Heading into Saturday's game against California, the Colorado defense had the 111th-ranked passing defense in the country.

Cal came in with the No. 8 passing offense.

It turned out to be a mismatch, but not the way everyone might have expected. CU shut down the Cal passing attack, and that proved to be pivotal in the Buffs' 41-24 victory.

"We played really good tonight," CU cornerback Greg Henderson said. "We didn't let any deep passes get past us or anything like that. We were covering them like a blanket."

Cal quarterbacks Jared Goff and Zach Kline combined to complete just 50 percent of their passes (26 of 52) for 214 yards. The Bears completed 61.6 percent of their passes for 345.3 yards per game in their first 10 games.

"We wanted to tip passes from (Goff) and harass him," Henderson said. "The coaches came up with a good game plan and we played it to the T and we did our job."

CU did such a good job, in fact, that Cal head coach Sonny Dykes benched Goff, his true freshman starter, for a little while and turned to Kline.

"We hoped he'd give us a spark," Dykes said. "We weren't executing very well."

The Buffaloes had a lot to do with that. The Buffs sacked the Cal quarterbacks three times, including two by senior Chidera Uzo-Diribe. Samson Kafovalu had a sack and two quarterback hurries.

"(Goff) was under duress, and that helps the secondary tremendously," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "The best pass defense is a quarterback lying on his back. And, we were able to do that some tonight."

Uzo-Diribe increased his career sack total to 20, moving into the Colorado top 10.

CU came into the game allowing 273.4 passing yards per game. The 214 yards is the fewest passing yards allowed by the Buffs in Pac-12 play this season.

This was the first time since the season opener against Colorado State that the Buffs did not give up a touchdown pass.

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Brian Howell at

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