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Friday Fast Facts – Stanford Week

**As a reminder, the CU at the Game Podcast, with a review of the UCLA game and a preview for the Stanford game, can be found at Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher … or just click here or here**

Big Picture … 

— Colorado is 711-515-36 all-time (.577). The Buffs are 26th in all-time victories; 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— With the 48-42 win over UCLA, the Buffs have now won five straight season openers. The last time CU won five or more straight openers came in an eight-game stretch from 1991-98;

— The Cardinal has won 12 consecutive home openers dating back to the 2008 season. Last year, Stanford beat Northwestern, 17-7, in the home opener;

— The victory for first year head coach Karl Dorrell was the third straight for CU head coaches making their debut, joining Mike MacIntyre (2013) and Mel Tucker (2019), who both beat CSU in their first games. In all three victories, the Buffs won the game without committing a turnover;

Jarek Broussard (31 carries for 187 yards and three touchdowns; two receptions for 21 yards). Broussard set school records for the most yards gained rushing in a player’s first game in a CU uniform (187), as well as the most yards from scrimmage (208) and all-purpose yards (221 – which includes a 13-yard kickoff return to open the game);

— For his efforts against UCLA, Broussard was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week. He is just the second Buff running back to be so honored since CU became a member of the Pac-12 ten years ago, joining Phillip Lindsay, who won it in 2017 for his efforts against Arizona State;

— The Buffs will wear their traditional gold/white/black uniform road combination for their trip to Palo Alto to play Stanford. The last time the Buffs used this combination on the road was in 2018, when the Buffs defeated Nebraska in Lincoln, 33-28;

— CU had 554 fans in attendance for the UCLA game, which will turn out to be a season-high. Boulder County has imposed more restrictions, which include having no fans at sporting events;

— The game will be telecast nationally on ESPN, with Beth Mowins on the play-by-play, Stanford alumnus Rod Gilmore on color; and Andy Renga 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;

Player Notes … 

Jarek Broussard is No. 2 in the nation in rushing yards per game, with his 187-yard effort against UCLA leaving him second only to Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim, who is averaging 190.3 yards rushing per game. Broussard is also tied for second in the nation in scoring, averaging 18.0 points/game, and is fourth in the country in all-purpose yards, with 221.0;

— Quarterback Sam Noyer became just the third Buff QB to start his first game as a senior. His 257 yards passing tied for the sixth-most in a starting debut by a quarterback, with his 321 yards of total offense (counting his 64 rushing yards) being eighth-most;

— Here’s one I bet you didn’t know … CU defensive back Isaiah Lewis leads the nation in passes defended per game, with 3.0;

Carson Wells has two career interceptions, both coming against UCLA, and both coming from Bruin quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson;

— Five players made their first career starts against UCLA: QB Sam Noyer; RB Jarek Broussard; WR Daniel Arias; WR Maurice Bell; and CB Christian Gonzalez;

— Team captains for the Stanford game: Linebacker Carson Wells; wide receiver Jaylon Jackson; defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson; offensive lineman Kary Kutsch;

— 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;

Colorado and Stanford – head-to-head … 

This will be the 12th all-time match-up between the two schools, with Stanford leading by a margin of 6-5 (though the Buffs have won the last two games played – 2016; 2019).

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 conference 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.

Last season, kicker Evan Price, subbing for James Stefanou, connected on three fields, the last being a 37-yarder on the game’s final play, giving Colorado a 16-13 win over Stanford (memorable for Laviska Shenault’s bull rush for a first down on the final drive).

Highlights from the 2019 game … 

Colorado and Stanford … historical … 

Why the Tree? … You may have read (here) that Stanford will line its front rows of Stanford Stadium with trees this Saturday instead of fans. While the use of trees is a unique way to fill the stadium, it does give rise to the question: Why the Tree? From Stanford athletics … There is no official mascot at Stanford University. The “Tree,” which is a member of the Stanford Band, is representative of El Palo Alto, the Redwood tree which is the logo of the city of Palo Alto. Since Stanford University and Palo Alto are almost inextricably intertwined in interests and location, it is a natural outgrowth of this relationship. The tree still exists and stands by the railroad bridge beside San Francisquito Creek – it is the site where early explorers first camped when settling the area.

— CU and Stanford have both been playing since the 19th century, but Colorado has had the better of it in terms of victories … at least until the past decade or so. Colorado is 26th on the all-time list in victories, with 711, a good bit ahead of Stanford’s 657 (40th).

— The Cardinal, meanwhile, has lapped the Buffs in terms of bowl appearances. Until last season’s 4-8 meltdown, Stanford had played in bowl games for 10 straight seasons. That was the Pac-12’s longest current run, bringing Stanford’s total to 30 bowl games. Colorado is 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 has been in 303 Associated Press polls (30th all-time), while the Buffs are at 304 weeks all-time (29th).

— The two programs are also very close in one other category … NFL draft picks. Colorado has had 275 players chosen in the draft (23rd), while Stanford has had 267 players selected (27th).

Statistically speaking … 

— Colorado enters play this weekend ranked No. 2 in the nation in scoring. The 48.0/game average is just behind Western Michigan 49.5), and just ahead of Alabama (47.2), Ohio State (46.3), and Oklahoma (46.1). Sure, it’s only one game, but … we’ll take it;

— Colorado is No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin, with four turnovers against UCLA (+4.00);

— The Buffs are also No. 2 in the nation in time of possession (39:31), trailing only Wisconsin (43:28);  and are No. 5 in the country in first downs allowed, defense (23);

— 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).

Pac-12 Notes … 

— The Pac-12 “opened” its season with only two teams ranked in the Associated Press poll (Oregon at No. 12; USC at No. 20). Oregon moved up one spot, to No. 11, after defeating Stanford, 35-14, while USC held on to the No. 20 position after rallying to defeat Arizona State, 28-27. Four other Pac-12 teams – No. 29 Utah; No. 30 Washington; No. 31 Arizona State; and No. 36 California – also received votes;

— 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)

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