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November 14th – at Stanford          Colorado 35, Stanford 32

For the second consecutive week, the Buffs built a large lead, only to have to hold on for dear life in the final minutes, defeating Stanford in Palo Alto, 35-32. Three consecutive touchdown drives by the CU offense built a 35-16 lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter, but the Cardinal posted two touchdowns – and two two-point conversions – in the fourth quarter to make it close.

Quarterback Sam Noyer had another strong outing, passing for 255 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 36 yards and two more scores. Running back Jarek Broussard had his second consecutive 100-yard game, with 27 carries for 121 yards. The receivers were led by Dimitri Stanley, who had six catches for 126 yards and a touchdown.

The Colorado offense was dominant … until the fourth quarter. Finishing with 432 yards of total offense (to 397 for Stanford), the Buffs were out-gained in the fourth quarter, to 155 yards to 29.

“This team is learning how to play in difficult circumstances,” said CU head coach Karl Dorrell, who improved to 2-0 at Colorado. “That can be a great experience for them to continue to build on so that when we’re in a championship type of game, we can say we’ve been there, we know how to gut it out and find a way to win.”

Of course, Dorrell would rather his Buffs build a big lead — then hold onto it. But as he noted, football is a game of ebbs and flows, and Colorado still came away Saturday with what matters most — a win.

Now, he and his team will work on fixing the issues that allowed the big lead to nearly melt into nothing.

“We need to play cleaner,” he said. “We need to continue to get better, but I’m very proud of these guys and the way they hung in there … We have a lot of work to complete and get better at in a lot of areas. But the thing about this team is they are resilient. They understand we have some struggles we need to work through and get better at.”

Game Story … Stanford won the coin toss, and elected to receive rather than defer. The move looked like a wise one, as the Cardinal marched smartly down the field to open the game. Eschewing the run (one rush for a loss of a yard on the drive), the Stanford offense didn’t face a third down until the ball was inside the Colorado 30-yard line. There, however, the drive stalled, with the Cardinal settling for a 48-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.

After receiver Maurice Bell dropped a pass from Sam Noyer which would have given CU a first down on its first drive, the Buff offense went three-and-out. The Buff defense forced its first three-and-out of the game on Stanford’s next drive, setting a trend for the first quarter.

The Buffs did post their first first down of the game on their next drive, but then, on first down near midfield, Noyer suffered his first interception of the season on a long pass, giving the ball back to the Cardinal at their ten yard line.

The defenses then took over, with neither team generating a first down as the teams swapped possessions. After forcing Stanford into its third consecutive three-and-out of the first quarter, the Buffs took over at their 43-yard line. After Jerek Broussard went for two yards on first down, Noyer hit wide receiver Dimitri Stanley in stride across the middle, with the sophomore doing the rest, out-racing the Stanford secondary for a 55-yard touchdown and a 7-3 Colorado lead with 3:20 to play in the first quarter.

The Stanford offense, stymied for most of the first quarter, appeared to be in dire straits once again as Jamar Montgomery sacked Stanford quarterback Davis Mills on the second play of the Cardinal’s next drive. Instead of facing a third-and-long, however, the Cardinal got a first down and new life as Montgomery was called for a face mask penalty on the play.

Inspired by its first first down in four drives, the Stanford was able to push the ball deep into CU territory, but again was kept out of the endzone. The Cardinal got as far as the Buff 15-yard line, but had to settle for a 33-yard Jeff Toner field goal and a 7-6 game in the first minute of the second quarter.

The Buffs next put together their first sustained drive of the afternoon. As part of a ten-play, 75-yard drive, Noyer hit Dimitri Stanley for 16 yards to open the drive, later hitting LaVontae Shenault for 29 yards and a first down at the Stanford 24-yard line. From there, the Buffs kept the ball on the ground, with Noyer and Jarek Broussard trading carries. On third-and-five at the Stanford seven yard line, Noyer kept the ball himself, securing not only a first down but a touchdown, opening up a 14-6 advantage for the Buffs with just under ten minutes to play before the break.

