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Friday Fast Facts

Neill Woelk’s Fast Five Keys for the CU/Nebraska rivalry renewal

From CUBuffs.com … No doubt, Nebraska’s offense was not firing on all cylinders in last week’s 35-21 season-opening win over South Alabama. The Nebraska defense scored as many touchdowns — two — as the NU offense did in the win, and the No. 25 Cornhuskers’ special teams threw in a score as well.

But hose aren’t numbers that reassure Colorado head coach Mel Tucker ahead of Saturday’s nationally televised 1:30 home opener against the Cornhuskers at Folsom Field (Fox). Rather, they simply magnify Nebraska’s ability to produce a game-changing moment in all three phases of the game. When a team scores on offense, defense and special teams, it means that team is a scoreboard threat no matter which unit is on the field.

So what do the 1-0 Buffs — fresh off a 52-31 win over Colorado State — need to do Saturday to make sure the 1-0 Cornhuskers don’t have those opportunities Saturday at Folsom Field?

1. Contain NU quarterback Adrian Martinez.

2. Protect quarterback Steven Montez.

3. Establish a consistent running game.

4. Win the takeaway/turnover battle.

5. Keep mistakes to a minimum; maintain composure.

Read full story here

Big Picture

— This is the second of four games scheduled between Colorado an Nebraska. In addition to this weekend and last year’s 33-28 CU win in Lincoln, the teams will meet again in 2023 (Boulder) and Lincoln (2024);

— Colorado and Nebraska first played in 1898, and Nebraska represents CU’s second-oldest rival (CU first played CSU in 1893). When CU traveled to Lincoln to play the Cornhuskers in 1905, it represented CU’s first-ever game played outside of the state of Colorado;

— Colorado is 706-508-36 all-time (.579). The Buffs are 25th in all-time victories; 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— Nebraska is the second former Big 8/12 foe the Buffs have faced since leaving the conference, with the other game coming against Oklahoma State in the 2016 Alamo Bowl. CU has future dates with former rivals Texas A&M (2020/21); Missouri (2025/2030); Kansas State (2027/28);

— Colorado is 5-0 in games played on September 7th, so the Buffs have that going for them … which is nice;

— The Pac-12 Networks will broadcast “The Pregame”, the Pac-12 Networks version of GameDay, from the rooftop of the Champions Cneter, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Special guests will include CU 93-year old fan twins, Peggy Coppom and Betty Hoover, as well as two of the stars from the 62-36 game in 2001, tight end Daniel Graham and quarterback Bobby Pesavento;

— The game will be telecast nationally by Fox, with Joe Davis on the play-by-play; former Washington quarterback Brock Huard on color; and Bruce Feldman on the sidelines. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett handling the commentary.

— Fan Information for the game, including parking, Buff Walk (11:15 a.m.), clear bag policy, etc. … can be found here

Buffs v. Cornhuskers

— The Cornhuskers lead the all-time series against Colorado, 49-19-2, with a 23-10-2 advantage in games played in Boulder. Since 2001, however, the tally is: Nebraska 6; Colorado 5;

— Odd as it sounds in this day and age (but not so strange if you think about it), in the long history of the series, there has been exactly one night game played between CU and Nebraska, and that was the frigid 19-19 tie game in 1991;

— In the final seven years of the Big Eight, either Nebraska or Colorado won the title (the teams shared the title in 1991, when the two played to a 19-19 tie in Boulder);

— The highest passing yardage total for a CU quarterback in the series came in 1997, when John Hessler threw for 362 yards (last season, Steven Montez threw for 351 yards). The most yards receiving in a game came last year, when Laviska Shenault had ten receptions for 177 yards and the winning touchdown. (Previous high: Blake Mackey, 116 yards in 2004).

