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AllBuffs.com - Covering CU-Boulder Athletics

Unofficial Fan site for The University of Colorado at Boulder Athletic programs

  • Note: This content was originally reported by the CU Independent.

    In this week’s edition of Fraternizing with the Enemy, Daily Emerald Sports Editor Kenny Jacoby of the University of Oregon gives us some insider information on the Oregon Ducks.

    Justin Guerriero: The University of Colorado Buffs are coming off a somewhat close, 45-28 loss to the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines. Nebraska just edged the Ducks 35-32 last week.

    So with these two losses, and keeping in mind the relative closeness of last year’s Ducks-Buffs matchup in Boulder (which was tied 17-17 at halftime), what are your expectations for this game? What do the 2016 Oregon Ducks look like compared to last year’s squad?

    Kenny Jacoby: The outcome of last year’s game makes me believe this year’s will be another close one. But keep in mind Oregon’s starting quarterback against Colorado last year was Jeff Lockie, who has since been relegated to scout team duties. Nevertheless, the Buffaloes appear to be an improved group, and the Ducks are on a trajectory similar to how they fared last season at the three-game point.

    They’ve won two of three in less-than-impressive fashion, and lost the other to a tough Big Ten team. They brought in another graduate transfer quarterback, Dakota Prukop, who has been solid but has yet to take over a game. Their running game is still top-notch, even with Royce Freeman questionable to play. That said, Oregon is favored by 10.5 points, but has yet to beat the spread this season.

    JG: I’ve heard good things about Oregon’s secondary. I heard the same about Michigan’s all-senior secondary as the game approached last week, and yet, the Buffaloes’ receivers shined, stretching Michigan’s defense out for large gains multiple times. How will Oregon’s secondary handle the Buffs’ group of speedy, medium-sized wide receivers?

    KJ: Oregon’s secondary has improved greatly from last season, when it allowed 485 yards per game while enduring growing pains. That number is down to 232 thanks to tighter coverage from defensive backs Arrion Springs, Ugo Amadi and Tyree Robinson. Still, that doesn’t mean the Ducks aren’t vulnerable. It wouldn’t surprise me if one or more of Buffaloes receivers shreds the Oregon secondary — that is, if Sefo Liufau is throwing to them.

    JG: Can you give me some playmakers on both sides of the ball for the Ducks? Who will have a large impact on this game?

    KJ: People close to Oregon football won’t hesitate to tell you that Freeman has the goods to be a Heisman contender, even though he lacks the hype.

    After injuring his leg and leaving the game against Nebraska, though, he may be limited if not altogether out for this game. His backups, Kani Benoit, Tony Brooks-James and Taj Griffin are electric-fast and plenty capable of carrying the load. They averaged 9.8 yards per carry against Nebraska, but Freeman’s absence would undoubtedly hurt. Wide receiver Darren Carrington has the ability to burn just about any defensive back downfield.

    On defense, keep an eye on true freshman linebacker Troy Dye, who had 11 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a blocked field goal in week one.

    JG: What is the Ducks’ biggest strength so far this season, and what is their biggest flaw?

    KJ: Oregon’s biggest strength has been its rushing offense, which ranks eighth in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) with 296 yards per game. On the other hand, its rushing defense has been dreadful, allowing 4.25 yards per carry.

    JG: Is this game bigger than we think? For the Ducks, a solid win in this Pac-12 opener could serve as a reminder that Oregon is still a major force to be reckoned with in the conference. For the Buffs, this could be a statement game in which a win could help solidify the idea that Colorado is not the whipping boy of the conference anymore. Do you see this game as two schools trying to prove something to themselves, and for that matter, the college football world?

    KJ: Absolutely. Colorado has the chance to prove it’s a legitimate roadblock in the Pac-12 North title race. Oregon is trying to prove it’s not the laughingstock of the conference. So both teams have a lot at stake. If the Ducks lose this one, it will be a long time before the college football world lets them live it down.

    JG: To build off that, how do the Ducks’ coaches and players view this Colorado team? Have you gotten the politically correct answer of “We respect this team and we treat every opponent like they’re the No. 1 team in the country” from any coaches who have been asked about the matchup? Or do you think the Ducks are confident that they can beat the Buffs soundly?

