Friday Fast Facts – Washington State Week

… Your weekly “T.I.P.S”, previews for this weekend’s games, discussing Talent, Intangibles, Preparation and Statistics, have been posted. The written preview and predictions for the CU/Washington State game can be found here, while the CU at the Game Podcast preview for the game can be found at most of the popular podcast sites, and can also be listened to here …


Big Picture … 

At home at Folsom … CU finished its home slate averaging 53,180 fans in six games at Folsom Field, breaking the old attendance mark by over 1,000 fans per game (52,160 in 1995);

Finale kickoff time on hold … Thanksgiving weekend schedule for the Pac-12 is largely set, but CU’s game at Utah is still TBD.

  • Friday, November 24, 2023
    • 6:30pm MT – Oregon State at Oregon (FOX)
    Saturday, November 25, 2023
    • 2:00pm MT – Washington State at Washington (FOX)
    • 5:00pm MT – Notre Dame at Stanford (Pac-12 Network)
    • 8:30pm MT – Cal at UCLA (ESPN)
  • Two game selections have been held as 6-day picks by the television partners and will be announced no later than Sunday, November 19:
    • Arizona at Arizona State
    • Colorado at Utah

In case you missed it … Who won the “Hawkins Bowl”? Last weekend, UC-Davis, coached by former CU head coach Dan Hawkins, took on Idaho State, coached by former CU quarterback Cody Hawkins. Dad prevailed, 21-14, keeping alive the Aggies slim hope of a FCS playoff bid alive (UC-Davis will have to beat No. 10 Sacramento State this weekend in the Causeway Classic (seriously, that’s what it’s called) to have a chance at an at-large berth. Father Hawkins is 43-33 in his seventh season at UC-Davis, with one Big Sky Championship and two FCS playoff berths. Son Cody is in his first season as the head coach at Idaho State, and is 3-7 heading into the season-ending rivalry game against Idaho this weekend;

— Trivia Question of the Week … What is the historical significance of the only game played between Colorado and Washington State in the city of Spokane?

Answer … Colorado and Washington State played in Spokane in 1982. Tom Field kicked four field goals in a 12-0 shutout of the Cougars. It was the second game of the Bill McCartney era at Colorado … and Coach Mac’s first win.

— The ESPN Power Index gives the Cougars a 59.2% chance of winning; the Buffs a 40.8% chance. Last weekend, Arizona was given an 70.3% chance of beating the Buffs;

— The CU/Washington State game will be telecast nationally on the FS1 (Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT) with Tim Brando on the play-by-play, Spencer Tillman with the commentary, and Josh Sims on the sidelines . Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett will have the call on the KOA radio network.


Statistically speaking … 

How bad is the CU rushing offense? … The Buffs last in the nation in rushing, at 69.9 yards per game. In terms of yards per carry, CU is also last in the country, at 2.33 … In the record books, the Buffs have had just one season worse than this one in terms of average rushing yards per game: 59.7 in 1984 (a very tough 1-10 season);

How bad is the CU defense? … Most yards allowed per game in Colorado history …

  • 509.8 – 2022 … a 1-11 team, considered by many Buff fans as the worst CU team ever;
  • 488.5 – 2012 … a 1-11 team, the worst team ever … before 2022;
  • 464.4 – 1980 … a 1-10 which lost to Drake, and was run over by Oklahoma, 82-42, with the Sooners going for an NCAA record 758 yards rushing;
  • 464.2 – 2023 … (through 10 games) … 129th in the nation;

Who will lead the team in tackles? … Current leaders:

  • Shilo Sanders … 56 tackles, 46 unassisted …
  • Trevor Woods … 56 tackles, 42 unassisted …
  • LaVonta Bentley … 50 tackles, 32 unassisted …
  • Rodrick Ward … 48 tackles, 36 unassisted …
  • Jordan Domineck … 39 tackles, 30 unassisted …

Please get some more turnovers … Colorado has the third best turnover margin in the FBS at +1.22 with 18 total turnovers (10th nationally), 10 interceptions (20th) and eight fumbles recovered (10th). The margin, total turnovers and interceptions lead the Pac-12.


CU Player Notes … 

— Shedeur Sanders records watch … Shedeur Sanders is on pace to reset most of the single season passing in CU history, and is among the national leaders in many categories. As the season is drawing to a close it’s time to track how Sanders is progressing:

  • Passing yards: 3,144 … CU single season record: 3,200 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 2nd on the list – after ten games)
  • Passing touchdowns: 26 … CU single season record: 28 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently second)
  • Passing attempts: 420 … CU single season record: 498 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently 3rd)
  • Completions: 292 … CU single season record: 325 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently 2nd)
  • Completion percentage: 69.5 … CU single season record: 68.4 … Koy Detmer, 1995 … If maintained, Sanders will set a new school record
  • Total offense (plays): 526 … CU single season record: 567 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 2nd)
  • Total offense (yards): 3,093 … CU single season record: 3,336 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 4th)

— Travis the Magnificent … Travis Hunter is the first college football player in 25 seasons to have 40 receptions and three interceptions. He has been named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll after each of his six full games played this season


Colorado and Washington State – historical

In historical terms, Colorado is one of the top 25 (okay, top 30) teams in college football history.

