Friday Fast Facts – Minnesota Week

… “T.I.P.S” – The weekly preview postings, with the matchup broken down by T-Talent; I-Intangibles; P-Preparation; and S-Statistics, are available for your review and comment. The written preview and predictions for the CU/Air Force game can be found here, while the CU at the Game Podcast Preview for the game can be found here


Big Picture … 

— Colorado has an all-time record of 718-526-36 (.575), making the Buffs 28th in on the all-time victories list.  Until last week, though, CU was 27th on that list. The team which passed the Buffs this past weekend was none other than Minnesota. After taking out Western Illinois, 62-10, the Golden Gophers now have an all-time record of 719-533-44 (.571). The Buffs were passed for 27th place last season by Michigan State, which is now up to 723 wins. Next to put CU in their sites? Army and North Carolina, which are tied for 29th-place on the all-time list, each with 715 wins;

— Colorado is 37-66-3 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 (3-1); 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 29-29-1 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 (1-3);

— According to USA Today/Sagarin ratings, CU’s strength of schedule for the first two games of the season (TCU; at Air Force) was the sixth-most difficult in the nation. Minnesota’s strength of schedule through two games (New Mexico State – a 38-0 win; Western Illinois – a 62-10 romp) is rated 224th;

ESPN’s Power Index … doesn’t anticipate much of a game, giving Minnesota a 94.8% chance of winning; with CU given a 5.2% chance of a victory;

— The game will be telecast nationally by on ESPN2 (Saturday, 1:30 p.m., MT), with Beth Mowins on the play-by-play, Kirk Morrison with the color; and Stormy Buonantony on the sidelines. 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.


CU & Minnesota … 

— Colorado has a 3-1 overall advantage in the series against Minnesota, with the Golden Gophers first win in the series coming last season in Boulder, a 30-0 whitewash;

Lest We Forget … In last season’s 30-0 loss to Minnesota, the CU offense was just as inept, if not more so, than what Buff fans have endured so far in the 2022 season. The CU drive chart for the first half of the 2021 Minnesota game went like this:

  • three plays, minus-15 yards, punt
  • three plays, minus-3 yards, punt
  • three plays, eight yards, punt
  • five plays, minus-one yard, punt
  • five plays, six yards, punt
  • five plays, two yards, turnover on downs

Six possessions, three first downs, seven yards of total offense (minus-three total if you count a holding penalty on the first possession).  So, yes, it seems like we have been down this path before. The 63 total yards of offense in last year’s game? The third lowest by a CU offense at home in school history. The 30-0 shutout? The first by a non-conference opponent in Folsom since LSU pulled it off against the Buffs … in 1979;

— Before last season’s game, in each of the three previous games between the two teams, the Buffs played as a nationally ranked team. In 1972, the third-ranked Buffs went on the road to secure a 38-6 victory; CU was ranked 19th for the 1991 58-0 rout in Boulder, and, in 1992, the 19th-ranked Buffs rallied for a 21-20 victory in Minneapolis;

— CU will be playing in its second straight road game, with six straight road losses coming into the game against Minnesota. CU’s last road win was a 34-13 win over Arizona on December 5, 2020. That victory gave the Buffs a 4-0 record and a national ranking (No. 21). Since that victory over the Wildcats, the Buffs have gone 4-12;

— After beating CU last season, Minnesota had a nation’s best 21-game winning streak in non-conference games, dating back to 2015. That streak, however, came to a screeching halt the following weekend, when the Golden Gophers were upset at home by Bowling Green, 14-10;


CU and Minnesota … Historical … 

— In the categories followed by Winsipedia, Colorado and Minnesota prove to be fairly evenly matched. Minnesota, as noted above, just moved past Colorado on the all-time wins list, giving the Golden Gophers a 6-5-1 edge in the historical categories Winsipedia tracks;

— The one category in which there is a tie is in Heisman Trophy winners, with both schools having one. CU’s winner was Rashaan Salaam in 1994; Minnesota’s recipient was Bruce “Boo” Smith, who won the award in 1941;

— As with victories, the two teams are almost in lockstep in NFL draft picks, with Minnesota having 277; Colorado 275;

— Minnesota claims seven national championships: 1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, and 1960, but have only 18 conference championships (CU has 26). Minnesota has spent 20 weeks ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll (20th nationally) to seven for Colorado (25th), but the Buffs have spent more time in the AP polls overall (305 weeks; 31st nationally) than have the Golden Gophers (174 weeks; 51st nationally).


