the fans will step up and create a good atmosphere for senior night.

“Our fans have been tremendous throughout this entire season,” he said. “Our stadium has been rocking; just an electric atmosphere. Buff Nation is so strong. Our players are energized by it and we look forward to playing at home.

“It’s very, very impressive to our recruits and their parents. Everyone who sees us in action at Folsom just comes away with a strong understanding that the Buffs are serious about football and this is a football town. I just encourage everyone to come out and support our team.”

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November 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video – Coach Tucker post-practice talk with media (Monday)*

From YouTube, courtesy of CU SportsNation.com:

Kickoff time for Utah game won’t be known until Sunday

From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado at Utah football game on Saturday, November 30, is one of three games that has been selected for a 6-day notification for arrangements per our Pac-12 television partners.

The CU at Utah, Notre Dame at Stanford and Oregon State at Oregon games will have their arrangements known this Sunday morning (Nov. 24), and will occupy one of these  three windows (in order of selection):

ABC – 5:30 p.m. MST

FOX – 2:00 p.m. MST

PAC-12 Network – 2:00 p.m. MST

The three other games on the final weekend of the regular season are set:

Friday, November 29, 2019 

2:00pm MST – Washington State at Washington, FOX (previously announced)

Saturday, November 30, 2019 

8:00 p.m. MST – Arizona at Arizona State, ESPN

8:30 p.m. MST – Cal at UCLA, Fox Sports 1

Mikial Onu not regretting transfer from (9-1) SMU: “I wouldn’t change it for the world”

From the Daily Camera … Having spent the previous three years playing football at Southern Methodist University, Mikial Onu had a feeling this was going to be a good year for the Mustangs.

“We had a lot of returners, we had a great coaching staff, great players – draft pick kind of guys – and a schedule that was kind of favorable,” Onu said. “I saw it coming; everybody saw it coming.”

Despite being a veteran starter for the Mustangs, Onu knew he needed to make a change for himself. Over the summer he left SMU and transferred to Colorado.

With two games left, the senior safety has no regrets about playing for the Buffaloes (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12) instead of at SMU, which has been one of the nation’s great stories at 9-1 and ranked 21st nationally. It’s the first time since 1985 that SMU has been ranked.

“I feel great for those guys, but I’m glad I’m here and I’m glad I’m not there, simply because this is home,” Onu, who played in 36 games with 20 starts at SMU, said last week. “Me leaving there was not a, ‘They’re bad and they’re going to be bad (situation);’ I knew they were going to be a good team.

“I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m happy for them, but happy where I am.”

Continue reading story

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November 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Senior Beau Bisharat taking pride in special teams prowess – “I don’t get all the glory”

From the Daily Camera … For three years, Beau Bisharat kept his dream alive of becoming a featured running back for the Colorado Buffaloes.

That dream was never realized, but as the senior approaches the end of his college football career, he’s enjoying the role he plays for the Buffs (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12).

“I kind of worked my way into being more of like a workhorse that just kind of does whatever the staff needs me to do, which I take pride in that,” said Bisharat, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior who shifted to tight end last spring and has been one of the best special teams players in recent CU history. “Not a lot of people can do that just because it’s not … I don’t get all the glory. I don’t get all the praise.”

There were expectations of glory and praise when Bisharat graduated from Jesuit High School in Sacramento. He was a four-star recruit with scholarship offers from more than 20 schools, including 10 in the Pac-12.

Continue reading story here

Bundle up! Kickoff time set for the Washington game

From CUBuffs.com … The Washington at Colorado football game on Saturday, Nov. 23 (CU’s Senior Day) will be televised nationally by ESPN and will kickoff at 8:00 p.m. MST.

The Pac-12 schedule for that day:

UCLA at Southern California (ABC), 1:30 p.m. MST

California at Stanford (PAC12), 2:00 p.m. MST

Oregon at Arizona State (ABC), 5:30 p.m. MST

Oregon State at Washington State (PAC12), 7:00 p.m. MST

Utah at Arizona (Fox Sports 1), 8:00 p.m. MST

Washington at Colorado (ESPN), 8:00 p.m. MST

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November 16th

… CU in a few minutes …

Patience (third position in three years) paying off for safety Derrion Rakestraw

From CUBuffs.com … Patience pays. So does a refusal to give up on yourself.

Colorado Buffaloes junior safety Derrion Rakestraw is living proof.

Rakestraw arrived in Boulder in 2016 as a wide receiver out of Woodstock, Ga. He redshirted his first year, then after spending the ensuing spring at wideout, found himself being moved to cornerback in fall 2017. He played two games at the position that season, then in spring 2018, he was moved again, this time to safety.

Three years, three positions.

“It wasn’t easy,” he admitted. “Patience was huge. Just being able to stay focused, not let my mind wander and not get too down on myself. I had to just keep working, keep trusting my abilities.”

Rakestraw finally found a fit at safety in 2018, playing in seven games on defense, including a pair of starts. He finished the season with 24 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.

This year, he again started the year behind fellow junior Aaron Maddox on the depth chart at strong safety. But when Maddox went down with an injury against Air Force, Rakestraw stepped in — and even when Maddox returned three weeks later, Rakestraw kept his starting spot.

Now, he has started seven straight games and has 30 tackles and three interceptions, including a key pick against Stanford in last weekend’s 16-13 win that helped set up a CU field goal just before halftime.

Continue reading story here

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November 15th

… CU in a few minutes …

*Video – CU commit Brenden Rice: “A Son of A Legend”*

From YouTube …

*Video – Pac-12’s “The Drive” focuses on Buffs’ win over Stanford*

From YouTube … Interesting exchange between Steven Montez and a mic-ed up Mel Tucker after the game-winning kick … Montez: “Thank you for believing in me” … Tucker: “I believe in you. I never stopped” …

 

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November 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Five CU coaches on the road recruiting during the bye week

From the Daily Camera … Two games remain on Colorado’s football schedule, but first-year head coach Mel Tucker always has an eye on the Buffaloes’ future, as well.

“It never stops,” he said.

CU (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12) wrapped up bye week practices on Thursday and then sent several coaches on the road to recruit.

“We’ve got five coaches out and we’ll hit a couple of states and will probably hit 18 to 20 schools and go to several games,” Tucker said. “I’ll be heading out this evening myself and so we’re looking for the best student athletes for Buff nation.”

The early signing period for the class of 2020 runs from Dec. 18-20 and the Buffs have 20 players verbally committed at this point. It’s not just seniors they are working on, though.

“This is a very important stretch for us to close,” Tucker said. “We’ve done well and we’re on the right track, but we have to continue to work and it’s not just the ’20 class, but also the ’21 class and the ’22 class.”

Tucker and his staff continue to put an emphasis on in-state recruits. Although only one 2020 commit is from Colorado (Cherry Creek offensive lineman Carson Lee), the Buffs are looking at younger talent in the state. Palmer Ridge star Kaden Dudley is already committed to CU for the 2021 class.

Continue reading story here

*Video – Coach Tucker post-practice talk with media (Thursday)*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Holding Stanford under 30 points: “It was really important for our players”

From the Daily Camera … For several weeks, the Colorado football team had seen little signs of progress with its defense, even if the results didn’t show it.

Last Saturday, the Buffaloes finally some saw results in a 16-13 victory against Stanford.

During the win, the Buffs snapped a 14-game streak of allowing 30-plus points – a streak that was the longest in the country.

“It was big,” defensive coordinator Tyson Summers said Wednesday, as the Buffs (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12) continued work during their bye week. “I think it was really important for our players, especially our young players. They’ve been working really hard through practice and again, it’s always good to be able to see some results to come with everything that they’ve been doing.”

While it was just one game, and it came against a Stanford team that ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring, it was still an important result for the Buffs, who are in their first season with Mel Tucker as head coach and Summers as coordinator.

Continue reading story here

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November 13th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Return of Colby Pursell to the offensive line a boon (CU 4-0 with Pursell in the lineup)

From CUBuffs.com … The return of offensive lineman Colby Pursell to the lineup last week — Pursell played 23 snaps in a reserve role — was no doubt good news for the Buffs.

As O-line coach Chris Kapilovic pointed out Wednesday morning, the Buffs’ results also seem to be better when Pursell plays. In fact, Pursell — who missed five games after gallbladder surgery — has played in five games this year, with Colorado owning a 4-1 record in those contests. CU’s only loss with Pursell in the lineup came against Air Force, when he played just 16 snaps before being unable to continue.

Pursell started CU’s first four games of the season at right guard before having his gallbladder removed, remedying a situation that had caused him to be sick on an almost daily basis for much of the season.

Now, he’s back roughly a month after having the surgery. He played 23 snaps against Stanford, meaning CU is 4-0 when he plays at least 20 snaps in a game.

