September 9th, Boulder           No. 22 Colorado 36, Nebraska 14

Colorado defeated rival Nebraska for the third straight time, overcoming a sluggish start to pull away for a 36-14 victory. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders completed 31-of-42 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns, also posting a rushing score. Xavier Weaver had ten receptions for 170 yards and a touchdown, while Auburn transfer Tar’Varish Dawson had a 30-yard touchdown reception and an eight-yard scoring run as the Buff turned a 13-0 halftime edge to 36-7 lead before the Cornhuskers scored a consolation touchdown on the game’s final play.

“Great win,” Coach Prime said after the game. “We started off slow,  played like a lot of garbage in the first half. But we started picking it up quite a bit and doing what we’re capable of doing. Hats off to the defense and how they were steadfast today. They atoned for the disappointment that we were last week defensively (in a 45-42 win over TCU). To just think that we played like we played and we won by that margin, that’s a pretty good feeling for any coach, and I think  you all can see what we’re capable of doing.”

The Buffs had 454 yards of total offense, keeping the Cornhuskers under 300 total yards until the final drive of the game. Nebraska turned the ball over four times, including an interception by Buff safety Cameron Silmon-Craig.

The victory matched CU’s longest winning streak in the series with a third straight win. The only other three-game stretch of CU victories occurred between 1956-58 (ironically, with all three of those victories coming on shutouts).

Game Story … Nebraska opened the game with an impressive opening drive, with quarterback Jeff Sims hitting Nate Boerkircher for 17 yards on a third-and-six to move the ball to midfield. The Cornhuskers moved the ball as far as the CU 31-yard line, but there Sims fumbled the snap on third-and-10, with Buff defensive lineman Arden Walker falling on the ball for the first turnover of the game.

The first CU drive of the game lasted 12 plays, but went backward as often it went forward. The Buffs overcame an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a second-and-24 with completions from Shedeur Sanders to Xavier Weaver for 14 yards and to Travis Hunter for another 11 yards. Later, after forcing an offsides call on fourth-and-five to gain a first down, the Buffs went backward again on an intentional grounding call, ultimately forcing a CU punt.

The rest of the first quarter and early second quarter were controlled by the defenses. The teams traded three-and-outs with ensuing drives in which each team had one first down before punting once again.

Taking over at their nine-yard line after a Mark Vassett punt pinned them deep, the Texas A&M took off on its second extended drive of the first half. Without so much as a third down, the Cornhuskers marched quickly down the field. The drive stalled, however, at the Buff 27-yard line. Called on for a 45-yard field goal, Nebraska kicker Tristan Alvano instead hit the right upright, leaving it a scoreless game with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half.

After CU’s second three-and-out of the first half, Nebraska took over at their 29-yard line. On the first play of the drive, though, Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims fumbled the ball away for the second time in the half, with Buff linebacker Jordan Domineck’s recovery giving the CU offense the ball at the Nebraska 19-yard line.

The Buff offense, though, went three-and-out … again. This time, though, the fourth play of the drive was a 31-yard field goal by Buff kicker Jace Feely giving CU a 3-0 lead with 4:20 to play in the half.

Nebraska’s offense – particularly quarterback Jeff Sims – was still feeling generous, giving the ball right back to the Buffs. On third-and-12, Sims was pressured, with his pass easily intercepted by Buff safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig at the Nebraska 30-yard line.

This time, the Colorado offense capitalized. On the first play after the turnover, quarterback Shedeur Sanders hit Auburn transfer wide receiver Tar’Varish Dawson for a 30-yard touchdown. In less than two minutes of game clock, the score had gone from 0-0 to 10-0, Colorado.

After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Nebraska and a sack of Jeff Sims by Taijh Alston, the Cornhuskers had to punt the ball back to the Buffs. A short punt of only 25 yards was downed at the Buff 37-yard line. With only 49 seconds to work with, the Buffs nonetheless moved the ball into field goal range. Successive completions from Sanders to Travis Hunter (22 yards), Xavier Weaver (12 yards) and Jimmy Horn Jr. (10 yards) set up Jace Feely for a 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Halftime score: No. 22 Colorado 13, Nebraska 0

The Buffs faced a third-and-15 on their first possession of the second half, but a 40-yard completion from Sanders to Travis Hunter put the ball on the Nebraska side of the field. The next three plays, though, gained only seven yards. On fourth-and-three at the Nebraska 31-yard line, the Buffs went for the first down, but a Jimmy Horn sweep lost a yard, giving the ball – and momentum – to Nebraska.

