When you think of Pac 12 football, grueling, defensive battles are not the first type of games that come to mind. But, on Saturday in Palo Alto, that is exactly where the Buffs found themselves. Special teams problems reared their ugly heads once again (minus that late punt by Kinney. That damn punt traveled about 62 yards in the air, and then stopped on a dime) as the kickers missed 3 rather short field goals. The offense did not have their best game either, as they struggled to sustain any long drives. That's a lot of pressure to put on the defense, but boy did the defense respond well to the call. Christian McCaffery was a complete non-factor, and Ryan Burns really struggled to find any rhythm. The Buffs were able to force 4 turnovers, and were consistently the more physical team out there. This was a composed defensive unit all game, whose veteran prowess was evident throughout. In the end, it was just an incredible performance by the whole unit, and it was the number one reason for the victory and bowl eligibility.
Jim Leavitt should really be regarded as a miracle worker at this point. The performance may have been the defense's most dominant of the season, but it really was indicative of how they have played the rest of the season as well. This is a defense riddled with middle of the road recruits, with a bunch of JUCO transfers. Yet, when I watch them play, I see an imposing, gritty, and often downright nasty defensive unit with a myriad of NFL prospects. I think Leavitt was the perfect hire for this team. He helped maximize each player's potential (not just the starters either, a lot of depth players have really stepped it up), runs a beautiful scheme, and he can also recruit with the best of them. The defense has improved exponentially each year under Leavitt, and is quietly becoming one of the top defenses in the whole country. I don't expect anything to change either. The defense should be leading the charge down the stretch, as the Buffs continue to push for an unlikely Pac 12 South championship. I just really hope Leavitt doesn't take a head coaching job elsewhere, but if he does, it was a well deserved promotion.
“When I first got here, we had guys who busted their butts, but you didn’t see the same attitude,” said outside linebacker Jimmie Gilbert. “There wasn’t the same fire. You could tell those guys had been beaten down for the last three or four years.”
Coach of the year: Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre Has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, with the Buffs tied for first in the South and bowl-eligible for the first time since 2007. Might as well ship the award to him now.
The most impressive aspect of CU’s resurgence has been its surprisingly stout defense, currently ranked 11th nationally (4.57 yards per play) after finishing 83rd in 2015. Former USF head coach Jim Leavitt came in last year and installed a 3-4 scheme. All but one starter is a junior or senior, most of them multi-year starters.
Colorado's 10-5 win over Stanford made the Buffs bowl eligible for the first time since 2007. The first step in MacIntyre's painstaking rebuilding process -- he inherited a program in shambles that went 2-25 in Pac-12 play over his first three seasons -- was finally finished.
EDSBS THE MAG | VOL. 9 ISSUE 8 - Every Day Should Be Saturday - All about that cover shot!
The win on Saturday was enough for the Buffaloes to return to the top 25, as they earned a No. 23 ranking in both polls (a little underrated if you ask me).
Despite losing their first conference game to No. 3 Stanford, the women's soccer team rebounded nicely with a late goal to seal a win at Cal. The girls remained tied atop the conference in the latter portion of the season.
Colorado CB Tedric Thompson: Thompson extended the Buffaloes' national-best streak of games with a forced turnover to 21 and finished Colorado's 10-5 win over Stanford with a pair of interceptions, both of which came in the first half. Those picks were Nos. 9 and 10 of his career, which brings him into a tie for ninth on the school's all-time list.
After an awesome first half from Lindsay, he was not used much in the 2nd half due to a nagging ankle injury. It sounds as if it is not too serious, and he should be ready for UCLA thanks to the extended time off.
This is an awesome story, as Coach Mac upheld his promise by buying the team In-N-Out following the Stanford victory. This team seems to really be enjoying everything about this season, and I love it.
ESPN featured an article about the Buffs not being satisfied with bowl eligibility. The team set their sights on a Pac 12 title, and it appears as they might have a legitimate chance to attain that goal. The last five games should be a blast.