The temperature was 24 degrees at kickoff and hovered below freezing for the length of the game, but that didn't stop CU assistant coaches Brian Cabral and Jeff Grimes from stalking the sidelines sans long pants. Grimes was in short pants. Cabral wore a traditional Hawaiian wrap.
Asked about it after the game, Jordon Dizon, a fellow Hawaiian, said, "I asked (Cabral) if he was planning to go swimming." Dizon said the remark drew a rare smile from the stoic linebackers coach.
Colorado saluted its seniors prior to kickoff by announcing them individually. Those whose relatives were able to attend were greeted on the field by their family.
If you were at the game, you missed the special guest who introduced CU's offensive and defensive starters on ABC's telecast. Eric Cartman, a character on "South Park," did the honors. ("South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are CU alum). Wearing a CU jersey, Cartman added some humor, including, "Colorado has awesome linebackers and Jordon Dizon is the latest. He's sure to win the Butkus Award. Cuz he's the biggest butt kisser I know…"
Buffalo Heart Award
The fans in the east stands voted linebacker Dizon as recipient of this year's Buffalo Heart Award. Not widely recruited out of Kauai, Hawaii, Dizon became the first linebacker under coach Brian Cabral to start his first game of his true freshman season. He went on to start the next 46 of 50 games, including bowls.
Dan Hawkins had this to say about Dizon: "He has been such a strong, stable person and football player. He is obviously a tremendous playmaker, but what most don't see is how he is such a humble guy, and a hard worker. He puts the team before himself. He is very tough. He is everything you want in a young man and in a player.
"I hope that everybody votes right (in the Butkus Award running) because every scout — bar none — that has come in here says he is the best linebacker in the country."
Revealing the humility Hawkins mentioned, Dizon credited his coach, Brian Cabral, with his success.
"I can't express in words how much I love that guy," Dizon said, then proceeded to be quite eloquent about Cabral.
"He's done everything for me. He's made me the person I am. Everything I am right now, I have to give back to him because he's done everything in his power to make me the best player, the best person. My hat is off to him because he's the greatest coach I've ever played for.
"He's the most honest, comfortable, loyal guy I'll ever meet, and I'm glad he was in my life the last four years."
As usual, Dizon was all over the field on Saturday. Dizon was credited with 18 tackles, including 14 solo stops. Pending coaches' video review of the game, that gives Dizon 149 tackles on the season. (The NCAA uses game day stats, CU uses coach video review). Dizon became the school's all-time leader in solo tackles (295), passing Matt Russell Saturday.
A select group of media will vote on the Butkus Award. Penn State senior Dan Connor and Ohio State junior James Laurinitis are the other two finalists. Connor finished the regular season with 136 tackles, Laurinitis with 103. The Butkus winner will be announced Dec. 7.
Nice Look Off
Cody Hawkins helped spring tight end Tyson DeVree on the Buffs' second quarter touchdown. At the LOS, Hawkins gave his attention to Patrick Williams, who was split wide to the right side of the field. After taking the snap, Hawkins looked Williams' way, drawing the defense's direction that way, before coming back to his intended target, a wide open DeVree in the middle of the end zone.
Hawkins had a solid game. He made a handful of completions under pressure, and ended the day without an interception. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
It's Just Weird
Redshirt freshman Jimmy Smith got the first pick of his career in the third quarter. Smith took it 31 yards to the house. What's weird is that Smith is now the 14th CU player since 1992 to return his first career interception for a touchdown.
What did Smith think when he saw NU QB Joe Ganz send the floater toward him?
"I gotta catch this and run," Smith said. "I was kind of surprised he threw it. We were in cover 3 and I was basically in a zone. He threw it and I ran toward it because the receivers were doing a crossing route and they hit each other and fell."
At 6-6, the Buffs become the eighth Big 12 team with the six wins needed to earn a bowl invite. Keep in mind, Kansas did not get a bowl invite last season with a 6-6 record. Kansas State has an opportunity to become the ninth Big 12 team to reach six wins. The Wildcats play Fresno State Saturday.
The Big 12 has eight bowl tie ins. That includes the BCS, which automatically takes the Big 12 champ. There's a chance the Big 12 will also earn an at-large bid to the BCS, meaning the conference would send nine teams bowling.
If Colorado ends up in a bowl game, it's likely to be either the Insight (Tempe, Ariz.), Independence (Shreveport, La.) or Texas Bowl (Houston). Bowl invitations are made official Dec. 2.
Black and White
CU wore all blacks; Nebraska donned all whites. Looked pretty sweet in person. After the game, when CU players took off their jerseys and pads, they reveled a special t-shirt. Emblazoned on the black undergarments were the words "The Real Black Shirts" – a reference to Nebraska's habit of calling its defensive unit "blackshirts."
CU's streak of 92 consecutive point after touchdown kicks was broken Saturday when Kevin Eberhart missed one in the third. It ended the second-longest PAT streak in school history.
Nothing from today's game. Alonzo Barrett will go arthroscopic knee to clean it up. He would be able to play in a bowl game. Terrence Wheatley (missed Friday's game) is questionable with a broken foot.