Once again Stanford responded … but once again not with a touchdown. The Cardinal offense covered 63 yards in eight plays, taking off almost five minutes of game clock along the way. Once again, however, Stanford was not able to get into the end zone. The Cardinal made it as close as the Buff five yard line, but had to settle for a 28-yard Toner field goal, leaving the score at 14-9 with five minutes left in the first half.

Neither team was able to mount a threat in the final minutes, with the Buffs making as far as the Stanford 39-yard line in the final seconds, but a Hail Mary from Noyer fell harmlessly to the turf at the Stanford goal line on the half’s final play.

Halftime score: Colorado 14, Stanford 9

The Buffs took the second half kickoff, and appeared early on to have made all of the right adjustments. The offense put together its second 75-yard drive of the game, this time taking nine plays to score. An 18-yard completion from Noyer to Stanley got the drive off to a good start, with runs by Noyer and Broussard pushing the ball into Stanford territory. A 14-yard pass from Noyer to Jaylon Jackson gave CU a red zone opportunity, with Noyer next going ten yards untouched for his second rushing touchdown of the game.

Down 21-9, the Stanford offense … went three-and-out.

Taking over at its 39-yard line, the Buff offense struck quickly. It took all of three plays to cover the 61 yards … a 22-yard completion from Noyer to Dimitri Stanley; a five yard run by Jerek Broussard; and a 34-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Brenden Rice. Colorado 28, Stanford 9, with 8:55 to play in the third quarter.

It appeared that the CU defense was on the verge of another three-and-out, but a 26-yard completion on third-and-14 from the Stanford 14 kept the drive alive. A pass interference penalty, to go with completions of 28 yards and 14 yards, gave the Cardinal a first-and-goal at the CU two yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Davis Mills took it in himself, giving Stanford life. Colorado 28, Stanford 16, with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Instead of wilting in the moment, the Colorado offense continued to assert its dominance. Facing a third-and-one to open the drive, the Buff offensive line paved the way for a three-yard Jarek Broussard run and a first down. Then there were some chunk plays, with Noyer hitting LaVontae Shenault for 22 yards before Broussard ran for 18 more. The second third down of the drive was a third-and-five at the Stanford 23-yard line. Broussard took the handoff and bounced outside, picking up 17 yards and giving CU a first-and-goal at the Stanford six yard line. Jaren Mangham finished off the 10-play, 80-yard drive with a two-yard run up the middle on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Stanford pushed the ball to midfield on the ensuing drive, but faced a fourth-and-two. Having no choice but to go for it, the Cardinal attempted a pass, but the ball fell incomplete, giving the ball back to the Buffs.

With a chance to put the game out of reach, the Buffs went three-and-out. A pass interference penalty against Stanford was offset by a holding call against the Buffs, with the CU offense punting the ball away after only three plays and 1:39 of game clock.

The Stanford offense again faced a fourth down on its next drive, but this time converted, with Davis Mills hitting Simi Fehoko for ten yards on fourth-and-seven. Austin Jones completed the 11-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run. The Cardinal was successful on its two-point conversion attempt as well. Colorado 35, Stanford 22 … with 8:45 still to play.

A steady dose of Jarek Broussard runs – four in a row – gained 20 yards, and kept the clock moving. The drive stalled, though, as consecutive runs by Jaren Mangham and Broussard failed to gain a yard near midfield. The Buffs did take almost three minutes off of the fourth quarter clock, and forced Stanford to use its final two time outs, but the Stanford defense did force a punt with still almost six minutes remaining.

Needing one more stop to put the game away, the Buff defense continued to bend. It took the Cardinal 12 plays to cover 79 yards, but Stanford did score – again – and converted a two-point conversion – again. A third-and-ten became a 28-yard completion. Later, the Cardinal faced a fourth-and-goal at the two. The pass from Mills fell incomplete, but defensive back Mehki Blackmon was called for pass interference, giving Stanford new life. A two-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Scooter Harrington, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Mills to Tucker Fisk made it a 35-32 game with 2:34 remaining.

