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Nelson Spruce Colorado's one-man wrecking crew against Hawaii

Spruce's 13 receptions for 172 yards led the Buffs past Hawaii

Doug Pensinger
What were the key stats of the game to you for Hawaii at Colorado?

Patrick Cormier Follow on Twitter The Colorado pass defense limited the Hawaii quarterbacks to 17 completions on 46 attempts for 155 yards, that's obviously a big indicator of how the game played out.

Patrick Ghidossi Follow on Twitter

Darragh O'Neill and Scott Harding both averaging 46 yards a punt stands out to me. The 2nd half was essentially a battle of field position, and both of those guys made plays. They each punted 9 times and had numerous punts downed within the opponent's 20 yard line.

Trace Travers Follow on Twitter Nelson Spruce and his 13 catches for 172 yards. The number of receptions are a school record, and the 71 yard td was just a case of making a play on a less than desirable ball.

Sam Barbee Follow on Twitter Somehow Colorado managed to win with nine penalties for 83 yards while Hawaii only had two for 15. They won't be able to beat teams with more and better talent when the penalty disparity is that great.

Jack Follman Follow on Twitter Nelson Spruce, 13 receptions for a 172 yards and a touchdown. Spruce is Colorado's horse and they know it, they have been riding him hard early in the season and against not that great teams it is enough to get a win.

  1. What was the most impressive part of Colorado's performance and why? Who were the standout players and coaches and why?

Patrick Cormier: Nelson Spruce has to be the player of the game, he set a new school record with 13 catches and also had a career high in yards at 172 including a 71 yard TD catch and run.

Patrick Ghidossi: The defense really impressed me. Hawaii's quarterbacks aren't the best and they were missing their star running back but the Buffs held firm in the red zone and didn't allow a touchdown. The secondary played quite well, tight coverage and very few missed tackles. John Walker, Greg Henderson, and Ken Crawley stood out. Brady Daigh, filling in for a concussed Addison Gillam, came up large as well.

Trace Travers: Passing defense for Colorado, along with Spruce. Though they may not be the run and gun Hawaii teams of yesteryear, holding a team to 17-46 passing with 155 yards is just plain impressive.

Sam Barbee: My goodness, Nelson Spruce is a player, but so is Sefo Liufau. I know he threw two picks, but ability to throw and run will help the Buffs exponentially.

Jack Follman: Colorado's ability to stop the pass gives them some hope in a Pac-12 where you better be able to do that or you are going to get run off the field.

As for players, Nelson Spruce is quietly one of the best players in the conference and pretty much Colorado's whole offense.

  1. What were the most concerning aspect of Colorado's performance and why? Which coaches and players struggled the most and why?

Patrick Cormier: Colorado's second half has to be the most concerning, they had six punts and an interception on their first 7 possessions before kneeling down in victory formation. They were really unable to take control and deliver that final knockout blow to Hawaii, but they were able to hold on and that's all that matters.

Patrick Ghidossi: The offense looked like they were about to take off early but they ended up stalling around midfield the entire second half. They also need to be much more creative and execute better in short yardage situations. They did convert a nice 4th and 3 with a backside pass to Kyle Slavin which was encouraging. Otherwise, they're going to need to finish drives and punch forward for short yardage if they're going to hang with Pac-12 offenses.

Trace Travers: Stalling of the Buffaloes offense in the second half. Just holding on can't be what Mike McIntire wants from his team as they rebuild.

Sam Barbee: Colorado scored zero points in the second half after 21 in the first. Stalling would be a nice word to use, but complacency would be a better one. That will have to be fixed.

Jack Follman: Colorado couldn't run the ball against a Mountain West cellar dweller, always a bad sign. They are really struggling to find a back, as Christian Powell is a nice look as a massive between-the-tackles guy, but probably not an every down back, but no one else looks ready to step up.