On the fourth play of the Cornhuskers’ first drive of the third quarter, quarterback Jeff Sims broke loose, running untouched for a 57-yard touchdown. For the first time all afternoon, the Nebraska contingent in the sold-out crowd of 53,241 had something to cheer about. Just like that, it was a 13-7 game just six minutes into the third quarter.

As they had done on the road against TCU the previous week, though, the Buffs showed their resiliency. After a first half with no drive over 40 yards, the Buffs embarked on a ten-play, 75-yard drive to reassert their dominance. The big play of the drive was a 41-yard completion from Sanders to Xavier Weaver on a third-and-ten at the CU 37, setting the Buffs up at the Nebraska 22-yard line. Later, facing another third-and-ten, this time at the Nebraska 12, Sanders again found Weaver. The 12-yard touchdown gave CU a 20-7 lead midway through the third.

After the Buff defense forced a three-and-out, the CU offense moved in for the kill. A 34-yard run by Dylan Edwards put the ball in Cornhusker territory, with a 19-yard Sanders-to-Weaver connection giving the Buffs a red zone opportunity. After a pass interference, the Buffs had a first-and-goal at the Nebraska two-yard line. Rather than make it a three-score lead, however, the Buffs got too cute by half, with two plays netting only one yard before Shedeur Sanders being sacked at the seven on third down. Jace Feely made it a 23-7 lead with a 30-yard field goal, but it was still a two-touchdown game with 1:20 to play in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened three plays later, with Nebraska setting up with a first down at the Buff 47-yard line. Instead of making it a game, however, a miscommunication between Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims and running back Gabe Ervin resulted in Nebraska’s fourth turnover of the game. The fumble was recovered by Buff defensive lineman Bishop Thomas at midfield.

Setting up at the CU 35-yard line after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty call on the Buffs, the drive was apparently stalled after another 15-yard penalty call against the Buffs, leaving the CU offense with a third-and-16. Instead of punting the ball away, the Buffs converted with a 17-yard completion from Sanders to Jimmy Horn. A 14-yard run by Anthony Hankerson and another completion to Horn, this one for 13 yards, gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the CU eight-yard line. On the next play, Tar’Varish Dawson scored on an end around. A two-point conversion attempt provided a highlight reel showcase by Shedeur Sanders, but the pass to the end zone was ultimately ruled incomplete. The Buff Nation really didn’t care, though, as the score was up to 29-7, with 10:45 to play.

Nebraska pieced together a nine-play drive on its next possession, but ultimately came up empty when a fourth-and-nine pass from Nebraska quarterback Heinrich Haarberg, who had just come in for an injured Jeff Sims, fell incomplete.

Taking over near midfield, the Colorado offense rolled to yet another score. A 33-yard completion from Sanders to Xavier Weaver gave the Buffs yet another red zone opportunity. A sack of Sanders was offset a play later by a 16-yard completion from Sanders to tight end Michael Harrison. Facing a third-and-four at the Nebraska six yard line, Sanders waltzed in for his first rushing touchdown of the season. With just under five minutes to play, the rout was complete: Colorado 36, Nebraska 7.

When the Cornhuskers turned the ball over on downs five plays later, CU freshman quarterback Ryan Staub got his first playing time as a Buff. After Charlie Offerdahl’s five-yard run on third-and-one gave the Buffs a first down, Staub fumbled the ball away on a sack, giving the ball back to the Cornhuskers.

A 44-yard run Rahmir Johnson, down to the CU six yard line, kept many of the Buff faithful interested. On third-and-goal, Heinrich Haarberg hit Thomas Fidone II for a consolation touchdowns … with one second left on the clock.

