No. 14 Utah 63, Colorado 21


Posts Tagged ‘Montana Lemonious-Craig’

No. 14 Utah 63, Colorado 21

//posted 11.27.2022

Colorado posted a grand total of one first down and 18 total yards of offense in the first half, leading to a 42-0 deficit at the break, with No. 14 Utah coasting to a 63-14 victory. The Buffs finished the season with a 1-11 record, joining the 2012 Jon Embree team as the only 11-loss teams in school history.

Utah quarterback Cam Rising threw for three first half touchdowns, completing 17-of-19 passes for 234 yards as the Buff defense couldn’t stop the Utes. At the break, Utah had 379 yards to CU’s 18, with 20 first downs, averaging almost ten yards per play. The Buff offense, meanwhile, went three-and-out in seven of eight first half drives, averaging less than a yard per play.

Redshirt freshman Maddox Kopp made his first career start at quarterback, completing 15-of-28 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown – a one-yarder to offensive lineman Frank Fillip on a tackle-eligible pass in the final minutes. In the decisive first half, however, Kopp was 5-of-14 for 26 yards, with the Buffs posting negative yardage rushing the ball. In the first two quarters, the Buffs had a total of 13 carries … for minus-eight yards.

“I don’t believe in moral victories normally, but tonight I did,” said CU interim head coach Mike Sanford, who finished with a 1-6 record in that role. “For that team, that locker room of players to not only not quit but actually go fight and put together a really good second half of football  speaks to exactly what’s going on in that group and in our business organization right now. It’s been fight. It’s been character. It’s been fighting through all the adversity that we continue to face.”

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Washington scored on its first three drives, then turned the game into a laugher as the Buffs surrendered 12 points in the final two minutes of the first half, giving the Huskies a 33-0 halftime lead on their way to a 54-7 domination of Colorado. Washington rolled to 575 yards of total offense, with the Buffs limping to 202 total yards.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had fairly pedestrian numbers, completing 19-of-31 passes for 229 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The Husky rushing attack, though, was dominant, with 280 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Wayne Taulapapa led the way, with 11 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Colorado was completely inept on offense, with quarterback J.T. Shrout completing only six of 18 passes and 120 yards … with 69 yards coming on one play, a touchdown pass to Montana Lemonious-Craig late in the third quarter, when the the Buffs were already down 47-7.

“We wanted to keep (Penix) off the field as much as humanly possible,” interim CU coach Mike Sanford said. “We wanted to run the football and win this game in the trenches. But hats off to Washington. They were good up front and that led to us not capitalizing on the opportunities that we had. That’s a really good team. I think right now they’re playing as good of football as anybody in our conference.”

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Oregon quarterback threw for two touchdowns, ran for two more, and was on the receiving end of yet another, leading No. 8 Oregon to a 49-10 rout of Colorado. Former Buff cornerback Christian Gonzalez added two interceptions in the the third quarter to help put the game away. Gonzalez gave the Ducks two short fields, helping Oregon turn a 28-10 game into a 42-10 laugher.

The final stats were not as lopsided as the score. Oregon had 479 yards of total offense; Colorado had 367. The Ducks had 21 first downs; the Buffs also had 21. The difference were the big plays, including three turnovers by the Buff offense. CU also missed a field goal, and turned the ball over on downs three more times. J.T. Shrout completed 17-of-34 passes for 247 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown pass to freshman Jordyn Tyson. For his part, Tyson had five catches for 137 yards. Freshman Anthony Hankerson led the CU rushing attack, with 11 carries for 54 yards … but they all came in the final quarter when the game was well decided.

“Hats off to Oregon, a really good football team,” CU interim head coach Mike Sanford said. “I thought at halftime we were competing at a fairly high level and we came out and put together a drive to put three on the board. But just having answers consistently proved to be a challenge.”

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Arizona State scored a touchdown on each of their first two drives, going a combined 139 yards in 15 plays, giving the Sun Devils an early 14-3 lead on their way to a 42-34 win in Boulder. On its way to a 28-17 halftime lead, an Arizona State offense that entered the night averaging 353.6 yards had put up 327 while averaging 8.4 yards per play. The Sun Devils finished the game with 10 plays of at least 20 yards, going for 557 total yards.

