DENVER -- One week after breaking the single-game school record for passing yards, Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen did some of his best work in Saturday's 28-14 win over rival Colorado State with his feet.
Struggling to find a rhythm early, Hansen's ability to run led to three big plays on the Buffs' first two scoring drives.
CU's first touchdown came on an option keeper to the left for 2 yards to tie the score at 7 with 2:37 to go before halftime.
The Buffs got the ball back moments later but faced a third-and-18 from the CSU 48 when Hansen scrambled for 19 yards -- weaving and making defenders miss -- and a first down. Three plays later he was flushed from the pocket again but rolled hard to the right and threw a strike on the run to Kyle Cefalo in the back corner of the end zone for a 14-7 lead 12 seconds before halftime.
"I was trying to find an open guy down field, and they did a good job dropping into coverage," Hansen said of the big third-down run. "And it was just wide open and I took it."
Hansen rushed eight times for 36 yards, including two sacks, and added an 8-yard gain late to help set up CU's final score -- his own 2-yard quarterback sneak. He also threw for 215 yards and two scores on 18-of-28 passing.
Hansen's first score was the first rushing TD for CU since last season against Kansas State. The Buffs had gone 14 quarters without scoring on the ground.
"We game-planned this week and we saw some stuff we could utilize with the option play and some things with my feet," said Hansen, whose ability to run was one of his biggest attributes early in his career. "It just happened that it worked out that way, and it felt good."
Redshirt freshman tailback Tony Jones got the first carries of his career Saturday, rushing six times for 23 yards while spelling starter Rodney Stewart.
Stewart, who finished with 98 yards, had gotten all of the tailback reps the first two games. And Jones said he wasn't sure he would get in this week even though coaches expressed a desire to rotate others in to keep Stewart fresh.
"It felt great man," said the 5-7, 175-pound Jones, a Paterson, N.J., product who drew head coach Jon Embree's praise. "I just practice really hard every day. All I want to do is just come out here and do my job like Coach Embree always tells me. He just says, 'Do your job. You're going to have a chance to be good.'"
New return man
Colorado freshman Kyle Washington was an all-state return man for his high school team in Arizona last fall. So it made sense that CU coaches would eventually turn to him as a possible answer to the Buffs' return woes early this season.
The call came last week and Washington got two solid days of practice before returning his first college kicks Saturday against Colorado State.
CU came into the game averaging just 12 yards per return, worst in major college football this season. Washington returned two kicks for a total of 35 yards and Toney Clemons added another for 33 yards to help the average.
"I think I did pretty good," Washington said. "I think I need to read a little better and get up field a little bit more. We've all got to get better on special teams."
Saturday's attendance of 57,186 marked the lowest of the 11 meetings between CU and CSU in Denver, bettering (worsting?) last year's figure of 60,989.
Colorado sold 37,914 of its 38,300-ticket allotment.
CU now leads CSU 61-20-2 in the all-time series, including 7-4 in Denver.
Cefalo's scoring grab marked the first touchdown of his college career and first receiving of his life. ... The Buffaloes have 238 plays (offense/special teams) and just one turnover, a late interception at Hawaii. ... Stewart moved into fourth place on CU's all-time rushing list with 2,967 yards, passing Charlie Davis. ... Colorado came into the game with the fourth most penalties in the country and held up that trend Saturday with 10 flags for 114 yards, including seven for 79 yards in the first half.