O-Line Dominant In CU Win

For a team looking for its running game, CU's dominating 42-0 win over Miami (Ohio) was just what the doctor ordered. The Buffs racked up an impressive 359 yards on the ground thanks to a terrific performance by the offensive line Saturday at Folsom Field.

Go ahead and holler. Or sigh. Or smile and give a nostalgic nod.

However you want to celebrate CU's 42-0 win over Miami (Ohio) works.

For the team, this one feels good. No doubt. But head coach Dan Hawkins quickly put the dominating performance over a MAC team with a proud tradition, but one likely to struggle much of the 2007 season, in perspective afterwards.

"Let's face it: We did what we're supposed to do," Hawkins said about the win. "That's what we're supposed to do."

After two frustrating outings — losses to Arizona State and Florida State — CU played a game worthy of the name on their storied jerseys.

What the Colorado Buffaloes are supposed to do is dominate in the trenches. The 2007 Buffaloes offensive line played its best game to date Saturday at Folsom Stadium. The opened holes that allowed Colorado rushers to run for a season-high 359 yards. That's more than the Buffs had accumulated in its first three games combined.

Hugh Charles led CU with 123 rushing yards and a healthy 7.2 yards per carry average. He credited the coaching staff, who rode the run game hard the previous week in practice.

"I think today's running success should be attributed to our coaches, they really made us work hard all week," Charles said. "The coaches called great plays today and had confidence in us. We were able to get a rhythm going and you got to see what can happen when we get in rhythm."

Charles wasn't the only back to benefit in the run game. Redshirt-freshman Demetrius Sumler added 91 yards and true freshman Brian Lockridge had 90 yards.

The offensive line gave quarterback Cody Hawkins plenty of time to operate, and he threw for 275 yards.

On the defensive front, CU frustrated a Miami RedHawks offense that had — despite the team's 1-2 record coming into the game — averaged nearly 400 yards an outing. The RedHawks managed just 139 total yards vs. Colorado. CU held Miami to just 6 first downs the entire day. (Colorado, in contrast, racked up 33 first downs).

And, of course, there was the shutout.

"As a defense it is always a good thing to post a shut out," DT George Hypolite said. "All throughout the preseason we have been talking about putting together four quarters. Against CSU, we felt like we played a good third and fourth quarter, and against Arizona State we played a good first two quarters.

"Last week (vs. FSU) we played a great game except for a few plays. We have been talking about doing our job for four quarters, and we felt like we did that today.

"Keeping a zero on the board, it is as simple as that. We came into the game wanting to stop the run, and we did that. When they threw the ball, our guys played good coverage, and as a defense that is a great, sound day."

The team, and the defense in particular, played without sophomore linebacker Michael Sipili on Saturday. He wasn't even allowed to be at the game after the university's Office of Judicial Affairs on Friday handed down a decision that suspended Sipili from school for the rest of the semester. Sipili pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor charges for his role in an off-campus fight over the summer.

"The defense played for Mike today, and we rallied around that fact that he could not play with us today," defensive coordinator Ron Collins said after the game. "But, at the same time, our guys went out, business as usual, and did their jobs and came out with a solid day on defense."

• Two true freshmen saw their first action of their careers in the win. Both Kai Maiava and Ryan Miller played well in their debuts. Interestingly, both players were inserted into the game unexpectedly.

Maiava found himself in the lineup early in the first half after starting guard Devin Head went down with an injury. Maiava responded well, and helped the CU offense march down the field on the series. Head's injury checked out OK, and he later returned. Maiava and Head shared duties the rest of the way.

Miller had to go into the game when starter Edwin Harrison had trouble with his uniform. Miller was in for just one play, but he helped spring a running back for a big gain on the play. Harrison came back in, then he and Miller shared playing time the rest of the way.

Of the experience, Miller said: "It felt incredible. It went really well and I give the credit to the coaches and the older guys. They are always willing to help me when I need it. It is indescribable; it is a very surreal feeling."

Maiava added: "I have just been trying to stay ready for that moment. It just came today, now I have to keep pushing myself and the other lineman and staying prepared for when I get in there again.

"Coach Grimes was really over emphasizing to us to be the biggest and baddest offensive line in the nation. We really banged in practice this week and we knew that eventually it would break for us, and it happened today."

• A different red will be in Boulder next Saturday. The Oklahoma Sooners were ranked No. 3 in both polls going into today's action, and are 4-0. Some people think they're the best team in the country right now. Kickoff for the Buffs-Sooners matchup is 11:30.

BuffStampede Top Stories