Friday Fast Facts – No. 21 Colorado vs. Utah – 10:00 a.m., MT, Fox

Big Picture

— If you have DISH, and are having issues figuring out how to watch the CU/Utah game on FOX, CUBuffs.com has posted a press release with other viewing options;

— Colorado and Utah have played 66 times overall (the most by far for CU with any Pac-12 opponent; second-most is Oregon, at 25 games). The Buffs hold a 32-31-3 overall advantage in the series, though the Utes have won the last three games;

— The kickoff – at 10:05 Saturday morning – will be the earliest kickoff in Folsom Field’s 97-year history. The previous earliest start came in 2007 when CU and Nebraska kicked off a Thanksgiving weekend game at 10:09 a.m.  It will also be the second latest home game in program history, coming in only behind a December 13th contest against Colorado Mines in 1890, CU’s first season of varsity competition.

— Dating back to the end of last season, Colorado has won four of its last five games, dating back to last season’s loss to Utah. Meanwhile, Utah has lost four of its last five games, with its win over Oregon State breaking a four-game losing streak;

— Karl Dorrell, in leading CU to a 4-0 record and a No. 21 national ranking, has become the first CU head coach to lead an unranked team into the polls in his first season. Only two other first year head coaches (out of 23) have put their teams in the polls (Appalachian State’s Shawn Clark and Washington’s Jimmy Lake), with both of the other two coaches having their teams exit the polls after a stay of only one week (hope that is not a jinx!);

— The CU/Utah game will be telecast nationally by Fox as part of its “Big Noon Kickoff”. Gus Johnson, former Buff Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft will be in Boulder to call the game.  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.

Buffs v. Utes

— Impress your friends factoid … Prior to 1972, the University of Utah teams were nicknamed the “Indians”;

— The two teams have played 66 times (CU leading the series, 32-31-3), but the teams have only met once when both teams were ranked. That was during the 2016 season, when No. 9 Colorado defeated No. 21 Utah, 27-22. The write-up for that game, including my essay for the game, “No Conflict, No Story“, can be found here;

— Utah has scored only two touchdowns in the second half in their first three games, including a punt return for a score in the fourth quarter against Oregon State (seven points in third quarter; seven points in the fourth quarter). After giving up 51 second half points in the first two games, the Buffs have shut out their last two opponents (San Diego State; Arizona) in the second half;

Something has to give Department … Colorado is 10th in the nation in rushing offense (245.5 yds/game), but Utah is 11th in the nation in rushing defense (104.7 yds/game);

Bar bet winner … In what statistic is CU over 100 teams higher in the rankings this season over last? Last year, the Buffs were ranked 121st nationally in pass efficiency defense. So far this year … the Buffs are ranked 6th;

Something has to give Department II … Both teams make their living keeping the ball away from their opponent. CU is 14th in the nation in time of possession (33:39); Utah is 18th in the nation in the same category (33:09)

Coach and Player Notes … 

Karl Dorrell is just the fifth coach in CU history (out of 27) to open his career with a 4-0 record, and just the second to do so since 1905 (Rick Neuheisel, who took over the Buffs after an 11-1 season and a No. 3 final ranking, opened the 1995 season with a 5-0 record);

— Dorrell is the first coach to lead CU to a 3-0 record in Pac-12 play. Overall, he is just the sixth coach to lead the Buffs to a 3-0 record in conference play in their first season … and the first since 1941 (Jim Yeager);

— Senior linebacker Nate Landman has earned back-to-back national defensive Player-of-the-Week awards (the Nagurski Award for the San Diego State game; the Bednarik Award for the Arizona game. Landman has become the first Buff to win back-to-back national Player-of-the-Week awards since Kordell Stewart (in 1992);

— How dominant has Landman been? Junior linebacker Carson Wells and senior safety Derrion Rakestraw are putting together All-Pac-12 honoree seasons. Wells and Rakestraw each have posted 27 tackles … equal to the 54 Landman has posted all by himself;

— Sophomore running back Jarek Broussard, with his 301-yard effort against Arizona, became the first Buff in history to post 100-yard games in the first four games of their CU careers (Charlie Davis opened the 1971 season with three 100-yard efforts). Broussard is just the fourth FBS running back since 1996 to post four 100-yard games in the first four games of their careers.

— Broussard is second in the nation in rushing yards per game, posting 183.3 yards per game (Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson, fresh off a 409-yard effort in a 70-41 rout of Kent State, is averaging 230.0/yards per game).

Colorado and Utah … historical

In the 12 statistical categories tracked by Winsipedia, Utah leads Colorado in only two of 12 categories … though they are significant.

