Scott and Smith score first touchdowns as Buffaloes in season opener
Darrell Scott and his uncle Josh Smith both scored their first touchdowns of their careers as Buffs on Sunday in the Buffs’ 38-17 victory in their season opener against the rival Colorado State Rams.
In his long-awaited debut as a Buffalo, Scott ran the ball 11 times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Though he looked a bit overwhelmed at times and lost his footing on his first run of the game, Scott improved every time he touched the ball, eventually scoring the Buffs’ final touchdown of the contest.
“My uncle and I had a little prayer before the game,” Scott said. “I was just nervous. I had to get the jitterbugs out, if you will. I slipped on my first run but after that I just had to get my composure back and get out there.”
Scott said he had a lot of expectations, but he decided to just try his best and leave it all on the field.
The freshman tailback sat for the majority of the first half, and said that at half time, running backs coach Darian Hagan came down from the booth and told him to keep his legs warm.
“I thought that was the sign to get ready and be prepared because we’re going to pound them,” Scott said. “That’s what we did. We controlled the clock and we won.”
Scott said that when his name was called on the goal line late in the fourth quarter, the only thing on his mind was holding onto the ball.
“I dove in there and I was just thinking, ‘Ah, don’t fumble,'” Scott said.
Scott followed the example set by his uncle, sophomore wide receiver Josh Smith, scoring his first touchdown as a Buff.
It seemed as though the ball was constantly in Smith’s hands Sunday. Smith he was able to rack up 189 all-purpose yards. The special teams return specialist gained 176 of those yards on punt and kickoff returns.
Smith was a part of an unlikely sequence of plays that resulted in back-to-back touchdown returns and left all 69,619 fans in attendance scratching their heads.
Following a Rams second-quarter touchdown, Smith returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Rams sophomore running back John Mosure responded to Smith’s effort by returning the ball 90 yards for a score.
As if back-to-back touchdown returns was not improbable enough, on the first play of the second half, Smith looked like he would return a third kickoff for six points.
Smith found a hole in the kick coverage and broke through up the middle. He was barely tripped up by a diving defender well into Rams territory to save the touchdown.
Rams head coach Steve Fairchild said after the game that he had never been involved in a game with back-to-back kickoffs returned for scores, and he thought for a second he was actually going to see a third special teams touchdown returns.
“I thought that third one might go,” Fairchild said.
Scott said watching his uncle run the ball back 93 yards for a score was both exciting and inspirational.
“That fired up the whole team,” Scott said. “After CSU returned it, we had to regroup from that, but I think we kicked back and we fought tooth and nail, and we were able to win.”
Contact CU Independent Assistant Sports Editor Brad Cochi at Bradley.Cochi@colorado.edu.