CU vs. Idaho State, at a glance
What went right: The Buffs started fast and never let up, scoring early and often and burying Idaho State before halftime.
What went wrong: Not much. The Buffs did lose a fumble late in the game and they were off on a couple of deep passes, but overall, there wasn't much to complain about.
Turning point: CU opened the game by forcing an Idaho State punt and then marching down the field for a 77-yard touchdown drive. Idaho State never had a chance after that.
CU player of the game: Kabion Ento. The junior transfer had the first two catches of his career and both went for touchdowns — one for 69 yards and one for 19.
Bottom line: CU breezed through the easy part of its schedule, winning the first two weeks by a combined 100-14. Now, the job gets tougher.
The numbers through two games are impressive and, frankly, mind-boggling for a team that hasn't had a lot of success over the past decade.
What has impressed Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre the most, however, is the laser-sharp focus his team has had to this point.
"These young men have been locked in," MacIntyre said on Saturday after CU's 56-7 rout of Idaho State in the home opener at Folsom Field. "I think they've probably thrown the key away. I don't think it'll ever be unlocked again. They understand what's at stake and they see where they're going and they can feel it. I just look forward to watching them do it."
CU (2-0) will face No. 5 Michigan next week before embarking on a nine-game journey through the Pac-12 Conference schedule. Despite having those games on the horizon, the Buffs kept their focus long enough to dispatch of the visiting Bengals (1-1), a Football Championship Subdivision team that is now 0-18 all-time against Power 5 conference opponents.
"In any week, really, it's easy to lose focus, because sometimes the weeks leading up in preparation can be very long," senior quarterback Sefo Liufau said. "I'm pretty pleased with our focus and our ability to execute today. I think for the most part we did very well.
"It shows a real big maturity factor in my opinion, with the ability to go out there and when you're supposed to handle business you go out and you handle business."
For the second week in a row, the Buffs handled their business. They crushed Colorado State 44-7 in the opener on Sept. 2 and were even more impressive against the overmatched Bengals.
The Buffs racked up 597 yards in total offense on Saturday, and held Idaho State to just 96, the fewest yards by a CU opponent in 24 years.
MacIntyre was criticized for leaving Liufau in the game too long against CSU, but that wasn't an issue this time. Liufau's day was done before halftime after completing 15 of 18 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns and staking the Buffs to a 42-0 lead with 4 minutes, 21 seconds to play in the second quarter.
Liufau hit Devin Ross and Chris Hill for touchdown passes, and Liufau scored on a 19-yard run. Phillip Lindsay added two rushing touchdowns and Kyle Evans also scored on the ground before the first-team offense departed.
"I think it shows the potential that we have as an offense and as a team as a whole," Liufau said. "We've shown ourselves that we can go and be consistent and be able to put drives together."
Named Pac-12 offensive player of the week after his performance against CSU, Liufau was even better against the Bengals. Two of his incompletions were just out of reach for his receivers on deep passes, and he had another throw batted down at the line. Other than that, he was on the mark with his throws and avoided the fumbles that plagued him against CSU. He finished with 54 rushing yards on six carries.
Colorado's offense scored touchdowns on seven of eight first-half possessions, taking a 49-0 lead into the locker room. It was the largest halftime lead in program history and the Buffs also tied a school record for points in a half, matching the 49 they scored on Sept. 16, 1995, against Northeast Louisiana.
The defense, meanwhile, forced Idaho State to punt on each of its first eight possessions.
Ross echoed the comments of his coach and quarterback, saying that the Buffs' intense focus on Idaho State — and not on Michigan or others — is what made the difference.
"With that mindset we're just playing so much better," he said. "You see the difference in the scoreboard. I feel like our team is very mature. We have a lot of juniors and seniors that are ready for the task at hand."
This is the first time the Buffs have had back-to-back wins by 35-plus points since the first two games of the 1994 season. In game No. 3 that year, the Buffs went to Ann Arbor to face Michigan. That is now the next task for this year's squad, and they are confident they'll be ready.
"We just go out there and play as hard as we can play and practice like we've been practicing," MacIntyre said. "The whole key goes back to practice. It goes back to practice and how we focus and how we prepare. If we keep doing that, when we show up to play every Saturday we'll have an opportunity to be successful each Saturday.
"The guys are starting to understand that completely."
Idaho State 0 0 7 0 — 7
Colorado 14 35 7 0 — 56
CU — Ross 15 pass from Liufau (Gonzalez kick), 10:10.
CU — Lindsay 6 run (Gonzalez kick), 02:56.Second quarter
CU — Lindsay 2 run (Gonzalez kick), 14:20.
CU — Evans 1 run (Gonzalez kick), 12:16.
CU — Hill 4 pass from Liufau (Gonzalez kick), 07:15.
CU — Liufau 19 run (Gonzalez kick), 04:30.
CU — Ento 69 pass from Montez (Gonzalez kick), :51.Third quarter
CU — Ento 19 pass from Montez (Graham kick), 06:27.
IDS — Ford 3 run (Z.Johnson kick), 01:55.IDS CU First downs 7 31 Rushes-yards 14-36 57-262 Passing 61 335 Comp-Att-Int 19-41-1 22-31-0 Return Yards 6 31 Punts-Avg. 11-38.5 4-35.25 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1 Penalties-Yards 8-78 5-37 Time of Possession 23:24 36:36 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — Idaho St., Flanagan 2-11, Madison 2-10, Ford 6-9, K.Williams 1-6, Woodhouse 1-2, Dean 1-1, T.Gueller 1-(minus 3). Colorado, Liufau 6-54, Evans 15-52, Lee 8-40, Montez 4-34, T.Lewis 9-33, Lindsay 7-30, Bisharat 8-19.
PASSING — Idaho St., Jewell 1-6-0-2, T.Gueller 18-35-1-59. Colorado, Montez 6-10-0-117, Gehrke 1-3-0-14, Liufau 15-18-0-204.
RECEIVING — Idaho St., Cook 5-28, H.Graves 4-15, Ford 4-7, K.Williams 3-13, Pilster 1-2, M.Gueller 1-1, Campbell 1-(minus 5). Colorado, MacIntyre 6-76, Ross 3-27, Ento 2-88, Fields 2-78, Bobo 2-7, Huntley 1-14, Lee 1-10, Lindsay 1-9, Bounds 1-8, Evans 1-8, Hall 1-6, Hill 1-4.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Colorado, Graham 40.