For the past several days, Colorado receiver Bryce Bobo has garnered a lot of attention for the miraculous, one-handed touchdown pass he caught during the fourth quarter of the Buffaloes' 41-38 win at Oregon on Saturday.
All the drama surrounding that play, Ahkello Witherspoon's game-sealing interception moments later and the all-around significance of that win for the CU program made Saturday a special day for the Buffs.
It might not have been so special were it not for a play Bobo made immediately after his touchdown, however.
The touchdown gave CU a 39-38 lead with 8 minutes, 43 seconds to play. CU then immediately went for a two-point conversion. On that play, quarterback Steven Montez rolled to his right and threw a dart to Bobo, who made a diving catch to put the Buffs ahead by three, 41-38.
"It's a huge play in the game," Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre said.
That conversion made Witherspoon's heroics possible, because when Oregon drove deep into CU territory in the closing minutes, it had to think about scoring a touchdown, instead of kicking a game-tying field goal and going to overtime. In going for the end zone, Oregon quarterback Dakota Prukop was picked off by Witherspoon.
"(Without the two-point conversion), they would have just sat in the middle of the field, kicked a field goal and would have beat us if they would have made the field goal," MacIntyre.
The two-point conversion play was set up while officials spent several minutes reviewing Bobo's touchdown grab.
"That gave us time to get (the players) all together while they were reviewing that," MacIntyre said. "We were able to talk to them, understanding the importance of the play. That whole situation really helped us get even more organized and our coaches did a phenomenal job of getting organized."
Focused on OSU
As the Buffs returned to practice on Monday, they had to flip the page and prepare for Saturday's home date with Oregon State.
So far this season, the Buffs have had a remarkable ability to lock in on the task at hand and get it done. Coming off a huge win, the Buffs are charged with doing that again.
"These young men have worked so hard, I don't think they'll let down for a second," MacIntyre said. "We need to be prepared and ready to go. In our league, everybody is good, everybody has good football players. We have to come ready to play and give our best to be able to win. Preparing during the week is the key."
Tight ends contributing
If there's one criticism fans have had about CU's explosive offense this season, it's the lack of throws to the tight ends.
The only two catches by tight ends this season have come from Chris Bounds and Chris Hill, listed fourth and fifth on the depth chart, and both were lined up as fullbacks at the time.
Starter Sean Irwin caught 15 passes for 248 yards last season, George Frazier has been a weapon on offense in the past, and Dylan Keeney appears to have the talent to make big plays. None of them have a catch to this point, but co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said they have played well.
"Those guys are a critical part of our offense," he said. "They might not be a critical part of the passing game, but they're a critical part of the run game and what we do offensively. Those guys are heavily involved. They do an excellent job for us and they have a role, a huge role."
Ultimately, it's tough to argue with what CU is doing offensively.
"At the end of the day, are you winning football games?" he said. "We're averaging close to 600 yards of offense and we're scoring points at a pace that hasn't been done in recent years here. They should be excited about us as Colorado football."
Montez said he received congratulations from a lot of people after Saturday's game, but the one that meant the most was a text he received from former Buff and current Los Angeles Rams receiver Nelson Spruce. "It was really cool hearing from him," Montez said. ... CU is a 16-point favorite against Oregon State. It's the first time CU has been a double-digit favorite against a Power 5 conference team since Nov. 25, 2005, against Nebraska. ... This week marks just the fourth time in 65 conference games, dating back to 2008, that the Buffs have been favored. ... The Pac-12 announced on Monday that CU's game at USC on Oct. 8 will kickoff at 2 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. ... CU will wear white helmets, black jerseys and white pants on Saturday against Oregon State.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.