Mel Tucker’s halftime message was simple: We’ve taken their best shot. Now, let’s go give them ours.
Colorado hadn’t touched visiting Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, whose jersey was clean and whose passing was perfect, and the Buffaloes had managed just 84 yards of offense and none on the ground.
“When we went out into the tunnel coming out for the second half, those guys were energized and ready to play ball,” Tucker said.
In a scintillating comeback, the Buffaloes overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit in Tucker’s first home game and sent fans streaming onto the field in celebration.
James Stefanou’s 34-yard field goal gave Colorado its first lead in overtime and the Buffaloes beat No. 25 Nebraska 34-31 on Saturday when punter Isaac Armstrong’s 49-yard try sailed wide right .
The students stormed the field celebrating the Buffaloes’ second straight win over their old Big 12 rival. Colorado rallied to win in the closing minutes last year in Lincoln.
“This is one of the hardest losses I’ve ever been a part of,” said Nebraska’s second-year coach Scott Frost, who fell to 0-6 on the road.
Before Saturday, unranked Buffaloes teams were 1-22 all-time against ranked Nebraska teams with their only win coming in 1976 when the Cornhuskers were ranked third.
Rank this one right up there with that one.
It included the longest touchdown in Colorado’s history, a 96-yard flea-flicker from Steven Montez to K.D. Nixon in a frenetic fourth quarter that featured 38 points and began with Nebraska (1-1) up 17-7.
Pressed into kicking duties because the starter, Barret Pickering, was out with an undisclosed injury, Armstrong was perfect on four extra points and nailed a 26-yard field goal during regulation.
When Mustafa Johnson sacked Martinez for the third time, this one for a 7-yard loss on 3rd-and-9 in overtime, suddenly Armstrong was facing a 48-yard try.
It was never close as the kick went low and right off Armstrong’s foot. That prompted Colorado fans to storm the field and leave the stands a sea of red. A good 40 percent of the sellout crowd of 52,829 was cheering for the visitors in Nebraska’s first trip to Folsom Field in a decade.
“There’s a lot of red that left here disappointed,” Tucker said.
#16 Oregon 77, Nevada 6: Justin Herbert threw for 310 yards and five touchdowns before heading to the sideline in the third quarter, and the host Ducks rebounded from a season-opening loss to Auburn with a rout of the Wolf Pack. Oregon tied a school record with seven touchdown passes — caught by seven receivers. Tight end Jacob Breeland caught four passes for a career-high 112 yards and a score. True freshman Brandon Talton kicked two first-half field goals for Nevada (1-1).
San Diego State 23, UCLA 14: Ryan Agnew passed for 293 yards and a touchdown, Matt Araiza kicked three field goals and the visiting Aztecs earned their first win over the Bruins. San Diego State had won four in a row against Pac-12 teams since 2016, but it had been 0-21-1 against UCLA coming into the game. Agnew completed 23 of 31 passes and Kobe Smith had seven receptions for 131 yards and a score.
#22 Washington State 59, Northern, Colorado 17: Anthony Gordon threw for 464 yards and four touchdowns and the host Cougars (2-0) pounded the visiting Bears (0-2). Max Borghi scored three touchdowns and Easop Winston Jr. caught two scoring passes for Washington State. Jacob Knipp completed 8 of 15 passes for 128 yards for Northern Colorado.
#13 Utah 35, Northern Illinois 17: Tyler Huntley passed for one touchdown and ran for another and the host Utes (2-0) held the Huskies (1-1) to 69 yards in the second half. After a shaky first half, the Utah defense clamped down with an effective pass rush, an interception and a fourth-down stop. Huntley finished 14-for-19 for 214 yards and ran for 38 yards, without a sack for the second straight game. Northern Illinois kept pace with Utah in the first two quarters with an effective mix of short passes and QB runs. Former Cal quarterback Ross Bowers passed for 202 yards in his team’s loss.
Arizona State 19, Sacramento State 7: Eno Benjamin caught a 72-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, Cristian Zendejas kicked four field goals and the Sun Devils (2-0) labored to a home win over the Hornets (1-1). Arizona State’s offense sputtered, plagued by off-target passes, drops and an ineffective running game against a team ranked 115th in total defense last season — in the FCS.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Colorado-rallies-beats-No-25-Nebraska-34-31-in-14422485.php.