Friday Fast Facts – TCU Week

Leading off …

— “T.I.P.S” … Our weekly preview postings are available for your review and comment. The written preview, along with my predictions for the CU/TCU game can be found here. The CU at the Game Podcast Preview for the game can be found here;

Bonus podcast … In case you missed it, there is a bonus podcast this week. Last weekend, I had the chance to interview Baylor transfer wide receiver R.J. Sneed II. That interview can be found here (all CU at the Game podcasts are also available at all of your favorite podcast sites, like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and iHeart Radio).


Big Picture … 

One to go … This fall will mark the 99th year for Folsom Field, which opened in October, 1924. It will be CU’s 133rd season of intercollegiate football overall;

Season-openers … Don’t tell anyone, but CU has actually won its last six season-openers (the last four Rocky Mountain Showdowns in Denver v. CSU; v. UCLA in 2020; and against UNC in 2021). Overall, Colorado is 83-44-5 all time in the first game of the season, with a 55-20-1 record at home. (The last loss at home in a season-opener was to Colorado State in 2009);

Go Figure … Dating back to 1988, The Buffs have opened the season against Power Five schools six times … and have gone 5-0-1 (2-0 v. Texas; 1-0 v. Washington State, UCLA, and Wisconsin, and a tie against Tennessee to open the national championship season in 1990;

The ESPN Power Index gives TCU a 68.5% chance of winning the game; CU a 31.5% chance. (In case you are wondering, ESPN’s Power Index, as the 2022 season opens, only has CU favored in one game – against Cal at home on October 15th – with the Buffs given a slim 52.3-47.7% advantage);

September 2nd – Good news or bad?  … CU has only played four games all-time on September 2nd, with a 2-2 record. The wins have been huge: a 43-7 domination of No. 21 Wisconsin in 1995, which was Rick Neuheisel’s debut as CU’s head coach; and a 44-7 thumping of Colorado State in 2016, a precursor of what was to come in CU’s 10-4 campaign. The losses, meanwhile, have hurt. The first was an embarrassing 28-24 loss to CSU in 2000 (when the Buffs were ranked No. 23 to open the season), with the second being the infamous 19-10 loss to Montana State in Dan Hawkins’ debut as head coach in 2006;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the ESPN (Friday, 8:05 p.m., MT), with Brian Custer on the play-by-play, and Dustin Fox with the commentary. The sideline reporter will be Taylor McGregor.  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 19th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his seventh year as the full-time analyst.


Game Day Notes for Attendees … 

Wear Black … It’s a Blackout! Fans are encouraged to wear their black Buffs Gear for the TCU game. The Buffs will be wearing all-black uniforms with a gold helmet with an interlocking “CU” from the 1970s (as a tribute to Cliff Branch). CU is 24-31-1 when wearing blackout uniforms (be glad black helmets are not part of the equation: CU is 0-8 all-time in all-black uniforms with black helmets);

New Vendor … Now available throughout the stadium will be GQue BBQ;

Chip’s Kid Club Area … The Indoor Practice Facility will be open for Chip’s Kids Club Area again this season. This indoor space opens 2 hours prior to the game closes after halftime. Will include games, inflatables and a football toss;

Ralphie’s Corral … Located on Duane Field, Ralphie’s Corral is the official tailgate of the CU Alumni Association and is open to everyone.  Ralphie’s Corral will be open at 5 p.m. on Friday and there will be cashless concessions and merchandise available;

Buff Walk … The Buff Walk is Back … Welcome the team to the stadium along the Buff Walk, located on the east side of Folsom Field between the stadium and Franklin Field.  Head over to the Buff Walk about 5:30 p.m. so you don’t miss the arrival of the team;

A New Sound System … Worth the price of admission! The long-awaited new sound system has been installed over the summer and is ready for action for the TCU game.  Read more about this new enhancement to the stadium here.


