By Devon Martinez – Student Editor
Photo By Laura Domingue – PPCC Graduate
Don’t underestimate college football in Colorado. So far this season has been exciting and filled with overtime games and rivalries.
Predictions are hard to make at this point in the season; which is why it’s time to review the road so far.
This article features the division one teams in Colorado, which is the highest division in college football. The next article will look at the division two teams in Colorado.
First-year head coach Mel Tucker’s goal is to change the atmosphere for CU Buffalo and turn their program into a winning one. Tucker made it clear from day one that his players have 24 hours to reflect after a game, win or lose, and then it’s back to business for the upcoming week.
So far, his team sits at 2-1, but despite the winning record, the Buffaloes are plagued by inconsistent play on both sides of the ball.
Week one they played CSU in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Mile High which ended up being the highest-scoring game of all time in the series with 82 total points. The Buffaloes won 52-31.
Colorado leads the series 67-22-2.
Highlights for this game were four defensive turnovers, and three rushing touchdowns from Sophomore running back Alex Fontenot.
The second game of the season featured what is already considered a classic game against Nebraska.
Playing behind for the entire game CU struggled to gain traction against Nebraska on both sides of the ball, but 24 points in the fourth quarter brought the game to overtime. 31-31 was the score at the end of regulation.
CU’s first drive-in overtime ended with a field goal putting them ahead 34-31. Nebraska missed a field goal on their drive and CU won the game.
Air Force and CU played for the first time since 1974, and for the 17th time overall.
They failed to gain traction until the fourth quarter in what looked to be a replay of their game against Nebraska. Again, CU took the game to overtime, but this time luck wasn’t on their side as Air Force won 30-23.
“We have to find ways and find out why we are not as consistent as we need to be,” said Tucker, “we will do that, we will look at the film. We will be very, very critical like we always are.”
CU traveled to the desert and took down the Arizona State Sun Devils in another close game, 34-31. This time Colorado didn’t fall behind and force themselves to come back with only minutes to spare.
Colorado is now 3-1.
For the Air Force Falcons, every year means something different. Last year that Falcons ended with a losing record of 5-7 and landed 4th in the Mountain West Conference.
This year head coach Troy Calhoun and his team are pounding away with a 2-0 record. With an unforgiving defense and an offensive ground game that’s averaging 356 rushing yards per game.
Air Force’s first game was a dominating performance at home against the Colgate Raiders. The Falcons protected their home field and won 48-7.
A team can rarely win and score 48 points by only throwing for 41 yards, but the Falcons accomplished this rare feat by rushing for 423 yards. The Raiders only score came in the 3rd quarter as Air Forces unforgiving defense never let up.
The entire game was a highlight for the Falcons.
Their next week was a bi week, but their next game was at CU.
The last time Air Force played against CU in Boulder the Vietnam war was in full swing, and Boulder students who opposed the war used that game as an excuse to go after Air Force staff including then, Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Albert P. Clark.
During the game, a full beer can hit Clark in the neck, and his staff got pelted with eggs by CU students.
Luckily the Falcons return to CU was more peaceful this time around.
The Falcons played the game as if it was a championship game.
Despite beginning the game with a 10-0 deficit early into the fourth quarter the Falcons quickly took the lead 23-10.
The Buffs came back in the 4th quarter and tied the game 23-23.
The Falcons scored right away in overtime, and their defense stopped the Buffs from moving forward, and they took their second win in a game they weren’t predicted to lose.
Air Force’s visit to play against 16 Boise State ended with a loss. The first three quarters ended with a four-point lead by the Broncos.
13 points scored in the fourth quarter took away any chance of Air Force coming back.
Now the team sits at a 2-1 record.
The Rams walked into 2019 after a disappointing 2018 season with a 3-9 record. The road so far for 2019 doesn’t look much different with the team currently 1-2.
There are some things for Rams fans to be optimistic about, like their high-powered offense which is averaging 34 points a game.
The Rocky Mountain showdown for the Rams showed off some strengths and weaknesses. The offense lit up Mile High with 505 total yards and 31 points against the CU defense. But their offense managed to cough up the ball four times in the game.
Their defense allowed 52 points in the week one loss.
Their second outing on both sides of the ball looked a lot better after week one. As CSU beat the Western Illinois Leatherheads 38-13.
Quarterback Collin Hill dominated the Leatherheads defense with 367 yards passing and four touchdown passes.
Their third game ended with tragedy against Arkansas as they lost 34-55, and they lost Hill with a torn ACL. This is the third time Hill has experienced this injury, and there is no news out on how long he will be out.
The team felt the loss of Hill this weekend when the Toledo Rockets scored 41 points against the Rams and secured their second win of the season. Despite losing by only six points the team ended with 696 yards total.
With these three games on the books, head coach Mike Bobo has a lot on his plate with a 1-3 starting point.