|Trip Dates||10/25/2019 – 10/27/2019|
|School||University of Colorado|
|Visiting Team||USC Trojans|
Pre-game Record: 4-3
|Home Team||Colorado Buffaloes|
Pre-game Record: 3-4
|Game Time (ET)||9:00 PM Eastern (7:00 local)|
|Weather||52, Clear & Windy|
|Attendees||Jarrett & Al|
|Jarrett’s Pick||USC Trojans|
(32 and 17 record)
|Al’s Pick||USC Trojans|
(26 and 23 record)
|Length of Game||3:25|
|Seat Location||Row 77, Goal Line|
|Miles Traveled||1,8212 (split with Wyoming)|
|Photo Album||Click here for the Colorado Photo Album|
Late October brings a Quest doubleheader; University of Colorado and University of Wyoming.
First things first…packing. I hate packing and do not find this an easy thing. My bag is packed with lots of warm clothes as the forecast is not good; cold and the potential for snow in Denver on our way home, with lots of temperature variation. How do you pack for that? Plus I need it twice, as there are two games. Overstuffed bag! How will Al manage to take a backpack on this trip? Plus he’s going to Vegas from Denver. Good luck with that.
A not absurd 8am flight to Denver yields a 4:30 wakeup and a LIRR and air train ride to JFK terminal 4 for the Delta flight. Quick question, how can you end up at the front of the TSA PreCheck line, if you do not have PreCheck? Aren’t there like 3 people that need to verify your boarding pass before you get to the front TSA officer? I know they check my boarding pass repeatedly. How can this happen? Is everyone asleep this early in the morning? And are people really this dumb and bad at reading signs? Wait, I know the answer to that one.
After security, it is off to McDonald’s for breakfast, because I will not get a headache today. Normally, I would forgo food so that my body is not digesting “food” and I could sleep on the flight. But after my last flight with a bad headache, preventing that is priority #1.
We eventually board the flight. It was a full flight, but I think we managed to have the only open middle seat between us. Good fortune for once and maybe a good omen for the trip.
We arrive in Denver and head out on the shuttle bus to the Silvercar location. There are two other people headed to Silvercar. This is unusual as we never even see one other person going to Silvercar and this time there are two others. The Denver Silvercar location must be doing very well, very well. We get in our car and head out for Boulder and the University of Colorado, but not before the very attractive girl on the bus to Silvercar peeled out in front of us. It is very clear that she did all the driving in that relationship. Sorry, but you had to be there.
After a very pretty drive to Boulder, we arrived at the University of Colorado. As an aside, Denver has a lot of land.
University of Colorado
We did some driving around Boulder and Al even found a Barnes and Noble that we thought might be a school bookstore. But it was actually a real B&N, believe it or not. After a bit more driving around, we decided to park on campus and found a spot where we could park and leave the car for the game. Colorado has an interesting parking situation on campus for games as they sell you a spot and then you are free to drive and park where you can find a spot. Then you can move around so long as you keep your receipt. But apparently there is enough parking spots on campus that they can accommodate a lot of vehicles this way. Very unusual.
After parking, we head out for some lunch and end up in the school cafeteria. A very nice cafeteria. This place had a ton of choices. And I mean a ton. No exaggeration there were probably 15 different stations offering everything from sushi to italian to salad to burgers. Haley would probably even find something she could eat here. Probably.
After lunch it was off to the bookstore. We did our usual shopping and donation to the local community. Tonight’s game is a “black out” and I will say that black is not a great color for me to buy. But I did manage to find something black to wear.
Then it was time for some aimless wandering around campus. The weather had not yet turned very cold and Colorado is a very nice campus, albeit one without a school sign that was readily apparent. During our wandering, I got a “Go Gators” and a “Did you go to Florida, my sister went there” as I had not yet changed out of my Gator shirt into the Buffaloes shirt I had just bought.
The quote of the aimless wandering came from Al as it so often does, “There must be a basketball arena here somewhere.” We did find it, but could not go in and see it, because it was being used as a law enforcement staging area. All in all, Colorado is a very nice campus, although I will say the piles of snow on campus at the end of October is a large turn off, at least to me.
At some point we headed back to the car to drop off our purchases and change for the game, keeping in mind the Quest motto since Northern Illinois and Maryland, “I will not be cold.” The key to this game was layers. It was not yet very cold, but it was going to be. Layers. But I hate carrying layers. Thus a dilemma.
