If the last 11 months constituted a full circle, so did the game itself. Two plays into the game, Wood scrambled, lobbed it 47 yards down the field to a wide open Richardson, who took it the remaining 35 yards for the game’s first points. Fast-forward to the fourth quarter, and the two connected for the dagger, a 75-yard strike and run that put the game away.
"It was like Christmas in September, having him back," Wood said. "It’s nice to have him back."
"It's always important to remember the great traditions that we have here in Colorado, but I'm not afraid to go in a new direction, and kind of take this program to a new place," Webb said. "We've obviously moved conferences. A lot of those traditions were with Big Eight and Big 12 and all those schools. Now we're in a new environment. We've got new ideas and we're doing new things and we can take this program to a whole new level.
Colorado (2-0) Good against okay (Colorado State, 41-27) Okay against bad (Central Arkansas, 38-24) No, there are probably not too many more wins on this schedule. But "The Buffs have taken care of business thus far" is not something we've been able to say much in the last decade or so.
The 6-foot-5 Mannion has been the engineer of the passing game. His numbers are staggering for a player who wasn't announced as the starter until a few days before the season opener. Mannion battled with senior Cody Vaz for the starting job throughout the offseason, and even for most of last year.
Colorado (2-0, 0-0) at Oregon State (3-1, 1-0) 3 p.m. Pac-12 Network: This is the first meeting of these teams as Pac-12 members. The Buffaloes lead the series 3-2, including a 28-21 win in 1988, the team's last meeting. There should be plenty of passing in this game. Buffs QB Connor Wood has passed for 370.5 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the nation, while Oregon State's Sean Mannion has passed for 401.0 yards per game, which ranks second in the nation. Mannion also leads the nation with 15 touchdown passes. His top target is Brandin Cooks, who leads the nation with 10.8 catches per game and has caught seven of Mannion's TD throws. Meanwhile, Woods has Paul Richardson, who leads the nation with 208.5 yards receiving per game. The last time these teams played, Colorado rallied from a 21-16 fourth quarter deficit to pull out a 28-21 win. Buffs RB Eric Bienemy carried the ball 20 times for 211 yards and three TDs, including a 66-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to put Colorado on top. Oregon State QB Eric Wilhelm was 27-of-38 for 353 yards and 2 TDs.
The 6-5, 220-pound junior has completed 71.5 percent of his passes for 1,604 yards -- an average of 401 per game -- while throwing for 15 touchdowns with one interception. He has become the first QB in OSU history to top 350 yards passing in four successive games. Mannion leads the nation in passing yardage and TD passes, is third in total offense and 12th in pass efficiency (by the way, I don't understand the formula the NCAA uses in the latter category. His numbers across the board seem much higher than that.)
"Hopefully, we'll have fresh legs," coach Mike MacIntyre said after Monday's practice. "We're still getting in that game mode, that game thing where you click in and don't get as tired sometimes. We've been trying to practice hard. We've been trying to run to the football. We've been trying to go high tempo, to keep that energy going. "But there's nothing like simulating a game."
Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre confirmed after Monday's practice freshmen defensive lineman Tim Coleman will miss the remainder of the seson with a torn Achilles tendon suffered in practice last week. Coleman had shown promise during fall camp and early season practices but appeared to be headed for a redshirt season. He wasn't listed on the most recent depth chart prior to his injury.
The redshirt list:
Wide receiver Jeffrey Thomas
Fullback George Frazier
Offensive lineman Sam Kronshage
Offensive lineman Gerrad Kough
Defensive end Derek McCartney
Defensive end Markeis Reed
Defensive back Yuri Wright
Dal Ward’s name is attached to one of the most prominent buildings in University of Colorado athletics, and it could just as easily occupy a position of prominence on the campus of the Buffs’ first Pac-12 Conference opponent. Ward, the Buffs’ football coach for 11 seasons (1948-58) and a CU athletic administrator for another 12 years, holds the distinction of Hall of Fame membership at two schools – CU and Oregon State. The Buffs open 2013 Pac-12 play Saturday (1 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network) against the Beavers in Corvallis.
11. Colorado: Colorado has been off for two weeks, so it will be interesting to see if the Buffaloes show some rust at Oregon State. Little Colorado has seen on film from the Beavers, particularly on defense, should make the Buffs think they can't win in Corvallis. And if that happens, Colorado can start using the "B" word. As in bowl (did I need to clarify that?).
The Honolulu Advertiser reported Monday that Hawaii had turned down CU's offer of $600,000 to play the Buffs on Oct. 19. It would have meant a record seven road games for the Hawaii program this year and approximately three weeks away from classes to play three of those road games in consecutive weeks.
Two other possibilities could be San Jose State, the team MacIntyre and many of his assistants used to coach, and San Diego State. Both have open dates Oct. 19 and both have the ability to schedule a 13th game because they play on the road at Hawaii this season.
Colorado likely will not land any 5-star or elite 4-star prospects, but its chances to land players like 3-star cornerback Dominique Barnett and 3-star safety Courtland Sutton have been helped by its good start to this season.
One area in which Dinwiddie will need to improve in 2013-14 is on the glass, as noted by coach Boyle in the article written by Brian Howell of Buffzone.com. Averaging 3.2 rebounds per game may be permissible for most point guards, but given his height Dinwiddie isn’t your standard floor general. Add in the fact that Roberson was so good on the glass (defensive rebounding percentage of 27.1% per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers; Xavier Johnson was second on the team at 14.3%), and it’s rather evident that Colorado will need “all hands on deck” in order to account for the production they’ve lost in that department.