In one of the wildest games we will ever see, the Colorado Buffaloes pulled off a stunning comeback to beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nothing makes sense, but we can try to make sense of it.
It had to be a comeback because the first half was horrifying for the Buffs. Everything was nightmarish, from the Nubs fans taking over the stadium to getting shutout in the first 30 minutes. The offense was completely lost. The offensive line was getting throttled, Steven Montez was spooked, and the Buffs managed all of 84 yards in the first half.
It could’ve been much worst than 17-0 at the break. The Huskers’ two scoring drives were 96 and 95 yards, respectively, and an interception led to another field goal. Adrian Martinez decimated CU’s defense both scrambling and picking apart that young secondary. It felt like last year, when Martinez was virtually unstoppable in his first ever start.
Whatever Mel Tucker said at halftime, I would like to inject into my veins.
The defense immediately stepped up in the second half as they figured out how to pressure Martinez without allowing him to get loose. He’s known to be erratic under pressure, but the Buffs couldn’t pressure him at all until they made some adjustments. Alex Tchangam had two sacks on back-to-back plays and signaled that the defense would put the team in position to get the win.
Finally, the offense proved functional. K.D. Nixon had a big play, then Brady Russell got a chunk. That set up an 11-yard run by Jaren Mangham, which moved the score to 17-7. The Buffs forced another punt shortly thereafter, but were pinned at their 4-yard-line. That’s when the breakthrough happened and the game went off the rails.
COLORADO WITH THE FLEA FLICKER TD! Steven Montez hits K.D. Nixon deep for the 96 yard TD!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/CfwsTE0ljA— #Boomin (@ftbeard_17) September 7, 2019
That 96-yard touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage in CU history. It was also one of the ballsiest calls imaginable, credit to Jay Johnson.
This is when the glitches started and nothing made sense. Nebraska’s next play was a 75-yard touchdown to Maurice Washington, who is facing felony charges and probably shouldn’t be playing college football.
Colorado followed that with a 57-yard pass to Jaylon Jackson, which then set up another Mangham rushing touchdown. Then a strip sack by Mustafa Johnson (picked up by Nu’umotu Falo, his second recovery) set up a Stefanou field goal. Tie game, 24-24.
The Huskers had another scoring drive, this one resembling their methodical drives from the first half. It ended with a Martinez rushing touchdown on a fourth-and-inches.
The ensuing kickoff was returned 54 yards by Laviska Shenault, but he didn’t see the defender who knocked the ball away. Fortunately, the CU defense stepped up and forced a 3-and-out, meaning CU got the ball back down 7 with roughly 4 minutes left.
Colorado moved down the field slowly but surely. Viska and Montez had clutch first downs, Nixon and Mangham got into open space, and soon enough the Buffs were in striking distance. With just under a minute left, Montez floated a pass to Tony Brown, who made a terrific catch in the back of the end zone.
Chris Miller-Slaughter intercepted Martinez in the final minute, which sent this game into overtime. The Buffs had promise on their first OT possession, but they stalled out and settled for a James Stefanou field goal. It wasn’t the plan, but they had a 34-31 lead.
I assumed everything would apart then and there, that Martinez would scramble around under he found a hole in the defense for the game-winning touchdown. But the Buffs’ pass rush got to him instead. On 3rd-and-9 from the 24-yard-line, Johnson had his third sack of the game, which moved the Huskers back into a 48-yard field goal attempt.
The field goal was hopeless and it drifted wide right. The students — the only CU fans who showed up — rushed the field to celebrate the best victory they will likely be part of. The celebration spilled into the locker room, where the players couldn’t contain themselves after such a thrilling victory.