December 29th – Alamo Bowl             No. 20 Texas 55, Colorado 23

Texas used quick scoring drives – six touchdown possessions going for between 74 and 89 yards, with none of the taking more than six plays (with the seventh touchdown coming on a one-play, 21-yard “drive”) – to dominate Colorado, 55-23

Neither of the starting quarterbacks finished the game, with the Longhorn backup Casey Thompson getting the better of it. Texas quarterback Sam Elhinger was lost after the first half, but Thompson led the Longhorns to 38 second half points as Texas turned a 17-10 halftime advantage into a rout. Thompson completed only eight passes, but four of them went for touchdowns, as a solid CU defensive effort in the first half was completely missing in the final two quarters.

CU’s backup, Brendon Lewis, could not overcome the hole left by the Buff defense and CU’s starting quarterback. Senior Sam Noyer went 8-for-23 for 101 yards and two interceptions with his time on the field, and overthrew receivers on three different occasions on what would have been touchdowns. Lewis directed all three of CU’s touchdown drives, completing 6-of-10 passes for 95 yards. Lewis also had 73 yards rushing on nine carries, including a two-yard touchdown run.

Running back Jarek Broussard accounted for the Buffs’ other two scores, finishing the game with 82 yards on 27 carries.

For the game, Texas torched the Colorado defense for 638 yards of total offense, while the Buffs settled for 378 yards.

“This game tells me how much further we have to go,” said Karl Dorrell, who fell to 1-4 in bowl games as a head coach. “Our tackling was poor and our inefficiency on offense and we didn’t take care of the football. These are the things we’ve been preaching and talking about and we didn’t improve in those areas. It’s unfortunate and we have got a lot of work to do.”

The loss left Colorado with a 4-2 record for the COVID-shortened season, with two losses after a 4-0 start returned the Buffs to the national rankings. When asked if there was any excitement for the program after the lopsided loss to Texas, Dorrell was blunt: “It is hard for me to imagine any excitement right now. I’m just being honest. I’m not feeling excited about anything. Even the games that we won this year, it’s really what did we do last and what’s the final impression. Those are the things that I have my mind on right now. The way I look at it is we got a tremendous amount of work to go. We got development; we have a number of issues that we got to get cleaned up. Both coaches and players. I’m gonna have a lot of work to do this offseason.”

Game Story … The goal for the Buff offense coming into the Alamo Bowl was to hang onto the ball and put together long, time-consuming drives … but the CU offense started the game by going three-and-out.

The goal for the Buff defense for the Alamo Bowl was to limit big plays by the Texas offense, making the Longhorns work for scores … but the Buffs started by giving up a 27-yard run on the Longhorns’ first play on offense, then a 39-yard pass completion on the second. The four-play, 74-yard, 50-second drive was completed by an eight-yard touchdown run by Bijan Robinson. Texas 7, Colorado 0, two minutes and nine seconds into the game.

The Buff offense responded to the kick in the teeth … by going three-and-out again.

Texas then looked to end the game before the first quarter was half over, driving quickly into CU territory. On a fourth-and-one at the CU 39-yard line, however, running back Roschon Johnson was stopped for no gain by safety Isaiah Lewis and linebacker Jonathan Van Diest. The Buff offense thereafter gained its first first down of the game, with quarterback Sam Noyer connecting with Maurice Bell for a 26-yard gain. Any momentum CU may have gained was lost two plays later when Noyer threw an embarrassingly bad interception.

Taking over at its 11-yard line, the Texas offense needed only six plays to cover 89 yards for another score. A 50-yard run by Bijan Robinson put the ball deep into CU territory, with quarterback Sam Ehlinger connecting with Robinson for a 14-yard touchdown. Texas 14, Colorado 0, with 5:28 still remaining in the first quarter.

Jarek Broussard, who had four carries for all of two yards in the first three drives of the game, finally found some success on CU’s third drive, with three straight carries gaining 22 yards. The Buffs then went to the air … and punted the ball away three plays later.

After the CU defense forced its first three-and-out of the game, the Buff offense rewarded their teammates … by turning the ball over again. On an attempted screen pass, Sam Noyer threw his second interception of the first quarter, this time picked off by a freshman defensive lineman, Alfred Collins, at the Buff 32-yard line.

The defense, though, responded with another three-and-out, this time ending when Texas kicker Cameron Dicker pulled a 45-yard field goal attempt wide left, keeping it a 14-0 game after the first quarter.

CU’s ensuing drive was its longest possession in terms of time of its first five … chewing up all of 2:39 of game clock … before the six-play drive ended with the Buffs’ fourth punt.

