The University of Colorado football team steamrolled the Nicholls State Colonels Saturday, 48-0. With the rout, the Buffs extended their win streak to three games for the first time since the 2008 season.
Colorado racked up 636 total offensive yards and on average gained 6.8 yards per play. Three hundred and fifty-eight of those yards came on the ground, as CU’s running backs once again had an explosive day. Sophomore tailback Phillip Lindsay led the run attack with 113 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.
The Buffs received the opening kickoff, and junior quarterback Sefo Liufau led the offense to a touchdown in only six plays and 1:29. Lindsay then burst through the line for a four-yard touchdown run to put the Buffs up by a score.
Liufau, who completed 13-21 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, played with a sore shoulder. After the game, he downplayed his injury.
“Yeah it was bothering me but I don’t want to make any excuses,” Liufau said. “If you are out there playing, you need to make plays, end of story.”
After quickly quelling the Colonels’ opening drive, Colorado got the ball back and quickly drove down the field, where senior tailback Christian Powell scored on a one-yard run.
Folsom Field quickly turned into Folsom Prison for the Colonels, and time kept draggin’ on, as they quickly found themselves with a hefty deficit to overcome.
The Buffs made it 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to redshirt freshman Jay MacIntyre’s first career reception and first career touchdown, a 38-yard precision pass from Liufau. MacIntyre, who is the son of head coach Mike MacIntyre, finished the game with three receptions and 53 yards to go along with his touchdown.
“I was just hoping I would catch it,” said Jay MacIntyre. “It was a good feeling. It was awesome.”
In addition to MacIntyre’s special day, senior wide receiver Nelson Spruce earned his place in the Colorado record books. Entering the game fourth on the all-time receiving yards list, Spruce ended the day as number one, surpassing Michael Westbrook’s previous record of 2,548 yards, which he accumulated while playing at CU from 1991-1994.
The magic catch came on an 11-yard reception from Liufau in the second quarter.
“It was awesome,” Spruce said. “It’s (setting the new record) something that you start your career out aiming for and to keep working and eventually get it is [great].”
Spruce would finish the day with five receptions for 80 yards.
After MacIntyre’s touchdown, the Buffs added three on a 46-yard field goal from junior kicker Diego Gonzalez. It would be the Buffs’ only points in the quarter.
Lindsay would open up the scoring in the second half with a one yard touchdown run to cap off a six play, 58-yard drive.
The Buffs continued to put up points even after most of the starters were taken out. After Liufau exited in the third quarter, junior quarterback Jordan Gehrke came in to take the snaps.
Shortly after, he handed the ball off to sophomore wide receiver Donovan Lee, who rushed up the middle en route to a 59-yard touchdown run to make the score 38-0. Lee, who played out of the backfield due to the loss of junior tailback Michael Adkins II this week, was a true force on the field. He finished with 103 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
The Buffs continued to dominate the game, as the Colonels did not have a possession in the red zone and accounted for only 166 yards offensively. With today’s loss, the Nicholls Colonels have lost 21 games straight dating back to their last win on Oct. 12, 2013, a 33-21 win over Northwestern State.
The Buffaloes managed to win today without several key players including Adkins II. Defensively, Colorado was without the services of junior linebacker Addison Gillam, sophomore defensive end Leo Jackson, and sophomore defensive end/linebacker Derek McCartney.
Freshman linebacker Rick Gamboa stepped up in place of the injured Gillam, and held his own, leading the team with seven tackles.
Senior defensive back Jered Bell also had himself a day. Bell, who is in his sixth year of NCAA eligibility after missing two full seasons with ACL tears, recorded two interceptions in his first full-action game with the Buffs this season.
“Oh man, it’s a great feeling,” said Bell. “Coach Leavitt always preaches that we need takeaways in order to go places we want to go.”
Despite the losses, the Buffs managed to hold the Colonels scoreless. In fact, today’s 48-0 win was the biggest margin of victory for a CU football team since the 1995 squad bested Northeast Louisiana 66-14.
Despite the massive victory, the aftermath of the game wasn’t all high fives and celebratory attitudes. Both players and coaches noted that there were mistakes made, mostly in the form of two red zone turnovers.
The first came on a fumble by Powell at the start of the second quarter. It was followed by a turnover on downs following an unsuccessful quarterback keeper up the middle by Liufau on fourth down.
“At times, we were sloppy and that just happens,” said Lindsay. “Tomorrow we’ll go look at film and learn from it.”
Junior linebacker Kenneth Olugbode also echoed the players’ awareness of mistakes made today.
“I think we need to just wrap it up, do our jobs, and knowing exactly where we need to be,” he said after the game.
Despite the mishaps, whether it be by an inch or a mile, a win’s a win, as the saying goes.
“We played physical in this football game,” head coach MacIntyre said. “We played hard. We were able to put it away so that we could rest some of those guys in the second half. Really, really pleased with the coaches and the way the players played.”
With today ending non-conference play for the Buffs, the rest of the season will be comprised entirely of Pac-12 play.
The Colorado Buffaloes will take on the Oregon Ducks this Saturday, Oct. 3 at Folsom Field to kick off the start of conference play. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MST.
Contact CU Independent football beat writer Justin Guerriero at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo