Friday Fast Facts – Colorado v. Stanford

Trivia Question of the Week … Defensive lineman commitment Antonio Alfano received a .9965 grade from 247 Sports. Who are the only two recruits in CU history to have received a higher grade?

Neill Woelk’s Fast Five Keys for Colorado v. Stanford

From … Three years ago, the Colorado Buffaloes ended a five-game losing streak to Stanford with a 10-5 win on the Cardinal’s home field.

But it’s been much longer since the Buffs produced a win over Stanford in Boulder — nearly three decades, in fact.

The last time CU beat the Cardinal at Folsom Field came in 1990, when Colorado eked out a 21-17 win. Since then, Stanford has won two in a row in Boulder, both since CU joined the Pac-12 in 2011.

Saturday, the Buffs have a chance to end that skid — along with a current five-game losing streak — when Stanford pays a visit to Boulder for a 1 p.m. game at Folsom Field.

What must the Buffs do in order to claim a win at home and end their slide?

1.  Get after Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello.

2. Win third-down battles.

3. Get quarterback Steven Montez into a rhythm early

4. Takeaways, takeaways, takeaways.

5. Play with passion.

Read full story here

Big Picture

— Colorado and Stanford have played ten times, with Stanford leading the series, 6-4 (3-1 since CU joined the Pac-12);

— The lone CU victory in the series since joining the conference came in the last game played between the two teams, a 10-5 victory in 2016. That game also represents the last time the Buffs held an opponent without a touchdown;

— Colorado has had 38 different players start this season; Stanford 35. The Buffs and Bruins rate behind only Oregon State (39) in the Pac-12 in the number of different players to find their way into the starting lineup;

— The uniforms for the Buff players this weekend – the 2001 Nebraska game combo: black uniforms, gold helmets, and black pants;

— A total of 203,593 warm bodies have attended CU’s first four home games (representing 101.4% of CU’s 50,183 capacity). If a crowd of 47,322 or higher comes to Homecoming, the Buffs will still be averaging more than a sellout for Mel Tucker’s first season at Colorado (As of Thursday, the Buffs had sold about 46,500 tickets);

— CU is 63-36-5 all-time in Homecoming games. At the 1946 Homecoming game (a 14-13 CU win over New Mexico before a crowd of 17,000), CU stadium was renamed Folsom Field;

— Colorado is 9-7 all-time in games played on November 9th. Some of the most memorable:

— The CU/Stanford game will be telecast nationally by the Pac-12 Networks, with Gary Haberman on the play-by-play; Anthony Herron on color; and Jill Savage on the sidelines. KOA radio will also carry the game. Mark Johnson will handle the play-by-play, with former CU head coach Gary Barnett handling the commentary.

Mel Tucker’s Podcast

Coach Mel Tucker has a weekly podcast, hosted by KOA’s Mark Johnson. So far, Coach Tucker has interviewed Rick George, Kordell Stewart, Matt Russell, Alfred Williams, Jeremy Bloom, Marwan Hage, Jim Hansen, Bobby Anderson and Daniel Graham.

The most recent interview, with fan favorite Phillip Lindsay, can be found here

Buffs v. Cardinal

— The 1990 game between Colorado and Stanford (story below) was the first-ever Thursday night game in Boulder;

— The 1977 game was a 27-21 victory for the defending Big Eight champion Buffs. One of the stars of the game was linebacker Brian Cabral (25 tackles, 13 solo), who just also happens to be one of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame honorees this weekend;

— In the not-so-good news Department … In four games since joining the Pac-12, the Buffs have yet to score more than ten points in a game against the Cardinal … losing 48-7 (2011); 48-0 (2012); 42-10 (2015); and winning 10-5 (2016);

— It may be hard to believe, but all five games played between the schools since CU joined the conference (including this year) have been played during the day. There have been only two night games (1990 and 1993) in the now 11-game series;

Bar bet winner … Which team has had more trouble scoring points this season? Colorado is 88th in the nation in scoring (25.7 points/game), while Stanford is 106th in the nation in scoring (22.6 points/game);

Something has to give Department … Colorado has trouble getting to opposing quarterbacks (96th in sacks), while Stanford has had trouble protecting the quarterback (93rd in sacks allowed);

Bar bet winner II … Which team has a better record against ranked opponents this fall? CU is 2-1 against ranked opponents in the first year under Mel Tucker (wins over Nebraska and ASU; loss to Oregon), while Stanford is 1-2 (win over Washington; losses to UCF and Oregon).

Injury Report

— The CU injury report …

  • Out for the season … running back Jarek Brousard – knee surgery September 6th; cornerback Chris Miller – torn ACL, season-ending surgery on October 4th; cornerback Mehki Blackmon – shoulder surgery October 8th;
  • Day-to-Day … running back Alex Fontenot – concussion; quarterback Tyler Lytle – shoulder; offensive lineman Colby Pursell – gall bladder surgery October 2nd; has returned to practice

Player Notes … 

— Captains for the Stanford game: Senior wide receiver Tony Brown; junior linebacker Nate Landman; and senior long-snapper J.T. Bale;

— Senior wide receiver Tony Brown is – oddly enough – 31st on CU’s all-time lists in both receptions (80) and receiving yards (957) … (the two rankings rarely match up. For example, K.D. Nixon is 30th all-time in receptions (84) and 26th in receiving yards (1,079);

— Junior kicker James Stefanou is ninth in overall scoring and fourth in kick-scoring, closing in on 200 all-time points (194);

— Senior quarterback Steven Montez remains second on the all-time passing charts in yards (9,083). Montez still has a ways to go to get to No. 1 Sefo Liufau (9,568). Montez already has 39 school records, and could set the record for most career touchdown passes this weekend (currently tied with Sefo Liufau and Cody Hawkins, at 60);

— Junior linebacker Nate Landman leads the Buffs with 109 tackles, almost twice as many as No. 2 on the list (Mikial Onu, with 57);

— CU tight ends have 26 catches so far this season. Buff tight ends had 17 catches in the last three seasons combined.

