Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
DENVER — Travon McMillian made his Colorado debut a memorable one.
The senior graduate transfer from Virginia Tech rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in the Buffaloes’ 45-13 win against Colorado State on Friday at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
McMillian transferred to CU this summer after rushing for 2,153 yards and 16 touchdowns in three seasons at Virginia Tech. Although he didn’t get the start – fellow senior Kyle Evans got that nod – McMillian displayed the play-making ability he had with the Hokies.
“He looked good today,” quarterback Steven Montez said. “He looked exactly like I thought he was going to look. He played well, he had a big run, he was running tough, running hard, he made some nice cuts, so he looked good.”
The highlight of McMillian’s night was a 49-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, in which he avoided a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and then juked a defender en route to the end zone.
McMillian’s yardage total is the sixth-best ever for a Buff making his debut at running back. He’s just the eighth player to hit the century mark in a debut, the first since Marcus Houston had 100 yards on Sept. 2, 2000, against the Rams.
Evans, in his first career start, had a good night, as well, with 59 yards on 12 carries.
Bisharat on the board
Junior running back Beau Bisharat scored the first touchdown of his career in the first quarter, catching a 4-yard pass from Montez to put the Buffs ahead 21-7.
It was also just the second career catch for Bisharat, who has been a special teams standout during his career, along with helping on offense in short-yardage situations. On his touchdown, Bisharat lined up as a fullback and caught the ball in the flat.
Getting a chance to run the ball late in the game, Bisharat also had a career-high 52 yards on seven carries, including a 20-yard run.
Welcome to the fight
Eleven players made their first career starts with the Buffs on Friday night, including defensive end Israel Antwine.
The Oklahoma City product is believed to be the first true freshman in CU history to start a season opener on the defensive line. Overall, Antwine is known to be just the 13th true freshman to start an opener at any position for the Buffs.
Also making their first career starts: cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr., outside linebackers Jacob Callier and Carson Wells, running back Kyle Evans, defensive end Mustafa Johnson, linebacker Nate Landman, receivers K.D. Nixon and Laviska Shenault, center Colby Pursell and guard Brett Tonz.
CU has won four straight against the Rams, the longest streak by either team since the Buffs’ eight-game streak from 1987-98.
The Buffs also ran their overall record against CSU to 66-22-2, including 12-6 in Denver.
CU’s 45 points is the most by either team in the 18 games played in Denver, and the most overall since the Buffs’ 48-34 win in Fort Collins in 1996.
Stat of the game
For the first time in CU history, the Buffs had a 300-yard passer, 200-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher in the same game.
Montez threw for 338 yards, Laviska Shenault had 211 yards receiving and McMillian had 103 rushing.
K.D. Nixon added 112 yards receiving. It was just the second time CU has ever had two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in the same game.
Callier left the game late in the first half with a shoulder injury and did not return. … Friday’s attendance was 70,158, the second-highest total in the series since 2003. Last year’s game, which had 73,932 fans, was the only one higher in that time. CU sold 38,399 tickets for the game, including 11,440 for students. CSU sold 28,920 overall. … Safety Jaisen Sanchez, who is out for the season and has medically retired, was an honorary captain for the Buffs on Friday and was at midfield for the coin toss. … Of the 92 players in uniform for CU, 50 had never played in a game for the Buffs. … Former CU star and current Denver Broncos rookie Phillip Lindsay was in attendance, spending part of the game on the sidelines and making an appearance in the press box.