Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: Volleyball team continues to shock the world

No intro today, straight to the bag.  I'm talking the monster upset on the volleyball court, wrapping up the football loss to Oregon, and taking my semi-weekly trip around the nation of football.

Click below for the bag...

Another shocking victory from women's volleyball - 

Only a few days after the joyous upset of #11 UCLA, the CU women's volleyball team took a disappointing loss up in Laramie, WY to the Wyoming Cowgirls.  I feared that any momentum gained by that statement win over the Bruins was going to be wasted, and that things were about to return to business as usual on the volleyball court. With #1 Washington coming to town, the immediate outlook appeared very dim, indeed.

Instead, the ladies dusted themselves off, focused on the task at hand, and stunned the volleyball world by handing the nation's best their first loss of the season.  In four sets, no less.  It was CU's first win over a #1 team since their five set victory over #1 Nebraska in 2006 - a game I was at, by the way.
Another mid-court celebration for the Buffs.
Powered by junior Taylor Simpson's team-high 18 kills, the Buffs out-paced the Huskies 56-46 in four sets, easily outhitting their opponents .282-.135.  They kept the ball in play, and allowed the vaunted Huskies to make fatal mistakes, including 26 errors.  This wasn't some fluke five-set squeaker, the Buffs earned this victory, and were clearly the better team on the day. 

Thankfully, CU was able to capitalize on the upset by holding serve over Washington St on Sunday (Simpson had another huge game with 23 kills - she may be entering All-Pac-12 territory at this point).  Now sitting at 3-1 in Pac-12 play, 11-3 overall, 2013 is already the best season the program has enjoyed in the Pac-12 era. 

One thing is for sure, after two-straight victories over ranked competition, no one is going to come into the CEC expecting an easy time of it for the rest of the season.  The word is getting out, these Buffs are legit. Said Simpson, "I can only imagine what's next."

Next up for the Buffs: a tough trip to the Bay area, with matches against Cal and #7 Stanford.

Oregon, again, wipes the floor with CU - 

Many people will tell you the Buffs looked better Saturday, but the bottom-line result was the same, with Oregon housing Colorado 57-16 at Folsom Field.

Sure, for a few blissful seconds, the Buffs hung with, and even held two leads against, the #2 Ducks. However, when push came to shove, CU not only made far too many mistakes (both on the field and on the sideline), but came up woefully short.
After a few heady moments, like DD Goodson's first quarter score, Oregon asserted itself.  From: the BDC
It all started out well enough, with CU holding the Oregon offense to a three-and-out on their first possession before storming down the field for a quick field goal and a 3-0 lead.  After an immediate UO response via a textbook nine-play, 75 yard, 1:49 touchdown drive, the Buffs even managed to retake the lead through a brilliant 75-yard WR option pass from Paul Richardson to DD Goodson.  But it was all short lived, as a pair of ugly Connor Wood interceptions stiffled momentum, and allowed Oregon to open the scoring floodgates for the rest of the half.  By the time that first 30 minutes came to an end, it was 43-16, and the game was all but over.

Duck QB Marcus Mariota had a day for his Heisman reel, putting up 398 total yards and seven combined scores on CU, despite not even sniffing the field in the fourth quarter.  For the Buffs, the star was, as usual, Paul Richardson, who, in addition to that TD pass, hauled in five catches of 134 yards, and could've had more if not for an untimely drop late in the second quarter.
Richardson had a great day for CU.  From: the BDC
By my estimation, Colorado just played the first half too fast, as quick possessions only kept Oregon's blazingly fast offense on the field.  CU moved the ball a little, and made some decent plays on defense (Addison Gillam, especially), but every time I looked up on the scoreboard the clock seemed stuck in the mud.  Eventually, given a stream of possessions, that Oregon offense is going to dictate terms, and when they did, the Buffs couldn't get to halftime fast enough. 

Yes, the Buffs did look feisty and competitive for a few minutes, and hooray for effort, but they failed to move the ball at all against the second and third string in the second half, finished an abysmal 0-15 on third downs, and still failed to even cover after that hot start.  Had the clock been managed better, and had the Buffs continued to make adjustments in the second half, they could've, should've hung with Oregon even longer.

Around the nation of football - 


- Ohio St 40 - Northwestern 30 - 

Buckeye running back Carlos Hyde, and his 168 yard, three score performance, was simply too much for Northwestern, who were seeking a program-defining upset.  Still, it was a fun game to watch, and the season still looks strong for the Fight'n' Purples.
The Wildcats just couldn't seem to stop Hyde at the line of scrimmage.
- Stanford 31 - Washington 28 -

The road to the Pac-12 North title still rolls through the Oregon/Stanford game, as the Cardinal survived a late scare from the Huskies to remain undefeated.  A brilliant special teams day from Stanford speedster Ty Montgomery proved to be the difference, as his 290 APY day made up for the Cardinal's 210 yard deficit in offensive yardage.

- Florida St 63 - Maryland 0 -

What happened, Terps?  After a week spent tooting their own horn, the #25 Maryland Terrapins were obliterated by #8 Florida State in Tallahassee.  FSU's Jamesis Winston continued his Heisman campaign by putting up 393 yards and five touchdowns in the win.


- Denver 51 - Dallas 48 - 

Romo gonna Romo.  After a day in which he set the Dallas passing record with 506 yards and five touchdown passes, the beleaguered Cowboy QB couldn't help himself, and threw a back-breaking interception with only two minutes to play.  The return helped set up Matt Prater's game-winning boot, and the Broncos stay perfect for another week.
Romo's always good for a laugh.
- Cincinnati 13 - New England 6 - 

Apparently, all that is needed to halt Patriot QB Tom Brady's late-game heroics is a torrential downpour.  With the game on the line, Brady had trouble gripping the ball in driving rain, and failed to get the ball into position for a game-tying score.  As a result, Brady's streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass was broken, and the Bengals secured a much-needed win.

Happy Monday!

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