Friday Fast Facts – Minnesota Week

Big Picture … 

— Colorado has an all-time record of 715-518-36 (.578), making the Buffs 26th in on the all-time victories list.  Minnesota, though, is nipping at CU’s heels in this category. The Golden Gophers have an all-time record of 710-529-44 (.571), ranking Minnesota 28th in all-time victories. Sandwiched between CU’s 715 wins and Minnesota’s 710 is Michigan State, in 27th place with 712 all-time wins;

— Colorado is 37-65-3 all-time versus current teams from the Big Ten (which consists mostly now of games against Nebraska – 69 of the 105 total games). The Buffs have winning records against Minnesota (3-0); Iowa (2-0); Wisconsin (4-1-1); and Indiana (3-1), and have 1-1 records against Illinois, Northwestern, and Penn State. CU’s only losing records against Big Ten foes other than Nebraska are 1-4 records against Michigan and Ohio State, and an 0-3 record v. Michigan State;

— Minnesota, meanwhile, is 28-29-1 against the Pac-12, with most of those games being played against Washington (with a 10-7 advantage). The Gophers only have losing records against Cal (2-4); USC (1-6-1); Arizona State (0-1); and Colorado (0-3);

Fall? What fall? … The temperature at kickoff for the Texas A&M game was 92-degrees, sixth-warmest start in school history. The forecast for Saturday is a high of 90-degrees (though it should be 8-10 degrees cooler for the 11:00 a.m. kickoff. Oh, and next weekend, the Buffs will face off against Arizona State in Tempe. The lowest high in the forecast for Tempe for the next ten days is 100-degrees (likely to be around 95-degrees at kickoff);

— The game will be telecast nationally by the Pac-12 Networks (Saturday, 11:00 a.m., MT), with Roxy Bernstein on the play-by-play, and former Washington offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy on color. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 18th year with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his sixth year as the full-time analyst.

CU & Minnesota … 

— Colorado has a 3-0 overall advantage in the series against Minnesota including a 58-0 victory in 1991, the only previous game played in Boulder;

— In all three of the previous games between the two teams, the Buffs came into the game ranked in the national polls. In 1972, the third-ranked Buffs went on the road to secured a 38-6 victory; in the 1991 58-0 rout, the Buffs were ranked No. 19; and, in 1992 – the last time the two teams played – the 19th-ranked Buffs rallied for a 21-20 victory;

— Minnesota is 2-1 all-time in games played in the state of Colorado, with a 2-0 record against Colorado State; 0-1 against CU;

— Minnesota comes to Boulder with a nation’s best 20-game winning streak in non-conference games, dating back to 2015. It bears noting, though, that in that 20-0 streak that only three of those games were true road games, and only one of those three was against a Power-Five opponent (a win over Oregon State in 2017). Colorado, meanwhile is 20-5 dating back to 2013 in non-conference games (20-7 counting bowl losses in 2016 and 2020);

— Minnesota’s 0-3 record v. CU marks the second-most for any team against the Gophers without a victory. Only Notre Dame, with a 4-0-1 record, has played Minnesota more times without a loss;

— Perhaps the strongest unit on the Minnesota roster is the offensive line. The Gophers’ line has more combined starts at the FBS level than any team in the nation, with 193 (next: Miami, with 161). Minnesota actually opened its game against Ohio State with seven offensive linemen on the field; against Miami (Ohio), the number was six.

The Last time …

September 19, 1992 … No. 11 Colorado 21, Minnesota 20

Game Story The third game of Colorado’s 1992 season was played at night (6:00 p.m local time kickoff), and was played indoors (at the Metrodome in Minneapolis).  Whether the Buffs were confused by the surroundings or the time of day is unclear, but the 17-0 deficit Colorado found itself in midway through the third quarter was no mistake.

The Golden Gophers of Minnesota had dug a very large hole for the visitors from Boulder.

Enter true freshman Koy Detmer.

Posting the third greatest comeback (in terms of point deficit) in Colorado history, the Buffs rallied behind the little brother of BYU Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer to defeat Minnesota, 21-20.  Junior quarterback Duke Tobin was given the start for the injured Kordell Stewart, but Tobin, like the rest of the Colorado offense, was ineffective.  At the half, Tobin had completed only two of his 10 pass attempts.  The running game, when the five sacks of Tobin were factored in, had amassed a total of minus-eight yards rushing.

With offensive statistics like those, the Buffs were lucky that their defense had come to play.  The only first half score came when Gopher Derek Fisher recovered a blocked Mitch Berger punt in the Colorado endzone to put Minnesota ahead, 7-0.

Continue reading game story here

The Second-to-Last Time … 

September 21, 1991 … No. 19 Colorado 58, Minnesota 0

Game story … The Minnesota Golden Gophers came to Boulder 1-0 on the young season, hoping to build on their 6-5 effort from 1990. Instead, it was the Buffs who left Folsom Field with an improved state of mind, as Colorado mauled Minnesota, 58-0. In all, Colorado amassed 612 yards of total offense, surpassing the 600-yard mark for only the eighth time in school history.