A three-and-out – the third in a row forced by the Buff defense – gave the ball back to CU at midfield. Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis, who was scheduled to have some game reps, made his debut a solid one (it didn’t hurt that at the time, Sam Noyer was 3-for-13, with two interceptions).

A Jarek Broussard run for 13 yards on third-and-three kept the drive alive, followed by a 26-yard completion from Lewis to Dimitri Stanley gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the Texas two-yard line. Three runs later, it was fourth-and-goal, with the ball still at the two. On a sweep, Broussard appeared to have no chance of scoring, but he cut back, spun, and found his way into the end zone. Texas 14, Colorado 7, midway through the second quarter.

The teams traded punts before the Texas offense looked to regain its early first quarter form. Two pass completions from Ehlinger – one for 34 yards; the second for 38 yards – quickly put the Longhorns in scoring position. Consecutive sacks, however, by Carson Wells and Mustafa Johnson, forced a long field goal attempt. Texas kicker Cameron Dicker, who had missed from 45 yards out in the first quarter, was good from 53 yards out. Texas 17, Colorado 7, with 2:07 left in the half.

Sam Noyer, who had only three completions in his first 13 attempts, had some success upon his return to the lineup for the two minute drill. Noyer hit Daniel Arias for a 17-yard gain, ran for 15 yards (after missing Arias on a sure 58-yard touchdown), then hit Dimitri Stanley for 28 yards to give CU a red zone opportunity. The next three plays, though, lost seven yards, with Noyer taking a sack on third down. The loss left kicker Evan Price with a longer kick, but the 40-yarder was good.

Halftime score: No. 20 Texas 17, Colorado 10

On what appeared to be a short run on the first play from scrimmage of the third quarter, Bijon Robinson instead went for 69 yards, taking the ball down to the CU 13-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Casey Thompson, subbing for Sam Ehlinger who left the game at halftime with a shoulder injury, hit Joshua Moore for a 13-yard score.

Two plays … 79 yards … 37 seconds … Texas 24, Colorado 10.

The Buffs tried to respond on their first drive of the second half, but came up empty. Aided by a facemask penalty and a defensive holding penalty (which would have been a 47-yard touchdown pass if Noyer had put more air under the pass to a wide open Maurice Bell), the Buffs moved into Texas territory. Thereafter, a targeting call, which would have given the Buffs an additional 15 yards, was reversed. The Buffs were able to convert a fourth-and-one on a Sam Noyer sneak to keep the drive alive, but three more plays netted only eight yards. When Evan Price thereafter missed the 37-yard field goal attempt, the scoreboard remained unchanged … and the game was essentially over.

It was then the Buffs’ defense turn to give away free yards. A facemask penalty gave the Longhorns 15 yards, with a pass interference penalty giving away 15 more. Backup quarterback Casey Thompson then hit Joshua Moore for a 25-yard touchdown to complete the five-play, 80-yard, two-minute drive touchdown drive. Just like that, it was Texas 31, Colorado 10, with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Buffs then went three-and-out, with Sam Noyer missing badly on two passes, leaving him 8-for-23 for 101 yards and two interceptions (while the Texas backup, Casey Thompson, at that point was 4-of-5 for 63 yards and two touchdowns).

The Buff defense was thereafter gashed for runs of 21 and 22 yards before stiffening. Still, it was a third score in as many third quarter possessions for the Texas offense, with Cameron Dicker hitting a 34-yarder to up the lead to 34-10.

Brendon Lewis then returned to the Colorado lineup … and the Buffs produced their second touchdown drive of the game. A 25-yard completion from Lewis to Dimitri Stanley was followed two plays later by a 44-yard run by Lewis, setting up a first-and-goal at the Texas three-yard line. On the next play, Jarek Broussard finished the drive with a three-yard run up the middle. The two-point conversion pass attempt failed, leaving it at a 34-16 score late in the third quarter.

Could the Buff defense produce their first stop of the second half, giving the offense a chance to make it a game?


It took Texas only five plays to cover 75 yards, with Casey Thompson collecting his third touchdown pass of the half, connecting with Bijon Robinson on a 23-yard screen pass for the score on the first play of the fourth quarter. Texas 41, Colorado 16.

Brendon Lewis continued his impressive play, connecting with Montana Lemonious-Craig for 15 yards and K.D. Nixon for 16 yards, with 22 more yards gained by the Buffs on pass interference penalties. The seven-play, 75-yard drive was capped by Lewis himself, scoring on a two-yard run. Texas 41, Colorado 23, early in the fourth quarter.

