1Q: Buffs match SU score with fireworks (7-7)

"I guess the replay official has Remound Wright in his fantasy league, and not Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey has a beautiful run on a wildcat keeper, advancing to the one-inch line. But after a lengthy review, it's Wright with the "vulture" score the next snap.

Opening drive sees the passing game moving the sticks. First, it's Trent Irwin catching for 10 on a curl and then running for another 10 to pump up Hogan's numbers. Then, it's Michael Rector catching for 8.5 on third and 10. Stanford goes for the fourth down, which we and the advanced math love, and it's a toss to McCaffrey who uses second effort to get a yard and a half on a toss sweep left. Gutsy call to run a toss in a goal-line situation. Kevin Hogan with a zone read keeper that only gets five, with Colorado selling out to blitz Christian McCaffrey. Hogan then with picture-perfect accuracy to somehow find a well-covered Austin Hooper up the middle on the resulting third down to keep the drive alive.

Bryce Love screen for 11. And then, I guess the replay official has Remound Wright in his fantasy league, and not Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey has a beautiful run on a wildcat keeper – which to hop on David Lombardi and R.J. Abeytia's soap box, works because there's good motion in the backfield, with McCaffrey faking the jet sweep to Bryce Love, and then cutting it inside, dancing through tacklers, and advancing to the one-inch line. After a lengthy review, it's Wright with the "vulture" score the next snap. 81 yards, 15 plays, 7:11 on the drive.

Stanford 7, Colorado 0, 7:49 remaining, first quarter

Colorado comes back with a vengeance, spreading out the Stanford D and running up tempo to good effect. Ground gains of eight, one, 11 and 15 in quick succession, the last on a quarterback keeper with the defense spread all over the field and no one to watch the quarterback. Then Sefo Liufau finds Nelson Spruce, who's beaten Ronnie Harris and is down on the four only because he trips over his own feet after the catch. Next snap, running back Donovan Lee has one for the highlight reel, as he drives two Cardinal defenders into the end zone on a second-, third-effort type of play. 75 yards, six plays, 1:42.

Stanford 7, Colorado 7, 6:03 remaining, first quarter

Defense often gets shredded on a first drive, but then adjusts and plays lights out moving forward. (Think USC last year.) Hopefully that's the ticket here. Next time, we should feel free to take some first-half timeouts on that opening drive, as we rarely end up using them all anyway, and might give us an ability to adjust more quickly to what we're seeing, because the adjustments obviously work.

Cardinal start near midfield, and then it's McCaffrey with runs for seven and nine, sandwiching a Wright third-down conversion. But a promising drive stalls as Hogan gets sacked on a third and three empty-backfield rollout – which is the worst possible outcome as it pushes them from the 33 to the 38, and out of field goal range. Cardinal punt the ensuing fourth and eight, and after a bad snap, Jake Bailey does well to get the kick off.

Defense comes back and, aided by a Colorado false start, posts the three and out.

Quick first quarter. Score's 7-7 and yards are 93-80 Card, relatively even, but Stanford has held the ball for 11:43 and counting, running 21 plays to the Buffs' nine. Card 3 of 5 on third and fourth downs, Buffs 1 of 2. McCaffrey with 40 yards on eight carries.

Elsewhere in college football, No. 10 Florida (just ahead of the Card in the polls) losing 7-6 to Vanderbilt at the half. Go Derek Mason, help out your old boss! Northwestern and Notre Dame up by multiple scores. All good.


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