In the moments after CUs 33-28 win against the Cornhuskers on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb., I walked past a host of CU fans, including Tim Lynott, Sr. The father of CU right guard Tim Lynott Jr., saw me, and we shook hands as he exclaimed, "That's a huge win!!"
No doubt about it. The CU faithful will enjoy that win for a while. It was the raw emotion of CU head coach Mike MacIntyre that stuck out to me the most, however.
The sixth-year head coach of the Buffaloes has always worn his emotions on his sleeve, and he had tears in his eyes from the moment Nebraska's final pass sailed through the end zone and the clock hit 0:00.
MacIntyre gave his son, senior receiver Jay, a big hug on the field and then turned, wiping his eyes before a live postgame interview on ABC.
This was a man who knew what this win meant to the CU community and this year's team. To me, this was MacIntyre's signature win at CU. Yeah, the wins at Oregon and Stanford in 2016 were massive, as were the home wins against Washington State and Utah that season. All four were critical to the Buffs' Pac-12 South title.
Beating Nebraska - in Lincoln, no less - is different, though. This was only the 9th CU victory in Lincoln, in 35 tries.
I also think it's starting to hit MacIntyre that this is his final season coaching his son.
I've always felt MacIntyre was reluctant to talk too much about Jay, perhaps to avoid appearing that he was favoring his son (which he doesn't do). He's been more open to talking about Jay this year, though, and certainly didn't hide what Saturday meant to him.
Jay caught a career-high eight passes for 45 yards and two touchdowns - his first multi-touchdown game at CU. He also put his body on the line and took a big hit from Nebraska safety Antonio Reed late in the fourth quarter - drawing a personal foul penalty that led to the game-winning touchdown.
"They're all special," MacIntyre said about the hugs he got on the field after the game. "There was one that was probably a little bit more emotional, and that was with my son Jay. I got to live kind of two dreams as the head coach at Colorado today. I got to live the dream of beating Nebraska, which hasn't been done in a long time and then I got to watch my son play and he made some plays. Like a dad would like to hug his son afterwards, that's what that was. I enjoyed that moment." MacIntyre has seen Jay make plays for the Buffs since his freshman year in 2015. Jay's had a very productive career with 75 catches for 925 yards and six touchdowns.
MacIntyre, however, has less than four months remaining to coach his son and it appears he is savoring the moments more than ever.
"Not very often do you get to see your son play all the time," the coach said. "As a college coach, I hardly got to see him play in high school. To get to see him play in college and do what he did today - along with the whole rest of our team - that was the dad special part after the game was over."
The week's best Buffs, Part I
This trio may show up a lot in this category. They were my top three Buffs after week 1, and, to me, they were the top three Buffs against Nebraska.
1. QB Steven Montez: We're done worrying about him not being named a captain, right? The junior displayed remarkable poise on a day when he was under constant pressure and sacked seven times. He never flinched and showed a great deal of leadership while putting up some big-time numbers (33-for-50, 351 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) again.
2. WR Laviska Shenault: Holy cow, this kid is amazing. He injured his elbow at some point during the game. Not sure when, but I think it happened midway through the second quarter, as he came off the sidelines in some pain and trainers looked at him. He had seven catches for 137 yards and the game-winning touchdowns AFTER that, and finished with 10 catches for 177 yards.
3. LB Nate Landman: Continues to be an absolute beast on defense, racking up 13 tackles - two for loss - and an interception in the fourth quarter.
The week's best Buffs, Part II
This is the non-Landman/Montez/Shenault category. Five other Buffs that I thought really stood out:
1. WR Jay MacIntyre: Eight catches, 45 yards, 2 TD and took some big hits in the game.
2. DE Mustafa Johnson: He was exceptional for the second game in a row. Johnson finished with seven tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
3. LB Rick Gamboa: He had a very Gamboa-like game, with nothing flashy, but a very productive afternoon. He was credited with 10 tackles.
