This is how senior day is supposed to be. A group of guys who have fought together for four or five years and go out on top. This one is a little sweeter though. It has been a tough year, a very tough first year for head coach Jon Embree but today his team played well and got their first Pac-12 win. It's great for the program and with two games, albeit on the road, that are indeed winnable, Buff fans have to hope Embree and Company can harness some momentum and finish the year strong.
But back to the game at hand, back to the players. The Colorado Buffaloes dominated the Arizona Wildcats 48-29 with the seniors leading the way. The Buffs did most things right today, they started fast, they built a lead and when Arizona looked like they were going to comeback on a few occasions, the offense responded with a long drive for a score or seniors CB/WR Jason Espinoza and S Travis Sandersfeld made an interception. This game is about making plays and today, the upperclassmen made plays. Senior QB Tyler Hansen went out and played exceptional today. He looked like the Tyler Hansen of old, running when he needed to, extending drives and when called upon, made great throws. He finished the day with 213 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, a receiving touchdown and two passing scores. Great line for the quarterback who has been through a lot his four years at Boulder.
His favorite target: WR Toney Clemons, another senior. Clemons did what we thought he would do the day he transferred from Michigan. He had 5 receptions, 115 yards and a score. He made acrobatic receptions all day long.
What can you say about RB Rodney Stewart? Words can't describe what he has meant to this program the past few years. I often ask myself "what if the Buffs didn't have Speedy?" Phenomenal career, breaking records left and right. A guy who just goes about his business and dominates. Couldn't be happier for Stewart and the offensive line today in Ryan Miller and Ethan Adkins. The offense sure put on a performance in their final stint in Boulder. Stewart finished the game with 181 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving for over 200 yards total. He ran for three scores and threw for another one to QB Tyler Hansen. Overall, the offense had 500 total yards and a season high 48 points. They finished with a whopping 273 yards on the ground. Five different Buffs scored touchdowns - Tyler Hansen, Rodney Stewart, Tony Jones, Josh Ford and Toney Clemons.
Defensively, the Buffs made plays when they needed to. They forced four turnovers and held the Wildcats to just 60 yards on the ground. When Arizona went for it on fourth down, the Buffs stopped them two out of three times. They pressured QB Nick Foles and were able to disrupt him enough. We keep seeing great things out of players like CB Greg Henderson who is just a freshman.
Man, it feels good to write a victorious post game story. It feels like it has been forever! Congratulations to Jon Embree, let this be the first of many Pac-12 victories in your career. Congratulations to the seniors for leading their team to victory, a huge example to set from this day forward that upperclassmen need to be the leaders of this team.
Great win, celebrate Buff fans!