— For just the fourth time in the last ten games between the schools, there is a ranked team in the contest (Nebraska all four times). The last time CU entered Nebraska week as a ranked team came in 2002, when 13th-ranked Colorado went on to defeat Nebraska, 28-13;

— Between 2001 and 2004, the Buffs won three of four games against the Huskers. It was the best stretch for the Buffs since taking three-of-five between 1986 and 1990;

— When CU defeated Nebraska, 7-0, in 1961, the Buffs tied an NCAA record by not allowing the Cornhuskers a single first down the entire game;

— Colorado has sold (as of Monday) 20,147 season tickets (a 4.5% increase from last season), and students had purchased 12,234 season tickets (out of the maximum allotment of 12,250). Even before counting of the extra tickets CU season ticket holders and alumni purchased before single game tickets went on sale to the general public (I bought two extra!), CU had sold over 32,300 of the 50,183 seats in Folsom Field (yes, I understand that some CU season ticket holders may have opted to sell their tickets at a premium, but we are talking about someone who would be willing to shell out the funds for season tickets to watch CU … and miss the biggest home game of the year). There will be red in Folsom Field on Saturday, but not in the numbers Cornhusker fans are claiming.

Links to some of the best CU games against Nebraska: 

— 1986: Colorado 20, No. 3 Nebraska 10 – “The Signature Wins of all Signature Wins” (my personal favorite);

— 1989: No. 2 Colorado 27, No. 3 Nebraska 21: “This is the Greatest Game I’ve Ever Been a Part Of”

— 1990: No. 9 Colorado 27, No. 3 Nebraska 12: “Eric Bieniemy’s Four Fourth Quarter Touchdowns send Buffs to the Orange Bowl

 1991: No. 15 Colorado 19, No. 9 Nebraska 19: “Fit to Be Tied

— 2001: No. 14 Colorado 62, No. 2 Nebraska 36: “The Score Says It All!” (my second-most favorite game of all-time);

— 2004: Colorado 26, Nebraska 20: “Numerous Records Fall as Huskers Finish 5-6“; and

— 2007: Colorado 65, Nebraska 51: “Buffs Finish 6-6 in Sealing Bill Callahan’s Fate

— 2018: Colorado 33, Nebraska 28: “We have to beat them. It’s the only thing they understand

Injury Report

— The CU injury report is fairly short. In addition to offensive lineman Jacob Moretti, who has medically retired, three backup defensive players (defensive backs Lucas Cooper and Dustin Johnson; and linebacker Chase Newman) are out. None of the three played in the Colorado State game.

— Junior safety Trey Udoffia, who missed the CSU game for what are described as personal reasons, remains on the inactive list.

Some Nebraska jokes, just for fun

With thanks to those who have posted some of these jokes on CU message boards …

— Why doesn’t Nebraska have ice on the sidelines? … Because the guy who had the recipe graduated

— How many Cornhuskers does it take to screw in a light bulb? … One – but he gets three credits

Or … How many freshmen Nebraska players does it take to screw in a light bulb? … None, it’s an upper division course

— The toothbrush was invented in Nebraska. How do we know? … If it had been invented anywhere else, it would be know as a teethbrush

— What do tornadoes and Nebraska graduates have in common? … They both end up in trailer parks

— Did you hear about the fire at the University of Nebraska library? … The tragedy was that half the books hadn’t been colored in yet

— Do you know the difference between a Nebraska cheerleader and a Nebraska offensive lineman? … About 15 pounds

— Why does Nebraska play on artificial turf? … To keep the cheerleaders from grazing

— And … the all-time favorite … What does the “N” on the Nebraska helmets stand for? … Nowledge.

Statistically speaking

… Not much to go on yet, but some notes of note … 

— As a team, Colorado is 10th in the nation in scoring (52.0 points); sixth in kickoff returns (32.0 yards/return); tied for ninth in interceptions (2); tied for second in turnover margin (+4.00); and 10th in team passing efficiency (195.44);

— Individually, Steven Montez is ninth in the nation in passing efficiency (195.44); Alex Fontenot is fifth in scoring (18.0 points/game); Mikial Onu is tied for the nation’s lead in total interceptions (2); and Alex Kinney is fourth in the nation in punting average (49.0/punt);

— The CU offensive line did not allow a sack by the CSU defense, just the fifth time in the past 24 season openers in which a Buff offensive line opened the season with a clean slate (but the second year in a row against the Rams);

— Colorado was one of 11 teams not to commit a turnover or allow a quarterback sack last week, with those teams going 10-1 (Rice lost to Army, 14-7). In addition to CU, Washington and Utah also made the list;

— CU only allowed two tackles-for-loss against CSU, tied for the fourth fewest for the Buffs in the last ten seasons.

