Hoffman-Ellis' performance Saturday was just one off his career high 15 tackles, and was his fifth career double-digit tackle performance.
"He's going to turn into one of the better linebackers in our league," said coach Paul Wulff in a postgame radio interview.
HIS FIRST SACK of quarterback Tyler Hansen came with about six minutes left in the third quarter. With the Buffaloes at their own 33 and leading 20-17, Hoffman-Ellis sacked the senior for a loss of six yards to the Colorado 27-yard line.
On the Buffaloes' first drive of the fourth quarter, he did it again to Hansen, this time for a loss of 10 yards, putting Colorado at its own 15.
"It was just huge for Cougar football," Hoffman-Ellis said of his team's playmaking.
He was quick to credit the offense, saying it "capitalized and had our backs when we needed it the most."
HOFFMAN-ELLIS ALSO WAS noted for his leadership efforts, having been seen pacing up and down the line during the final two minutes in an attempt to rally his teammates.
"I was just trying to redirect guys and reinforce the message that we're in this and we can do this," he said in a postgame interview with the Spokesman-Review.
But he shrugged his efforts off as no big deal. "Over the past couple weeks we've been working on developing that mentality," he said, adding that the defense has developed an understanding of what it must do to be successful.
As a result of that understanding, the Cougars held the Buffalos to just 336 yards of total offense.
ALSO RECORDING A sack Saturday was defensive end Logan Mayes, son of Cougar great Rueben Mayes, in his first collegiate game. Mayes had initially been expected to redshirt this season, but was determined "to help us one way or another on scout team."
His attitude didn't surprise Wulff, who said the freshman has "some special gifts getting after the quarterback."
Mayes sacked Hansen for a loss of two yards with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, putting Colorado at their own 32.
"We kept going down and we kept getting back up and back up," he said in a postgame interview. "Eventually, we knocked them down and they didn't get back up and we won the ballgame."
"(Defensive tackle Anthony) Laurenzi got into the guard, opening up the A-gap for me and I just shot it and it was open," Long said in a postgame interview with the Spokesman-Review.
Long's efforts were praised by Wulff, who called him "a good football player (and) a steady player we can depend on."
HOFFMAN-ELLIS HAD TWO SACKS ON THE DAY.