Two weeks ago, the temperature was 92 degrees at Folsom Field for the game against New Hampshire. Tonight, the game against the UCLA Bruins started with the temperature a less than balmy 46 degrees. Welcome to Autumn in the Rockies.
UCLA came to Boulder sporting a record of 0-3. It hasn't been the auspicious start that Chip Kelly and the Bruin faithful had been hoping for. Meanwhile, the Buffs entered the game 3-0 and alone in first place as the only unbeaten team in the Pac-12 South.
For the first half, most watching the game had to be wondering if Colorado really was the undefeated team. After last year, many of the Colorado fans have been wary of getting too confident. In 2017, Colorado started 3-0 and then stumbled to a 5-7 record.
When the first half ended with a 14-13 Colorado lead, no one in the crowd was thinking that the Buffs had the Bruins right where they wanted them. Turns out, though, that the 2nd half would belong to Colorado. The Golden Buffs outscored the Bruins 24-3 to cruise to a decisive victory.
Colorado is 4-0 for the first time since 1998. Yes, it's been that long. That means that about half the student section at Folsom Field had not even been born yet the last time it happened.
The win means that Colorado has now beaten UCLA two out of the last three years. If they keep that up, they will finally start to create some real rivalries in the Pac-12. Finishing last in the Pac-12 South on a nearly annual basis since joining the league has done little to throw a scare into the other teams.
Even this win, against a reeling UCLA squad, has to be taken with a grain of salt. The Buffs need to keep pushing to get better. It doesn't get anything but harder from here.
The next three weeks present the gauntlet of Colorado's schedule. Arizona State - USC - Washington.
The Buffaloes can't afford to lose the next three games if they want to have a chance to win the Pac-12 South. Arizona State already has a win against a Top 15 team. Washington is on the cusp of the Top 10. And USC is USC, meaning they have as much talent on the field as any team in the nation. It's going to be a tough stretch that will test the mettle of the Buffaloes.
For tonight, Mike MacIntyre and his Golden Buffaloes have earned the right to celebrate. The turned it on in the 2nd half and turned a close game into a decisive victory.
Look later this weekend for looks at the the players who have been instrumental in making the Buffs 4-0.