Player Notes

— Quarterback Steven Montez, with his 232 yards passing against Colorado State, became just the fourth player in CU history to surpass 7,000 yards passing. On the all-time list, Montez trails only Sefo Liufau (9,568); Cody Hawkins (7,409), and Joel Klatt (7,375);

— Wide receiver Laviska Shenault is up to No. 17 in all-time receiving yards (1,227) and No. 20 in receptions (96);

— Kicker James Stefanou is tied for sixth on the all-time list for field goals made (23);

Steven Montez has started 25 consecutive games. Next on the list are DT Mustafa Johnson, LB Nate Landman, and OT Will Sherman, who have each started 13 consecutive games;

— The captains for this weekend’s game are: Steven Montez; Laviska Shenault and Mustafa Johnson; 

— CU’s roster settled in at 83 scholarship players (out of 85 allowed by the NCAA), with another 29 walk-ons. By Class: 3 graduate transfers … 15 seniors (8 fifth-year); 20 juniors; 30 sophomores; 45 freshmen (16 red-shirt/3 2nd-year/26 true).  So, CU will have at minimum 20 scholarships to work with for the Recruiting Class of 2020, with likely five or more coming by natural attrition before next fall;

Pac-12 Notes

— Five teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the second week of the Associated Press poll … No. 13 Utah; No. 14 Washington; No. 16 Oregon; No. 22 Washington; and No. 23 Stanford … It’s the first time the Pac-12 has had five teams in the poll in back-to-back weeks since Weeks Two and Three of the 2017 season;

— Pac-12 kickers are off to a good start, making 15-of-19 (.789) on field goal attempts, including 9-of-10 from 40+ yards (CU’s James Stefanou contributed a 41-yarder in his only attempt last weekend);

— In Pac-12 rankings, CU is second in scoring offense (52.0 points) but 10th in scoring defense (31.0 points); fourth in total offense (475.0 yards) but 10th in total defense (505.0 yards);

— Pac-12 National Leaders after Week One: Washington State, passing offense (507.0 yards/game); Kahlil Tate, Arizona, total offense (469.0 yards/game); Michael Turk, Arizona State, punting (63.0 yards/punt); Jace Whittaker, Arizona; and Mikial Onu, Colorado, interceptions (2.0 per/game).

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5 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. You know the tune!

    ————–I hear the korn truck coming——————-
    —————I smell it round the bend————–
    And my nostrils have been plugged up since I don’t know when
    I’m stuck in Stinkn Linkn and time keeps dragging on
    And that damn ol korn truck keeps the smell rolling strong.

    When I was just a baby, my momma told me son,
    You need to get out of linkn, boy you need to run
    But I didn’t have kno nolwedge so I couldn’t find a way
    When I hear that corn truck coming I start to cry every day

    I bet those folks in Boulder are smart and loving the day
    They’re probably drinking micros and smoking Mary Jane
    Well I know I had it coming and I know its cause of genes
    ——–But those Boulderites keep on moving up—-
    ——–And that’s what’s torturing me——

    ————Well if I could get out of Linkn——–
    ———-And if that corn truck was mine——–
    I bet I’d move it on a little further down the line
    I’d try to get to Boulder, that’s where I wanna to be
    But since I have kno nowledge there is no room for me
    ————————————————————————————
    Go Buffs beat the stinky pinky team from stinkn Linkn

  2. Joke Addition: Did you hear about the ten tornados that touched down in Lincoln yesterday? There was no reported loss of life, but almost $500 million in improvements.

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