Hello Buff Fans. Still feeling good after yesterday's win? A few quick observations: We were talking last night about the post-game mood/actions of the team. As I watched them on the field, you could tell this win was expected. Not a lot of hollering, not a lot of hoopla on the field. The win was very business-like, very expected by this team and I think they know they need to get better in spots. It was a great thing to see for a team who only won three games last year. They easily could have gloated on the field, made postgame comments downgrading the Rams but the Buffs seem to be growing up and very focused. Good to see.
-Favorite quote of the day was from Scotty McKnight who was very humbled by his receptions record and said it was something he would look back on after his career is over and say "wow" but mostly he is just happy with the win:
"Numbers don't mean so much to me . . . I've been through a season where we won three games (2009) and I caught 76 balls - it's not fun."
-Best thing about yesterday: Wide Receivers and LB Jon Major. I kept tweeting yesterday and asking myself, "man, are we lucky to have gotten these two receivers." Travon Patterson and Toney Clemons made their mark early and often. Patterson, a transfer from USC, looks like he will be another version of former Buff Josh Smith on special teams (hopefully, no fumbles of course) but a more complete receiver on offense. Clemons, the Michigan transfer, will have bigger offensive days in the future but his runs after the catch make you appreciate his toughness. Also, the way he carries himself on the field was excellent. He had energy, he had bounce, he had confidence, he wanted the ball and he made sure the Rams knew they were in for a long day.
Jon Major was spectacular yesterday on defense, clearly looking like the fastest 'backer on the team. He finished with 8 tackles and certainly made his mark in the running game. Sure, the defensive line needs to get a little more pressure but they were able rotate players like Forrest West, Nick Kasa, BJ Beatty, Marquez Herrod and Josh Hartigan all day long. They have depth at the rush end that will pay dividends as the season goes on.
-I think as the season progresses, Tyler Hansen will correct a few of the miss-throws that should have been big plays. I have three throws in my head, two to Patterson that were a little behind him and one to TE Ryan Deehan, that could have been big plays if the ball was delivered right. Hansen played great, was poised and added a dimension with his feet that make the Buffs better. Sure, people will look at the sack he took in the second half and label that as bad but you will have to deal with some of that with a quarterback who has the ability to make a play every time he touches it.
-Rodney Stewart, please don't get hurt. Clearly, the coaching staff doesn't have a lot of faith in the rest of the running back crew as no one sniffed the field until the fourth quarter. It was all Rodney, all the time. Hopefully, they can take the training wheels off of true freshman Justin Torres and allow him to spell Stewart at some points in the game. We can't get him worn down, can't get him injured. He goes down, CU is in trouble.
-Very sad to hear the potential news about S Parker Orms tearing his ACL. It has not been confirmed yet but the trainers think that might be what happened. It took only the first play of the game to realize he was going to do great things, applying pressure to CSU QB Pete Thomas from his secondary spot. Tough break, hopefully the trainers are wrong. MRI scheduled for this week.
-links after the jump...
McKnight set the CU record for career receptions on a 27-yard touchdown catch that gave the Buffs a commanding 14-0 lead en route to a 24-3 suffocation of Colorado State on Saturday at Invesco Field. "To surpass all the great guys that have been here is a great feeling. And the best part about it is we came in here and got a win against Colorado State and I caught a touchdown that helped my team get the victory," McKnight said after a business-as-usual six-catch, 78-yard afternoon. "I think it`s something I`ll look back on at the end of the season and realize how special it is, but right now I`m a guy leading the team and I know there are things we can clean up. "I also know how good we can be." McKnight (171 receptions, 2007-present) passed Michael Westbrook (167, 1991-94) on CU`s all-time receptions list. He has now caught a pass in a school record 37 consecutive regular season games (38 including the 2007 Independence Bowl).
Colorado was very close to Iowa State as having the most impressive debut of any team in the Big 12 so far in Week 1.
The Buffs held the Rams to 249 total yards, and stuffed coach Steve Fairchild`s running game. The Rams gained just 49 yards on the ground, and CU allowed just 1 of 12 third-down conversions. "This is more about Colorado," Fairchild said. "Dan Hawkins had his team better prepared than I did. They were the better football team today and they certainly deserved to win that game."
But attending to business and leaving town with unfinished business amounts to good news and even better news for the Buffs, who dispatched Colorado State 24-3 at sweltering Invesco Field at Mile High in the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown. "We're still hungry, we're still humble . . . Coach (Ron) Collins (defensive coordinator) pulled us aside and let us know we weren't perfect. We know that; we all left the field knowing we've got improvement to make," CU linebacker Jon Major said.
First on that cleaning list would be yellow flags. The Buffs finished the game with10 penalties for 104 yards, a number that won`t be acceptable against a better opponent. At least three promising drives were cut short by penalties, with three different CU offensive linemen called for false starts. But on this day, at least, the good outweighed the bad. Hansen was efficient and effective, throwing for 192 yards and two touchdowns. The running game produced 115 yards, with Rodney Stewart picking up 67 on just 16 carries. Patterson showed what can happen when he gets the ball in space when he took a short pass over the middle and converted it into an 18-yard untouched burn into the end zone, and McKnight was simply McKnight -- six catches, 78 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, CU`s run defense was stellar when it mattered. The Rams totaled just 77 yards on the ground, and 57 of those came in the fourth quarter, when the outcome was no longer in doubt. Meanwhile, CU`s secondary picked off three CSU passes and the Buffs allowed CSU to convert just one of 12 third-down tries.
In all probability, because with the score at 24-zip, the Buffaloes began glancing ahead to the game — it's Pac-10 football! — at Cal. Definitely, it was odd to watch the Buffs, coming back from the same 3-9 record as the Rams, treat the victory in ho-hum-drum style. The band barely played on, and the players went off hastily after the trophy ceremony. At the tunnel, coach Dan Hawkins high-fived one extended hand. "We're more of a mature team this year," quarterback Tyler Hansen said afterward.
"All three of those new guys out there give them a little juice," CSU coach Steve Fairchild said. "As soon as we played off (the receivers) on a third down, they were able to hit a hitch. That's a much better group of receivers than they had last year. That's an advantage for that quarterback and that running game."
Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen was still on the field Saturday with the celebration of a win over Colorado State just beginning when he began encouraging teammates to turn their focus toward next week`s game at California. The Buffs` struggles on the road are well documented. They haven`t won a true road game since beating Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, in October 2007. They will be facing a future conference opponent from the Pac-10 and the Bears also started well, beating UC-Davis 52-3 Saturday.
Cubuffs.com has some great videos and interviews from the game yesterday. The Buffs surged to a 24-0 lead before putting away the Rams 24-3 in the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown at Invesco Field at Mile High before 60,989.
The California Golden Bears defense dominated the UC Davis Aggies offense in a 52-3 victory, and true freshman wide receiver Keenan Allen was the show on Cal's offense, teaming up with Shane Vereen to score 5 combined touchdowns.