47 seconds later, Texas scored again.

The Buffs left a backup linebacker, Jonathan Van Diest, on a wide receiver … not a good idea. Casey Thompson easily lofted a 73-yard touchdown pass to Kelvontay Dixon, who was five yards behind Van Diest, making the romp a total rout, at 48-23. The score left Thompson with eight completions in just over a quarter of work … with four touchdowns.

A quick three-and-out from the Buffs with still over ten minutes remaining wasn’t a good idea … Fortunately, Texas inserted its third-string quarterback, with the drive ending in the Longhorns’ first punt of the second half.

Two plays later, Texas had the ball back on a Jarek Broussard fumble at the Buff 21-yard line. On the next play, running back Raschon Johnson turned missed Colorado tackles into a 21-yard touchdown.

Still half of the fourth quarter remained, but the score was now up to 55-23.

The remainder of the game, mercifully, was CU punting away the ball, and Texas running out the final five minutes of game clock.

Final score: No. 20 Texas 55, Colorado 23

“We still have a ways to go, there is no question about that”, Karl Dorrell said.  “We have got to get a couple good recruiting classes in, which we have started to do.  It is going to take probably two or three years to get at the level that we need to be.  We feel like we are the type of program that should be on the national level.  This was a good measuring stick on how far we need to go, that is what it is”.

Perhaps the only positive Buff fans could take from the humbling defeat was the play of freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis. It had been announced prior to the game that Lewis would get some playing time against Texas, but was in for the entire second half after starter Sam Noyer was ineffective. Lewis went 6-for-10 passing, for 95 yards, with another 73 yards (and a two-yard touchdown) on nine carries (Noyer, meanwhile, went 8-for-23 for 101 yards and two interceptions, adding 17 yards on seven carries).

“He was probably the bright note of tonight, I would believe”, said Dorrell of Lewis’ performance. “I think he came in in some difficult circumstances and engineered a couple of good drives. He’s been doing a lot of that stuff in practice and it’s good to see him gain some experience, gain some confidence, knowing that he belongs at this level and to play against a good program and to have the kind of success that he had. I’m very encouraged by his performance today, no question.”

Here are the YouTube highlights of the game from BuffsTV…

Game Notes … 

— The victory gave Texas a 12-7 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, and a six-game winning streak (after CU had posted a six-game winning streak in the series between 1989-2001);

— The Buffs fell to a 12-18 all-time record in bowl games, one of the worst winning percentages (.400) among Power Five conference schools (tied for 79th nationally);

— Texas scored the most points (55) against Colorado in its 30-game bowl history (previous, Oregon scored 43 in a 51-43 loss to the Buffaloes in the 1998 Aloha Bowl). The 32-point loss was the largest in CU bowl history, eclipsing the 38-8 loss to Oklahoma State in this same bowl in 2016;

— Texas also set opponent highs in bowls against the Buffs in total yards (638; old, 535 by Oregon in the ’98 Aloha) and rushing yards (303; old, 279 by Notre Dame in the 1990 Orange Bowl);

— Freshman Brendon Lewis became the first Colorado quarterback to see their first career action in a bowl game. Note: When you are looking at CU’s year-end stats, or look for Lewis’ stats in the 2021 preseason media handouts, you won’t find Lewis’ 95 yards passing or 73 yards rushing. Colorado does not include bowl game stats in with regular season stats. Lewis will start 2021 with no official stats in the CU record book for the 2020 campaign (CU does maintain a separate records page for bowl games).


11 Replies to “No. 20 Texas 55, Colorado 23”

  1. Couldn’t help thinking back while watching the game last night about Darrell Scott who was the #1 running back in 2008 that we signed over Texas who turned out to be one of the biggest busts in college football ever, and watching Bijan Robinson who is the #1 running back this year torch us for 170 yards, could have been 370 yards but for some unexplained reason they stopped giving him the ball, and looked like he could win a couple of Heismans if he stays long enough. That in a nutshell is the story of Colorado football in the last 20 years.

    1. Posted exactly the same thing on another thread….but mine was Lynn Katoa. The last great we got was Nick Kasa, pass rushing demon, who ended up as middling TE.


        All they were (really) was another “Tackle” and it seems they were gradually (one game at a time) forgotten.

        Imagine….. 20 years pass and a former C.U. Tight End tells the Board Room, ” Oh, yeah I played TE for the C.U. Buffs.” A board member responds, “How many T.D.’s did you catch ?” Former C.U. TE responds, “Well, actually….er, (holds hand over mouth, faking a cough)… none.”
        (The entire Board Room bursts into laughter).

