The Colorado Buffaloes (3-1, 0-0 Pac-12) wanted to finish their non-conference schedule with a bang and did just that against the Nicholls Colonels (0-3, 0-1 Southland) behind an outstanding ground game. Running back's Phillip Lindsay and new addition Donovan Lee finished the day with a combined 27 carries for 216 yards along with three scores.
Quarterback Sefo Liufau came into the game after not practicing all week due to a injured shoulder. He looked rusty at times, but pulled it together to throw for 227 yards and a touchdown before being relieved by backup Jordan Gehrke with 5:18 left in the third quarter.
"I think I left a lot of throws out there", Liufau said about his performance.
"It think it's obvious it's pretty frustrating overall and something to work on and get better for next week."
The Buffs offense put up a total of 636 yards which was the most in Mike MacIntyre's era at CU. Wide receiver Nelson Spruce led the Buffs with 5 catches for 80 yards and became CU's all-time leading receiver with 2,570 yards. Freshmen Kyle Evans and Jay MacIntyre also got their ever first touchdowns in the game.
The offense line put up another strong week by not allowing a sack. Three weeks of playing sound football is great for non-conference and the Buffs will try to carry that momentum into their Pac-12 schedule. Pair that with CU's defense, which has played outstanding, only allowing an average of 16.5 points through four games. Defensive back Jered Bell picked off Nicholls QB Tuskani Figaro twice in the game, helping the defense hold the Colonels scoreless.
"It's the best feeling ever", Bell said about the shutout victory.
"As long as I've been here that's probably the first time we've done that".
The defensive back is the elder member of the Buffs as a sixth-year senior as a result of injuring both knees. He's not concerned about the injuries and remains confident on his ability to play.
"This year I am not worried about my knees at all", Bell said. "I worked hard this off-season to get back to where I am".
The defense has looked solid with four games under their belt, however, the "Leavitt effect" will be tested greatly from here on out. The remaining bulk of schedule features much better opponents and will give a clear indication on where the Buffs stand.That starts next Saturday with the No. 13 Oregon Ducks (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12). The "Quack Attack" was well-represented last season in the national championship, but have regressed a bit since losing to Ohio State.
"Let's just enjoy this one right now. Speed, speed, speed. That's what worries you about Oregon", Coach MacIntyre noted.
The game could become a shootout if both offenses play up to par and it could turn into a case of which defense can find a stop.
The blanking of Nicholls was the first time CU has held an opponent scoreless since September 17, 2009 (Wyoming 24-0). It's also the largest margin of victory in 20 years for the program. The offense didn't have a negative play until kneeling the ball in victory formation at the end of the game. Nicholls has lost 21 straight games dating back to 2013 and after seeing such a lousy team effort, the end is no where in sight.
Colorado announced a "silver and black attack" for next week against Oregon with the game being nationally televised on ESPN at 8 p.m. Mountain. Tickets are still available for the game and 42,500 tickets have been sold as of Friday.