“He’s an unbelievable kid, it means everything to him,” Kapilovic said.

Read full story here

*Video – Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers post-practice talk with media*

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation:

Mel Tucker on “Outkick the Coverage” podcast

Mel Tucker was the guest today on “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” … Coach Tucker goes into detail about growing up in Cleveland and his family (two younger brothers – eight years apart) … Coach talks about being a graduate assistant for Nick Saban at Michigan State (sleeping under his desk, getting four hours of sleep) … Learning toughness from his father (“Are you hurt, or are you injured?”) … Not being offered by his home state school: “I wanted to go to Ohio State in the worst way” … “I was initially committed to play for Air Force … Then Coach Alvarez got the Wisconsin job” … 1-10 his first year at Wisconsin and being homesick (which helps him in dealing with homesick players today) … “I made my first start against Ohio State in Columbus” … “I didn’t know then that I wanted to be a coach, but I learned a lot while at Wisconsin from some great coaches” … Tucker almost died from the chicken pox, which cost him a chance at playing for the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL … At LSU, “They want to win so bad that it’s almost dangerous” …

Mel Tucker: “They’re starting to get our culture in terms of everyone doing their job”

From the Daily Camera … The message is sinking in.

That’s the big takeaway Colorado coach Mel Tucker had after reviewing film of last weekend’s 16-13 Buffaloes win over Stanford.

“We had success on Saturday because we had the discipline to do our jobs and our guys played together as a team,” Tucker said after Tuesday’s workout. “They’re starting to get our culture in terms of everyone doing their job, trusting that the man next to us is going to do his job, and playing for each other, playing as a team. That’s a that’s a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish here. Just everyone understanding what their role is and being a star in your role.”

The win against a program known for its physical play, especially in the trenches, was also the kind of game that brought a smile to Tucker’s face.

“They have a tremendous program,” Tucker said. “They are known for being a physical program … We ran the ball on our terms. We were stout in the trenches. And again, we had a definite discipline to do our jobs on a consistent basis for 60 minutes.”

Tucker was pleased with every phase of the Buffs’ game as CU ended a five-game losing streak and improved to 4-6 (2-5 Pac-12). The offense, he said, was efficient and effective, particularly on two fourth-quarter drives that produced the game-tying and game-winning field goals. The defense played its best overall game of the year, and special teams delivered an outstanding punting game, good coverage on kicks and a 3-for-3 day on field goals, including the game winner.

“It was a strong defensive effort,” Tucker said. “We had a lot of guys contribute. Guys are playing hard playing for each other doing their jobs, getting out there on third down and and making big plays, physical in the trenches. And it was an example, that game of complementary football. Offense, defense and special teams all working together to get the job done. So it was very good.”

Continue reading story here

—–

November 12th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video – Coach Tucker post-practice talk with media (Tuesday)* – PK James Stefanou out for the season

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com: … “We had success on Saturday because we had the discipline to do our jobs … They’re starting to get our culture … Playing for each other; playing as a team; everyone understanding what their role is … The Buff Nation was strong Saturday … Injury update: Junior place kicker James Stefanou is not expected to return this season due a hip injury. Tucker said the 32-year old Australian is going in for surgery soon … ”

Ralphie V retires after 12 years of service

From CUBuffs.com …  Ralphie V, the University of Colorado’s live buffalo mascot for the better part of the last 12 seasons, has officially retired, athletic director Rick George announced Tuesday.

Ralphie turned 13 in October and is in great health; she receives regular veterinarian check-ups.  As the season progressed, she just wasn’t having the consistency she had displayed in prior years.  With past Ralphies, as they aged, their speed typically decreased; with Ralphie V, she has been so excited to run that she was actually running too fast, which created safety concerns for her and her handlers.  She also wasn’t consistently responding to cues from her handlers, and her temperament was such that she was held back from leading the team out for CU’s last two home games against USC and Stanford.

“Ralphie V has served the department and the university well,” George said.  “She has been a very special buffalo and has truly been adored by many.  We hope she lives for many years to come and look forward to finding her successor.”

Ralphie V will make her final appearance as a spectator at CU’s final home game against Washington on Nov. 23.  She will not run but her career will be celebrated.

She will continue to live on her ranch – alongside a companion buffalo – under the program’s care as previous Ralphies have done.  She will make public appearances on behalf of the university as other retired Ralphies have done while her eventual replacement is groomed for the 2020 season.

