For years, Kabion Ento envisioned himself making big plays on a big stage.
It took a while, but on Saturday, the Colorado junior finally made it a reality.
A transfer from East Central Community College in Mississippi, Ento caught his first two passes as a Division I player and he turned both into touchdowns during the Buffaloes' 56-7 rout of Idaho State.
"It's all I dreamed about (while) playing junior college," Ento said. "I'm lucky and blessed."
Ento led the Buffs with 88 receiving yards on Saturday, and he may have led the team in smiles, too. His first catch as a Buff came late in the first half, when he caught a short pass from backup quarterback Steven Montez, made a nifty move to break free and raced 69 yards for a score.
"We get a lot of reps in practice," he said of himself and Montez. "I'm not surprised he threw it my way, but he could have thrown it to anybody. When I got the ball and I just tried to be a playmaker and luckily I bounced off a tackle and took it to the house."
Ento became the 14th known player in Buffs history to score a touchdown the first time he touched the ball. In the second half, Ento hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Montez.
"He's a guy that's a weapon for us that you'll see more and more out there as the season goes along," head coach Mike MacIntyre said.
Freshman cornerback Tony Julmisse picked off an Idaho State pass in the third quarter, giving CU a forced turnover for the 15th game in a row.
It was the second turnover for Julmisse, who recovered a fumble in the opener against Colorado State.
CU and North Carolina are tied for the longest turnover streak in the country.
For Ento, Julmisse and several other Buffs, Saturday was the first opportunity to play at Folsom Field and run behind Ralphie in front of the home crowd.
"To actually be a player in the game running behind Ralphie, it's different than when you're being recruited and you see it on videos and you're on your official visit and you view it," Julmisse said. "To actually be that player running out, it's exciting."
Kelley's streak ends
Senior center Alex Kelley had started 26 consecutive games and had never missed a game in his career until sitting out of Saturday's game.
Kelley injured his ankle early in the second half against CSU on Sept. 2 and the Buffs wanted to give him more time to heal this week.
"His ankle is still sore, but he should be OK," MacIntyre. "Hopefully he'll be back this week."
In his place, senior Sully Wiefels got the start, his first at center (he got one start at guard last year). Wiefels, who played most of the second half against CSU, had all the first-team snaps on Saturday.
Outside linebacker Derek McCartney (ankle) and running back Michael Adkins II (hamstring) also sat out to take more time to heal. Kelley, McCartney and Adkins were all in uniform.
Saturday was a rough day for Idaho State, and Bengals head coach Mike Kramer had a tough time finding any positives from the game. He did find one good thing to come out of the trip to Boulder, though.
"A big check, literally," he said.
CU paid Idaho State $500,000 to come to Boulder and play this game.
CU is 2-0 for the first time since 2013. ... The Buffs improved to 2-14 when wearing black helmets, snapping a 14-game losing streak. ... Junior Christian Shaver got the start at outside linebacker, his first start since 2014. ... Of the 86 Buffs in uniform, 71 played. Of those, seven made their CU debuts. ... Backup kicker Chris Graham attempted the first field goal of his career, but hit the left upright. ... CU has gained 500-plus yards in back-to-back games for the first time since November of 2002. ... Ralphie did not run to start the second half because of a safety concern with her harness.