        So, goes the Tradition and Legend of a Former C.U. T.E.

        C’mon Chev’…….you can do better than that. When watching these Bowl Games, it becomes obvious how effective a TE can be in an offense.

  2. No one likes to see it, but I have to admit I feared we’d be getting results like this against the likes of UCLA. The Buffs have come a long way. The first step was to not completely cave in as they would have in situations like the poor start at Arizona or the first quarter last night. They have backbone, especially on defense.

    I imagine what this team could be with Lewis, Fontenot, and depth at tight end on top of the great receivers we’ve had and improved o-line. We’re closer to our destination on offense than where we began.

    We desperately need some athletic DEs who can pass rush (and seal the edge) and LBs who can drop into coverage, not to mention speed overall. The D hung in there well, in parts. We can’t finish tackles in the backfield. We’re fortunate their playcalling was as terrible as it was (they decided not to hand it off to Bijan Robinson more than a few times, for some reason) and that Eagles did not play. That guy would have had five touchdowns.

    Overall, it’s the right direction, but we need more speed and depth, on top of everything else.

    1. Both Sami and Lang were out last night. I think with them in we would have done better against the run, at least a little better. I am more worried about our middle linebackers. Van Diest and Perry do not look like solid replacements to Jones and Landman. Perry might get better with more playing time but the fact that he was consistently behind Van Diest leads me to believe we will have issues. Maybe the incoming freshman will be able to step in….he looks real good on film.

  3. In college football it starts with the QB. Noyer took us as far as he could but there is a reason that he was a backup for so long and then switched to DB and then almost transferred. I am glad that he came back and stabilized this team. But I don’t see him getting back on the field. Lewis looks like he could be the real deal and with a Spring camp and full Summer of work he should be good to go. I thought Chev called a good game. I was very critical of him after the Utah game. It is not his fault that Noyer made some ill advised throws and missed wide open receivers on 3 sure fire TDs that would have kept CU in the game, and perhaps the defense would not have totally collapsed. I am thankful we got to at least see the Buffs play and play well overall in this crazy year.

    Happy New Year Buff fans. And thank you Stuart for keeping this website going.

  4. Was very much looking forward to the past 48 hours…but after the AZ debacle, I kind of figured the bowl would play out the same (tough 1st half, blown out in the 2nd). Super disappointing as we just reinforced the image that CU can’t get over the hump.
    Just plain disgusted that we just went through a ‘whole’ season and we still can’t defend the screen on defense, nor execute one on offense (which obviously goes hand in/hand). Iron sharpens iron. UT’s offensive game plan was diverse and creative…ours was exactly the same from UCLA. Really love Chiv the recruiter, but not so much as the O coordinator.

  5. Hey Morning,
    Simple deal eh?

    Poopy game
    Poopy result

    On to next year.
    As usual.

    Go Buffs Beat Northern Colorado

    Note: Defense got beat up.
    Note 2: Offense didn’t beat anybody up.
    Note 3: Being capped and not knowing you are capped is a horrible situation
    Note 4: They played 6 games…..4 and 2
    Note 5: If they played 12 then what? 8 and 4? 7 and 5? 6 and 6?
    Note 6: Certainly not 5 and 7
    Note 7: Settle down. Next year 5 and 7 may be on the high end.
    Note 8: Buffs win the year of the virus. Get a bowl. I am really happy about that.

  6. Good thing I had weed to numb the pain. Lewis looked good. I do not understand why we are no longer a running team… especially to open games. The defense gave up. Putrid. Yuk.

    1. It is actually pretty simple. The opposing side outnumbers us in the box (think within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage). They also play run defense first ( specific techniques for line and linebackers). It is nigh impossible to run into a good defense that does this. So you have to get them out of that by throwing. Noyer was so inaccurate last night they just said we will give it to him when he completes it and kept the same game plan. The running yards we have gotten the last 2 games are becuase Broussard almost always makes the first guy miss. The answer is get a qb that can throw accurately. Both a deep post (which Noyer threw fine at the beginning of the year but completely lost it over the last 3 games) a short turn in (which again Noyer has thrown but for some reason not able to be accurate anymore) and a deep crossing route (which Noyer cannot throw against Cover 1 becuase he never sees the dropping linebacker under the man coverage resulting in 4 of his picks this year – yes same route, same coverage over half of his picks and this is the route you decimate cover 1 on so he has to be able to throw it. Oh and Lewis first 24 yard completion was that route – not sure on the coverage). So I like Noyer, think he is a gamer but in order to run the ball we need a new Qb or he needs to get a whole lot more consistent over the summer.

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