    KJ: Oregon coaches have spoken highly of the Buffaloes. Neither they nor the players have given them the “cellar dweller” treatment. I think everyone on the Ducks understands Colorado is no longer a team to take lightly.

    JG: Final question: score predictions. How do you think this game will end?

    KJ: Oregon 37, Colorado 28.

    Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at justin.guerriero@colorado.edu and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.

    Contact Daily Emerald Sports Editor Kenny Jacoby at kjacoby94@gmail.com.
    Views: 153 / Likes: 0 / Replies: 1
    Note: This Content was originally reported by the CU Independent

    To make Saturday’s 45-28 loss to the University of Michigan Wolverines even harder to swallow, it’s now confirmed that junior outside linebacker Derek McCartney will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

    McCartney said that the injury happened in the middle of the second quarter.

    “I just kind of landed funny and my knee buckled on me,” McCartney said. “It’s unfortunate for sure. I didn’t go back in because it didn’t feel right. It was really disappointing, but at the time I was just focused on the game and that my teammates were ready to go. Looking at it now, it’s just tough, but it’s part of the game.”

    The loss of McCartney leaves a marked hole in Colorado’s defense that will be hard to fill.

    “Derek is our biggest, strongest outside linebacker,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said after practice Monday. “[He’s a] good player for us and a great leader.”

    The Buffs will likely turn outside linebackers (sophomore) N.J. Falo or(junior) Christian Shaver.

    Falo was suspended from the team along with freshman tailback Dino Gordon near the end of last spring semester. They were arrested and booked in the Boulder County jail April 28 on suspicion of burglary and theft.

    Shaver started at outside linebacker last week against Idaho State and saw action in 13 games on special teams last season. Falo played in eight games in 2015 and was reinstated on the roster before the start of fall camp.

    “N.J. will be back,” MacIntyre said. “He was out practicing today. He’s been practicing on the scout teams.”

    In addition to McCartney, senior kicker Diego Gonzalez tore his Achilles tendon — in his kicking foot — while pursuing Michigan’s elusive specialist Jabrill Peppers on a kickoff.

    “It’s really disappointing,” MacIntyre said. “The next guy’s got to step up and go. [With] Diego, you all have seen what he’s been doing, so we’ll have a kicking contest all week to see who’s going to kick field goals, extra points and kickoffs.”

    The “kicking competition” will be between backup kickers Chris Graham and Davis Price.

    Graham, a junior from Burlingame, California, is not intimidated by his potential new responsibilities.

    “Last year, [before Gonzalez was named the starter], we always handled every kick like a competition,” he said. “We never let each other feel complacent. We always want to one-up each other.”

    As for senior quarterback Sefo Liufau, who sustained a sprained ankle during the game at Michigan, MacIntyre has listed him as day-to-day.

    “He was moving around better today than he was yesterday,” MacIntyre said. “It’ll just be kind of day-to-day as the week moves along. He didn’t practice [today]. If he’s moving good enough to play, we’ll play him. If he’s not moving good enough to play then we won’t play him.”

    Despite the injury woes, this week of practice remains focused on the next game for the Buffs, who will fly to Eugene, Oregon, to play the Ducks in their Pac-12 Conference opener this Saturday.

    “Every Monday, win or lose, we come back and prepare as hard as we can for the next game,” MacIntyre said. “[The matchup against Oregon will] be exciting — it’s our first Pac-12 game and, of course, they’re a great team.”

    Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at justin.guerriero@colorado.edu and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.
    Views: 1,855 / Likes: 0 / Replies: 28
    Sorry all..got this up as quickly as I could. The drive back from Michigan was brutal. I got into Boulder a bit ago.

    Note: This content was originally reported by the CU Independent

    Despite an explosive first quarter, the University of Colorado Buffaloes football team lost on the road to the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines 45-28 in CU’s first trip to Ann Arbor since 1997.

    Special teams was the bane of Colorado’s play against the Wolverines. Michigan’s dynamic Jabrill Peppers — who plays linebacker, defensive back and occasionally tailback, but also returns punts and kickoffs — made the day unenjoyable, to say the least, for the Buffs’ specialists and offense.

