I wrote this intro before overtime started. Win or lose, that game was fun. That looked like a football team. A football team with plenty of faults, sure, but a football team nonetheless. I saw a program and a team that was making progress. I saw youth all over the field and a saw a leader and a field general that showed he has the fire and talent to earn our trust and faith for the next 2.5 years. Most importantly, That. Was. Fun. And now to overtime...
Still fun? Not quite what we were hoping for when Bryce Bobo made that beautiful catch with :21 seconds to play. Colorado had an incredible game on the offensive side of the ball. Sefo set a Colorado record for touchdown passes in a game with seven. He threw for 449 yards and tacked on 72 yards rushing. Over 500 yards of offense all by himself. Nelson Spruce broke his own record, one that he set last week, with 19 receptions in a game. 19 receptions for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns. Remember when we hoped he could just be a possession guy that provided a safety net for Sefo? Yea, I'd say he's one hell of a safety net.
Read those stats and then remember that the offense was still lacking. Three missed field goals. The final possession in overtime. Numerous errors throughout the game. A young, growing team doing young growing team things.
Then think about the defense and imagine how you would feel about their performance if you didn't watch the game and just saw the stats. Jared Goff? Yea, he had seven touchdowns too. He also threw for 449 yards. That's the exact same amount of yards as Sefo. Exact. The Buffs held the Bears to 127 yards on the ground but the Cal running backs got the big gains when they needed them.
But it wasn't as bad as it looked. The Buffs defense allowed 59 points, yet they made a number of gigantic stops to keep this California team down. Tedric Thompson was all over the field before an injured sternum kept him out of the game for good. Derek McCartney was in the backfield for much of the contest. It was a bad performance against a good offense, but it wasn't awful and there was a lot of hope on that side of the ball.
It's easy to say that this game came down to a Colorado team doing Colorado things, but that wouldn't be true. Sure there was an awful interception at the worst possible time, there was a horrible fourth down call (or execution?) and there was three missed field goals. But there was also an offense that looked like they were a threat every time they had the ball, there was one of the best clutch drives I've seen from this team in years and there was an opportunistic defense that was able to get into the backfield and cause havoc. It was different and it was a lot of fun.
There is still a lot of work to do. A hell of a lot. But I watched a football team tonight and I was proud, ridiculous mistakes and all, and I look forward to watching this team grow throughout the rest of the season. Pack Folsom next week. The next step comes on Saturday.
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