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Colorado Shucks the Nebraska Cornhuskers 36-14 to Improve to 2-0

Folsom Field at University of Colorado in Boulder
Photo Credit - cuboulder via Flickr

It was not pretty, but the Colorado Buffaloes are now undefeated in the young 2023 season after defeating their hated rivals, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 36-14 in front of a packed house at Folsom Field. The Buffaloes are now 3-0 in the last three meetings between the two teams.

First Half - No Fireworks

The game started off slow and sloppy, with Colorado drives producing three penalties and zero points in the first quarter. The second quarter wasn’t much better with the Buffaloes punting four times. However, they got on the scoreboard and took a 13-0 lead into halftime.

The Colorado defense, which gave up 42 points, zero sacks, and zero tackles for loss in Week 1 against TCU, finally flexed its muscles against the Cornhuskers as they registered one sack, four tackles for loss, one interception, and recovered two fumbles by Nebraska QB Jeff Sims, all in the first half. That stat line would keep Nebraska scoreless as the Huskers were just 1 for 7 on 3rd down conversions.

The Cornhusker's lone scoring opportunity in the first half was a 47-yard field goal attempt that doinked off the right upright to keep the goose egg on the scoreboard for Nebraska.

If there was a bright spot for the Cornhuskers in the first half, it was the pressure they put on Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Nebraska sacked Sanders four times and registered five tackles for loss as a unit.

Second Half - Colorado Breaks the Game Open

In the 3rd quarter, the much-maligned Sims, who owns the dubious record of committing the most turnovers of any active player in the FBS, finally put Nebraska on the scoreboard. On 2nd down and 17, Sims ran around the right side and down the sideline for 57 yards and a touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7.

On the ensuing possession for Colorado, Sanders drove the Buffaloes down the field to the Nebraska red zone at the 12-yard line. On 3rd down, Sanders found WR Xavier Weaver on the back of the end zone to put the Buffaloes up by two scores at 20-7. The Buffs scored again in the 3rd quarter on a field goal to make the score 23-7.

On a 4th quarter drive, the Buffaloes scored once more on a fake shuttle pass but pitched to the wide receiver on an end-around play to get in the end zone, increasing the lead to 29-7. A two-point conversion pass attempt was ruled incomplete.

On the ensuing Nebraska possession, with Sims on the bench with an injured ankle and backup QB Heinrich Haarberg under center, the Cornhusker's drive stalled as the ball was turned over on downs. Sanders led the Buffs on one more scoring drive in the 4th quarter and took matters into his own hands, scoring on 3rd and 3 from the five yard line to increase Colorado’s lead to 36-7. Nebraska scored again later in the game, but the damage was done.

Final score: Colorado 36 – Nebraska 14.

The Colorado defense took a couple of steps forward in this game, recording two sacks, six tackles for loss, and one INT.

Xavier Weaver appears to be a dependable target for Sanders, hauling in 10 passes for 170 yards and a score, and averaging 17 yards per catch.

Play of the Game

The Sanders to Weaver pitch and catch on 3rd down from the 12-yard line to put Colorado up by two scores. The Cornhuskers did not answer until late in the 4th quarter.

MVP for Nebraska

Two players from the Nebraska defense, Nick Henrich and Cameron Lenhardt, recorded 2 sacks of Shedeur Sanders.

What the Loss Means for Nebraska

The Cornhuskers are 0-2 on the season and have scored just 24 points combined in those two losses. It was the largest margin of victory by Colorado over Nebraska since 2001. Will head coach Matt Rhule stick with Jeff Sims as QB1? That is certainly a matter to take under consideration.

MVP for Colorado

No surprise here, Shedeur Sanders continues to impress. His stat line: 31 of 42 (74%), 393 yards, 2 TDs, zero INTs.

What the Win Means for Colorado

The Buffaloes are 2-0 on the season after winning just one game last season. Coach Prime has his players, and the fans, believing in what he is building in Boulder.

Next Up…

Colorado hosts in-state rival Colorado State next Saturday. Nebraska hosts Northern Illinois on September 16th.

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