Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado: Richardson caught 11 passes for 140 yards and broke the school’s single-season receiving record in the process. He surpassed the record previously held by Charles E. Johnson and sits at 1,201 receiving yards on the year.
Maybe just as important, said MacIntyre, "I think it validates, to the players, their hard work is paying off . . . this validates staying the course, you keep working, keep working, you keep planting the seeds; you keep watering the seeds and eventually they start to sprout. No way we are there yet, by any stretch, but this is a good step in the right direction."
"(Goff) was under duress, and that helps the secondary tremendously," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "The best pass defense is a quarterback lying on his back.
Cal is conference’s worst: Someone had to win. Someone had to snap a double-digit conference losing streak. Not only did Colorado pull it off, it turned it into a lopsided affair, winning 41-24. With only Stanford remaining, Cal is all but assured to become the 19th team since the Pac-8 was formed in 1968 to finish conference play without a win. One of those teams was Cal in 2001, which led to the dismissal of Tom Holmoe and the hiring of Jeff Tedford. Tedford, of course, was replaced by Sonny Dykes this season.
Although neither player managed to reach the end zone on offense -- Spruce added a late touchdown on a kickoff return after recovering an on-side kick -- their game-breaking abilities were on constant display and became vital aspects of nearly every CU scoring opportunity throughout the evening. Richardson’s acrobatic 39-yard reception midway through the first quarter ignited the team’s first scoring drive of the game then, on their next possession, Spruce turned a short sideline catch into an exciting 62 yard gain which set-up CU’s first touchdown three plays later.
With the Buffs nursing a 24-10 lead, the Colorado offense went into a shell. The Buffs turned the ball over in CU territory on an interception, then went three-and-out and four-and-out in its next two possessions.
In previous games, that would have signaled disaster time for CU and its fans … over the course of the first nine games of the season, the Buffs had been out-scored in the third quarter by a lopsided total of 104-20.
But against Cal, the Buff defense stood tall.
"Some people thought I was crazy when I said that a while and I thought we could win some games here and I still do," first-year coach Mike MacIntyre said. "I still think we can win some more left. They’re going to be real tough, against real good football teams.
In 2012, the Buffs were penalized 73 times for 693 yards in 12 games. After 10 games this season, CU has been flagged 47 times for 413 yards. One of the biggest areas of improvement has come on special teams where the Buffs were penalized 20 times last fall and they have earned just six flags in the kicking game this year.
I thought of the contrast to what I had just seen and heard in Boulder on Saturday. CU true freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau, who just turned 19, has handled the spotlight well after taking over the starting job Oct. 19 against Charleston Southern. He generally speaks and takes questions at CU coach Mike MacIntyre's Tuesday media luncheon and is made available to the media after CU's games.
"We were hitting shots today," Dinwiddie said. "We were shooting the lights out, so it's not my job to score. If Talton and Jaron and everybody are going to shoot it so well, it's my job to get them shots. "In a game like this, with their type of defense, I probably could have had 30 (points). But, it's not about that."
Sophomore forward Xavier Johnson, who had started the first three games, was "dinged" during Friday's practice, Buffs head coach Tad Boyle said. Because of that Johnson sat on the bench in street clothes and Hopkins got the nod.
"I didn't know I was going to start until eight minutes before the game," Hopkins said. "Coach told me and I just had to prepare for that and be able to come out with a good start."