So much for the experienced CU secondary being the strength of the defense: Coming into the fall it appeared the Buffs defensive backs were to top unit. But after looking disoriented at times against Montana State, CSU quarterback Caleb Hanie torched the Buffs, completing 20 of 23 passes for 233 yards. Hanie's first incompletion came with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter, and that was when he was flushed from the pocket and threw the ball away on purpose. In fact, just one of his incompletions came on a bad throw.
The flip side of that: The Buffs generated as good a pass rush as they have in quite a while. Colorado managed six sacks in the game. DE Abraham Wright was credited with three himself, the most by a Buff in a single game since Alex Ligon had three vs. Washington State in 2004. Wright now has four sacks on the season, and 13 1/2 in his career.
In fact, it's the front seven who have played well for CU so far: And vs. the Rams, the Colorado run defense was extremely good. They held CSU to just 15 yards on 34 carries. Take sack yardage out of that equation, and the Buffs still held CSU to 60 yards on 28 carries. The trio of CSU running backs managed just 24 yards on 19 carries.
The defense once again made a crucial goal line stand late in the game: With CSU leading by four points and the ball on CU's 10 yard line, first and goal, the Buffs forced the Rams to try a field goal from the 17 four plays later. The field goal sailed wide.
Poor clock management: Confusion reigned on a first and 10 at CSU's 34 with 52 seconds remaining in the half. CU had to call a timeout – their final of the half – even though they had just called a timeout the play before. It proved very costly. Bernard Jackson was sacked on the play after the timeout, then hurried the players to the line and got a play sent in from the sideline. Second down resulted in a 12 yard pass completion to Alvin Barnett, but Jackson's attempt to hustle his team to the line and spike the ball was futile. The clock expired. CU lost a chance at a 40-yard field goal. In all, CU had to waste three of their six timeouts.
Ellis gets most carries: Perhaps he looked good in practice this week, but he didn't appear to be the most effective tailback in fall camp leading up to CU's first game. Nevertheless, junior Byron Ellis was the workhorse out of CU's backfield Saturday. He carried eight times for 28 yards, a 3.5-yard average. Coaches said afterward the reason Hugh Charles (2 carries/10 yards) and Mell Holliday (4 carries/9 yards) didn't play more was due to situations and personnel packages, and Charles specifically, because of an elbow injury he suffered last week. For the layman, that seems to translate to – coaches like Ellis at tailback more right now.
Matthew DiLallo's 2nd quarter punt of 73 yards was the longest by a freshman in CU history: He struggled some after that, however, and ended the day with 6 punts for a 42.3 yard average. Unlike the opening game, CU used just one punter vs. CSU.
Injuries: Some good news – no injuries reported in the game. Sophomore cornerback Gardner McKay did not play (high ankle sprain), and is listed day-to-day.
Make of it what you will: Mighty Montana State lost Saturday, 35-24…to Chadron State.
Bernard Jackson: 8-of-13 for 70 yards passing;18 carries for 30 yards and on TD.
Patrick Williams: 5 catches for 37 yards
CU had just nine first downs, and only 146 yards of total offense. They managed to run just 48 offensive plays.
Jordon Dizon led all tacklers with 12, including two sacks.