Saturday, November 14, 2020

Colorado 35, Stanford 32: Buffaloes continue to set a new Standard v Stanford

Photo Credit: University of Colorado Athletics

By: Adam Chalifoux
Twitter: @FantasticMrFOUX

The Colorado Buffaloes (2-0) made program history Saturday night defeating the Stanford Cardinal (0-2), 35-32. The win represents CU’s third straight victory over Stanford, the longest win streak ever against its Pac-12 foe.
Stanford came into the game 9.5-point favorites, but in a year where all bets are off, former safety and redshirt senior Sam Noyer doesn’t seem as concerned about where the Vegas Line is as he is concerned about the location of the goal line.
Noyer scored four of Colorado’s five touchdowns— two rushing and two passing. In an era where most quarterbacks will slide and do whatever they can to preserve their body, Sam Noyer has balls. He still hits like a safety and knows defensive schemes well, helping CU pull out to a 28-9 lead early in the second half.
Lao Tzu said it best in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Noyer has won in his two battles, but his knowledge of the enemy is clear; no matter the week or opponent, the enemy is the defense. Noyer's understanding of the defense allows him to make quick reads.

Physically, Noyer’s style of delivering, not just receiving hits, or attempting to leap over defenders is something defenses are not accustomed to from most quarterbacks.
Noyer was not perfect this afternoon, throwing an interception to Stanford free safety Malik Antoine early on. Bouncing back, however, he delivered a strike through the middle of the secondary to Dimitri Stanley, who outraced the secondary 44 yards into the end zone, giving the Buffaloes a lead they would hang on to for the rest of the game. 
Stanley, a sophomore out of Cherry Creek High School in Colorado lit up the secondary for six catches on six targets for 126 yards and the receiving touchdown. Jarek Brousard continued his early success as well, rushing for 121 yards to follow up his 187 three-touchdown performance against UCLA in Boulder on Nov. 7. 

Colorado’s defensive line was a major difference-maker containing the run, and putting pressure on the Stanford passing game. Nate Landman led all with 14 tackles. Carson Wells played well too with two of his six tackles coming for a loss, one of which was a sack. 
While Stanford still owns a slim lead in the history of the rivalry with a 6-5 edge over Colorado, the first two games of the season have shown that the Colorado Buffaloes are a different animal than they were last year. Even with NFL prospect Brady Russell sidelined most of the game with an injury, the Buffaloes found production from their depth offensively and through their first two weeks looked substantially better than last year’s team. 
The score however was much closer than the game itself as Colorado’s lead also shrank for the second straight week. Stanford outscored CU 16-7 in the 4th quarter. First-year head coach, Karl Dorrell talked about staying conservative but also needing to get better at playing with the lead, “You know we’re extremely excited about this team having the fortitude and the grit to try to finish games,” said Dorrell. “And you know we did it twice in a row, you know we’re trying to figure out how to do it and I think sometimes even really good teams struggle at the, you know, waning moments late in the fourth quarter.” Regardless, a win is a win even if it gets ugly late. After having their coach walk out on them following last season’s 5-7 mark, Dorrell has begun to build a foundation of success and efficiency through his
first two games as head coach. 
In the postgame press conference, Dorrell was asked about being considered for a spot in the top 25. Colorado is off to a nice start through its first two games of play but does not want to get ahead of things. “I’m really trying to get better as a team, you know, our focus is on my team, you know I am gonna let the voters do all that stuff,” Dorrell said. Perhaps the President could take note. For now, there is no disputing Colorado’s 2-0 record. There is no recount coming; just Arizona State in seven days.