- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Colorado was perhaps the nation's worst AQ conference team last year. That won't be the case this year.
In their first game under coach Mike MacIntyre, the Buffaloes beat rival Colorado State 41-27, with quarterback Connor Wood throwing for 400 yards and two of his three touchdowns to receiver Paul Richardson, who finished with 208 yards receiving.
In last year's loss to the Rams, the Buffaloes wilted in the fourth quarter. This time, they dominated, winning the final frame 18-3 with big plays on both sides of the ball.
The biggest was a 53-yard fumble return for a TD from cornerback Greg Henderson. At the time, Colorado had just taken a 26-24 lead, so things were tight. Defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe forced the fumble, coming up behind Joe Hansley and slapping the ball loose.
It was a heady play. How often did we accuse a Buff of being "heady" last year?
Richardson then iced the game with a 75-yard touchdown reception with 3:36 remaining, taking a short pass the distance against busted coverage.
Wood was in complete control. While he got little support from a running game, he completed 33 of 46 with three TDs and no interceptions.
Don't forget the defense. Last year, the Buffs yielded 46 points and 499 yards per game. The Rams had just 295 yards.
Kicker Will Oliver was 4 for 4 on field goals, including a career-long of 52 yards. The only downer was poor coverage on special teams, with the Rams returning a punt 74 yards for a TD and a kick 84 yards, which set up another TD.
The Buffs play host to Central Arkansas next weekend, trying to improve to 2-0. They haven't been 2-0 since 2008.
2dChantel Jennings and David Lombardi