    “We had some issues [with the punt team],” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “It hurt the game for sure. There’s no doubt about it.”

    Pepper put on a clinic against the Buffaloes. He returned four punts and two kickoffs for a total of 180 yards, including a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown. He also had a 55-yard kickoff return.

    “He’s a player that makes plays,” said Sefo Liufau, senior quarterback. “You respect a player like that that can do so many great things.”

    CU got off to a red-hot start. Liufau found junior wide receiver Devin Ross in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown that capped a 49-second drive. He would score another touchdown by the end of the first quarter.

    The Buffs went up 14-0 when senior defensive back Chidobe Awuzie sacked Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight deep in Wolverine territory. Speight fumbled, and junior linebacker Derek McCartney recovered the ball and ran it into the end zone, which silenced about 110,000 Michigan diehards in the stadium.

    Liufau played well, completing 16 of 25 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

    The Buffs ended the first quarter with a 21-7 lead over Michigan, with the Wolverines’ lone score coming off a blocked punt that was recovered and ran into the end zone. It was the Buffs’ first special teams malfunction of the night.

    The Buffaloes failed to score in the second quarter, and the Wolverines took advantage, scoring 17 unanswered and retaking the lead 24-21 at halftime.

    “We sensed a momentum shift” said Rick Gamboa, sophomore linebacker. “It came off of special teams. Everybody knows that. As a defense we just kind of stick to what we can handle.”

    A real kick in the teeth came late in the second quarter. The Wolverines were driving, but the Buffs’ defense held and forced Michigan to settle for a 39-yard field goal with 1:59 left in the half. But a minute later, Speight connected with wide receiver Amara Darboh for a 45-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left to give the Wolverines their first lead of the game.

    But the Buffaloes struck right back. With only 58 seconds played in the third quarter, Liufau hit junior wide receiver Shay Fields Jr. with a bullet that turned into a 70-yard touchdown reception to put the Buffs back on top 28-24.

    It would be the Buffs’ final score of the day.

    Liufau’s game was cut short after that. He suffered a sprained ankle in the game and was replaced with freshman Steven Montez.

    “I don’t have a full diagnostic yet, but I’ll find that out tomorrow,” Liufau said. “It’s a little sore right now.”

    The Buffs also lost McCartney to an undisclosed injury and senior place kicker Diego Gonzalez, who tore his Achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of the season.

    The offense failed to gain any traction after Liufau left. Montez failed to complete any passes and was constantly rushed out of the pocket by the Wolverines’ front seven defenders.

    Liufau described the loss in one word: “Devastating.”

    Another thorn in the Buffaloes’ side was the Wolverines’ Jake Butt, a 6’6″ senior tight end from Pickerington, Ohio. He was constantly open and led Michigan with seven receptions for 87 yards.

    Fields Jr. led the Buffaloes with four receptions for 99 yards to go along with his touchdown.

    “We knew he was an All-American tight end,” said Kenneth Olugbode, senior linebacker. “He’s one of their playmakers. We just have to play better, wrap up and tackle.”

    The Buffs also failed to adequately pressure Speight. They did record three sacks against him, but they were largely irrelevant. Most of the time, Speight had enough time to knit a sweater in the pocket if he chose to.

    The Buffs were also awful on third down, converting just one out of 13 on the day.

    “We just couldn’t move the ball as well as we would have liked,” MacIntyre said. “They pressured us a little bit. We had too many third-and-longs, so that was a problem.”

    Junior tailback Phillip Lindsay failed to make a sizeable impact in the game. He rushed for 51 yards on 12 carries, but was often stuffed up the middle by the Wolverines’ defensive line.

    The final nail in the coffin for Colorado was Peppers’s 54-yard punt return touchdown, which he scored early in the fourth quarter and would turn out to be the final tally for either team in the game.

    The Buffaloes lost. That fact likely won’t surprise many. But the manner in which they lost will. Despite the team’s shortcomings and blunders, unranked Colorado came into Ann Arbor and played a competitive game, giving the Wolverines their first relatively close football game of the year.