Once again faced with an onsides kick, the Buffs were successful once again, with the ball being covered by La’Vontae Shenault at the Stanford 46-yard line. There was too much time for three kneel downs, but Jarek Broussard did gain eight yards on three carries. The Buffs were forced to punt, but with only 18 seconds remaining. A downed punt and a failed hook-and-lateral later – which ended with a fumble recovered by Nate Landman – CU had win number two.

Final score: Colorado 35, Stanford 32

“2-0 is a great feeling,” quarterback Sam Noyer said game. “It wasn’t the prettiest win, but at the end of the day a ‘W’ is a ‘W.’ We have to build on this and keep going. We know we have to clean some things up. But we got rolling and the defense did a great job of getting us the ball back.”

A week ago, Noyer made good use of tight end Brady Russell, who caught five passes for 77 yards. But when Russell left Saturday’s game early with an injury, Noyer again turned to wide receiver Dimitri Stanley. The sophomore followed up last week’s six-catch performance with another half-dozen Saturday, but they went for a career-high 126 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown that saw him turn a short pass into a long score.

“Dimitri’s a great player,” Noyer said. “You saw that last game and this game. Dimitri will make plays, whether it’s a 5-yard dump-off that he takes to the house or a long ball across the middle. Dimitri is fearless. He plays hard every game. All of our guys can do that. You saw that throughout the game.”

Colorado held Stanford starting running back Austin Jones to just nine yards on nine carries, one week after he had 100 yards against Oregon.

“Colorado did a good job, a lot of movement, a lot of inside pressures and they made it tough for him to get through,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “He barely got back to the line most of the day. That’s them out-scheming us and outperforming us. We believed we were prepared for what we saw, we didn’t execute”.

Game Notes … 

— With the win – the Buffs’ third straight in the series – CU tied the all-time series with Stanford at six wins apiece;

— The Buffs scored five touchdowns against the Cardinal, more touchdowns than CU scored in the first five games the Buffs played against Stanford since joining the Pac-12 … combined (four);

— The win gave CU a 2-0 start for the fifth straight season (with the other four seasons starting with wins over CSU in Denver). The loss snapped a string of 12 straight wins in home openers for the Cardinal;

— Karl Dorrell became the third straight CU head coach to open his career with a 2-0 record (but both Mike MacIntyre, who lost to Oregon State, and Mel Tucker, who lost to Air Force, lost their third games. The last CU head coach to open with more than two wins was Rick Neuheisel, who opened 5-0 in 1995);

— CU opened the season scoring in all eight quarters of its first two games, doing so for the first time since 2013;

— Jarek Broussard (27 carries for 121 yards) and Dimitri Stanley (six catches for 126 yards and a touchdown) teamed up for a 100/100 rushing/receiving 100-yard double/double for the 49th time in Colorado history (with CU posting a 38-11 record in such games). When combined with his father Walter’s effort in 1981 against Texas Tech (222 yards receiving), Walter and Dimitri teamed up to become the first father/son combo to post 100-yard receiving games as Buffs. For his part, Broussard joined Charlie Davis and Marcus Houston as the only two Buffs to rush for over 100 yards in the first two games of their CU careers;

— Two Buffs made their first career starts: OL Chance Lytle and LB Guy Thomas.

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15 Replies to “Colorado 35, Stanford 32”

  1. LaMar…..you is right as rain! For instance: 1). 4th qtr, 80 yds to go, the clock with a hefty 2 min +, and 2). Darrin gets the “Willies” and reverts to “Mel’s Mis-management” philosophy of 2 straight plays running the ball into the middle of the line…..which brings up 3rd and long and then a punt giving the “Trees” a long time to pass, pass, pass, pass and score a TD. When the passes were incomplete, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED ? YES….THE CLOCK STOPPED.

    KRAP, Darrin you is nota coachin’ for Mel. GET THAT STRAIGHT. Don’t go conservative. Mel used to want a run into the middle with 3rd and 20.

