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On a gloomy Saturday afternoon at Folsom Field, the matchup between CU and Stanford was a rough one for the Buffs. Once the Stanford Cardinal scored, they never looked back.
Ending 48-0, the game marked the first shutout at home for the Buffs since November 15, 1986 against Oklahoma (28-0).
In the post-game press conference, CU head coach Jon Embree credited Stanford for its dominant performance.
“Hats off to Stanford,” Embree said. “They got after us with their defense, and their offense made plays when they needed to.”
The CU Buffs showed some aggression in the first quarter, but it only lasted so long against the No.15 Stanford Cardinal. Just eight minutes into the first quarter, Stanford returned an interception for a 52-yard touchdown.
Most of the game was put on the shoulders of the Colorado defense, and the Buffs began looking dreadfully tired.
“I thought early on our defense gave us a chance offensively,” Embree said.
Against the Cardinal’s aggressive defense and offense, CU lost ground.
After a week of indecision, Embree chose junior Jordan Webb to start at quarterback over sophomore Nick Hirschman.
“(Jordan) was clearly the better guy (at practice),” Embree said.
Last week, however, Hirschman provided the Buffs with their only points scored against the University of Oregon.
After almost three quarters of Webb and Hirschman sharing playing time, Embree went to a third quarterback, sophomore Connor Wood.
After entering the game, Wood completed a 14-yard pass to senior tight end Nick Kasa, the longest completion for the Buffs to that point. He added a 22-yard completion to sophomore tail back Tony Jones and a 20-yard completion to Kasa, allowing Buffs across midfield for the first time.
The competition for starting quarterback seems to be running steep after today’s results, with Webb finishing with 19 yards (four of 10 passes completed), Hirschman 12 yards (four of six completed), and Wood with 66 yards (completed four of seven throws).
In the second quarter, Stanford started strong, scoring on a three play drive, ending on a 26-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0. A Stanford ball-carrier stepped out of bounds at the two-yard line, but was stopped at the one-yard line on the next play. On third down, Stanford was able to complete the drive, bringing the score to 21-0.
After a two-yard run and two incomplete passes on the ensuing Colorado possession, the Buffs were forced to punt, allowing the Cardinals to begin the rout. Stanford began another scoring drive at the 35-yard line, pushed forward a 20-yard run by quarterback Kevin Hogan. Two plays later, Hogan completed a pass to Levine Toilolo for 32 yards, followed by a pass to Brent Ertz for a touchdown, bringing the score to 28-0. With less than 2 minutes left in the half, Stanford scored off of a rush up the middle by Stephan Taylor, making the halftime score 35-0.
The third and fourth quarters were not any better for the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs earned just three first downs in three quarters and managed only 76-yards of offense through the whole game.
Stanford continued a strong, powerful offensive performance, adding a field goal and a touchdown. Cardinal kicker, Jordan Williamson, completed a 31-yard field goal after the team was charged with two delay of game penalties and a false start. CU went forward for a total of eight yards on their drive before being stopped. Stanford regained possession and marched 77 yards down the field for a touchdown and later completed a field goal, bringing the final score to a 48-0 shutout.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jessica Malknecht at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.