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Buff Bites: Optimism is key for Colorado

Despite special teams blunders and a few injuries, there is still much to look forward to for the rest of the season.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The score sat 21-7 heading into the 2nd quarter and boy did it feel good. The offense and defense were firing on all cylinders, and the Buffs were legitimately outplaying the No. 4 ranked team in the nation. The feeling wouldn't last though, as CU's abysmal special teams and an unfortunate injury to Sefo Liufau (that being said, the touchdown pass to Shay Fields is how he will be remembered in this program - seriously one of the toughest and overall incredible plays I have ever seen on a football field). Steven Montez looked a little lost, but his first significant snaps ever being against Michigan is a tall task. All in all, the team left the game with a couple scary injuries to Liufau, Gonzalez, and McCartney, and they ultimately did not make Michigan earn their points, which is frustrating against any team, let alone a serious CFP contender. Through all of this though, I'm staying optimistic.

First of all, many Colorado teams in recent memory would have gotten absolutely annihilated by an elite team in one of the most hostile environments in college football. Not this team though. The defense was stout, and Michigan struggled to move the ball at times in the first half. The offense was not intimidated by the Wolverines defensive scheme and succeeded on several occasions pushing the ball down the field. What was really impressive was the team's overall mindset. They were not intimidated. The players and the coaches were out there executing a smart game plan, and I truly believe the game would have been anybody's to win had Sefo not been injured. The game was much closer than the final score indicated, and take away some serious blunders and Jabrill Peppers (he won Big 10 defensive and special teams player of the week honors in case you missed it) and CU might be celebrating a program altering win this week.

So, finally, take this past game with a grain of salt. The Pac-12 is still vulnerable, and I think this team is capable of hanging with anyone. Honestly, they looked like a borderline Top 25 team this weekend when healthy. Let's all look hope for a quick recovery from Sefo, and hope Alex Kinney and the rest of the special teams can fix some of the things that went wrong last weekend. Other than that though, it should be an electrifying slate of conference games coming up, and an opportunity for the Buffs to finally rack up some conference victories.

Pac-12 football: Four questions for Week Four

The Buffs could not have been more impressive through three games — winning in Ann Arbor wasn’t a reasonable expectation — and now they open conference play not just on the road, but in Eugene.

What to watch in Week 4 of the Pac-12: Stanford goes for LA sweep - Pac-12 Blog- ESPN

Colorado limps into Oregon with some key injuries. The Buffaloes have already lost kicker Diego Gonzalez and linebacker Derek McCartney for the season, and quarterback Sefo Liufau is day-to-day with an ankle sprain.

CU Buffs look to contain Oregon's speed - Buffzone

Losing McCartney to a season-ending knee injury won't help, but the Buffs feel they are better equipped to handle Oregon's speed than they have been in the past. "I feel confident in it," MacIntyre said. "If you let them get started they get rolling, so we have to keep from them getting started too quick."

CU Buffs kicker Chris Graham never stopped competing for starting job

“We always handled every kick like a competition,” Graham said. “We figured Diego would be the starter coming into the year, but we handled every kick like a competition. We never let each other feel complacent almost. We always want to one up each other all five of us do.”

Pac-12 QB power rankings: Davis Webb back on top - Pac-12 Blog- ESPN

5. Sefo Liufau, Colorado: He only played a little more than a half before getting hurt, but Liufau cracks this list because of superb play in that limited time during the Buffs' 45-28 loss to Michigan. When he exited the game early in the third quarter, Colorado was actually ahead 28-24 in the Big House -- a statement in and of itself for a program making the climb back to relevance. Liufau finished 16-of-25 for 246 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, averaging 9.8 yards per attempt against a good defense in hostile territory. One can only wonder what would have happened in this one had he stayed healthy.

CU's Montez Says He'll Be Ready If Liufau Can't Go Vs. Ducks - cubuffs.com

Stephen Montez he's ready to captain the ship this week should Sefo Liufau miss the upcoming battle due to his ankle. The Buff's will need Montez to have a big day if Sefo can't suit up

The Louisville Cardinals are so good, I watched them instead of the game I was actually at - SBNation.com

Beating Colorado might mean something this year, since a 45-28 score doesn’t really reflect just how hard Michigan had to scratch just to get out from under an early Buffaloes lead. This is all a covert way to compliment Colorado in a losing effort, since Colorado being good is good for college football, something I just made up because I like any excuse to go to Folsom Field and stare at the Flatirons while watching a football game under the influence of nothing but life itself. What I’m saying is that Colorado might be pretty good this year for their standards, and sure, Michigan is a better team and rankings should reflect that.

Buffs Move Up to 16th In Latest AVCA Poll - cubuffs.com.

The women's volleyball team continued their hot start to the season with a win over CSU this past week, and they moved all the way up to 16th in the national polls.

Colorado loses kicker Diego Gonzalez for season with torn Achilles - Denver Post

Here's the story on Diego Gonzales by the Denver Post. Chris Graham could be a significant downgrade moving forward in both field goals and kickoffs. Also, Gonzales may not be granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA, which would be a tough way to see his career end.

Pac-12 picks of the week: Get ready for a wild finish in Tempe

COLORADO (plus-7.5) at OREGON: Assuming Sefo Liufau is healthy enough to make a difference, this should be entertaining — a prime candidate for Pac-12 game of the day. The Buffs finally have the manpower to keep pace with Oregon, certainly for three quarters and maybe for four. The line has jumped to Oregon -10.5. Wrong direction. Pick: Colorado.

Colorado Buffaloes have no answers for Jabrill Peppers in loss to Michigan - Denver Post

The Denver Post also had this article highlighting Jabrill Peppers who had a monster game for Michigan against the Buffs. He is a dynamic player and athlete, and he is just a scary player with the ball in his hands.

CU Buffs soccer edges rival DU in overtime - Buffzone

The Colorado Woman's soccer team had a big day against DU, and pulled off a huge victory to win the Colorado Cup.