    MEL WAS AFRAID TO TRY TO WIN….. KARL AIN’T BABY. HE JUST PLANS ON HOW TO WIN….. AND, IS NOT AFRAID TO LOSE.

    GO BUFFS…… A -TOP- 10 -PROGRAM- SOONER-THAN- YOU- THINK.

  2. In the 4th Quarter the play caller got conservative which allowed the defense to be on the field to long which led to points from Stanford. This has happened 2 weeks in a row , we need to keep the pedal to the metal to allow the defense to rest. If this happened we can and will play with any one!!!.

  3. I don’t know how good or bad UCLA and the furd are, but I like this team. I like the staff and even keel Karl has been a very pleasant surprise.

    I hope the covidness doesn’t shut down the season, but if it does, these guys appear to be setting a nice foundation for 2021, and beyond.

    Here’s to hoping asu or some other team can come to town Saturday night.

    Go Buffs

  4. Man, 2-0. Dorrell looks very confident and calm on the sidelines. The team, in all phases looks really well prepared and confident (well maybe late game pass defense is exception …). What a revelation Noyer is. So decisive and confident in his decisions. He leads his receivers so well, like the 55 yarder to Stanley. If that’d been Montez Stanley would have had to break stride and fall down with the catch. The preseason pubs all seriously underestimated our veteran O-line and D-lines.

  5. Watched the game with my sister and brother-in-law, both of whom are CU ’87 (I’m ’89) and even though they gave us a bit of angina late (waking up the echoes of the season opener) we were three happy Buffs at game’s end. Very nice win, on the road, as touchdown-plus underdogs.

  6. I don’t know is this a program that is sill learning how to win and play all 4 Qtrs? Been down so long being in the game and ahead in the 4th Qtr looks like up to all and maybe just a little tightness sets in. It is a young secondary and they probably need to keep playing more to learn how to communicate, relax, and keep learning how to win.

    What the heck, how can we all not be a pretty happy so far when you think about what this team has been through (Coach leaves in the lurch, new coach & staff, no spring ball, and seemed like the season was cancelled). Take it any way you can guys and keep the old herd a plodding along.A

  7. Somebody please tell our DB coach to teach our DBs that when they can get a hand on a pass, don’t just batt it away, try to make a pick!! Happened in our end zone where a pick would have ended a Stanford drive. Buffs making us very proud! Go Buffs!

    1

  8. Nice win. Q4 should be played with same mindset as Q2 and Q3. If this is a tendency, should be corrected easily. Buffs look good overall, fun to watch. Looks like ASU won’t happen. Hope USC game does. They are pulling too many rabbits out in waning moments. Their number will be up soon. Hope the Buffs are there to do it.

  9. I’m really liking this coaching staff and their overall game strategy. Disagree with the conservative offense in the 4th quarter though. Stay aggressive, trust Noyer and this very good receiving squad, and the score would not have been close. Hope they learn a lesson and looking forward to more wins.

  10. Turns out Chev may be a pretty good good OC when not micro managed. Regarding the pass defense, I think they need to increase the pressure somehow. Blitz more, disguise coverage etc. But if we’re worried about style points after a conference road win things are looking up.

    One last thing, Stu do you get a Cornholer troll to write those negative questions in your poll? Some of those are harsh! Go Buffs!

  11. Noyer the destroyer, I like it!

    That was funny & great when the announcer said it. 😉

    Held on for the win & pretty close to the scores many of us posted. Way better than the 9 point underdogs.

  12. first the good news. Buffs and their third or fourth choice coach are 2 and 0.
    Who is running the show in Vegas and arent you glad we didnt hire Bret Bilame-uh?
    Bad news. I dont think the Trees ran the ball twice after half way through the third qtr. The word is out in the conference dont bother running against the Buffs. Take the easy road.
    and now the funny papers. You dont always get what you pay for. Mel “find a sucker” Tucker and his O coordinator Jay “bad play” Johnson may be gettin their buyouts before long.

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