Final score: No 22 Colorado 36, Nebraska 14

The final stats were in favor of the Buffs, but were perhaps a bit misleading. Colorado had 454 yards of total offense, which is good, but only 58 net rushing yards, which is not. The final rushing stats, though, including sacks in the rushing yards. CU suffered eight sacks on the game, for a total of 65 yards. Accounting for one carry for a loss of a yard, and CU had 124 positive yards rushing, with two touchdowns.

Conversely, the Buffs gave up 341 yards of total offense to the Cornhuskers. The game’s final drive, though, played with backups, accounted for 57 of those yards. Before that final drive, Nebraska had 284 yards of total offense … and seven total points.

“They were not happy and satisfied with how they performed last week,” Coach Prime said of his defense. “That is not indicative to who they were. Coach Kelly called an excellent game. I’m hearing it on the headset. Guys got out of their gaps. They missed tackles. They just didn’t do what they are capable of doing last week. But today, the way they started was phenomenal. They truly believed that they could be a dominant force. Mix in a few more sacks, pressures, and keep the quarterback in the pocket. Coach Kelly went crazy when Sims got out of the pocket. I wish you could have heard it. He was about to lose his mind. But overall, they really played well, and we are proud of them. We still must fix some things if we want to be who we want to be.”

Game highlights … 

Game Notes … 

— The win was the third straight for the Buffs in the series (2018, 2019 and 2023). The only other time CU has defeated Nebraska three straight times occurred between 1956 and 1958;

— The 2023 season represents the 100th season at Folsom Field, but it’s also the 75th anniversary of Nebraska’s first visit to Folsom. On Oct. 9, 1948, Colorado upset the favored Huskers, 19-6. That was the debut season for one of CU’s legendary coaches, Dal Ward;

— Colorado issued more than 800 media credentials for the game vs. Nebraska (including all the people at Fox involved with Big Noon Kickoff). The previous Folsom Field record was 616 for the Nebraska game in 2001;

— In his first two games of the 2023 season, quarterback Shedeur Sanders has 69-for-89 (78 percent completion rate) for 903 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Through the first two games of the 2023 season, Sanders was one of only six FBS quarterbacks with at least six touchdown passes and no interceptions;

— Shedeur Sanders joined Steven Montez (2018) and Connor Wood (2013) as the only quarterbacks in Colorado history to open a season with back-to-back 300-plus yard passing games. Montez and Wood both failed to reach the 300-yard mark in game three;

— Xavier Weaver (10 catches, 170 yards, one touchdown) became the first player in CU history to open their career as a Buff with two 100-yard receiving games. Weaver’s numbers through his first two games of the 2023 season: 16 catches, 288 yards, two touchdowns;

— Had Nebraska not scored on the last play of the game, the 29-point differential would have been the highest for a CU victory over Nebraska in school history. As it was, the 36-14 22-point differential fell in behind the 26-point win in 2001 (62-36 … Nebraska got a late consolation touchdown in that game as well);

— 11 FBS schools scheduled two games against Power Five opponents to open the 2023 season. Colorado and Utah were the only two to emerge with 2-0 records (Nebraska went 0-2).


Much less red than in 2019 … 



24 Replies to “No. 22 Colorado 36, Nebraska 14”

  1. The thing that sticks out to me is the Buffs have demonstrated in only 2 games that they can win in a shootout style game and a tough, low scoring (at least for most of the 1st half) defensive game. Next week we show how to win in blowout. Poor CSU (not really).

  2. Just checked in on Mickey Mac
    He is now the head coach at FIU.
    Lost to LA Tech and beat Maine 12 to 14
    Livin the dream
    and of course Jay is coaching the WRs
    Cant we get FIU scheduled with UC Davis? That would be a hoot. Too bad Cosell isnt still around. We could pair him with Dorrell in the announcer’s booth. Mutt and Jeff….awesome entertainment.

        1. How long does the bitterness extend backwards? Cause I think I’ve got some sick burns to lay on Chuck Fairbanks’ next of kin. But, in all honesty, what is with the never ending bitterness over people who tried and failed? Do you suppose they intentionally derailed their careers just to get us? Because, if you don’t think they intentionally set out to fail us, it just seems pointless to keep beating the compost that is all that remains of what was already a dead horse in 2018. Just let it go. There’s good stuff from this decade to talk about. Not sure why we have to continuously rain on failed parades of yester-decade.

