First-year coach Mike MacIntyre has put a smiley face on CU's program. Constantly upbeat and encouraging, MacIntyre is getting his players to focus on the positives. "We have a lot of heart, and we showed a lot of resilience," said receiver Paul Richardson, second nationally with 155.3 yards per game. "I'm just so proud of my team. ... This is an up-and-coming program, and I know we showed a lot of people what we can do."
"No, not at all," he said. "There was no real resistance against (Oregon's) offense (last year). I feel like we really made them work (on Saturday), we really challenged them on defense. They had to go into their playbook a little bit and pull out some new things. "We're just a lot more competitive out there (this year)."
"They did a great job starting out with the onside kick, double moves and the reverse pass," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "We need to prepare a little bit better and execute a little bit better." Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who solidified his Heisman campaign with five touchdown passes and two rushing scores, agreed. "They really gave us their best effort," he said. "I have a couple of buddies on this team. I grew up with (defensive end) Juda Parker, and he really likes where (Colorado is going)."
Colorado stood toe-to-toe with one of the best offenses in modern college football history for over a quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Buffs had 231 yards of total offense, with plays covering 55, 75, 28 and 24 yards. By halftime, the Buffs had posted 318 yards of total offense – against a defense giving up only 320 yards per game, and had scored 16 points against a defense giving up only 10 points per game.
Cornerback Greg Henderson’s two interceptions in Saturday’s 57-16 loss to No. 2 Oregon gives him four on the year and the national interception lead at 1.0 per game. Colorado’s entire team only had three all of last year.
"Yeah, Connor is our guy," CU offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said. "He played really well for us the first two weeks. This week, he's had his ups and downs. He's got to keep improving and we've got to make that evaluation with what's best, but he's our guy. "We have confidence in him and we're going to run with him until we determine that he doesn't give us the best chance to win."
CU coach Mike MacIntyre said he was pleased with his team’s aggressive start and its perseverance: "Our young men fought from the very beginning (and) we didn’t lay down . . . we dove right in the pool and started swimming. Of course, we got beat 57-16." MacIntyre called Oregon "a very good football team . . . Oregon is extremely good every way you turn and look."
Nothing about the final score suggests that the Colorado Buffaloes were competitive on Saturday. Yet, oddly, they were. Maybe not competitive in the "chance to win the game" category, but for the first time in three meetings with the Oregon Ducks since 2011, Colorado made some plays, provided its fans with at least a little excitement and should actually walk away feeling OK about how it played.
Christian Powell, the returning starter who was hampered by a thigh bruise and low production, had his welcome-back game Saturday against the No. 4 scoring defense in the country. The sophomore rushed for 78 yards on 20 carries in Colorado's 57-16 loss to second-ranked Oregon. The 78 yards almost matched his season total of 85 through three games. "We sat down with him and said, 'What runs fit you the best?' " Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. "We felt some of them did and utilized him in different ways."
True freshman Ryan Severson seems to have taken a hold on the job at the Buffs' deep return man on kickoffs. On Saturday, he had his best game, with 134 yards on five returns -- an average of 26.8 per return.
While he couldn't speak specifically about players he might have been specifically watching, he did emphasize the significance of recruiting and signing area athletes. "In-state talent is extremely important for us," MacIntyre said. "We're looking at all the in-state guys, trying to get the ones we think are Pac-12 football players. Recruiting is the lifeline of our program." It's safe to say one player MacIntyre had his eyes on was blue-chip Falcon running back Kalen Ballage.
Nearly 100 former players turned out Saturday to honor "Coach Mac" -- the winningest coach in school history -- who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this December. "It choked me up," McCartney said after being recognized on the field at halftime during the Buffs' 57-16 loss to No. 2 Oregon. "It's hard to find words. I've been out of coaching 19 years, so I hadn't seen them. I just lost it. I love these guys."
Bill McCartney, the Buffs' coach from 1982-94, was honored at halftime in part to commemorate his upcoming December induction into the College Football Hall of Game. More than 100 of his former players were present, and five of the top "Mac Moments" in his tenure were played on the scoreboard.
"We played a little better as the day went on, but that guy, wow, a couple of the one-handed catches," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said of CU's standout receiver. "That guy's impressive. A very good football player." Richardson finished the game with 134 receiving yards, and proved he can pass, too. Early in the first quarter, CU quarterback Connor Wood pitched the ball to Richardson, who then threw to D.D. Goodson for a 75-yard touchdown.
Ha. Great line by @CoachNeuheisel on Colorado: "There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train."— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 6, 2013
Unlike a number of their classmates, members of the University of Colorado volleyball team were able to avoid a hangover Sunday afternoon. In the team's case, the after effect could have been generated by Friday night's party at the Coors Events Center in which the Buffs knocked off Washington, the No. 1 team in the country. But CU was able to avoid a letdown similar to the one it suffered following its prior win against a ranked opponent, defeating Washington State in four sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-27, 25-19).
With continued defensive pressure, the Buffs' 1-0 lead would hold through regulation to give the Buffs their 10th win of the season. The win was the Buffs' first over the Ducks in four meetings. The Buffs (10-2 overall, 1-1 Pac-12 Conference) have recorded back-to-back conference wins for the second time since joining the Pac-12, with the previous consecutive wins coming at USC and Arizona last season.