The Last Time the two teams played in Minnesota …

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


Statistically speaking … 

It’ll look good for a week … Thanks to Air Force passing for all of 8 yards last week, Colorado is presently ranked 3rd in the nation in pass defense, giving up an average of 73.0 yards per game. Minnesota, which has played two teams which throw more than five times a game, are ranked 5th in the country in pass defense (106.0 yards per game);

Watch the clock … Minnesota is averaging a gaudy 41:48 of possession time in its first two games. The highest time of possession for CU – in any game in its history – was 42:17 (v. Indiana in 1980). Colorado, with its sputtering offense, is currently averaging only 27:28 of possession time per game (101st nationally);

Hold the Hankies … One of the few areas in which CU is doing well so far this season is in penalties. The Buffs have been flagged only nine times in two games (15th nationally) for 70 total yards (19th). Naturally, Minnesota is doing even better in this category as well, with only six penalties (2nd nationally) for 62 yards (11th);

—  Don’t count on a repeat … In the 1991 CU/Minnesota game, the defending national champion Buffs rolled up 612 yards of total offense against the Golden Gophers in a 58-0 romp. The game represents one of only 12 games in CU history in which the Buffs have accumulated over 600 yards of total offense in a game. Through two games of the 2022 season, the Colorado offense has … 510 yards of total offense;


CU Player Notes … 

Quiet Leader … Lost in the carnage of CU’s 41-10 loss to Air Force was the individual effort of linebacker Quinn Perry. The senior had a career day, posting 17 tackles (nine unassisted), with two forced fumbles, a recovered fumble and a tackle for loss. After two games, Perry leads the team in tackles after two games, with 24 tackles (16 unassisted);

Not a Fair Fight Last Season (or this?) … In last year’s 30-0 whitewash, CU freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis was out-matched by his fifth-year senior Minnesota counterpart, Tanner Morgan. Morgan came into the 2021 game with 49 career touchdown passes. At the time, Brendon Lewis had 50 … career passes (and that included the ten he threw in the 2020 Alamo Bowl). Morgan is back for a sixth season, and is up to 57 career touchdown passes, with 8,533 career passing yards. The CU career totals for both Brendon Lewis and J.T. Shrout? 1,999 career passing yards; 11 career touchdowns;

Inside information? … Colorado has three coaches on its staff with recent Minnesota connections. CU offensive coordinator Mike Sanford was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator (2020-21), tight ends coach Clay Patterson was in Minneapolis from 2019-21; while cornerbacks coach Rod Chance was at Minnesota in 2019.

Ready for bigger things? … Fifth-year junior running back Deion Smith is finally getting some playing time. Against Air Force, Smith had career highs in carries (11) and rushing yards (59), including a his third-career touchdown on a career-long run of 25 yards. Smith now has 349 career rushing yards, and is poised to put his name into the CU record books (CU tracks all players with over 399 career rushing yards, with 116 names currently on the list).


Pac-12 Notes … 

— The Pac-12 opened its season with three ranked teams in the Associated Press poll: No. 7 Utah; No. 11 Oregon; and No. 14 USC. Oregon dropped out after a Week One 49-3 loss to No. 3 Georgia, but is back as the No. 25 team this week. USC is up to No. 7 this week, while Utah is at No. 14. Oregon State and Washington State are both receiving votes this week (as are Air Force and Minnesota);

The Pac-12 is currently 16-6 in non conference games. After this weekend’s games, the only non-conference games remaining on the schedule will be against Notre Dame, with Stanford taking on the Irish on the road on October 15th, and USC playing Notre Dame at home on November 26th;

Pac-12 favored in nine of 12 non-conference games … From

Pac-12 lines …

  • South Alabama at UCLA … 12:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … UCLA an 15.5 point favorite (opened at 11.0)
  • Cal at Notre Dame … 12:30 p.m., MT, NBC … Cal a 10.5-point underdog (opened at 17.5)
  • BYU at Oregon … 1:30 p.m., MT, Fox … Oregon a 3.5-point favorite (opened at 6.5)
  • Colorado at Minnesota … 1:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2 … Colorado a 27.5-point underdog (hasn’t moved since opening)
  • Colorado State at Washington State … 3:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington State a 16.5-point favorite (opened at 17.0)
  • Michigan State at Washington … 5:30 p.m., MT, ABC … Washington a 3.5-point favorite (opened at 3.0)
  • Montana State at Oregon State … 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Oregon State a 13.0-point favorite
  • San Diego State at Utah … 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2 … Utah a 21.5-point favorite (opened at 16.5)
  • Fresno State at USC … 8:30 p.m., MT, Fox … USC a 12.5-point favorite (opened at 16.0)
  • Eastern Michigan at Arizona State … 9:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Arizona State a 20.5-point favorite (opened at 20.0)
  • North Dakota State at Arizona … 9:00 p.m., MT, FS1 … Arizona a 1.0-point underdog 


6 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts – Minnesota”

  1. A little off topic but sticking with stats Brenden Rice may need a foam pad for as much time as he is on the bench. He is 7th on the team in receiving so far (behind 2 RBs as well) with 2 catches.
    I think everyone here could see this coming but him

    1. I read that too. I think we ranked 50th out 65 in recruit spending. But Wisconsin has been pretty darned good for while and were ranked last I believe.

  2. I don’t know if I am being realistic or doom and gloom but I can’t see this game being close.
    Minnesota should have a field day at home.

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