In historical terms, Washington State is, well, not.

— Washington State is one of only two schools in the Pac-12 with an all-time record below .500 (fellow Pac-2 orphan Oregon State being the other). The Cougars are 575-581-45 (.498) all-time, with the 575 wins 80th on the all-time list (Colorado, meanwhile, has 723 all-time wins, 30th nationally). Washington State was at the .500 mark all-time earlier this season, but with its current six-game losing streak, has slid back under .500;

— Washington State climbed as high as No. 13 in the national polls this season, the first season the Cougars have been ranked (with the 2019 season also being the last season CU and Washington State played one another. Overall, Washington State has not spent much time being ranked in its history. Washington State has appeared in 166 weekly polls, 57th on the all-time list. Colorado, by comparison, is 29th on the list, with 308 weeks in the polls;

— A few other tidbits … Conference championships – Colorado 26th (12th); Washington State 4 (96th) … All time NFL draft picks – Colorado 276 (27th); Washington State 197 (47th) … Consensus All-Americans – Colorado 31 (24th); Washington State 8 (58th).


Colorado and Washington State – head-to-head

This will be the 14th all-time meeting between the two teams, in a series dating back to 1981. Washington State has a 7-6 lead, with the series tied 3-3 in games played in the state of Washington (1-0 in Seattle; 1-0 in Spokane; 1-3 in Pullman);

For those old enough to remember, the first meeting between the two schools was a painful one for Buff fans. In the 1981 matchup, Colorado led Washington State, 10-0, at home, with four minutes to play. The Cougars then rallied with the aid of not one, but two, blocked punts, to win, 14-10 (still hurts to think about).

The Buffs did get some redemption the next year in a game played in Spokane. Colorado head coach Bill McCartney picked up career win No. 1 with a 12-0 shutout of the Cougars.

A blocked punt – and a goal-line stand in the final minute – propelled the Buffs to a 20-12 win over the Cougars in 2004 (the game played in Seattle, as a makeup game for a 9/11/2001 game which was cancelled).

In 2012, the teams played for the first time as members of the Pac-12. Oddly enough, the 8th game in the series was the first played between the two teams in Pullman. The Buffs prevailed, 35-34, on a last minute score in what proved to be the only win in CU’s dreadful 1-11 campaign.

In 2015, the Buffs returned to Pullman to face the 24th-ranked Cougars. Washington State won, 27-3, as the Buffs struggled without Sefo Liufau, who missed the game due to injury.

In 2016, in the only game in the series with both teams coming in with a national ranking. No. 12 Colorado, behind Sefo Liufau’s 345 yards passing and 108 yards rushing, held off No. 20 Washington State, 38-24.


Pac-12 Notes … 

Scenarios for Pac-12 title game contenders:

  • #5 Washington … Clinches a spot with a win over Oregon State OR a Utah win over Arizona
  • #6 Oregon … Clinches a spot with a win over Arizona State AND Washington win over Oregon State AND Utah win over Arizona
  • #11 Oregon State … Stays in contention with a win over Washington OR wins by both Utah over Arizona AND Arizona State over Oregon
  • #17 Arizona … Must beat Utah to stay in contention
  • #22 Utah … Must beat Arizona AND have BOTH Washington beat Oregon State AND Arizona State beat Oregon to stay in contention


Pac-12 schedule … Week 12 … From DraftKings

Friday, November 17th

  • Colorado at Washington State … 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … Washington State is a 4.5-point home favorite … down from 5.5-points on Sunday

Saturday, November 18th

  • No. 16 Utah at No. 19 Arizona … 12:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Arizona is a 1.0-point home favorite … a flip from Sunday, when Utah was a 1.0-point road favorite
  • UCLA at USC … 1:30 p.m., MT, ABC … USC is a 7.0-point home favorite … up from 6.0-points on Sunday
  • No. 6 Oregon at Arizona State … 2:00 p.m., MT, Fox … Oregon is a 23.5-point road favorite … up from 22.0-points on Sunday
  • California at Stanford … 4:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Cal a 6.5-point road favorite … up from 4.5-points on Sunday
  • No. 5 Washington at No. 10 Oregon State … 5:30 p.m., MT, ABC … Oregon State is a 2.5-point home favorite … a flip from Sunday, when Washington was a 1.0-point road favorite


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