The University of Colorado football team kicked off its season with a 35-7 win against the University of Northern Colorado on Friday night at Folsom Field. The first game boasted a full Folsom Field since 2019, fans and students alike brought the noise, especially after Ralphie VI’s inaugural run.
“She’s a baby and she looks good,” said head coach Karl Dorrell. “I think she enjoyed it, the crowd cheering for her. Everything’s kind of different right now from that standpoint but it’s good to have Ralphie back and she’s going to be a good one.”
The Buffs on the field could clearly feel this energy beaming off the stadium. Despite a slow first half, the offense did enough to back up a strong defensive performance.
Sophomore tailback Jarek Broussard continued his impressive tenure with a much-needed touchdown in the second quarter to open the scoring. Just minutes later, both second-year freshman quarterback Brendan Lewis and second-year freshman wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig picked up their first career touchdowns. The 17-yard pass put Colorado up 14-0.
As the Bears closed in on the endzone toward the end of the first half, junior cornerback Mekhi Blackmon grabbed the first interception of the season.
At the half, Colorado held a 14-0 lead. The Bears had the edge in total yards and led the Buffs in possession time by over six minutes. Even so, Colorado had significantly more rushing yards, while Northern Colorado had more passing yards.
Multiple first half trends carried over into the second half. While passing yards were few and far between for CU, rushing continued to lead the offense.
Near the end of the third quarter, junior tailback Alex Fontenot drove through the defenders for a 3-yard touchdown to give the Buffs a 21-0 lead.
Just after a Northern Colorado touchdown, the Buffs bounced back with another touchdown of their own. This time, freshman tailback Ashaad Clayton joined the action with a 1-yard rushing touchdown.
The Buffs offense continued to thrive as sophomore tailback Deion Smith lunged into the endzone for the fifth touchdown of the night to boost the Colorado lead to 35-7. Smith was the fourth different Colorado RB to score a touchdown on the night.
The Buffs’ defense was dominant from the start. Allowing just 7 points and 253 yards, including just 20 net rushing yards, the Bears couldn’t get the ball moving much.
Sophomore wide receiver Dimitri Stanley provided Colorado with critical yardage on special teams, contributing 68 yards on three punt returns.
After sophomore quarterback J.T. Shrout, a transfer from Tennessee, suffered a season-ending injury in a preseason scrimmage, Lewis won the starting spot by default. Friday was Lewis’ first opportunity to start a college game.
“I was pleased with Brendon Lewis and pleased in a way that he felt uncomfortable,” Dorrell said. “Certain things in the game were not open but, he will tell you that he missed a few today. But I felt like he did a really good job of managing the game.”
Colorado will have a tough challenge in week two as the Buffs will face No. 6 Texas A&M on Sept. 11 in Denver. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. MST at Empower Field at Mile High.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Logan Standard at email@example.com.