The Colorado Buffaloes took the field behind Ralphie for the 50th year, and just as she majestically runs through the open field, the Buffs rolled through Texas State, 37-3, in their 2018 home opener.
The last time we saw the Colorado offense, they couldn’t get anything going against a mediocre Colorado State defense. They carried over that lack of momentum as they looked completely out of sync early on against Texas State. The offensive line, which many thought could be one of the best in the Pac-12 this season, started the game unable to open any holes for Phillip Lindsay. With left tackle Jeromy Irwin suspended and backup Josh Kaiser struggling, the pass protection was lacking as well. Steven Montez doesn’t have the best pocket awareness, so combined with a poor performance from the line, it was no surprise to see Montez have issues against the pass rush.
In the final minute of the first quarter, the Buffs finally got on the board, but certainly not how anyone expected. Texas State punted to Isaiah Oliver, and Oliver, fearless he is, broke tackle after tackle as he fought for every yard. But he fought too long and after some time, a Bobcat came in to force a fumble. Fortunately for the Buffs, the fumble rolled directly to freshman receiver Laviska Shenault, who had the presence of mind to pick up the ball and run 55 yards untouched to the end zone. My notes for this play were, “lol what a lucky ass touchdown.”
Colorado seemed to be energized by this play as their next offensive drive was a doozy. Lindsay started the drive with three straight successful runs, and just as the defense crept up to stop him, Montez and Shay Fields connected on a 44-yard pass. CU ran another couple of runs before Bryce Bobo made a ridiculious one-handed catch for a 28-yard gain. Montez punched it in shortly thereafter on a QB read.
Colorado’s Bryce Bobo with early catch of the day. pic.twitter.com/YP2zsKRU6z— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) September 9, 2017
The Buffs weren’t able to carry over that offensive as they couldn’t get anything going until mid-way through the third quarter. But thanks to their defense, they were allowed to find themselves without stress of losing.
Over on the other side of the ball, the Buffs defense continues to impress as they have allowed only 6 points total in their two games. After shutting down a dangerous CSU offense last week, they looked great against Texas State as they allowed just a field goal on just 283 total yards. Most of those yards came on a few big plays, but the Buffs continually mitigated any damage.
The Colorado run defense got better as the game progressed, largely because the defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage and the linebacking corps was free to run around making plays. Texas State isn’t exactly known for their passing attack, but once they fell behind, they had to pass as they attempted to get back into the game. But Colorado’s pass defense is beyond ridiculous and they made life miserable for the opposition.
Remember that catch Bobo made in the second quarter? Isaiah Oliver saw that and was unimpressed. On a critical third down passing play — back when the game was close — TSU QB Damian Wiliams mistakenly passed to the receiver Oliver was defending. Oliver leapt over the receiver in a single bound, reached to the heavens with his right hand and tipped the ball up into the air. He came down from his incredible leap, found the ball in the air and sealed the dazzling interception.
If momentum exists in football, that Oliver interception was what got the Colorado offense going. Lindsay found the end zone following Oliver’s grandeur to cap off a solid drive. On the following possession, Bobo scored on another great catch. Then James Stefanou hit a 40-yard field goal, and even more impressively, he made it look easy. Just like that, the Buffs turned this game into a formality, and the Bobcats into the Robertcats (Get it, because Robert is formal for Bob?).
Also, shoutouts to athletic freaks Evan Worthington (9 tackles, 2 TFL) and Drew Lewis (10 tackles) for wrecking havoc everywhere on the field, Leo Jackson for his 3 quarterback sacks, Alex Kinney for consistently pinning back the Bobcats (he averaged 50 yards per punt), James Stefanou for looking like a quality kicker, Isaac Miller for stepping up at left tackle and playing with tenacity, and Tad Boyle for bringing the best basketball recruits to this game.
Next week the Buffs play Northern Colorado and we should see much of the same, if not a better a performance.