4. K/P Davis Price: Credit goes to the junior, who had never punted in a college game until Saturday. When Alex Kinney broke his collarbone in the first quarter, Price had to take over punting duties. The kickoff specialist wound up averaging 40.8 yards on four punts.
5. C Colby Pursell: I'm going to throw him in here because I think he deserves some credit for how he's played so far this season. A redshirt freshman who had never played in a college game until Aug. 31, Pursell's been flawless with his snaps, and he held his own - for the most part - against the Husker D-line on Saturday.
Eliot's aggressiveness pays off
Seems weird to say after the Buffs gave up 565 yards, but defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot had a good day Saturday.
For one, Eliot and his staff deserve a ton of credit for the in-game adjustments they made. After giving up 243 yards on the ground in the first half (6.94 yards per carry), they allowed just 86 yards on 19 carries (4.52 average) after halftime.
Eliot actually had the Buffs in good spots at times in the first half, too.
On Nebraska's first touchdown, a 41-yard run by quarterback Adrian Martinez, the Buffs dialed up a corner blitz, with Delrick Abrams Jr., coming off the back edge. It was a great call, but Abrams had a slight hesitation after he got into the backfield. Martinez took advantage, juked past Abrams and sprinted to the end zone. Keep going and Abrams probably make a big tackle in the backfield.
On the play before Nebraska's second touchdown, Israel Antwine busted through the line and nearly caught Martinez for an eight-yard sack. He couldn't wrap up, though, and Martinez wound up delivering an off-balance 19-yard throw. Instead of 3rd-and-18, it was 1st-and-goal at the 8, and the Huskers scored on the next play.
The Buffs made nice adjustments in the second half to make more of those plays.
Eliot then ended the game on a good note. On the final play, Nebraska had one last chance. Nebraska was at the CU 20 and had to get in the end zone. Rather than dropping everybody back and letting backup QB Andrew Bunch comfortably throw to the end zone, Eliot brought the house. Bunch was running for his life and, with Evan Worthington, Kyle Trego and Rick Gamboa in pursuit, threw an off-balance pass while retreating. The pass sailed out of the end zone and never had a chance.
"Coach Eliot made a great call at the end of the game on the last play to blitz them and not give them time," MacIntyre said. "That really helped us. I thought that was a great call. Some people would be really conservative there. We have two ways of doing that. He wanted to go with the more aggressive (way), and I agreed and, sure enough, we did a good job."
Stat of the week
Even with Saturday's win, the Buffs are just 9-26 all-time in Lincoln, but they make the most of those wins. CU has never had a bad season when winning in Lincoln. Here's a look at CU's final records in the seasons it has defeated the Cornhuskers on the road:
1951: Won 36-14; Record: 7-3
1953: Won 14-10; Record: 6-4
1957: Won 27-0; Record: 6-3-1
1961: Won 7-0; Record: 9-2; Won Big 8 title
1967: Won 21-16; Record: 9-2
1990: Won 27-12; Record: 11-1-1; Won Big 8 and national title
2002: Won 28-13; Record: 9-5; Won Big 12 North
2004: Won 26-20; Record: 8-5; Won Big 12 North
Total record in those seasons: 65-35-2 (.647)
Pac-12 players of the week
For the second week in a row, I think a Buff had a shot to be honored by the conference. Here's who I voted for:
Offense - Laviska Shenault, Colorado: His game against Nebraska was fantastic. Others in the Pac-12 had big games, but none did it in a win against a Power 5 team on the road. Runner-up: Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson, who had 238 yards and 4 TDs.
Defense - Chase Hansen, Utah: He had a pick-6 in the closing minutes to secure a 17-6 win at Northern Illinois. Also had 12 tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Runner-up: Arizona State LB Merlin Robertson, who had a big game (9 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble) in an upset of No. 15 Michigan State.
Special teams - Brandon Ruiz, ASU: Went 3-for-3 on field goals, including the 28-yard game-winner on the final play against Michigan State.
