Friday Fast Facts – Northern Colorado Week

Big Picture … 

— This is the 132nd year of collegiate football at the University of Colorado. The Buffs are 714-517-36 all-time (.578). CU is 26th in all-time victories (CU dropped out of the Top 25 two years ago, being passed by Wisconsin); the Buffs are 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— There have been some gaps in time between games with CU’s 2021 non-conference opponents … CU will play Northern Colorado for just the second time since 1934, with the other game coming in 2017 … The Buffs will host Texas A&M on September 11th in Denver, the first meeting between the two since 2009 (CU won in Boulder, 35-34), when both were still members of the Big 12 Conference … CU will play Minnesota for just the fourth time ever, and for the first time since 1992 (a 21-20 victory);

— Colorado is 82-44-5 (.645) all-time in 131 season openers. In the 82 seasons CU opened with a victory, the Buffs went on to a winning season 62 times (75.6%). In the 44 seasons CU has opened with a loss, the Buffs have only gone on to a winning season 19 times (43.2%);

— The Buffs have won five straight season openers, with the first four coming against Colorado State in Denver before defeating UCLA, 48-42, in the 2020 opener. The last time CU won six or more straight openers came in an eight-game stretch from 1991-98;

— The Buffaloes are 22-10-1 in their last 33 season openers (dating back to 1988). In those 22 wins, Colorado scored 816 points, or an average of 37. 1 per game; in the 10 losses, CU scored 172 points, or 17.2 per (it had 31 in the tie with Tennessee in 1990). In the five-game season opener winning streak, CU has scored 206 points, or 41.2 (and over the last three, that number jumps to 48.3). In the 22 victories, the opponent scored 385 points, or 17.5 per. The bulk of the games have been against Colorado State (20; CU won 14), but the Buffaloes are 5-0-1 against Power-5 teams;

— The game against Northern Colorado will mark just the sixth time in the past 25 years CU has opened against a team other than CSU;

— Ralphie VI makes her debut against Northern Colorado. Ralphie was born on May 27, 2020 on a ranch in western Nebraska. Originally an orphan rejected by her mother at birth, she was adopted and partly raised by a beef cow. She now weighs just shy of 500 pounds, on her way to 1,300 pounds;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the Pac-12 Networks, with Guy Haberman on the play-by-play, Shane Vereen on color. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson starting his 18th year with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett beginning his sixth year as the full-time analyst.

CU & Northern Colorado … 

— Colorado has a 10-2 overall advantage in the series against Northern Colorado, including a 6-1 lead in games played in Boulder;

— CU is 12-6 all-time against current members of the Big Sky Conference, so yes, if you are doing the math, the Buffs are only 2-4 against Big Sky teams not named Northern Colorado. Colorado is 1-3 all-time against Montana State, including the humiliating 19-10 loss to the Bobcats in 2006. The other games were a close 31-24 win over Eastern Washington in 2008, and a 30-28 loss to Sacramento State in 2012 (the infamous “Shirt of Shame” game, one of my most popular essays);

— Colorado is 7-2 all-time against FCS opponents (first game in 2006), winning six straight; it includes a 2-2 mark against Big Sky members (does not include
UNC and MSU games when all three were members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic conference members in the 1920s and 1930s);

— Northern Colorado head coach Ed McCaffrey, when he was playing with the Denver Broncos, was coached by CU head coach Karl Dorrell. McCaffrey was in his 10th NFL season, his sixth with the Broncos, when he first came under the tutorship of Dorrell for the 2000 season. He would post career-high numbers that season: 101 receptions for 1,317 yards (with 9 touchdowns). In 2001, he suffered a broken leg in the season opener, but he would come back under Dorrell’s supervision to start all 16 games in 2002, making 69 grabs for 903 yards and two scores.

The Last time …

September 16, 2017 … Colorado 41, Northern Colorado 21

Game Story Steven Montez threw for a career-high 357 yards and four touchdowns, leading Colorado to a hard-fought 41-21 win over Northern Colorado. In the first game between the two teams since 1934, the Buffs generated 569 yards of total offense (to 273 for the Bears), but clung to a 28-21 lead in the third quarter before pulling away with 13 unanswered points to close the contest.

Phillip Lindsay had 151 yards on 26 carries, but was held in check for much of the game. Montez threw touchdown passes to four different receivers, including Devin Ross, who led the Buffs with eight catches for 143 yards and a four yard touchdown reception.

“We need to improve everywhere,” said Mike MacIntyre of the Buffs’ effort. “I think today, I thought Steven made a step forward. We were throwing and catching the ball. The quarterback made some better reads, even on the run. Defensively, we’re still playing pretty stout against the run, which is important. You can’t let a team run on you or you’re going to have a really hard time winning the football game”.

Continue reading game story here

Game Essay, “The Bite Sized Rise” … The theme for the 2016 season at Colorado was “The Rise”.

For 2017, one of the themes has been “Never Stop Rising”.

With a 41-21 victory over Northern Colorado, the Buffs moved their 2017 record to 3-0. It’s the best start for CU since 2008, and only the third 3-0 start to a season for CU in the 21st century.

Yet, with each game, the CU coaching staff and players find themselves spending more time explaining than celebrating. The Rise is continuing, but not at a pace which is satisfying to many of the Buff faithful.

Call it … The Bite Size Rise.

