For the most part, the Colorado football players down play the rivalry aspect of Friday’s matchup with Colorado State.
All of them say it’s an important game, but no more important than any other on the schedule.
For the Buffs that grew up in Colorado, though, there’s special meaning to this one.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” said junior safety Ryan Moeller, who was born in Denver and grew up in Rifle. “It’s like the biggest rivalry you grew up watching in high school, but for us, it’s been since I can remember. Being able to participate in that and represent my state is a pretty big deal to me and I’m very proud to be able to say I can do that.”
Moeller is one of 35 in-state players on the CU roster. CSU has 37 in-state players. Many of those players have known each other or played with or against each other for years,
“It means a lot,” said CU running back Phillip Lindsay, a Denver native and Denver South graduate. “It’s my state of Colorado, so it’s big. I’ve been here all my life, so I just want to go out there and give everything I’ve got, 110 percent out there and come out with a victory.”
With two in-state rivals squaring off on the state’s biggest stage, the intensity in the stadium is special, Lindsay said.
“The atmosphere is wild. It’s unreal,” he said. “You look at the fans and everybody is going crazy. Everybody is playing hard on the field. It’s just one of those moments that you don’t ever want to miss. I’ll always remember it. I’ve been here for four years and it never gets old. You always get butterflies of excitement.”
• As of about 6 p.m. on Thursday, CU reported that it had sold 33,851 tickets for Friday’s game, with 8,766 being to students. A year ago, CU sold 31,796 tickets, with 7,145 going to students.
• From 1989 to 2003 (11 meetings), at least one of the two teams was ranked in the top 25 nationally coming in. Neither team has brought a ranking into this game since then (13 meetings).
• During the past five CU-CSU matchups, the two teams have combined to throw 339 passes, only two of which have been intercepted. Both interceptions were thrown by CSU’s Nick Stevens in last year’s contest.
• CSU’s offense ran 88 plays in last year’s meeting, the most against the Buffs in their last 33 games. It was the most plays the Rams had in any game last year.
• This is the first of 10 games CU will play against 2015 bowl teams. Overall, CU’s opponents this season went 90-65 a year ago.
Brian Howell: email@example.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.