The Colorado Buffaloes dominated the 2018 Rocky Mountain Showdown from the opening kick. Their 45-13 victory earned them the Centennial Trophy.
The trophy will reside in Boulder for the fourth consecutive season. Colorado had a bevy of standout players on both sides of the ball. Colorado State defensive woes plagued them for a second straight week and the Rams quickly fell behind 21-0 on big plays from the Colorado offense.
A quick side-note at this point, shame on CBS for forcing us to watch the end of the Syracuse-Western Michigan contest. We missed the first 8 minutes of the Showdown with Syracuse up two scores.
The big plays on offense for Colorado start with quarterback Steven Montez. Having watched the development of Montez, the confidence and leadership emanating from the physically gifted Junior was a welcome sight. We’ve always known he had the physical tools, we’ve wondered if he was interested in being the go-to guy for this team.
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Montez’ performance was near perfection, opening 11-for-11 with both a rushing and passing touchdown under his belt. He finished 22-for-25, 338 yards and five touchdowns (one rushing). Smart, seasoned play from the Texas native.
Montez’ favorite target on the night was fellow Texan Laviska Shenault, Jr. The sophomore wideout lived up to the 2 on his chest (Figures or Flanigan, not Carruth) with 11 catches for 211 yards and a TD. Shenault was electric, hauling in deep passes and a fantastic back-shouder bullet from Montez.
On the ground, Colorado was paced by Senior running back Travon McMillan who had 10 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. K.D. Nixon added 112 yards and a touchdown receiving. It was an exciting night of the Colorado offense.
Defensively, CU got a breakout performance from Sophomore linebacker Nate Landman who had 16 tackles, including two for a loss and seemed to be everywhere, defensively for Colorado. Delrick Abrams added nine tackles out of the Colorado secondary.
Colorado State quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels was harassed all night by the Colorado defense but showed the ability that got him 537 yards against Hawaii last week. Carta-Samuels threw for 176 and a TD against a stifling Colorado defense.
Next week Colorado travels to Nebraska for a meeting with the former rival and hated Cornhuskers. Mixed emotions for this one, it’s hard to muster the same hatred for the Big Red nation but it will be surreal to see Colorado on the Memorial field.