    For CU, up next is the Oregon Ducks, who lost 35-32 to Nebraska on Saturday night. The Buffs and Oregon will square off in Eugene to kick off both teams’ Pac-12 schedule next Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. MST.

    Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at justin.guerriero@colorado.edu and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.
    Views: 172 / Likes: 2 / Replies: 0
    Let's. Go. BUFFS. Crush. The. Booger. Eater.
    Views: 17,289 / Likes: 3 / Replies: 646
    Hey everyone, sorry I've been MIA for a bit. The drive from Boulder to Ann Arbor was quite miserable. Due to a terrible storm that hit most of Nebraska and Iowa, I had to stop for the night in Gretna, NE (wonderful town, by the way.) But long story short, I've made it to Michigan Stadium and will have a full game report with quotes from players, coach MacIntyre, (maybe) Harbaugh...I'm trying to track down Tom Brady too so we'll see how that goes.

    Anyways, I wanted to elaborate on my most recent post...some things that The Michigan Daily's Max Bultman said that struck me as potentially important for this game.

    First off, I asked Max about any weak spots on the Wolverines. He said that the d-line was banged up. He also mentioned that Central Florida has some success against the Wolverines' run game. That's an understatement. UCF gained 312 rushing yards and averaged six yards per carry against the Wolverines. Now, I didn't see when Michigan pulled its starters (the final score was 51-14...so I assume gradually, starters were pulled at some point after the third quarter began) but looking through the box score, UCF managed to gain some pretty sizeable chunks of yardage on the ground early-ish in the game. Most impressive of which was an 87-yard touchdown run by Central Florida's Adrian Killins in the second quarter.

    Phillip Lindsay is going to be a key factor in this game. If UCS can put up 300 yards, then what are the Buffs capable of? 400 yards, I hope.

    Secondly is the turnover factor. I agree with Max's point that if the Buffs can get takeaways then the game will be kept close. If there's any defense to do it, it's the Buffs' D. Their 15-game streak with a turnover forced leads the nation. At the same time, if Sefo throws a pick or someone fumbles, it's over. There is zero room for error on the road against the No. 4 team in the country. Sefo overthrew Shay Fields a few times last week against Idaho State on some deep routes. Granted, the "overthrows" were literally by inches...they were sooo close, but still, that can't happen today. The Buffs are going to need all the help they can get in order to win this game. Last year, the Buffs shot themselves in the foot and lost to Oregon. They did the same thing against Arizona and lost by a touchdown. They did the same thing vs. USC and UCLA and lost. If they do that today, they won't just lose, they'll get humiliated. And that humiliation-- if brought on by mistakes that otherwise would have potentially won CU the game-- will deflate this team's confidence and diminish the winning mentality that this program so desperately needs to maintain.

    Finally, some miscellaneous notes:
    1. UCF managed two sacks against Michigan. In its first two games, Colorado hasn't looked too impressive in terms of pressuring the enemy quarterback. More could be achieved.
    2. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse by bringing this up again...but Colorado's receivers have to win their routes today. Max told me that Michigan's secondary is made up of all seniors. An senior-laden, Big 10-experienced secondary is intimidating. But trust in Jay MacIntyre, Bryce Bobo, Devin Ross and Shay Fields Jr. Look for the first three to get open across the middle on short to medium routes. As for Fields, Jr.-- multiple long balls from Sefo are coming his way. It's inevitable.
    2.5 To build off that, in weeks one and two, Colorado's receivers (particularly JayMac) have been great at outside blocking. If Phillip Lindsay gets takes some carries to the outside and tries to cut up the flats, the receivers need to hold their blocks.
    3. Red zone efficiency and third/fourth down conversion for the Buffs have been great so far. This is not a time to discontinue that trend. Settling for field goals could be crippling.

    My god...I'm very jittery in the press box right now. This is the biggest game that coach MacIntyre and his Buffs will have participated in to date. This is the biggest stage in college football. A win here could propel this team to uncharted territory. As I type this, There is an hour and nine seconds till kickoff. Can't come soon enough. Go Buffs!!!
    Views: 285 / Likes: 0 / Replies: 3