Continue reading Essay here

Statistically speaking … 

— Colorado has won 29 of its last 31 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;

— This is the second year in a row CU has opened its season at home (defeating UCLA, 48-42, last season). The UCLA game was just the second time CU opened the season at home since 2009, with the 2009 game turning out to be a 23-17 loss to Colorado State. The last time before last season that 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 has opened a season on a Friday seven previous times in its history, but never before in Boulder; six times in Denver (4-2) and once one the road, at USC in 1964 (0-1); the Buffaloes are 18-25 on Fridays all-time including bowl games;

— The Buffs are 19-3 in non-conference games since 2013 (19-5 including bowls). The only non-conference regular season game last season was a 20-10 win over San Diego State. Most of the games since 2013 have been against Colorado State (6-1), with a 6-0 record against FCS schools.

Coaches/Player Notes … 

— Karl Dorrell was named as CU’s 27th full-time head coach on February 23, 2020; the 17th new head coach since 1935. After the first 10 CU coaches in the modern era opened 8-1-1 in their first game, the last 17 have gone 4-13. The four who won their first game …

Nate Landman enters the 2021 season tied for 10th in total tackles (338) in CU history, seventh in unassisted tackles (233), tied for 12th in tackles for loss (34), tied for 32nd in quarterback sacks (11; tied for third-most by an inside linebacker); third in third down stops (46) and first in fourth down stops (8);

— The total of career starts by quarterbacks on the CU roster in 2021? Zero … and for the second year in a row. The last time that happened before last season was in 2007;

— Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis is slated to start the game against UCLA, the 52nd player to earn their first start at quarterback since 1959. Previous Buff quarterbacks have posted a 26-24-1 record in their debuts, with a 10-9 record in season openers (including Sam Noyer’s win in his debut last November);

— 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 will open 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)

Pac-12 betting lines

  • Weber State at Utah … Thursday, 5:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Utah a 27.5-point favorite …
  • Southern Utah at No. 25 Arizona State … Thursday, 8:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Arizona State a 44.5-point favorite …
  • Northern Colorado at Colorado … Friday, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Colorado a 35.5-point favorite …
  • Stanford v. Kansas State (Arlington, Texas) … Saturday, 10:00 a.m., MT, FS1 … Stanford a 3.0-point underdog
  • Fresno State at No. 11 Oregon … Saturday, noon, Pac-12 Networks … Oregon is a 20.5-point favorite …
  • San Jose State at No. 15 USC … Saturday, 3:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … USC is a 14.0-point favorite …
  • Oregon State at Purdue … Saturday, 5:00 p.m., MT, FS1 … Oregon State is a 7.0-point underdog
  • Montana at No. 20 Washington … Saturday, 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington is a 23.5-point favorite …
  • No. 16 LSU at UCLA … Saturday, 6:30 p.m., MT, Fox … UCLA is a 4.0-point underdog
  • Nevada at California … Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … California is a 3.0-point favorite …
  • BYU v. Arizona (Las Vegas) … Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Arizona is a 12.5-point underdog
  • Utah State at Washington State … Saturday, 9:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington State is a 17.0-point favorite …

— Here’s a look at the overall records of the Pac-12 schools dating back their last 50 games (back into the 2016 season to the start of the 2021 season):
W L Pct.
Washington ……………….. 35-15 .700
Southern California ……… 34-16 .680
Oregon ……………………… 33-17 .660
Washington State ……….. 31-19 .620
Utah ………………………….. 32-18 .640
Stanford …………………….. 31-19 .620
Colorado ………………. 25-25 .500
Arizona State ………………. 25-25 .500
California …………………… 24-26 .480
Arizona ………………………. 17-33 .340
UCLA ………………………… 18-32 .360
Oregon State ……………… 12-38 .240


5 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts – UNC Week”

  1. Game Day

    Looking at the depth chart.

    Totally different structure from the last game last season.

    OlB Wells et al now called Defensive ends? What the?
    Clearly that group is a “standup defensive end” and can play pass defense!! Take advantage of his ability to rush the passer? Sheesh interesting

    IF they stick with the 4-3 they have 4 “tackles” that are all over 300 lbs, consisting of 2 sophomores a freshman and a junior

    Where is the star? No star cause too complicated?

    Certainly at points during the game yur gonna see the 5 defensive back scheme. But the front 6 are what? 3-3 or 4-2 (The Wells plan….either or)

    Can’t wait to see how it is going to play out


    Note: Wanna see a Mighty Buff offense that is capable of scoring 40 points a game against pac 12 teams.
    Note 2: Show it at the a&m game and follow it up with the gopher stew game

  2. So this is how you can watch virtually every game on line NFL and College on line for free.

    1. Use Firefox browser. If you don’t have it download. It’s a nice browser. Do not use chrome.
    2. Add the add-on Adblock plus
    3. Go to this site:
    4. When it opens follow the instructions and disable Adblock plus “for this page” and hit refresh
    5. This will show all the games available. NFL CFB and just about everything else
    6. Click on the game you want to watch. You will get the disable adblocker again do it..”this page refresh
    7. You will now see the arrow to watch the game. click it. Another tab will open (harmless but close it)
    8. You can now watch the game

    Note: As you move from game to game you will have to go through the adblocker each time. Well worth the little effort to watch it all on line.

    Buffs Win

  3. Some nifty opponents this weekend as this states 3 FCS schools kick off play against FBS programs…CU v Ed and Sons Mystery Bears…CSU hosting South Dakota State who lost in the 2020 FBS championship game on a last second field goal 23-21, and is ranked 3rd in this years FBS preseason poll…And Air Force taking on vaunted Lafayette, one half of college footballs longest-oldest-most played rivalry (v Lehigh) at 156 games and counting…Go Buffs !!

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