We headed over to the stadium and inside. Folsom Field has an incredible backdrop right up against the mountains. It is quite scenic. So we did the very touristy thing and took lots of pictures from lots of different vantage points.
As kick approached, we grabbed a snack, which yields the following question, how come hot chocolate comes with a lid but soda doesn’t and there are no straws? Are hot chocolate drinkers more trustworthy (to not throw the lids) than soda drinkers? We asked the people behind the counter, but they did not have an answer. They claimed it was their first day. I will wait for the athletic department staff at Colorado to come back to me on this.
As kickoff approached, we both made our pick, and we both picked USC.
USC won the toss and took the ball. Three plays and less than a minute into the game, USC had gone 75 yards and took a 7-0 lead. I mistakenly believed that USC was off to the races. Colorado would answer going 13 plays, 70 yards to the USC 5 yard line, but would have to settle for a field goal, so USC leads 7-3. USC would be picked off on its next possession and Colorado would take over on its 23 yard line. Colorado went on a masterful drive consuming 12 plays, 77 yards and 6:18 of the clock for the go ahead TD and a 10-7 lead. The Colorado defense would then hold USC to 3 and out and force a punt. The Colorado offense could not do anything on this drive and would have to punt, but would pin USC on its own 10 yard line. The Colorado defense held up and forced another 3 and out and a USC punt. The next Colorado drive would be fruitful as 8 plays later, they were in the endzone taking a 17-7 lead. USC would answer back with a 9 play 75 yard drive cutting the Colorado lead to 17-14, which is how the 1H would end.
Colorado received the 2H kickoff and on the 2nd play went 71 yards for a TD to open the lead to 24-14. But USC would have an answer after 5 plays to cut the lead back to 24-21. Colorado would answer back, this time taking 8 plays to go 66 yards and expand the lead back to 10, 31-21. Would either defense step up? USC would drive down to the Colorado 22 yard line, but miss the field goal attempt. Is this the opening that Colorado would need to open up the game? No, Colorado would have to punt. But the defense held and USC had to punt. We end the 3Q at 31-21, Colorado.
Colorado opens the 4Q going nowhere and having to punt. 5 plays later, USC cuts the lead to 3, 31-28. This time Colorado has no answer, 3 and out. But the Colorado defense does hold, forcing a USC punt. But again, the Colorado offense can not do much with this possession, getting into USC territory, but having to punt. USC would begin the drive at their own 10. 12 plays later, USC regains the long lost lead 35-31 with 2:15 remaining. Colorado can not do much with its last possession and goes down 35-31.
Colorado led much of the game and had USC on the ropes but could not close the deal. In a game that many thought (us included) would be a runaway, it proved to be highly entertaining. Which was very good for us considering how cold it was. If this game was not close and not entertaining, it would have made it that much colder. The fans did show up and the stadium was very close to capacity. All very nice for a Friday night. I am sure that it being USC had a lot to do with it. There are no moral victories in football, but it was a good showing for the Buffaloes and their fans.
As an aside, Colorado has the most foul mouthed fans that we have seen on the Quest thus far and it is not even close. I will not say that the refs did not deserve some of it, but only some. Colorado should not win this category. No offense, but you are not playing for titles. These games are not that meaningful. Relax, chill. And for God sakes watch the language. I have heard some things in my time and I have said some things in my time, but seriously Buffs fans, get a grip. And go visit that Tegridy Farms place.
The USC Trojans finished the 2019 regular season on a 3 game winning streak to close with an 8-4 record. USC finished in 2nd place in the Pac12 South with a 7-2 record, one game behind Utah. This was good for a trip to the Holiday Bowl to take on Iowa where USC would lose 49-24.
Colorado finished the year at 5-7, 3-6 in the Pac12 South which was good for 5th place, just ahead of last place Arizona, which beat Colorado. The Buffaloes season was done in by a 5 game losing streak from October 5 to November 2. If the Buffs had just beaten Arizona, they probably would have been bowl bound.
This trip report continues in the Wyoming trip report.
For our Colorado photo album, Please click here. You can view as a collage or run as a slideshow. There are comments to explain what is in the photo but most are self explanatory. Thanks to Google, I can no longer embed the slide show with comments.