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Friday Fast Facts – UCLA Week

Big Picture … 

— Colorado is 710-515-36 all-time (.577). The Buffs are 26th in all-time victories (CU dropped out of the Top 25 last year, being passed by Wisconsin); 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— Colorado is 81-44-5 all-time in 130 season openers. In the 81 seasons CU opened with a victory, the Buffs went on to a winning season 61 times (75.3%). In the 44 seasons CU has opened with a loss, the Buffs have only gone on to a winning season 19 times (43.2%);

— This is the latest CU has begun a season since World War I. That year, also due to a pandemic, the season didn’t start until November 16th … a 9-0 win over Colorado State Teachers College (now Northern Colorado);

— On the back end, this year will be the latest regular season finale in school history (December 18th or 19th). In 1890, the Buffs finished up on December 15th, with games played on December 7th in 1918 and 1963 (the ’63 game, against Air Force, was a rescheduled game from November, postponed after the assassination of President Kennedy);

— The Buffs have won four straight season openers, all coming against Colorado State in Denver. The last time CU won five or more straight openers came in an eight game stretch from 1991-98;

— The game against UCLA will mark just the fifth time in the past 24 years CU has opened against a team other than CSU;

— The last time the Colorado opened a season with a conference game was in 1961, when CU defeated Oklahoma State, 24-0, in Boulder;

— The Buffs will wear their traditional gold/black/gold uniform combination to kick off the Dorrell era;

— The game will be telecast nationally on ESPN2, with Beth Mowins on the play-by-play, Kirk Morrison on color; and John Schiffren on the sidelines. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson starting his 17th year with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett beginning his fifth year as the full-time analyst;

CU & UCLA … 

— UCLA has an 11-4 overall advantage in the series, including a 4-3 lead in games played in Boulder;

— CU is 4-5 in conference openers since joining the Pac-12, but has posted three wins in the past four seasons, including the 38-16 win over UCLA at home in 2018;

— UCLA will not play either Cal or Stanford this season. The last time Cal wasn’t on the schedule was in 1932; the last time UCLA didn’t play Stanford was in 1945;

— Karl Dorrell had 108 receptions for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns while playing for UCLA (1982-86), including a pair of touchdowns in the 1984 Rose Bowl;

–Ironically enough, UCLA opened its 2003 season at Colorado. It was UCLA’s first game with Karl Dorrell as its head coach. Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy were on Dorrell’s staff, but the 24th-ranked Buffs were victorious that day, winning 16-14.

2019 … CU at UCLA … UCLA 31, Colorado 14 … 

— Game Story and essay for the game, “What’s It Going To Take?”can be found here;

—  Last year, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 21-of-28 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown. Taking advantage of a Steven Montez interception and a porous Colorado defense, the Bruins raced to a 17-0 first quarter lead … all before the Buff offense could muster its first first down of the contest. The Buffs ended up with only 65 offensive plays, and only 25:33 of possession time;

— The Buff offense, working against a UCLA defense which was 127th in pass defense, 112th in total defense, and 114th in scoring defense, nonetheless started the game: three-and-out; three-and-out; and two-and-an-interception … here’s hoping CU’s new starting quarterback, Sam Noyer, fares better against the porous UCLA defense than Steven Montez did;

— The home team has won the last five games in the series, with the last road victory for either team coming when UCLA defeated CU, 40-37 in two overtimes in 2014;

— If you prefer happier memories, the last time UCLA ventured out to Boulder, the Buffs came away with a 20-10 victory, thanks in large part to two long punt returns by Isaiah Oliver, including a 68-yard return for a touchdown with 5:28 to play to seal the victory. The game story (including video highlights) can be found here, while my Essay for the game, “Even Ugly Wins Count“, can be found here;

Statistically speaking … 

— Colorado has won 28 of its last 30 season openers when scoring first (the exceptions coming in 2006 v. Montana State and in 2014 v. Colorado State);

— Conversely, in the last 23 openers when the opponent scored first, the Buffs are 4-18-1;

— The last time CU opened the season at home was in 2009, which turned out to be a 23-17 loss to Colorado State. The last time CU opened the season at home against a team other than CSU – and won – was in 1996, a 37-19 win over Washington State;

—– Colorado is one of 17 schools in 2020 which started the season without any quarterback starting experience, including six Power Five schools (Duke, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma and Washington State). Washington State will be starting a true freshman at quarterback in its opener against Oregon State;

— Rule changes for 2020 … Targeting must be confirmed by the replay official. If it cannot be confirmed, it will be overturned … Players ejected for targeting can remain on the sidelines, but are still disqualified from further participation … Instant replay is (supposed) to be completed in no more than two minutes … A player can now wear the number “0” (For CU, running back Ashaad Clayton and defensive back Chris Miller will be wearing the number “0”), though no player can wear “00” on their jersey (sorry, Jim Otto fans).

Coaches/Player Notes … 

Karl Dorrell was named as CU’s 27th full-time head coach on February 23rd; the 17th since 1935. After the first 10 CU coaches opened 8-1-1 in their first game, the last 16 have gone 3-13. Rick Neuheisel won his first game at the helm, when No. 14 Colorado defeated No. 21 Wisconsin on the road, 43-7. Then Mike MacIntyre led the Buffs to a 41-27 win over Colorado State in Denver in 2013. Finally, last September Mel Tucker opened his one and only season as CU’s head coach with a 52-31 victory over Colorado State in Denver.

