Liufau's final numbers were solid, but not spectacular: 14-for-20, 198 yards, one touchdown. But, he also had no interceptions, no fumbles and walked off the field with a win. He's the first CU quarterback to win his starting debut since Cody Hawkins in 2007 against Colorado State. That, ultimately, was the most important fact of the day for Liufau. "I'm just excited to play, to be honest," he said. "My main goal is to help this team win, and if that's running the ball 50 times then we're going to do it. If it's passing the ball 50 times we're going to have to do that, too.
Colorado is 3-3, already blessed with as many wins as it had since 2010. Yes, two have come against FCS teams but when it comes to a bowl bid, it doesn’t matter. The NCAA was kind enough to give the Buffaloes a waiver. It’s the least it could do after their Sept. 14 home game with Fresno State was flooded out.
Let me be among the first (hundred, I’m guessing) to proclaim this as a monster game for your Buffs. It’s as big for first-year coach Mike MacIntyre as was his debut against Colorado State on Sept. 1 - and he did OK in that one, winning 41-27. It’s as big for the program as the final three games of Brian Cabral’s interim stint in 2010 - the last time the Buffs could honestly talk bowl talk.
"We had three third-down plays where we had stuff called and worked on it and one of the young men is supposed to go under the tackle instead of outside the tackle and it opened it wide up when it would have got them out on third down," MacIntyre said after the game. "I was just upset about that at the time."
"I think he’s a very good player," said CU coach Mike MacIntyre. "He has power, he has speed, he has vision, and he’s very bright. That one run he made today over on the sidelines when it looked like it was all clogged up and he just crept in there, broke two tackles and then outran everybody to me was a really impressive run and I was excited to see that."
I actually remember lamenting, when CU was entrenched in the top ten for much of the mid-90′s, not having more relevant games to track. CU was ranked so high that the vast majority of games being played across the country that weekend simply had no bearing on the future of my Buffs. I want to be that spoiled again.
Colorado’s Paul Richardson is fourth nationally in receiving yards per game with 130.3. Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks still leads at 168.0. Richardson had 122 yards and a 60-yard touchdown on eight receptions in Saturday’s 43-10 win over Charleston Southern.
The game has been slated as the Breast Cancer Awareness game for a while and when the Pac-12 Networks selected the game with a 6 p.m. start time, the Buffs decided to designate the game Blackout Breast Cancer and fans are encouraged to wear black and pink to the game.
In an effort to see more scoring and limit some of the contact on the court, the NCAA has adopted new rules in regards to hand checking and the block/charge call. "They're going to affect everybody; they're going to affect the whole game," Boyle said of the new rules. "I like the hand-check rule. I'm very concerned and worried about the block/charge rule."
Tad has long been known not to be a gambler on the defensive end. He makes teams run it deep into the shot clock before getting off a shot (opponent’s possessions averaged 18.4 seconds last year, 227th). But what about blocks?
Boyle was pleased with how the Black squad played, but also disappointed in the White team. "You'd like it to be more competitive," Boyle said. "I thought the White team didn't have much fight in them today. They got shellacked."
Junior forward Scott, freshman forward Fletcher and sophomore guard Talton dominated for the black team. Scott played well offensively and defensively and appeared more versatile with the ball than he was last season, which gave the white team all it could handle. Fletcher shot the ball well and proved that he can score from anywhere on the court, whether it be in the paint or behind the arc. Talton showed more confidence with the ball shooting more consistently.
5. Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado): The 6-foot-6 Dinwiddie may be the best on-ball defender in America, and offensively he’s developed into one of the tougher match-ups at the position as well. Dinwiddie averaged 15.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a sophomore.
Colorado guard Askia Booker is getting close to returning to practice, he said. He has been sidelined for nearly two weeks with a virus that sapped his energy. "I just had to sit out and wait until my body could fight it off," he said. "I think my body is on its way back."