Everyone in and around the University of Colorado football program has heard two things this offseason, “The Rise” and “W.T.T.F.” (Welcome To The Fight) After the Buffaloes hammered in state rival Colorado State 44-7 in front of a national TV audience on Friday, it begs the question, is The Rise really coming?
Colorado set the tone on Friday, and never looked back. It was the kind of dominating performance that you would expect from a power five school playing a mid major. The same kind of dominating performance that good football programs put together in their first week of the season. Colorado didn’t allow the Rams a first down until almost 3 minutes into the second quarter, harassed Colorado State with constant pressure, and forced 3 and out after 3 and out to give their offense a chance to get in a rhythm. The Rams finished with 63 yards passing and only 225 total yards. On the offensive side of the ball, the Buffaloes came out, established, the run, and unveiled their new up-tempo offense. They scored early and often, and led 31-0 at halftime. Colorado lost their focus a little bit in the second half, but still outscored CSU 13-7. Quarterback Sefo Liufau finished 23/33 for 318 yard and a TD in his return from a foot injury.
There were a couple of things that could be cause for concern for the Buffaloes moving forward. Colorado fumbled three times in the game, with a fourth narrowly avoided by the runner being down by contact. Sefo Liufau also took a beating, running the ball 14 times for 72 yards. For a team that has an unproven back up, and a starter who is coming off injury, putting him in harms way that often is a serious issue. Coach McIntyre left him in the game way too long when things got out of hand as well.
This Saturday Colorado takes on Idaho State at Folsom Field in Boulder in what should be a tune up for next week’s trip to the Big House and Michigan. Expect Colorado to get up early, and stay vanilla on offense and defense to try and give Michigan limited looks on what they’ll show next week. Colorado can’t take Idaho State lightly though, or let their early success go to their head. Bengals coach Mike Kramer has a win over CU, beating the Buffaloes at Folsom Field in 2006 when he spoiled then coach Dan Hawkins debut as Montana State beat Colorado 19-10.
Colorado needed a fast start to 2016, and they got it in dominating fashion over an in-state rival. Colorado will win handily this weekend against Idaho State to start 2-0. Is The Rise Real? Tune in a week from Saturday for the Buffaloes game against the Wolverines to find out.