Recapping Colorado Buffaloes Football and Pac-12 Stories, News, and Links
Sure, it wasn't technically the first Pac-12 game, but it was the more Pac-12-ey of the two. Also, CSU sucks.
If it was blurry early, it's all coming into focus now: The first win of Colorado's Jon Embree Era in football isn't going to come easy – not after the way things went up, down, up again and finally way, way down Saturday in his home opener. He conceded his team "fought their butts off" before reminding a questioner that even in
Season 1 of what has been called a reclamation project by outsiders that he, his staff and his players "expected to be 2-0. I don’t want to sound sour, I don’t want to diminish what these kids have done (vs. Cal), but we came here to win. We prepared and we trained to win – not to be close, not to be ‘oh, next week.’ It’s too much work and it’s too hard, so close ain’t it."
Nine of the flags were thrown against CU in the first half, which ended with CU trailing 16-6 and Embree frothing at his team’s "self-inflicted wounds . . . there are no excuses for that. I’ll get that fixed." The corrections began at intermission in the Buffs’ locker room, where senior quarterback Tyler Hansen said his coach asked the team, "When is enough enough? When does someone step up and say, ‘this is enough, I’m tired of this; we’re going to win.’ The message was simple; he was fired up."
It's too bad that it was considered a non-conference game, because Cal and Colorado put together a romanticism period piece for Pac-12 football this afternoon. Full of violence, mayhem, madness, and nothing that could remotely be considered inherent order, the Golden Bears and Buffaloes put on a college football essential.
It was a game that made you understand why this sport can be so compelling, so erroneous, so painful, so exhilarating. And these are teams expected to go 4-8!
-There was Colorado torching Cal all over the field for 600 yards of total offense. But the Buffs managed a grand total of nine points in four red zone trips.
-Colorado gave Cal three first downs on third down penalties. The Bears turned that into 14 points.
-There was the Colorado offensive line, coached by an offensive line coach Cal fans despise, not allowing a single sack.
-There was Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson, being single-teamed ad infinitum by almost every Cal defensive back on the block long after it had been made clear that the Bears had no one to keep up with him on deep streaks, posts, pretty much anything where Tyler Hansen called Richardson's numbers.
-Pac-12 refs had their lovely hands over this one. A catch was taken away, a 4th down conversion by Colorado looked like it was taken away, and a bogus personal foul penalty because of a late whistle. Good Times
USC Lights Up Scoreboard, Cruises To Easy Victory Over Utah - Pacific Takes - This is all you need to read about the Utah-USC game
Elegance meets crapfest. That's about what USC-Utah was like.
Speaking of crap, where do we rank in penalties among college football teams? Find out after the jump...
Our 156 Penalty yards ties us for 9th most in the nation.
|Rank||Defensive Leader||# Sacks|
|4.||Nordly Capi - CSU(sucks)||3.5|
|Rank||Receiving Leaders||# Rcv Yards|
|T1.||T.Y. Hilton - FIU||333|
|T1.||Paul Richardson - COLORADO!||333|
CU got a record setting passing performance from senior quarterback Tyler Hansen, who completed 28-of-49 passes for a school-record 474 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the scoring tosses went to sophomore Paul Richardson, who finished with 11 catches for 282 yards – also a single-game school record.
Hansen also accounted for a school-record 500 yards in total offense, and freshman placement specialist Will Oliver was perfect on four field goal attempts.
And why does Cal overtake CU despite a record day for CU?
Colorado tight end Ryan Deehan was so wide open on that touchdown it was like I was covering him. #CUBuffs
Colorado State is 2-0; Colorado is 0-2.
One has momentum borne from celebrating victory; the other has doubts borne out of the inability to close out a victory in the fourth quarter. It was not all high fives in the Ram locker room Saturday, though, despite the 33-14 win over Northern Colorado.
Four Colorado State players, including star linebacker Mychal Sisson, suffered potentially season-ending injuries. Starting fullback Austin Gillmore went down with a right knee injury on CSU’s first offensive play, defensive tackle Scott Carter also suffered what appeared to a right-knee injury, and even Gillmore’s backup, Jake Levin, left the game early with a knee injury.
Like many of his players now, Colorado football coach Jon Embree's favorite memory of the rivalry with Colorado State is his first. He was a freshman in 1983, and CU and CSU hadn't played in 25 years. It was Year 2 of coach Bill McCartney's rebuilding efforts.
Year 1 had been a rough one, and the Buffs were coming off of an opening-week loss at Michigan State. The Rams brought to Boulder the prolific receiving duo of Jeff Champine and the late Keli McGregor, who would go on to become president of the Colorado Rockies. But the Buffaloes celebrated a 31-3 triumph that day.
"That was my first time being in Folsom Field and it was just special," Embree said recently. "There was a lot of intensity."
Elsewhere in the Pac-12 Conference...
2. Pac-12 quarterbacks could put up huge numbers this year: Forget the names. This is what's notable: Pac-12 quarterbacks accounted for 33 TD passes this weekend and just four interceptions. Seven threw three or more TD passes. Five threw for more than 350 yards. Only UCLA passed for less than 230 yards.
3. Oregon State, at least at present, is the new Washington State:
I'd like everyone to note that the new Pac-12 cupcake is not us; but that they're the only team in this conference that we don't play this year.
The Sun Devils were unranked by the AP last week and 23rd with the coaches. Not much Pac-12 poll news after that. Stanford was sixth in both polls.
Oregon was 12th with the AP and 14th with the coaches, which the Pac-12 blog believes is a shameful punishment for a program that played a tough nonconference opener. Not to mention no one in their right mind believes 13 teams are better than the Ducks.
Might the Apple Cup mean something this year? The last time both Washington and Washington State were 2-0? 2001. But both programs are unbeaten through two weeks after posting impressive, though very different, wins on Saturday. They did share one thing: Quarterback play well above expectations.
Aesthetically, the Buffs are finally ready for prime time. Tyler Hansen and Paul Richardson are a lot of fun to watch and a nightmare for Pac-12 defensive backs to stop. Rodney Stewart is one of the most versatile running backs in the country. And thanks to a gutsy performance from a patchwork offensive line, Colorado's offense exploded for 582 total yards on Saturday at Folsom Field.
Unfortunately, Jon Embree's team wasn't ready for winning time. Mistakes and poor execution by the offense in the final minute of regulation and on the first possession of overtime forced the head coach to send good Will Oliver out for field goals.
Touchdowns are for closers.
"Disappointed," Embree said. "Thought we'd win. We continually find a way not to finish."
But at least there is a glimmer of hope and a lot of excitement breaking the huddle now. Hansen set a CU record with 474 yards passing, and Richardson set a school record with 284 yards receiving against Cal. Stewart still hasn't been able to get loose in the running game (78 yards on 24 carries against the Bears), but Speedy has 184 yards receiving in two games.
"Coach Embree does a great job of motivating us to play. I love the guy," Hansen said. "I'll go out there and do whatever I've got to do for the guy."
Awesome. Let's win.