The Colorado Buffaloes have played their best football in a long, long time. After beating up Arizona State Saturday night, the Buffs are almost guaranteed a bowl game and have a good shot at winning the Pac-12 South and playing in the Pac-12 Championship. To celebrate, let’s have some fun with stats and see where CU checks in across the board.
S&P+ is an advanced metric designed by SB Nation’s Bill Connelly to look at team-wide performances based off everything from their offensive tempo to their punting efficiency, all while taking into account the level of competition.
Per those S&P+ metrics, Colorado is the 19th best team in the nation, sandwiched between No. 11 Houston and No. 8 Nebraska. The offense, which has averaged 39 points per game, is the 23rd best in the nation, sandwiched between No. 9 Baylor and No. 4 Clemson. The defense, which has allowed 20 per game, is ranked 27th.
If you look at just the raw stats of their offense and defense, Colorado finds themselves among pretty good company. CU’s offense is 13th in the country with 515.4 total yards per game. The defense is 14th in country. with 312.9 yards allowed per game. Only three teams in the nation are in the top 15 in both yards for and yards allowed: No. 7 Louisville, No. 2 Ohio State and Colorado.
Of course, none of that team success could occur without some incredible individual performances from the boys in black and gold. Here are some fun stats from them:
Sefo Liufau and Steven Montez have combined for 1,984 yards and 15 passing touchdowns. "Stefo Monfau" would be 14th in the nation in yards (ahead of Deshaun Watson and Greg Ward) and 18th in touchdowns.
Running back Phillip Lindsay is currently first in the Pac-12 in both rushing yards (614) and is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns (9). The player who is tied with him, Kalen Ballage, had 7 of his 9 touchdowns in one game against Texas Tech.
The wide receiver trio of Shay Fields, Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo are also putting up some great numbers. In that order, they’re 4th, 5th and 6th in the Pac-12 in receiving yards.
The dominance continues on the other side of the ball, as well. Per ESPN’s stats, defensive end Jimmie Gilbert is 1st in the Pac-12 and 8th in the nation with 6.5 sacks. His two forced fumbles place him 1st in the conference and 9th in the country.
Per Sports-Reference, Akhello Witherspoon’s 8 pass breakups are 1st in the Pac-12 and 4th in the nation. Chidobe Awuzie is only credited with 3 pass breakups, which seems preposterously low considering he had 3 breakups against Arizona State alone.