Now that the Buffs` new all-time leading receiver is surrounded by talented route-running mates, the senior might be able to end a great collegiate career on a winning team.
McKnight set the CU record for career receptions on a 27-yard touchdown catch that gave the Buffs a commanding 14-0 lead en route to a 24-3 suffocation of Colorado State on Saturday at Invesco Field.
"To surpass all the great guys that have been here is a great feeling. And the best part about it is we came in here and got a win against Colorado State and I caught a touchdown that helped my team get the victory," McKnight said after a business-as-usual six-catch, 78-yard afternoon. "I think it`s something I`ll look back on at the end of the season and realize how special it is, but right now I`m a guy leading the team and I know there are things we can clean up.
"I also know how good we can be."
McKnight (171 receptions, 2007-present) passed Michael Westbrook (167, 1991-94) on CU`s all-time receptions list. He has now caught a pass in a school record 37 consecutive regular season games (38 including the 2007 Independence Bowl).
No. 21`s statistical achievements and consistent play in the opener were as predictable as CSU`s play-calling. The storyline that should really have Buffs fans excited is the instant impact of transfers Travon Patterson and Toney Clemons.
Patterson, the much-ballyhooed USC transfer, gives CU a deep threat at wide receiver and a legitimate punt returner for the first time since Josh Smith terrorized CSU two years ago.
"All three of those end guys give them a little juice," CSU head coach Steve Fairchild noted of the speed upgrade. "That`s a much better group of receivers than they had last year when we played them. That`s an advantage to their quarterback and their run game."
After a brief feeling out period, CSU blinked first and failed to convert a fourth-and-1 from its own 44. On third-and-18 moments later, Tyler Hansen connected with Patterson on a simple crossing pattern that he turned into his first touchdown since high school and a 7-0 lead.
"That was my first collegiate touchdown and it was an honor," said Patterson, who also had a 25-yard punt return. "The coaches did what they had to do to get me in there, and I`m happy."
Clemens, the Michigan transfer who sat out last season, added three catches for 25 yards and a 10-yard run. The more balanced Buffs had eight different players catch a pass as Hansen completed 17 of 25 passes for 192 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
"It`s not to take anything away from guys who have played here because I`m still close with a ton of them. But to have Travon and Toney ... those guys are so electric, fast and consistent, which is hard to find. It just makes things so much better and so much easier," McKnight said. "It`s more of a joy to play. You win like that, it`s awesome."
New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was in the stands sitting with McKnight`s family and cheering on his longtime friend.
With at least 11 games remaining at CU, McKnight has 1,978 career receiving yards (seventh all-time). Javon Green (sixth, 2,031) and Derek McCoy (fifth, 2,038) are next on the list.
"Scotty already broke the (receptions) record today, and I`m happy for him," Patterson said. "He`s going to be real dangerous this season with all three of us out there."