“Ralphie V had an outstanding career as the face and symbol of our great university and athletic department,” said John Graves, the Ralphie Program Manager since 2015 and one-time handler as a CU student.  Graves has been around her since she was six months old and was one of the handlers for her first time leading the team out on to Folsom Field on Sept. 6, 2008.

“Ralphie V was our first Ralphie to serve in the age of social media,” Graves said.  “Thanks to her, we were able to incorporate an educational aspect to the Ralphie Program and hundreds of thousands of fans were able to meet her and learn more about her and buffalo in general, while countless more learned via social media.  As one of the biggest and fastest Ralphies, her love for running and power was showcased every home game during her career.  It’s almost like she knew she was the queen of campus and she loved to show that fact off when she ran onto the field and at her public appearances.”

This is the 53rd season that a live buffalo has led the team out on the field, both at the start of games as well as before the start of the second half.  In all, the five Ralphies have led the team out 296 times at Folsom Field, and 355 times overall including road games, conference championship games, neutral site contests and bowl games.  There have been only 13 occasions during the program’s history when a Ralphie did not lead the team out at home.

Ralphie V led the team a total of 76 times, appearing 65 times at home, on 10 occasions in Denver and at the 2016 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.  She was held back from running five times, including the two times this season.  The Buffaloes were 8-2 in Denver against Colorado State when she ran in front some of the biggest crowds during her tenure and retires with a 39-37 record overall.

Ralphie V retires as the second longest serving Ralphie.  The original Ralphie ran at 78 games over 12 seasons, Ralphie II ran at 53 games in nine seasons, Ralphie III ran 73 times over 11 seasons, while Ralphie IV ran at 75 games in 10 seasons.  IV was the last Ralphie to appear at a regular season road game, traveling to Georgia in 2006 where she was showcased with Uga, the school’s famous bulldog mascot.

As for her replacement who will be named Ralphie VI, Graves and athletics personnel have been preparing for some time and are currently in the process of identifying potential candidates that will be the next in line for CU’s nationally revered live buffalo, often ranked as the best live mascot in college football.

“It has truly been an honor to care for and work with Ralphie V the past 13 years,” Graves said.  “Being able to see her and spend time with her each and every day is the best part of my job.  She has such a fun and energetic personality, and while I will miss her leading the team onto the field, I still have the privilege of being able to spend time with her every day at her ranch.

“I also want to thank the 78 Ralphie Handlers who worked with and cared for Ralphie V during her career,” he continued.  “The dedication and commitment of these students to Ralphie V was immensely important to the Ralphie Program.”

A lesser-known fact about the Ralphie Program is that it is 100 percent donor-funded and relies on the generosity of donors for the upkeep and care of CU’s most-beloved mascot.  With an operating budget of more than $60,000 annually and the retirement of Ralphie V, the financial needs of the program will increase exponentially as we continue to provide for her care and train her successor.  In recognition and celebration of Ralphie V, those who would like to donate to the Ralphie Program can donate through this link: https://cubuffclub.com/.

“Thank you to all the fans across the country who love Ralphie as much as we do,” Graves added.  “And thank you to everyone who has supported the Ralphie Program in the past and continues to do so.”

Laviska Shenault continues to play through pain: “I love football too much to shut it down”

From Brian Howell at the Daily Camera … This has been a tough season for Shenault, a preseason All-American and potential top-10 pick in the draft. He’s been dealing with pain – and blanket coverage by defenses – most of the year and his numbers show it: 45 catches for 621 yards and three touchdowns, along with 15 rushes for 119 yards and two scores. For a normal human, those are great numbers. Shenault is not a normal human, however.

Considering the pain and the bright future ahead of him, I was curious why he keeps playing. I asked him, has it ever entered your mind to shut it down and get ready for the draft?

“Of course it’s entered my mind,” he said, “but I love football too much to shut it down. I can’t shut it down on the team like that.”

Yeah, but as bumps and bruises pile up, does it make you reconsider?

“I can’t do it,” he said with a smile. “Just can’t do it. My competitiveness is definitely one of the reasons. I just don’t want to stop. That’s not me.”

Continue reading story here

—–

November 11th – Veterans’ Day!