Colorado and Stanford – head-to-head

This will be the 11th all-time match-up between the two schools, but the rivalry already has a storied history.

The first time the two teams met was back in 1904, when the Stanford Indians took the train to Denver, leaving town with a 33-0 victory over Colorado. The series is the fourth-oldest with any league team for Stanford, and the second-oldest for Colorado (the Buffs played Utah for the first time in 1903).

After the 1904 game, there was a lull of over 70 years before the teams met again.

The next three games between the two teams were all Colorado victories. The Buffs prevailed in 1977 in Boulder, 27-21, with two more victories in 1987 and 1990. The 1987 game featured freshman running back Eric Bieniemy, who led the Buffs to a 31-17 victory. The 1990 game had a controversial ending, with that same Eric Bieniemy, now a senior, scored on fourth down from a yard out with less than a minute remaining, giving Colorado a 21-17 win.

The Buffs made their first trips to Palo Alto in 1991 and 1993, coming away empty each time. The ’91 game ended in a 28-21 win for the Cardinal, with “Touchdown” Tommy Vardell scoring three times. The 1993 game had another controversial ending, with the home team again coming away with the win. Stanford won, 41-37, when Stanford was awarded a touchdown on a Tony Cline reception in the end zone on a play when Cline was dislodged from the ball by Dwayne Davis.

After the Buffs joined the Pac-12, Stanford won the first three games in dominating form … 48-7 in 2011; 48-0 in 2012; and 42-10 in 2015. In those three games, the Cardinal came into the games ranked 7th, 15th, and 9th respectively.

Then, in 2016, the two teams played without one of the teams being ranked since the 1987 contest in Boulder. The final score was odd, 10-5, with the Buffs earning win No. 6 (and bowl eligibility!) on their way to a 10-2 regular season record and a Pac-12 South title.

Colorado and Stanford … historical

Both teams have been playing since the 19th century, but Colorado has had the better of it … at least until the past decade or so. Colorado is 26th on the all-time list in victories, with 708, a good bit ahead of Stanford’s 657 (39th).

The Cardinal has been lapped the Buffs in terms of bowl appearances over the past few years. Stanford has now played in bowl games for 10 straight seasons, bringing its total to 30 bowl games, with Colorado stuck on 29 after earning only one bowl bid in the past 12 seasons.

Stanford is also catching up to Colorado in terms of time spent in the national polls. The Cardinal, the preseason No. 25 team in the country, has been in 303 Associated Press polls (28th all-time), while the Buffs are at 304 weeks all-time (27th).

The two programs are also very close in one other category … NFL draft picks. Colorado has had 272 players chosen in the draft (23rd), while Stanford has had 265 players selected (27th).

Pac-12 Notes … 

— Only two teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the eleventh week of the Associated Press poll. Oregon is in at No. 7; Utah at No. 8. Oregon’s ranking is the highest for Ducks since coming in at No. 7 on September 8, 2015, while the Utes are at their highest ranking since coming in at No. 3 on October 18, 2015;

— There are 13 players in the FBS who are averaging over ten tackles per game, and two of them play in the Pac-12. Cal’s Evan Weaver leads the FBS at 15.9 tackles per game, while CU’s Nate Landman is 12th at 10.2 tackles per game;

— Pac-12 National Leaders after Week Six: Washington State, passing offense (436.4 yards/game); Oregon, interceptions (17); Nu’umato Falo, Colorado, fumbles recovered (4); Anthony Gordon, Washington State, passing yards/game (423.4), completions per game (34.75); and total offense/game (428.1); Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State, tackles for loss/game (2.2)

Trivia Question of the Week … Defensive lineman commitment Antonio Alfano received a .9965 grade from 247 Sports. Who are the only two recruits in CU history to have received a higher grade?

Answer … CU hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes high profile recruits. The only two recruits to have higher grades than Antonio Alfano were running back Darrell Scott (.9980 – Class of 2008), who finished his career at South Florida and Marcus Houston (.9980 – Class of 2000), who finished his career at Colorado State.

According to 247 Sports, the only other five star recruit CU has ever signed is offensive tackle Ryan Miller (.9859 – Class of 2007).


2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Yo Stuart,
    I guess we should say “ratings history” and not CU history. Like you say, CU has been playing since the 19th century. The “ratings” people have only been doing their thing for less than 20 years.

    On top of that, they aren’t very good are they? Two out of our three 5 star guys were pretty much run of the mill college players. Marcus Houston was way too easily offended for someone who was supposed to be a stud on the football field. Darrell Scott couldn’t even crack the starting lineup at Colorado. He showed up overweight and out of shape and full of entitlement.

    Ryan Miller was a fine player for Colorado and did the Buffaloes proud. But he certainly was not the best lineman to play for CU.

    Either way, let’s hope Antonio Alfano plays as well as some of the best CU defensive linemen over the last 35 years and he’ll be a beast. I can’t wait to see if he actually makes it through the end of the year and joins Mel Tucker’s Buffs.


  2. Stu, minor observation. Mark Johnson doesn’t work for KOA. He works for the CU athletic department. I think that although the games are broadcast by KOA, they are produced by Learfield Sports .

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