Colorado Buffs Claim Dominance over UCLA

Boulder, CO- In their first Pac-12 conference game this season, the Colorado Buffs proved to be too much of a force for the UCLA Bruins, putting the game away in the 2nd half with less than 100 yards allowed. After winning by a score of 38-16, the Buffs improve to 4-0 on the year while the Bruins fall to 0-4.

The game seemed to be a tight enough battle with the 1st half ending with the Buffs ahead just 14-13 and even when they lost their lead on a field goal to start the 3rd quarter. However, the Colorado offense soon found their rhythm, exemplified by a beauty of a trick play that put them into the red-zone. Quarterback Steven Montez lateraled it to wide receiver Jay MacIntyre, who received it in the right side of the field and found Kyle Evans on the complete opposite side of the field for a 31-yard completion. From there, the UCLA defensive line could not stop the Buffs “wild-cat” formation, backed by Laviska Shenault Jr who walked it in for the touchdown to regain the lead at 21-16.

On Shenault’s versatility, Montez said, “When he’s not getting the ball, he’s drawing two or three defenders because that’s how many guys it takes to get him on the ground. He is a very special player for us…He even plays a little quarterback back there in the wildcat. He can do it all.”

From thereon, every score the Buffs put up would go unanswered by the Bruins. The offense were firing practically in every phase of their game-plan behind a stellar passing performance by Montez who completed 22 of 26 throws for 237 total yards and 1 touchdown. He also had a modest 2 rushing touchdowns on 81 yards. Laviska Shenault Jr. continues to impress through his tremendous physical capabilities which allow Mike MacIntyre to move him around positionally. In turn, this aspect of unpredictability gave other players the opportunity to produce including Trayvon McMillian who finished with 1 touchdown on 102 total yards.

On Montez offensive performance, MacIntyre said, “His work ethic is there. He’s seeing everything now. QB Coach Kurt Roper has done a great job with him on that. He’s always been extremely accurate. He’s stepping up in the pocket and throwing the ball instead of moving out and trying to make a play every time.”

The Buffs defense completely shut the Bruins offense down in the 2nd half, demonstrating that they are capable of containing offenses that revolve around a quick and elusive quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Drew Lewis finished with multiple sacks and finished more than a few important tackles in the open field. Everything really came together for the Buffs as the game went on, shown by the 24-3 score-line for the 2nd half.

On the halftime adjustments, MacIntyre said, “In the spring and in fall camp, I pushed us to do our whole offense and our whole defense quickly; and do it over, and over, and over. We kind of overload the kids early in camp…Therefore, when we get in a situation and they change some things, we can go to it because we’ve practiced it and done it enough…With a new defensive staff last year, we kind of backed it down and tried to add some things and we just couldn’t go back to them as much. This year, we accelerated that and pushed that hard.

There is something different about the comradery between this season’s Buffs squad, evidenced by the way they interact on the field and how they talk about each other off of it. This hot 4-0 start to the season is their best since 1998 and will make any team happy, so we will see next week if this group of guys are as resilient as they seem. They will host a solid Arizona State football team this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. Still in search of their first win this year, UCLA will head back home to take on the 11th ranked Washington Huskies.

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