Colorado managed only 359 yards of total offense, but finally pushed past the 20-point mark for the first time on the season. Quarterback J.T. Shrout completed only 13-of-34 passes, but they went for 222 yards and two touchdowns, including a seven-yarder to Montana Lemonious-Craig and a 58-yarder to Jordyn Tyson. On the night, Tyson had five receptions for 115 yards and a receiving score, also contributing an 88-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. Deion Smith, returning from injury, had 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

“I want to commend our team for the fight and resolve they exhibited throughout the entirety of four quarters,” said CU coach Mike Sanford, who dropped to 1-2 in his role as CU’s interim boss. “We’re at a place where I believe that the team is fighting. It’s showing up on Saturdays. But obviously the missing link is playing that type of football when a defense gets a stop, the offense goes in and scores. Our offense goes and has a tremendous drive, the defense has to get a stop. Those are the things I believe we’re going to piece together throughout the course of these next four weeks.”

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Oregon State 42, Colorado 9

//posted 10.23.2022

Oregon State running back Damien Martinez ran for 178 yards on 22 carries, including three short scoring runs, as Oregon State embarrassed Colorado, 42-9. Beaver quarterback Ben Gulbranson completed 14-of-22 passes for 202 yards and two more scores as the Beavers accumulated 472 yards of total offense in the rout.

Quarterback J.T. Shrout, in for injured Owen McCown, completed 13-of-29 passes for 209 yards and two interceptions, including a pick six early in the third quarter which made it a 35-3 game, ending any chance of CU coming back from a 21-3 halftime deficit. Jordyn Tyson had 92 yards on three receptions, with all three catches coming in the second half after the outcome of the game had been decided. For the game, the CU offense was held to 290 yards of total offense, including only 84 rushing yards.

“Hats off, Oregon State’s a very good football team,” said CU interim head coach Mike Sanford, whose record fell to 1-1 since taking over for Karl Dorrell. “They’re the upper echelon of the Pac-12 Conference. We had our opportunities, but the margin is so small … and some of those things obviously caught up to us.”

“Looking at a loss like this, we know exactly what it is”, said linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo, who led the team with 11 tackles, including three third down stops. “Before it was a lot of different fingers pointing a lot of different ways. A lot of different things were wrong. We could point okay, we didn’t do X, Y and Z correct. How can we get this better? What players can we put in better situations? How can we as players on the field, what can we do better with our coaches to make them more comfortable to call certain calls? So not really, its on us.”

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Colorado 20, Cal 13, OT

//posted 10.17.2022

A 22-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback J.T. Shrout to Montana Lemonious-Craig gave CU the lead in overtime, with the Buff defense making it stand up with a four down stop, giving Colorado a 20-13 overtime win over California. Cal had a first-and-goal at the CU 10-yard line, but a fourth-and-goal pass fell incomplete, preserving the victory. The Buffs, who had only led once during the first five games of the season – and that was in the first quarter of the first game – had leads of 3-0, 10-7, and 13-10 before taking the lead for good in overtime.

The much maligned Colorado defense, dead last in the nation in rushing defense (giving up an average of 294.2 yards per game), held the Cal offense to 35 yards rushing, with the Bears held to 297 yards of total offense overall. The Buff offense, which had also struggled, posted only 328 yards of total offense, but had its first 100-yard receiving game of the season, with Montana Lemonious-Craig collecting eight passes for 119 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Backup J.T. Shrout, who replaced injured starter Owen McCown in the third quarter, completed 8-of-12 passes for 69 yards.

“This is all about the players,” interim coach Mike Sanford said. “Their resilience, their resolve. I’m really proud of these players. As I told them in the locker room, the best part about being 1-0 in our new season is the chance to be 2-0.”

“I have had some pretty good moments with this program, but I’ll definitely put this one in the books”, said senior defensive lineman Terrance Lang. “It was a hard-fought win and we deserve it. And credit to those fans, man. I love our fans. They show up every time.”

A sellout crowd of 50,471 basked in a warm October afternoon, watching the Buffs first victory since taking down Washington on November 20, 2021. “I mean we love Buff Nation,” said hero of the game Montana Lemonious-Craig. “They stay with us through thick and thin and when they stormed the field it was just great vibes, great energy all over the place and we’re just happy we were able to get the win for them because at the end of the day, our fans show up week in week out, no matter the record, no matter nothing. They come here and give us their all, so we’re glad that we were able to give them our all.”

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UCLA 45, Colorado 17

//posted 9.25.2022

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, making his fifth career start against Colorado, finally won in Boulder, leading UCLA to a 45-17 domination of Colorado. DTR, who had lost to the Buffs in starts at Folsom Field in 2018 and 2020, went 19-for-23 for 234 yards and two touchdowns (plus seven carries for 56 yards) in less than three quarters of work as the Bruins scored on their first three possessions of the game, never looking back.

