1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Half as Good

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Likes Received:
    By Stuart

    [h=3]Half as Good[/h]Perhaps the Colorado students have it right.
    Walking into Folsom Field in time to watch Ralphie V do her thing before kickoff against Arizona State, Buff fans were met with a disquieting sight.
    No one was there.
    Twenty minutes before kickoff, Folsom Field was less than half filled. True, the stadium was pock-marked with black-clad fans, but there were just as many empty seats as filled ones. It was a silent – very silent – reflection of the state of the Colorado football program.
    What was even more disconcerting was the complete lack of bodies in the student section. Now, there have been those (including myself)*who have chastised the students for showing up late for games, but there were always the hard cores who wanted the good seats behind the CU bench, or along the railings so that they would have a shot at getting themselves on television.*Still, despite a Thursday night game*and the promise of national television coverage on ESPN,*even those areas of the student section were sparsely populated.
    Now, by the end of the first quarter, the student sections were filling up, and by halftime, the Black Sea was looking pretty good.
    So, as it turns out, the students may have it right.
    Colorado has been out-scored 65-21 in the first quarter this season, so apparently there is no real reason to get to the game early.
    By contrast, the Buffs have been most productive in the second quarter, with 52 points on the season (no other quarter has generated more than 38 points), with 17 of those second quarter points coming against the Sun Devils.
    A 20-17 halftime score had the Buffs and their fans*thinking upset. As was the case with Arizona State (CU was a 23-point underdog) not much had been expected of the Buffs last November against the other Arizona school, and the Buffs had rallied for a huge – and unexpected – victory against the Wildcats. Perhaps Colorado would shake itself out of its September slumber, and would be a real competitor in the months of October and November.
    When asked about improvements which needed to be made for his team to be competitive in a game, CU head coach Jon Embree stated, “Playing a complete game; playing all four quarters; playing the second half like we played the first half.”
    That first*half/second half sentiment was echoed by several Buff players. “First half, we were able to get to the ball,” said junior linebacker Derrick Webb. “We were able to get to the ball and stop their zone run plays and surround their ball carrier so they had to get real creative with the running game and finding unconventional ways to run the ball and a lot of that was with the quarterback. In the second half, defense played hard but they were able to capitalize on the pressures we had”. Said senior linebacker Nick Kasa, “We just need to improve on what we did in the first two quarters.” And this from defensive back Terrel Smith: “Just look at the first half. In the second half we blew it.”
    But the halftime score only told half the story.
    Yes, the Buffs had scored ten points in the final 24 seconds of the first half to pull to within a field goal at 20-17, but the stats sheet told of a different game altogether. Arizona State had already amassed 303 yards of total offense in the first two periods, to 166 for Colorado. The Buffs had held the ball for 17:25 of the first half, but were only two-of-eight on third down attempts,*had all of 39 yards rushing on 15 attempts, and, until the final minute of play, had generated only seven points.
    The Arizona State offense, meanwhile, was very proficient when it had the ball in the first half. Taylor Kelly was ten-of-13 passing, going for 183 yards and three touchdowns.*Sun Devil rushers were averaging over six yards per carry. Arizona State had punted only once, and was five-for-seven on third down conversion attempts.
    Which stats sheet would you rather have?
    Still, the second half had to be played, and Colorado was still in the game.
    All the momentum, though, went out the 88-year old Folsom Field doors in the first 11 seconds of the third quarter. Rashad Ross returned the opening kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown, a 27-17 Arizona State lead, and a whole new ballgame.
    The Colorado offense did generate two first downs in its first drive of the second half, but that was it for the game while it was still competitive. By the time the CU offense generated another first down, there was less than ten minutes to be played, and no chance for a Buff comeback.
    The Colorado drive sheet for the first five drives of the second half:
    Six plays, 25 yards, punt;
    Three plays, seven yards, punt;
    Three plays,*minus-three yards, punt;
    Three plays, minus-five yards; punt; and
    Three plays, one yard; punt.
    This offensive drought allowed Arizona State to take control of the game. After holding the ball for only 32 plays in the first half, Arizona State ran 24 plays in the third quarter alone.
    A fluke? Hardly.
    Colorado has only scored 14 third quarter points in six games. Two third quarter touchdowns – one against Sacramento State and one against Washington State – are all the Buffs have to show for their third quarter adjustments in the first half of 2012.
    Where does the blame lie?
    Yes, yes, Colorado is playing a bunch of young players. Colorado has played 13 true freshmen this season. LSU, Ohio State, Texas, and TCU, though, have each played*15 true freshmen so far in 2012,*and, at last check, those teams are still making bowl plans, while Colorado fans are looking forward to*the start of basketball season.
    True, true, Colorado does not have much in the way of senior leadership, with only eight seniors in the lineup.*The consensus No. 1 team in the land, Alabama, however, is playing with a roster which includes only nine seniors. So I’m guessing that excuse really doesn’t wash with the Buff Nation, either.
    Well, the CU coaching staff is only in its second campaign, and needs time to install its systems and recruit its players.
    But … five of the six teams Colorado faced in the first half of the season had first-year coaching staffs, and for the most part, they seem to be doing quite well in implementing new schemes and adopting to the rosters they inherited. None of the teams Colorado faced in the first half of 2012 had winning records in 2011, but four of the six are well on their way to winning seasons in 2012.
    So, things can be turned around in a year – not two or three.
    It’s been ugly … it’s about to get worse.
    In the second half of the season, Colorado faces six teams, five of which had winning seasons in 2011. The present combined record of the next three opponents – USC, Oregon, and Stanford – is 14-2.
    It is true that, around 8:30 on Thursday night, the new $7 million Folsom Field scoreboards read: Arizona State 20, Colorado 17.
    There was plenty of television competition for the Buffs and Sun Devils Thursday night. A viewer,*while flipping between the Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, the baseball playoffs, the NFL game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee, and the Big Bang Theory, could have surmised that the game between the Sun Devils and the Buffs was a close one. The score indicated as much.
    Such a conclusion, though, would be only half right …

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
    Click here to vie

Share This Page