The Buffaloes' offensive coordinator has overseen an offense that has gained more than 400 total yards of production for three straight weeks. It's the first time that has happened at CU since 2003. In an era of explosive offensive football in the college game, that statistic spotlights why CU has struggled so much in recent years.
The defense really impressed me. Hawaii's quarterbacks aren't the best and they were missing their star running back but the Buffs held firm in the red zone and didn't allow a touchdown. The secondary played quite well, tight coverage and very few missed tackles. John Walker, Greg Henderson, and Ken Crawley stood out. Brady Daigh, filling in for a concussed Addison Gillam, came up large as well.
Overshadowed receiver of the week: Colorado’s Nelson Spruce. Set a school record with 13 catches for 172 yards. Might as well have happened in northern Siberia.
518: Nelson Spruce receiving yards The Colorado Buffaloes' star wide receiver has quickly replaced Paul Richardson in Boulder. Spruce caught 13 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown in the win over Hawaii. He is now third in the nation with 518 yards (Amari Cooper, Kevin White) and is leading the nation with seven receiving touchdowns.
"Addison was doing good this morning; he was feeling good," MacIntyre said Monday following practice.
"We'll find out more (later in the week). And if he's not ready to go (against California), he's not ready to go. But right now he's progressing, so hopefully he will be able to."
Very few players on the University of Colorado football team have stories that relate to the receiving trio of Wesley Christensen, D.D. Goodson, and Tyler McCulloch. Each individual has had to overcome more than his fair share of adversity to claim a role as a valuable leader of the 2014 Buffs.
"Since the second half of UMass (a 41-38 win on Sept. 6), I've seen a whole different fight, a whole different mentality, a whole different stage to handle everything that is thrown at them," head coach Mike MacIntyre said after Saturday's win.
"Now, will we win every game? I hope so, but I definitely feel like (the players) feel like they can."
I pity you, Colorado. I do. You beat us senseless last year at Folsom Field, handing us the worst loss of all our losses. And hats off to you for doing it. You came to play. We didn't. No need to worry. This year, we will. I promise you that much.
Who's not: Cal's defense. It was the worst in the Pac-12 in 2013 (yielding 529.6 yards per game) and still needs work. Arizona amassed 627 yards and 36 first downs. Arizona QB Anu Solomon torched the Bears secondary for 520 passing yards.
Who would have guessed that of Hawaii's three games against Pac-12 teams, the Buffs would have the largest margin of victory (21-12)? Colorado has to find a way to protect Sefo Liufau, but it has something special in receiver Nelson Spruce, who caught a school-record 13 passes for 172 yards. Big test this week against a Cal team that is sure to be salty.
One question that has been answered: Will Colorado find a viable replacement for the explosive and departed Paul Richardson? Yes, yes, 1,000 times, yes. Nelson Spruce went from being a solid possession receiver alongside Richardson last year to a bona fide star in the Pac-12. He already has 37 receptions and seven touchdowns -- which matches the seven he had for his career coming into this season. He’s averaging 14 yards per catch and has posted 100-plus yards in three of four games this season.
Pac-12 receivers - Receivers are the new running backs in the Pac-12 - Devon Allen, Keanon Lowe, River Cracraft, Austin Hill, Cayleb Jones, Nelson Spruce and Bryce Treggs all turned in epic performances.
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