Happy Birthday, Mason

Inside, postgame musings on Mason Crosby, squib kick karma, an old Ram and two new ones, CU's pass defense and much more.

Happy Birthday to Mason Crosby. The guy celebrated his 21st birthday by kicking three field goals, including the game-winning 47-yarder. The Texas said he had almost 20 family members in town and would celebrate with a big family barbecue. "It's probably the best birthday present I could ever ask for."

What was the buzz about there not being a buzz about this game all about, anyway? For the second year in a row, the Colorado-Colorado State game set a Folsom Stadium attendance record, beating last season's mark. 2004: 54,954; 2005: 54, 972. The house was full at kickoff, the student section seems to grow crazier every year.

• If Saturday was any indication, Shawn Watson has opened up the CU playbook. Actually, he said after the game the Buffs got into about 30 percent of their offense in the game. But it appears they will get the ball to lots of different players on offense.

Patrick Williams made a mistake on a route read at one point in the game. But it was great to see him come back and get open and secure the 22-yard catch on the game-winning drive.

• I'll admit, I had already started taking notes for a "Why CU lost" type column when the Buffs were down 11 points in the third and kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties. Both teams were penalized nine times. CSU for 73 yards, the Buffs for 87. The bad news, this is a veteran group and penalties like the drive-killers Colorado committed shouldn't be happening. The good news, it's all correctable stuff.

Speaking of penalties, they killed at least two spectacular plays. The first was a touchdown catch and run by Lawrence Vickers and the second was the jitterbug kickoff return by Stephone Robinson. Already, Robinson looks like a more confident and better return man than he did a year ago.

Kyle Bell and Kory Sperry are two impressive players. Bell is a bruiser with deceptive speed and great vision for a sophomore. Sperry, also a sophomore, will be a stud before it's all said and done. Both Colorado products would've looked good in CU uniforms.

David Anderson continued his string of torching the Buffs. The senior had his best game ever against CU, catching 12 passes (a career high) for 119 yards and a touchdown. Here's what he had to say about CU's defense: "The way this team runs their defense and the way the Big 12 runs, it is typically tough to move the ball up front. We had a hard time running at all, but their secondary does allow big holes and gaps, and Justin just knows where to find them. As compared to last year, the secondary played much better and they didn't allow the long ball."

• Colorado's pass rush was poor in the first half and Justin Holland had all day to pick CU apart. The Buffs finally began to get pressure in the second half, and forced two of his three picks that way. Game ball in the pass rush department goes to junior end Abraham Wright, who forced Holland to fumble on one sack (the team's lone sack), and also had two quarterback hurries.

• I picked CU 31-13 in this game. I wasn't counting on it to be the fourth-straight game in the series where the outcome was decided in the final seconds. Fans absolutely got their money's worth again, but I would rank this behind last year's game in Boulder, and ever-so-slightly behind the 2003 game at Invesco. CU made too many mistakes (penalties, fumbles) to rank it ahead of those two. There's also something about a night game that puts the atmosphere over the top.

• Talk about squib-kick karma. The Buffs were burned in Lincoln in 2000 when Gary Barnett elected to squib kick after taking the lead, rather than kick away. Nebrraska, you'll recall, made a good return which set up a game-winning drive, led by Eric Crouch, in the final minute of the game. Stephone Robinson mishandled CSU's squib kick in the fourth quarter, but ran for 30 yards after he picked it up, jumpstarting the Buffs' final game-winning drive.

• Bradlee Van Pelt Van Pelt is in his second year in the NFL, and appears to be the Broncos' No. 2 quarterback (after the Broncos cut Matt Mauck Saturday). But it looked Saturday as if Van Pelt hasn't dropped much cash on clothes yet. He was dressed like a college kid at Folsom. He spent the entire game on the CSU sidelines. He was wearing a gold t-shirt with handwritten lettering on the back that said, #11 CSU Bitch. Not sure what that means.

Game balls to LV, Gerret Burl, Mason Crosby and Daniel Sanders. Sanders came in for an injured Brian Daniels (fractured rib, questionable for NMSU), and the offense had more yards in the second half when Daniels played.


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