… CU in a few minutes … 

PK Evan Price; OT Arlington Hambright earn Pac-12 Players-of-the-Week honors

From the Pac-12

SPECIAL TEAMS: Evan Price, R-Fr., PK, Colorado (Evergreen, Colo.)
• Scored 10 points, making good on all three field goal attempts and his lone PAT kick.
• His 23-yard field goal tied the game at 13-13 with 7:34 to go, and then he kicked the game winner from 37 yards as time expired
• It’s CU’s third field goal in history to win a game as time expired, the first since 2007 versus Oklahoma.
• He is the first freshman in school history to be involved in a game winning score in the final two minutes in school history (Mason Crosby made a 23-yard field goal to send the game into overtime that CU eventually beat Kansas, 50-47, in 2003).
• He is now 7-of-8 in his career on field goals.
• He was told Thursday prior to the game that he would be the placekicker, as regular James Stefanou has a hip injury.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Arlington Hambright, Gr., OL, Colorado (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
• In CU’s 16-13 win over Stanford that snapped a five-game losing streak, Hambright played all 71 snaps at left tackle, grading out to a season-best 88.7 percent.
• He had eight knockdowns and a touchdown block in helping CU rush for 172 yards (181 without one sack, averaging 4.5 per rush); 40 yards over Stanford’s season average on defense.

CU/Washington kickoff time won’t be set until Sunday

Note … CU/Washington isn’t a likely bet for the ABC game (best guess: UCLA/USC), which leaves 1:30 or 8:00. With a forecast high in the 40’s right now for November 23rd, here’s hoping for a 1:30 kickoff … 

From CUBuffs.com … The Washington at Colorado football game on Saturday, Nov. 23 is one of four games that day that our Pac-12 TV partners have selected for a 6-day notification (first time for CU this season).

These games are up for the 6-day selection:

Oregon at Arizona State

UCLA at USC

Utah at Arizona

Washington at Colorado

The tentative kickoff times are as follows; ESPN has first choice, followed by FOX and then ESPN has the final two:

1:30 p.m. MST – ESPN / ESPN2 / ESPNU

5:30 p.m. MST – ABC

8:00 p.m. MST – Fox Sports 1

8:00 p.m. MST – ESPN

Two games have been selected by the Pac-12 Network that day:

California at Stanford, 2:00 p.m. MST

Oregon State at Washington State, 7:00 p.m. MST

Neill Woelk: Ten Takeaways from Stanford game

From CUBuffs.com … Maybe one of the most impressive things from Colorado’s 16-13 win over Stanford on Saturday was the Buffaloes’ ability to win the physical battles in the trenches.

In a throwback game against a program that prides itself in playing old-fashioned, hard-nosed football, the Buffaloes beat the Cardinal at its own game.

As one press box wag noted, “they out-Stanforded Stanford.”

That’s not to be underestimated.

CU coach Mel Tucker came to Boulder with the goal of making the Buffs a tough, physical football team, a style of ball that is by no means prevalent in the Pac-12.

Saturday was a glimpse of how Tucker wants to play. Physical up front on both sides of the ball, punishing on defense, and an offensive line that offered CU the opportunity to pound away with the run game and still be effective and efficient in the passing game.

It’s the kind of football Buffs fans could see more of in the future as Tucker continues to focus his recruiting on building that kind of team. Certainly, the recruits who were on hand Saturday had to like what they saw.

Some other takeaways from Saturday’s game:

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker’s Stanford pregame speech

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

—–

November 10th

… CU in a few minutes …

*Video – Highlights from CU/Stanford game*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

Mel Tucker: “Good things will happen when you play hard and physical”

From CUBuffs.com …  If there has been one overarching message from Colorado Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker to his team for the last few weeks, it has been, “Play for each other.”

The Buffaloes did exactly that Saturday afternoon at a sun-splashed Folsom Field.

Everyone contributed in the 16-13 win over Stanford.

CU’s defense was outstanding, putting forth by far its best effort of the year. The offense was efficient, moving the ball when absolutely necessary and producing a game-winning drive. And special teams were terrific, right down to redshirt freshman Evan Price’s game-winning field goal as time ran out.

It was, quite simply, what the Buffs desperately needed. An end to a five-game losing streak, a November win against a solid opponent, and most importantly, confirmation of what their coach has been telling them:

Keep working and the results will come.

“We got what we wanted today,” Tucker said. “When you play for each other, are unselfish and have the discipline to do your job, good things will happen when you play hard and physical.”

The Buffs did all of those things against the Cardinal.