  3. Not a bad day at all including Rhules landing on the hot seat (only in Linkin)
    other teams teams on my poo list lost
    Baylor and A&M. give it up Jimbo….no, on second thought stay right where you are.
    Oregon St. reminded HWSRN who he is
    PAC 2- Big what? 0
    Lotta top teams still playing tomato cans
    reminded of one of the reasons that killed the PAC. ASU and okie state, Stanford and USC still in the first qtr at 9pm
    I actually feel sorry for WSU and OSU. Both have really good teams and are getting screwed by the money thing.

  4. I was wrong. My prediction:

    Buffs 41- bugeaters 23.

    The Buffs only got to 36 points, OH WELL, I was being a bit hopeful there. AND, I gave the children of the corn way too much credit considering their last score was with 1 second left in the game… AND it wasn’t for the win by any means, so really I gave them way too much credit.

    How happy am I to be wrong? As long as the Buffs beat the bugeaters by 22, I’m pretty happy.

  5. Just think what it could have been without Prime. I’m on the train, maybe not a league winner but this is the most fun in years.

  6. Called that one, CU going away. A major difference was the confidence of the two QB’s; Shadeur is as confident as he can be, NU QB not so much. Line play takes a while to gel, but it definitely needs to gel before OU.

  7. Hallelujah
    3 in a row over the cobbs and Rhule is 0-2. A glorious day.
    Having sad that
    The running game is still non existent. Handing off straight into the line isnt cutting it. Stop me if you have heard me say this before (you cant) but they need some misdirection to help out the O line and spread the D a little more. Gonna need it one of these days. Even the misguided end run on 4th down when they should have kicked a field goal wasn’t fooling anyone.

    Are we lucky to have Shedeur. He had to go waaaay over Rob O’s 3 second rule to find an open receiver almost every time, until the cow feed were getting tired and demoralized. We never see all the routes in TV so its tough to comment on them but do we need adjustments there?
    And as mentioned below, he does need to know when to throw it into the stands. You can laugh at the cobb QB but if Sheduer goes down….what then?
    and get some stick um like the Raiders used for Edwards….and please dont let him pass block.

    1. Yep, I think the most impressive thing about the win is, both teams struggled/fought in the first quarter, but the Buffs stayed poised and chipped away at scoring and defense, and by the 3rd quarter had played a better game than that which they started. And, then they got their grove on…

      Or, wore down the blackheads… Err blackshits… Err, the blackshirts. Whatever, the Buffs were getting after it at the end and scoring 22 more points, while the corn were going backwards.

      Except that garbage last score, but oh well.

      How do we like the probability that the Buffs should be 3-0 going into Oregon?

      Does anyone remember who posted that could happen?

      I think you were one of us.

      While Stuart has the “receipts” of those that doubted and questioned the lines and such as a reason for waiting and seeing. Don’t ya Stuart? 🙂

  8. Buffs did NOT play a good game. But the D answer red a lot of questions. Between the first two games, the off-season doubters and concerns have been answered. Unfortunately that includes validation that the OL is great weakness.
    I have serious concerns that they won’t be able to overcome this deficiency against the top teams (usc/UO)

    1. Two more weeks of practice. With csu in the middle. I didn’t notice, but learned in the presser, but they put Coke’s and another d lineman on the offensive line for a play. 2pt conversion? Either way, tells us something.

      But the 300lb dudes who run a 4.8 40 are comin’, best believe, they comin.

      Go Buffs

  9. Great win. We still need to find our running game and Sanders needs learn to get rid of the ball. But hey we Drubbed the Nubs.

  10. Score looks good on paper but not a confidence inspiring win (7 sacks and 50-ish yards rushing). Defense improved. Offense took a step back. But but but it’s great to be 2-0. Go Buffs.

    1. The Oregon game in Eugene will be a better barometer of what this team is capable of… Deion will have them ready.

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