Leading the onslaught was quarterback Darian Hagan, who passed for two touchdowns, connecting on 7-of-8 passes for 162 yards. The tone was set early, as Minnesota turned the ball on the first possession of the contest. On the Buffs’ first play, Hagan connected with tight end Rico Smith on a 40-yard touchdown.

In all, the Buffs scored on six of seven first half possessions on their way to a 38-0 halftime lead.

The second half allowed the Buffs to give younger players a chance to give the Folsom Field faithful a glimpse of the future. In all, 72 players saw action. Sophomore quarterback Vance Joseph led the Buffs to three touchdowns, while freshman quarterback Kordell Stewart also played. Stewart led the Buffs in rushing, picking up 73 yards on eight carries, including a four-yard fourth quarter touchdown run.

Another true freshman who Buff fans would come to know well, running back Lamont Warren, scored the first two touchdowns of his career, including a 30-yard run midway through the second quarter.

Continue reading game story here

Statistically speaking … 

What gives? … Colorado is 126th in the nation in passing offense, posting only 95.5 yards passing/game. The Minnesota defense, meanwhile, is giving up 265.5 yards passing per game, 102nd nation. Whichever team can get out of the 100’s nationally on Saturday will likely win the game;

Watch the clock … Both offenses like to run the ball, which will shorten the game and the number of possessions for each team. Stat to make Buff fans nervous: Minnesota is currently sixth in the nation in time of possession, hogging the ball for 35:39 of game clock (CU is 67th, at 29:39);

Positive yardage … The Gophers have not been good about putting the opposition behind the chains. The Minnesota defense has yet to record a sack, and has posted only five tackles for loss in two games (128th in the nation). So … the Buffs should be able to gain positive yardage on most plays. (The CU defense, meanwhile, has recorded four sacks – 68th nationally – and 11 tackles for loss – 76th);

—  Don’t count on turnovers … CU has only one turnover in two games (10th nationally), but the Gophers have two total turnovers through the first two games (33rd nationally);

Betcha’ didn’t knowDimitri Stanley is 1st in the Pac-12 – and third in the nation! – in punt returns, averaging 20.2 yards/return … Meanwhile, Buff punter Josh Watts is 3rd in the Pac-12 – and 15th nationally – in punting, averaging 46.3 yards/punt.

Player Notes … 

The race to 1,000 should be decided this weekend … 54 players in CU history have rushed for over 1,000 yards their careers. That number could be increased by two Saturday, as Alex Fontenot comes into the game with 996 career yards rushing, while Jarek Broussard has 958;

— Hard to remember that Brendon Lewis is still just a freshman? Minnesota’s fifth-year senior quarterback Tanner Morgan has 49 career touchdown passes. Brendon Lewis has 50 … career passes (and that includes the ten he threw in the Alamo Bowl);

— With the NCAA granting all student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the 2018 rule where if you played four games or less, you don’t lose a year, the number of underclassmen nationally have skyrocketed—and it’s no exception at Colorado. Of the 119 players on the roster, 69 are freshmen (43 first-year, 16 second-year, 10 third-year); when adding in 21 sophomores (three first-time, 15 second-time and three third-time), that’s 90 underclassmen. There are 23 juniors (20 classified as Jr.-2, or super juniors, with three Jr.-3), and just 3 seniors in their final year of eligibility. The other 3 are graduate transfers (two of whom have two years of eligibility remaining);

Pac-12 Notes … 

— The Pac-12 opened its season with five ranked teams in the Associated Press poll: No. 11 Oregon; No. 15 USC; No. 20 Washington; No. 24 Utah; and No. 25 Arizona State … after having only two teams ranked in the initial poll Pac-12 teams were ranked last season (Oregon at No. 12; USC at No. 20);

The Pac-12 is currently 11-11 in non-conference games. The last time the Pac-12 had a sub .500 overall record in non-conference games? Well, never. Fortunately for the conference, there are no fewer than five layup games against FCS schools this weekend to help the conference pad its stats. After Week Three, the only remaining non-conference games will be games USC and Stanford have scheduled against Notre Dame …


  • Minnesota at Colorado … 11:00 a.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … CU listed as a 2.5-point favorite (opened as a 2.0-point underdog, then went to 1.0-point favorite for the Buffs)
  • Idaho at Oregon State … 1:30 p.m., MT. … no line
  • USC at Washington State … 1:30 p.m., MT, Fox … USC listed as an 8.5-point favorite
  • Sacramento State at Cal … 2:00 p.m., MT. … no line
  • Arkansas State at Washington … 2:15 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … no line
  • Utah at San Diego State … 5:00 p.m., MT, CBSSN … Utah listed as a 7.5-point favorite
  • Stony Brook at No. 4 Oregon … 5:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … no line
  • Stanford at Vanderbilt … 6:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU … Stanford listed as an 11.0-point favorite
  • Northern Arizona at Arizona … 8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … no line
  • No. 19 Arizona State at No. 23 BYU … 8:15 p.m., MT, ESPN … Arizona State listed as a 2.5-point favorite
  • Fresno State at No. 19 UCLA … 8:45 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … UCLA listed as an 11.0-point favorite


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