Continue reading story here

Buffs get past Stanford by “chopping the tree”

From the Daily Camera … With his team threatening to put together a losing streak that would surpass the one that sent his predecessor packing from Boulder, Colorado football coach Mel Tucker looked to the past to inspire his Buffaloes.

And it wasn’t so far in the past as to be un-relatable to the current Buffs. No video of running backs coach Darian Hagan dissecting defenses during the 1990 national championship season. No highlights from the four Big 12 North Division championships won by coach Gary Barnett, who this week was inducted into the CU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Tucker simply rewound the video of the 2019 season back to August and September to inspire some of the gumption that helped the Buffs post a huge sigh-of-relief 16-13 win against Stanford Saturday at Folsom Field.

… As senior receiver Tony Brown prepared to take the field for what became the Buffs’ winning field goal drive in the final minutes, he took to heart a video Tucker showed his troops this week reviewing some of the big moments and clutch plays that paved the way for early-season wins against Colorado State, Nebraska, and Arizona State. All in hopes of chopping down that famed Stanford Tree.

“It was earlier in the week, actually, coach Tuck showed us a video. He said you want to chop it down the field. We want to keep chopping, keep chopping that tree,” Brown said. “Just keep running the ball, keep pushing. That’s what we continued to do, kept chopping it up and obviously we got the win. It was images of us going back to Colorado State, Nebraska, and how we kept fighting. There was a guy in the background talking about how to chop the tree. That’s what motivated us all week. You could see it on our sideline just chopping it up.”

Continue reading story here

 

15 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

    1. I was a senior when Turner donated the buffalo calf. The Daily held a “name the buffalo” write in contest. Not sure how the name Ralph was chosen. Then, for obvious reason, Ralph was changed to Ralphie. Not sure when she started running since the Marines had me somewhere else, but it certainly became the best pre-game tradition in football. I’ll miss her today.

  1. Howell asking the same thing I was:

    ” 1. CU likes to rotate its running backs and I really like the potential of freshman Jaren Mangham. Still, I thought it was odd that on the Buffs’ final possession of the game, it was Mangham on the field and not sophomore Alex Fontenot. The Buffs were clearly trying to milk the clock with the run game, yet went with Mangham (six carries for 5 yards up to that point) over Fontenot (18 carries, 95 yards, 5.3 average) with the game on the line. CU got what it wanted out of the drive, but Mangham had just 13 yards on five carries on the drive. It all worked out, so it’s hard to nit-pick too much, but I found it odd that the Buffs didn’t ride the hot hand there.”

    One of the more baffling coaching decisions I’ve seen in a while. Mangham was just not seeing the holes the way Fontenot was and was not getting those extra two yards falling forward that Fontenot was. It was almost like they *wanted* unsuccessful runs or something to milk the clock ?

  2. Although almost everyone else will be rooting for the 130pm over the 800pm for the Washington game…I’m a sucker for cold weather (in general) and night games (in particular) so I wouldn’t mind the #Pac12AfterDark!

    But as we’ve seen before, Montez is not a good “bad weather” quarterback. So I guess we have to hope for the 130pm.

  3. Adam, you need to get either Comcast of Dish. Next you need to get the sports package that includes the Pac-12.
    If nothing else, find Redditt and find a stream. I am a huge Nuggest/Avalanche fan and the Altitude feed on only only direct TV. Of course I have found a way to get the games on the internet by being creative thanks to my 23 year old son.

    1. Steve:
      Thanks for the tip. When Pac-12 network was formed, I was a Direct TV customer (and we all know that sad saga). A few years ago we got rid of Direct TV in favor of Optimum (used to be Cablevision) but we still don’t have it. At least I have MJ and Coach Barnett to keep me company!

      I’m sad to see Ralphie V retire. I’m jealous to read that as she’s gotten older she’s gotten faster. I’m a runner and, sadly, I do not share that “problem”.

  4. As a Buff alum who lives in New Jersey and who still has not figured out (how many years into the Pac-12 TV Network experiment are we?) how to get Pac-12 TV on which to watch the Buffs, I spend most of my game days listening to Mark Johnson and Coach Barnett’s radio call via the app on my phone. Love watching the highlight packages that marry Johnson’s call to the video.

    Terrific effort by our battling Buffaloes on Saturday. Happy to see them get a win on Homecoming.

  5. If only Oregon had not choked away that game against auburn, the pac12 would be on the inside track to the playoffs. Fun fact, Oregon still has the second highest opponent winning percentage of the top teams (behind LSU).

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