Sunday, November 8, 2020

Colorado 48, UCLA 42: Dorrell begins new era with win over familiar foe

Photo Credit: University of Colorado Athletics

By: Adam Chalifoux
Twitter: @FantasticMrFOUX

There was a shootout at Folsom Field on Saturday night. Chip Kelly and his fast and furious offense versus the new-look Colorado Buffaloes led by first-year head coach and former UCLA Bruin, Karl Dorrell. If there were fans in the stands, they would have certainly gotten their money's worth as the Colorado Buffaloes (1-0) beat the Bruins (0-1), 48-42 in a relatively quiet stadium. 

With coach Mel Tucker now in East Lansing at Michigan State and quarterback Steven Montez on the Washington Football Team Practice Squad, the Colorado Buffaloes were virtually unrecognizable in their season opener. 

Not only was this a win to start the Dorrell era but also a promising outing for former safety turned quarterback Sam Noyer who passed for 257 yards and a touchdown; Noyer added 64 more yards and a touchdown on the ground. Noyer is a redshirt senior and almost left Boulder before being convinced to stay by the new coaching staff. After looking efficient, making quick decisions, and providing a dual-threat to help lead the Buffs to victory, both sides appear to be happy with his decision. 
Dorrell lauded Noyer’s play in the postgame press conference. “Sam is a very competitive player. I am not surprised he was able to make plays, he’s a really good athlete,” Dorrell said. Noyer had not started a game at quarterback in five years.
Jarek Broussard starred for CU as he rushed for three touchdowns, 187 yards, on 31 carries in an effort that made Noyer’s first start at quarterback easy by tearing up the Bruins defense. Broussard showed that the Buffs’ run game is deep as well as dangerous with Alex Fontenot who is on the Doak Walker watch-list sidelined with an undisclosed injury. 
“Shoutout to my hogs,” said Broussard after the game. “They really get it, they did a good job tonight and opened up the doors and, you know if the holes are that if it's not that hard.”
Early in the night, it looked as if the game could turn into a blowout as CU took a 35-7 lead late in the second quarter. The Buffaloes defense forced four turnovers to help make this happen but with the game-ending within a touchdown, they also had a few ugly moments. 
The first turnover came after the opening drive of the game when Bruins wide receiver Kyle Phillips was stripped by Derrion Rackestraw as Alec Pell dove on the ball for the Buffaloes. 
Four plays later Broussard had scored touchdown number one. The second turnover also gave Colorado a short field. Carson Wells intercepted Dorian Thompson-Robinson coming just a yard short of a pick six. Broussard scored number two on the following play. Looking to chip away at a 21-7 lead, the Bruins fumbled again. This time it was recovered by Rackestraw. Felton fumbled a second time about six minutes into the second quarter as Jamar Montgomery stripped and recovered the ball. Capitalizing on short fields and dominating the ground, the Buffaloes were able to play ahead the entire game. 
Thompson-Robinson snuck in a 52-yard bomb to Greg Dulcich late in the first half. Making it 35-14 at the half. UCLA continued to gain momentum, however, scoring the first two touchdowns of the second half. The Bruins special teams also helped tighten things up blocking two field goals, the first of which set up a six-play 77-yard drive that took only 1:26 off the clock to make the score 35-28 with over 11 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. 
The Colorado Buffaloes held off the Bruins, however, scoring the most points since last season’s season opener against Colorado State when they scored 52 points at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Dorrell moves to 1-0 as the head coach at Colorado, while Chip Kelly’s seat could be getting hotter as he is now 7-18 with UCLA.