In all-time winning percentage, the Utes inched past the Buffs in the past few years. Utah has a .593 winning percentage (689-469-31), which is 29th on the all-time list. With the decade-plus long drought in Boulder, Colorado has slipped to a .579 wining percentage (714-515-36), good enough for 36th on the all-time list.

The other category in which Utah has a lead is in bowl winning percentage. Colorado has a losing record in bowl games (12-16), while Utah has one of the best bowl winning percentages in the nation (17-6, 2nd-best in the country).

Otherwise, however, Colorado has significant advantages, including:

— Weeks in the Associated Press poll: CU, 305 … Utah, 139;

— Consensus All-Americans: CU, 31 … Utah, 9;

— NFL draft picks: CU, 275 … Utah, 168; and

— National championships and Heisman trophy winners: CU, 1 each … Utah, 0 for each.

Colorado and Utah – head-to-head

This will be the 67th meeting between the two schools, in a series which dates back to 1903. Colorado leads the all-time tally, 32-31-3.

Colorado won the first three games in the series, winning the games played between 1903-05 by a combined score of 101-11. Utah’s best run in the series came between 1925-33, when the Utes ran off nine straight wins. CU had a nice run of its own, winning eight of the ten games between 1951 and 1962 before the rivalry went dormant.

Utah won four of the first five meetings after the pair joined the Pac-12, with the Buffs breaking a four-game losing streak with a 27-22 win in 2016. Before joining the Pac-12, the two teams hadn’t met on the gridiron since 1962.

The Utes lead the series in games played in Salt Lake City, 18-14-2. Colorado won the first game between the rivals in their new conference, taking a 17-14 decision over the Utes in Salt Lake City in 2011.

The Utes then won the next four games between the two teams, with every Utah win being close … 42-35 (2012); 24-17 (2013); 38-34 (2014); and 20-14 (2015).

In the only game between the two teams in the series with both teams being ranked was played in 2016, with the Buffs winning, 27-22, to claim their first Pac-12 South title.

In 2017, in a game between two 5-6 teams looking for bowl bids, Utah ran away from the Buffs, winning 34-13. Utah went on to win its bowl game (the only Pac-12 team to do so), finishing 7-6 with a boost in momentum for the 2018 season. CU, of course, finished 5-7, and stayed home for the holidays.

In 2018, the Buffs were again one win away from a bowl bid, but the Utes were 8-3, ranked No. 21 in the country, and one win away from their first Pac-12 South title. The game was tied, 7-7, at halftime, and was played in frigid temperatures and a crowd of 16,627 (39,360 tickets sold). The Utes went on to bury the Buffs, 30-7, in what proved to be Mike MacIntyre’s final game as the head coach at Colorado.

Last season, the CU was again 5-6, and were again a win away from bowl eligibility. Unfortunately, the Buffs were up against the 6th-ranked team in the nation, and fell, 45-15. Buff fans, though, were optimistic about the 2020 season, with first-year head coach Mel Tucker concluding, “This is really just the beginning for us” …

Pac-12 Notes … 

— Only two teams from the Pac-12 (USC at No. 16; Colorado at No. 21) were ranked in the latest AP poll. Only five Pac-12 teams … Oregon, Washington, USC, Utah (in the preseason poll in August) and Colorado have been ranked this season;

— With the loss of the LA Bowl this week, the Pac-12 is down to four bowl tie-in games … A New Year’s Six Bowl (likely the Fiesta Bowl, as the Rose Bowl has a CFP semi-final game this year); the Alamo Bowl; the Armed Forces Bowl (an add-on, with the opponent to come from the SEC); and the Independence Bowl (Army already selected as the opponent);

— In the first five weeks of the season, Colorado (which played in only four of those weeks) has had the Pac-12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week three times: Jarek Broussard twice (UCLA; Arizona) and Sam Noyer (Stanford). The other two weekly honors have gone to Oregon State running back Jamar Jefferson. Nate Landman has twice won the Pac-12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week (Stanford; San Diego State).

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2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. “they (cattle) get pretty big, about 600 pounds. I still every now and then try to have fun with them. I’ve got quite a few videos of me getting ran over. It kind of hurt at the time, but it’s funny to look back upon now.”

    Wells, from story on Wells & Landman on BZ.

    Stuart, can you get some of these videos? I don’t know if he has or where these videos would be posted, but I’m betting many of us would like to see a video or two of Wells taking on a 600lb cow; after that no 300 & something pound man is going to be too scary.

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