The Colorado Buffaloes sing the CU fight song following their 45-14 victory over the the New Hampshire Wildcats at Folsom Field. Sept. 15, 2018. (Nigel Amstock/CU Independent)
The Colorado Buffaloes rolled to 3-0 in their home opener at Folsom Field Saturday afternoon with a 45-14 win against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.
With the Buffs deciding to defer, the defense took the field looking ready to dominate. University of New Hampshire quarterback Christian Lupoli had a couple of passes for some short yard gains but could not get past their own 34 yard line. On a 3rd and 16, Lupoli threw a pass intended for his go-to wide receiver Neil O’Connor, but Buffs inside linebacker Rick Gamboa came up with an interception. After being tackled from a 17-yard return, it was the offenses’ turn to work.
Junior quarterback Steven Montez had only 28 yards to work with. After a sack, he threw a pass over the middle to wide receiver Laviska Shenault who ran the ball to the endzone for the first touchdown of the game. The Wildcats got the ball back after a three-and-out, so the Buffs’ offense got back to work on their own 19 yard line after the punt. But this drive proved unsuccessful, and the Buffs had to bring out punter Davis Price. No one scored in the final drives of the first quarter.
After an easy first quarter warm up, the Buffs dominated the Wildcats in the second quarter. The first drive was successful after senior tailbacks Kyle Evans and Travon McMillian would be rotate who would run the ball. Together, they worked their way down the field until the ball was one yard short. Montez would hand the ball over to McMillian who would leap over a mass of linemen for a Buffs score.
With New Hampshire ready to charge down the field to get on the board they would slowly gain yards using every asset they could. But as the Wildcats trudged down the field, any attempt to break through the defense was stopped by Gamboa and sophomore inside linebacker Nate Landman. The Wildcats had an attempt to score with a 42-yard field goal, but instead of hitting the net, the ball hit the post. The score was 14-0.
The Buffs returned to the field and nailed some good runs to move the ball to their own 37 yard line. Montez got the snap and looked to a streaking junior wide receiver Tony Brown for a 53 yard pass. Brown was tacked on the New Hampshire 10. Two runs later, the Buffs made the game 21-0.
When New Hampshire stepped on the field again, Lupoli threw an incomplete pass. But after two successful passes the Wildcats started to gain some momentum. However, that was short-lived when the Buffs forced a fumble. Outside linebacker Davion Taylor picked up the ball to run 14 yards, making the game 28-0 for his first touchdown ever.
“We practice fumble drills all the time in practice and they paid off during the game,” Taylor said.
The Wildcats offense got a short break for the extra point, but when they took the field again, they could not gain many yards. They ended up punting after Lupoli threw an incomplete pass. In the final two drives the Buffs nor the Wildcats scored.
The 28-0 at the start of the second half just got better when McMillian made a 75 yard run to bump the score to 35-0. The Buffs defense then successfully stopped another Wildcats run and had to punt. Instead of Montez taking the court, coach Mike MacIntyre took pity on New Hampshire and put in sophomore quarterback Sam Noyer. His first drive was unsuccessful and was picked off by junior FS Pop Lacey for a 15 yard return to make the game 35-7.
Noyer and the offense stepped onto the field one more time, yet the offense was unsuccessful and had to punt. New Hampshire had control of the ball and Lupoli threw a 71 yard pass to Neil O’Connor to make the game 38-14. Since younger players were in control of the game at that point, there was very minimal scoring until red shirt freshman running back Alex Fontenot scurried into the endzone for a 15 yard run for a final score 45-14.
The Buff’s next game is 13 days away.
“We want to focus on getting everybody’s bodies feeling well again and focus on the small things,” said McMillian.
With another win under their belts, the Buffs can hold their head high and carry their momentum through the bye week and into Pac-12 play in two weeks. They play UCLA at Folsom on Friday Sept. 28.
“I think the whole Pac-12 is completely wide open, you can’t count these guys out ever,” MacIntyre said.
For more information contact CUI sports editor Zoe Collins Rath at firstname.lastname@example.org