Statistically speaking … 

One stat CU hopes to keep from 2021 … Colorado’s offense was pathetic in 2021, but the Buffs did hang onto the ball. CU turned the ball over only seven times all year (four fumbles; three interceptions), smashing the old school record of 11 … a record set back in 1956. The three interceptions was also a season best, with the previous mark being four (in 1994). The seven total interceptions and the three interceptions both were tied for the national lead in 2021;

Okay if you get there late? … Last season at Folsom Field, there were only three scores by either team on their first drive of the game, with CU kicking field goals to open the game against Arizona, Oregon State, and Washington – all CU victories;

Stat of the Day … Mike Sanford will make his debut as CU’s offensive coordinator against TCU. Not that it matters … but … the last five times CU has taken the field with a new offensive coordinator, the Buffs have not only won the game, but scored at least 41 points, and had at least 475 yards of total offense. Anyone willing to take those numbers against the Horned Frogs? (Me, too);

Shhh … Don’t jinx it … Assuming that Karl Dorrell does plan on playing both Brendon Lewis and J.T. Shrout at quarterback, keep an eye on Lewis when drops back to pass. Lewis finished the season with 132 consecutive passes without an interception. That streak currently stands at fourth on CU’s all-time list (up next: Joel Klatt, who had 139 consecutive passes without a pick over the course of five games in 2005. The all-time record belongs to Steven Montez, who went 172 consecutive passes interception free over seven games in 2017).


CU Player Notes … 

NFL Hall of Famer Cliff Branch to be honored … The late Cliff Branch will be honored this game (between the first and second quarters) as the first Buff enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Branch played for the Buffs in the 1970s and some special surprises will be announced in relation to Branch. Branch held the NCAA record for most kick return touchdowns (eight) for almost 30 years and he still holds the CU record for running a 10.0 100-meters at the NCAA Championships;

So, you wanted more from CU’s tight ends … Tight end Brady Russell led the team in 2021 in both receptions (25) and receiving yards (307), becoming just the third tight end in the last 31 years in which a tight end led the Buffs in both categories (Daniel Graham in 2001; Riar Geer in 2006). Of course, much more is expected from the passing game this year, so hopefully Russell will have even better numbers in 2022 … but end up third or fourth on the team in receptions and yards;

Perennially young … Stop me if you’ve heard this one before … The Buffs are young. Of the 115 players on the roster, 90 are underclassmen (60 freshmen; 30 sophomores). The 90 underclassmen ranks CU seventh in the nation (only Oregon from the Pac-12 has more, with 96, but Oregon lists a roster of 126). The 78.3% of the roster being underclassmen ranks Colorado fourth in the nation (behind only Wyoming, Georgia Tech, and Old Dominion). Of the 60 freshman, though, only 34 are true freshmen, with 14 red-shirts; five second-year; four third-year and three transfers;

Dirty Dozen … Colorado only has 12 seniors on the roster (after having just seven in 2021, which was the second-fewest in the nation last year);

Depth Chart … When looking at the depth chart, which will largely exclude CU’s 30 walk-ons and many of its freshmen, the roster is not quite as inexperienced, but is still filled with youth. Of the 81 players listed on the depth chart, 56 are underclassmen (33 freshmen; 23 sophomores), with eight juniors, 12 seniors and six graduate-transfers. the 2022 season represents the seventh time in the past nine seasons in which Colorado has had more underclassmen than upperclassmen listed;

Injury list … Players who have been lost for the season (or at least a significant amount of time) … So far, the list only has one name, Joshka Gustav, LB (who was also on this list for the end of last season).


Colorado and TCU … historical

— In the 12 statistical categories tracked by Winsipedia, TCU leads Colorado in only three of 12 categories. The first may come as a surprise … national championships. TCU claims two national titles, with the “claimed” part owing to the fact that the first title, in 1935, was before the Associated Press starting voting for champions. The other title came in 1938, with the undefeated Horned Frogs taking out Carnegie Tech, 15-7, to finish off an 11-0 season;

— The other two categories in which TCU leads CU is in bowl appearances (34-30) and bowl winning percentage (.515 – .400);

— In one category, the teams are tied: Heisman Trophy winners. CU’s winner, of course, was Rashaan Salaam in 1994; TCU’s winner was quarterback Davey O’Brien, who won the trophy in 1938, the fourth year for the award (CU’s Bryon White came in second in the 1937 voting);

Otherwise, however, Colorado has significant advantages over TCU, including:

— Weeks in the Associated Press poll: CU, 305 … TCU, 243;

— Consensus All-Americans: CU, 31 … TCU, 18;

— NFL draft picks: CU, 276 … TCU, 204; and

— Conference championships: CU, 26 … TCU, 18.


CU & TCU … Head-to-head

— This will be first-ever meeting between Colorado and TCU, despite the schools being only 667 miles apart. This is the first of a home-and-home series, with TCU hosting Colorado on September 2, 2023;

— The game against TCU represents CU’s first against a brand new opponent since taking on New Hampshire in 2018. It’s the first for CU against an FBS opponent since Texas State in 2017; and the first new matchup against a Power Five opponent since West Virginia in 2008;

— CU’s Karl Dorrell did not face TCU during his stint at UCLA, while TCU’s new head coach, Sonny Dykes, has faced CU previously. In his time as the head coach at Cal, Dykes was 1-1 against the Buffs, with CU winning in Boulder in 2013, 41-24, with the Bears defeating the Buffs in Berkeley, 59-56 in two overtimes in 2014;

— Colorado is 201-145-8 all-time versus current members of the Big 12, with most of the 354 games (307) coming against former members of the Big Seven/Big Eight. TCU, meanwhile, is 17-16 all-time against current members of the Pac-12.


Pac-12 Notes … 

— Only Colorado and USC from the Pac-12 do not have any FCS teams on their schedule this fall (UCLA has two). Colorado is one of 11 schools in the country playing two Power Five opponents (TCU and Minnesota), and one of only two schools in the nation (West Virginia being the other), which will have 11 Power Five opponents on the calendar in 2022;

— The Pac-12 is looking for a fast and easy start to the 2022 season. Other than Colorado, Oregon, and Utah, none of the other nine Pac-12 teams are playing Power Five conference opponents to open the season (with all three Pac-12 schools who are taking on Power Five schools listed as underdogs). Seven Pac-12 schools are playing such poor quality opponents that they are all favored by three touchdowns or more. Stanford, which finished 3-9 in 2021, and averaged only 20.1 points per game, is a 41-point favorite over Colgate.


Week One Pac-12 lines … (Pac-12 underdogs in bold) … 

Thursday, September 1st 

  • Northern Arizona at Arizona State … 8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … ASU favored by 27.0 points

Friday, September 2nd 

  • TCU at Colorado … 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN … TCU favored by 13.5 points 

Saturday, September 3rd

  • Bowling Green at UCLA … 12:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks … UCLA favored by 23.0 points
  • Arizona at San Diego State … 1:30 p.m., CBS … San Diego State favored by 6.5 points
  • No. 11 Oregon at No. 3 Georgia … 1:30 p.m., ABC … Georgia favored by 17.0 points
  • UC-Davis at California … 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Cal favored by 21.0 points
  • Rice at No. 14 USC … 4:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … USC favored by 35.0 points
  • No. 7 Utah at Florida … 5:00 p.m., MT, ESPN … Florida favored by 1.0 point
  • Colgate at Stanford … 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Stanford favored by 41.0 points
  • Idaho at Washington State … 7:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington State favored by 28.0 points
  • Boise State at Oregon State … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Oregon State favored by 3.0 points
  • Kent State at Washington … 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … Washington favored by 23.5 points


3 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. It’s Gameday Campers.. Got the brauts on and crankyanker on ice… Luv my Buffs.. Never Give in.. Looking for some improvement and Horny Toads are easy to catch.. Fight Fight.. Fight Fight Fight

  2. Game day, WOO_HOO!

    I’m looking forward to:

    Seeing who starts at QB.

    OC and game plan and play calling AND any creativity!

    Both lines and (hopefully) improved play, improved enough that an idiot like me can see it!

    Enough pressure on their QB that our young DB’s can hold their own against an expected air-raid.

    A great running game and clock control.


    I have a busy day today so tonight’s game will be here sooner than later.

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