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Colorado opened the 2021 season with a 35-7 win over Northern Colorado, a score which was both accurate and deceiving.

The Bears from Greeley were never a serious threat to win the game, but a combination of penalties and miscues by CU kept the Buff Nation on edge throughout the night. Brendon Lewis completed 10-of-15 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, adding 44 rushing yards on seven carries, but was hesitant on his throws, reminding Buff fans that this was the first start of his career. Jarek Broussard had 94 yards and a touchdown on his 15 carries, but left the game in the third quarter with a slight injury. The rushing attack was thereafter led by Ashaad Clayton (eight carries for 51 yards and a touchdown) and Alex Fontenot (eight carries for 40 yards and a score).

The Buffs outgained the Bears, with 385 total yards to 253, but were hampered all evening by penalties. On the night, CU was flagged 12 times for 117 yards … more yards than the Buffs gained through the air (102). The CU offense did churn out an impressive 285 yards on the ground, but didn’t have any consistency throughout the game.

“Good to come out with a win,” Dorrell said after the game. “It was a hard game because we didn’t know much about the team. Their defensive scheme was completely different from what they’ve done, so that was a little bit of a challenge for us offensively in the first half. In the second half, after we figured out what they were doing, we had a little bit more handle on controlling the line of scrimmage and getting some effective runs. We had some good series and good drives for touchdowns.”

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“It was bad football”.

Of course, no one could agree more with CU head coach Karl Dorrell, after his team struggled to put away a Northern Colorado team which was picked to finish near the bottom of the Big Sky Conference. It was a 35-7 final score, but the Buffs were flagged for 12 penalties for 117 yards, and couldn’t find any consistency on offense. The score was only 14-0 at halftime, and wasn’t a sure victory until well into the second half.

A 28-point win, but it was, indeed, “bad football”.

The only thing is … that’s not a Karl Dorrell quote.

The quote is from Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards, whose Sun Devils struggled to put away another Big Sky Conference team, Southern Utah. ASU had seven penalties in the first quarter alone against the Thunderbirds, and looked bad for much of the game. The Sun Devils did recover, though, to post a 41-14 victory.

Well, how about this quote? “I stopped writing down (the number of mistakes), there were so many. Right now, based on tonight, we’re not good enough, so we have to get better.”

The thing is … that’s not a Karl Dorrell quote, either.

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Expecting the unexpected v. UNC: “We need to focus on our job” … Buffs ready to take the field – Nate Landman: “I love this team” … Scouting Report: UNC Players to Watch … Ticket sales for UNC game inching up … Captains for UNC game named … Neill Woelk posts Fast Five Keys to UNC Game …

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Cautionary Tales? Utah; Arizona State struggle against Big Sky teams early before pulling away … Game Three Opponent Minnesota gives No 4 Ohio State a Scare; Ibrahim Injured … Wilner picks: Pac-12 to go 12-0 this weekend (including UCLA over LSU) … Kliavkoff looking to improve Pac-12 Networks distribution: “I like the NFL model” …

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CU has won five straight openers … Buffs are 29-2 in last 31 openers when scoring first … A whopping 75% of the CU roster (90-out-of-119) are underclassmen … CU QB room has no career starts (for the second year in a row) … CU’s first-ever Friday home opener … Four Pac-12 teams are underdogs this weekend …

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The last time CU played Northern Colorado (2017), the score was 28-21 in the third quarter (before the Buffs pulled away for a 41-21 win) … Can the Bears, who have had TWO YEARS to prepare for this game, pull of an upset? Or will the Buffs take it to the Bears early, and post a dominating win? …

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Can the McCaffreys find a way to upset the Buffs in Folsom? … CU hasn’t been able to game plan against a team which hasn’t played in two years, but will it make a difference? … Plus: CU and “The Alliance” and our predictions for how the Pac-12 standings should look in December …