Colorado freshman quarterback Owen McCown earned his first career start, and led the Buffs to their highest point total in CU’s 0-4 start. McCown went 26-for-42 for 258 yards and a touchdown (he also had a touchdown rushing), but also suffered an interception and a fumble. Eleven different Buffs had receptions on the afternoon, as the Buff coaching staff had an open casting call to try and insert some energy into CU’s lethargic offense. Daniel Arias led the Buffs with 82 yards on four receptions, with CU’s second touchdown coming on an eight-yard touchdown pass from McCown to Jordyn Tyson late in the fourth quarter.

The Buffs dropped to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in Pac-12 play while the Bruins improved to 4-0, 1-0.

“Frustrating day,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “But I felt like there were some positive things, even though we weren’t a factor in getting a chance to win this one, It just got away from us. I was encouraged by the young freshmen that we decided to use … But we just didn’t do the things we needed to do in the second half. There’s a lot of areas that need a lot of work. We’re a young team that needs to continue to grow and mature as we go. But we just have a tremendous amount of work to do with this team.”

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TCU 38, Colorado 13

//posted 9.6.2022

The 2022 CU season opener ended just before 12:00 a.m., MT, but the clock had struck midnight for the Cinderella Buffs about an hour earlier. The Buffs dominated the first half of their game against TCU, but were completely routed in the second half, falling to the Horned Frogs, 38-13. Colorado had more first downs (20-17) and wasn’t passed in total yards gained until the fourth quarter, but the Horned Frogs had no trouble with the CU defense in the second half, scoring 31 unanswered points.

Brendon Lewis started at quarterback for Colorado, finished 13-for-18 for all of 78 yards. Lewis also led the Buff rushing attack, putting up 42 yards on eight carries. Backup quarterback J.T. Shrout, who came on late in the first half and then made another appearance in the fourth quarter, finished with 13 completions on 23 attempts for 157 yards and one touchdown.

The Horned Frogs, who had just 67 yards offense in the first half, finished with 413 for the game. That total included more than 260 on the ground alone in the final two quarters. The Buffs, who had 212 yards of offense in the first half – but only two field goals to show for it – had 136 yards of total offense in the second half, with 94 of those yards coming in garbage time.

“I wasn’t expecting that type of game,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “We played decently in the first half … But apparently they made better adjustments. We couldn’t stop what they were doing.”

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Fall Camp Notes

//posted 8.28.2022

*Video: Karl Dorrell talks quarterbacks; injury updates* … Dorrell on QB’s: “We’ve decided to announce not to announce” … Buffs looking for great things from West Virginia transfer LB Josh Chandler-Semedo: “He’s a great player and a great guy” …

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Familiar names – Rice, Stanley, and Shenault – are gone, but there is still talent in the WR and TE rooms … Will Baylor transfer RJ Sneed make Buff fans forget Brenden Rice? … Will this be the year (stop me if you’ve heard this before) that CU uses the tight end position as a weapon in the offense? …

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Thanks to your contributions, the CU at the Game NIL Campaign is off and running! … First interview: Sophomore wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig … Lemonious-Craig discusses his recruitment, his new coaches, and his outlook for the 2022 campaign …

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Freshman CU kicker Cole Becker calmly hit a 43-yarder in the second overtime, giving Colorado a 37-34 win over Oregon State. The Buffs seemingly had the game won when OSU kicker Everett Hayes missed a potential tying field goal with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. Becker was given a second chance, however, hitting a 60-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into extra time. After both schools scored touchdowns in the first overtime, Hayes missed a 38-yard attempt, giving CU’s Cole Becker a chance to win the game moments later.

“What a ball game that was”, said Karl Dorrell. “You know, there’s some really good things that happened in that game. We felt that our team grew up from a week prior. I felt like the offense a couple weeks ago was starting to find themselves and that was up there in Eugene”.

Buff quarterback Brendon Lewis went 15-for-24 passing, going for 170 yards and three touchdowns, also contributing a nine-yard touchdown run in the first overtime. Running back Jarek Broussard had his first 100-yard game of the season, with 151 yards on 24 carries. Overall, the Buffs had 392 yards of total offense, while giving up 475 yards of total offense to the Beavers.

Colorado came into the game with a 2-6 record, and were double digit underdogs to 5-3 Oregon State. Still, 47,984 (96% of capacity) were on hand for Homecoming. “We have one of the best fan groups in the nation”, said cornerback Christian Gonzalez. “They’re always out no matter what. It’s just great playing at home with them and them giving us energy and all that.”

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