— So, for those of you scoring at home – Of the last 16 new CU head coaches, only three have won their first game … but the last two (Mike MacIntyre and Mel Tucker) were successful;

— Both coordinators – Darrin Chiaverini and Tyson Summers – will be coaching from the sideline on Saturday. “We have a number of our offensive and defensive coaches that will be up (in the booth) but both playcallers will be down,” Dorrell said;

— Inside linebacker Nate Landman, offensive tackle William Sherman, tight end Brady Russell and defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson have been named Colorado’s team captains for the season opener;

— The total of career starts by quarterbacks on the CU roster? Zero. The last time that happened was in 2007;

— Senior quarterback Sam Noyer is slated to start the game against UCLA, the 51st player to earn their first start at quarterback since 1959. Previous Buff quarterbacks have posted a 25-24-1 record in their debuts, with a 9-9 record in season openers;

— Noyer will be just the third quarterback in the past sixty years to earn his first start as a senior, with the other two being Jeff Austin (v. Texas Tech in 1976) and Robert Hodge (v. USC in 2002);

— If cornerback Christian Gonzalez is on the field for the first defensive play (as planned), he will become just the 14th true freshman (and the first since DT Israel Antwine in 2018) to start from the first play from scrimmage;

— Of the 105 eligible players on the CU roster (including walk-ons), 69, or 65.7%, are underclassmen. That percentage is the 11th-highest figure in the nation. Conversely, CU has only 11 players who only have one year of eligibility remaining (nine seniors; two graduate transfers). That number is the second-lowest (Stanford has only ten) in the nation;

— Senior wide receiver K.D. Nixon enters the season ranked 24th in all-time receiving yards (1,128). To get into the top 20 (and pass his position coach and offensive coordinator, Darrin Chiaverini), Nixon needs only 72 more receiving yards;

— When Nixon passes his coach, he will become the fifth player Chiaverini has coached (joining Shay Fields, Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo and Laviska Shenault) to surpass him on the all-time receiving yards list;

— Ralphie VI has been selected, and is in training, but will not run during the 2020 season.

Pac-12 Notes … 

— The Pac-12 will “open” its season with only two teams ranked in the Associated Press poll (Oregon at No. 12; USC at No. 20) … Last year, five teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll … No. 11 Oregon … No. 13 Washington … No. 14 Utah … No. 23 Washington State … No. 25 Stanford.

— The longest streak of consecutive preseason poll appearances from the Pac-12 belonged to Stanford, with nine consecutive seasons, but that string was broken this year (CU has appeared in the Associated Press preseason poll 16 times, most recently in 2002)

The Last Word … 

— From Karl Dorrell …  “If I am a betting man, I am saying we’re going to play really well. I am very confident these guys are excited to play. I know they’re really working hard and mastering the information for us to be able to execute well on Saturday night.

“I’m very anxious to watch them play. I really am. They’re deserving for some success. They’re deserving for achieving the goals and aspirations they’ve set for themselves. I don’t have any question they are going to play hard. There is no question about that at all.”

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2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. No more 265 pound OL types.
    I like this too.

    LEFT TACKLE
    78 William Sherman, 6-4, 310, Jr.**
    60 Jake Wiley, 6-6, 290, Fr.-RS
    77 Jake Wray, 6-5, 310, Fr.
    LEFT GUARD
    58 Kary Kutsch, 6-5, 310, Sr.**
    74 Chance Lytle, 6-7, 320, Jr.**
    52 Joshua Jynes, 6-3, 310, Soph.*
    CENTER
    65 Colby Pursell, 6-4, 305, Jr.**
    52 Joshua Jynes, 6-3, 310, Soph.*
    75 Carson Lee, 6-3, 315, Fr.
    RIGHT GUARD
    70 Casey Roddick, 6-4, 335, Soph.*
    54 Kanan Ray, 6-4, 295, Soph.*
    75 Carson Lee, 6-3, 315, Fr.
    RIGHT TACKLE
    76 Frank Fillip, 6-7, 295, Soph.-2**
    71 Valentin Senn, 6-7, 310, Fr.-RS
    72 Nikko Pohahau, 6-5, 285, Fr.-RS

    Go Buffs

  2. What I like.

    There is no DB listed on the depth chart listed under 6.0 feet tall.

    Don’t believe I have ever seen that.

    STAR BACK (OLB/S HYBRID)
    0 Chris Miller, 6-0, 190, Jr.**
    30 Curtis Appleton, 6-1, 180, Jr.*
    20 Will Anglen, 6-3, 195, Fr.
    LEFT CORNERBACK
    21 Christian Gonzalez, 6-2, 200, Fr.
    27 Nigel Bethel, 6-0, 170, Soph.
    FREE SAFETY
    3 Derrion Rakestraw, 6-2, 200, Sr.-5***
    23 Isaiah Lewis, 6-0, 205, Jr.** (N#1)
    22 Toren Pittman, 6-4, 190, Fr.
    STRONG SAFETY
    5 Mark Perry, 6-2, 200, Soph.*
    17 K.J. Trujillo, 6-0, 165, Soph.*
    RIGHT CORNERBACK
    25 Mekhi Blackmon, 6-0, 170, Jr.-2**
    16 Tarik Luckett, 6-3, 180, Soph.*
    2 Jaylen Striker, 6-3, 205, Soph.

    I like big DB types. Now a couple look a bit underweight but they are young.

    Go Buffs

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