Pac-12 Team of the Week
Arizona State: The Sun Devils have been laughed at all offseason because of the hiring of Herm Edwards as head coach. I don't know how the Edwards hire will turn out, but it's hard to argue with ASU's start. Edwards had the Sun Devils ready to go in the opener, rolling past UT-San Antonio, 49-7. Then, he had them ready against Michigan State. I'm not sure Michigan State is very good, but they came in No. 15 and ASU got the upset. Big win for that program.
National Team of the Week
Kansas: We'll go with something different here and throw a shout out to the Jayhawks, who thumped Central Michigan, 31-7, to end a 46-game road losing streak. After losing to FBS Nicholls State in the opener, that was a great bounce-back for Kansas.
A few thoughts on the Pac-12's second week:
1. Great win for Stanford, knocking off USC 17-3. That was classic Stanford football, running the ball and playing great defense. Bryce Love (136 yards, 1 TD) had a great bounce-back day and the Cardinal shut down the USC run game. Impressive start to the year for David Shaw's team.
2. I'm stunned at how bad Arizona has been. There were high expectations for the Wildcats and QB Khalil Tate this year, especially with Kevin Sumlin coming in as head coach. So far, it's been a disaster. The loss to BYU in the opener was surprising, but watching them get hammered, 45-18, at Houston was worse. Arizona trailed 38-0 at one point and looked lost. One of the most dynamic QBs in the country, Tate has 22 yards rushing on 15 carries so far this season.
3. UCLA's Chip Kelly isn't having much fun in his first season, either. The Bruins are in for a long year as they fell to 0-2 with a 49-21 loss at Oklahoma. I think Kelly will get the Bruins turned around in the future, but it's tough to see many wins this year.
4. Washington State might be better than I expected. I know their wins have come against Wyoming and San Jose State, but the Cougars (2-0) are prone to sputtering early in the year, and they haven't done that.
5. Good to see Oregon State get a nice, 48-25 win against Southern Utah. OK, it's an FBS team, but that team needed something to celebrate. Former CU co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren has some nice pieces to work with in Corvallis, especially at running back. Jermar Jefferson had 238 yards and four touchdowns, one week after Artavis Pierce had 168 yards and two scores at Ohio State. (Side note: former CU walk-on Chris Helbig, from Holy Family High School, was the starting QB for Southern Utah, throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns; in two games, he's thrown for 656 yards and 4 TD, with 0 INT).
After week 2, here's how I rank the teams in the Pac-12:
1. Stanford (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12): Cardinal followed up a good Week 1 win with an impressive 17-3 win against USC in the conference opener.
2. Washington (1-1): Huskies bounced back from a Week 1 loss to Auburn to roll past North Dakota 45-3.
3. USC (1-1, 0-1): Tough loss to Stanford, but the Trojans are still the class of the South.
4. Oregon (2-0): Two easy wins for the Ducks to start the season, and they'll get a third this week against San Jose State.
5. Colorado (2-0): Buffs got their best non-conference win in a decade last week at Nebraska.
6. Arizona State (2-0): I'm not convinced Michigan State is very good, but they were ranked No. 15 going into Tempe and the Sun Devils rose to the occasion.
7. Washington State (2-0): Cougars are rolling out of the gates and shut out San Jose State, 31-0.
8. California: Two really nice wins to start the year for the Bears, against North Carolina and at BYU.
9. Utah (2-0): Utes got the win to stay undefeated, but it took all 60 minutes to knock off Northern Illinois, 17-6.
10. Oregon State (1-1): Beavers snapped an 11-game losing streak with a dominating win against Southern Utah.
11. UCLA (0-2): The Bruins are bad, but that was a tough task last week at Oklahoma.
12. Arizona (0-2): The Wildcats are a mess two games into the season.
Quote the of week
Colorado linebacker Nate Landman on the scene in the locker room after Saturday's win at Nebraska:
"I've never seen anything like it in my life. You get big high school wins, but nothing compares to that. Those guys are all fired up. We've been working so hard since camp and summer training. We're a brotherhood in there. We've all been grinding together, going through stuff together. To see everyone happy in there, smiling, jumping, singing our fight song is a great feeling."
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.