DENVER -- Everything the Colorado offense lacked in a dismal 2012 season -- speed, creativity, poise at quarterback -- returned when the Buffs opened the season Sunday with a triumph over Colorado State in the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

The Buffs' performance against the Rams in just the first game of the season is an indication that big plays are once again not only possible, but probable. That is especially true in the passing game.

Quarterback Connor Wood threw for 400 yards, completing 33 of 46 passes with three touchdown passes. He is the third CU quarterback to throw for 400 yards or more in a season opener joining Kordell Stewart and Joel Klatt.

"I thought their quarterback played one heck of a game," CSU coach Jim McElwain said.

Colorado quarterback Connor Wood prepares to fire a long touchdown pass to Paul Richardson during Sunday’s game.
Colorado quarterback Connor Wood prepares to fire a long touchdown pass to Paul Richardson during Sunday's game. ( JEREMY PAPASSO )
"I really do."

Much of that production came in tandem with wide receiver Paul Richardson who was sorely missed a year ago when he sat out the season with a torn knee ligament. Richardson caught 10 passes for 208 yards and gets the headlines today with two long scoring plays, but the best part about the Buffs passing game is he isn't the only weapon.

Fellow wide receivers D.D. Goodson and Nelson Spruce combined for 13 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown and four other players also caught passes.

Wood has plenty of options and hasn't started to get several true freshmen involved yet. The Buffs also are still only scratching the surface when it comes to the playbook. For months Colorado quarterbacks and receivers have described their new offense as quarterback friendly and fun. It looked like it Sunday.

Wood gave all the credit to his coaches and teammates afterward, especially offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren.

"He has furthered my game tremendously and gave me confidence," Wood said.

Wood attempted more passes in the season opener than he did in seven games last season, including one start.

"It's great to see those stats and that W that we've been working for for so long, but it's only one game," Wood said.

Contact staff writer

Kyle Ringo at

ringok@dailycamera.com

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