Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado outside linebacker Drew Lewis had been waiting for a big play.
On Friday night, the senior made a few of them.
During the Buffaloes’ 31-16 win against UCLA at Folsom Field, Lewis had a season-high eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup that ended a Bruins’ drive in the fourth quarter.
Still adjusting after playing inside linebacker last season, Lewis’ performance highlighted a solid outing for the defense, which limited UCLA to just three points after halftime.
“He’s getting comfortable out there now,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said of Lewis’ position switch this season. “We brought him (on pressure) some more with some of the things they were doing. Drew is doing really well.”
Lewis came into the game with 11 tackles, one for loss and no sacks on the season. He had, however, registered three quarterback hurries in the first three games.
On Friday, it took just four plays for Lewis to get his first sack against the Bruins, taking Dorian Thompson-Robinson down for a 7-yard loss to force a UCLA punt. On the first play of the next UCLA possession, Lewis sacked Thompson-Robinson for an 8-yard loss.
Buff back Davion Taylor had a strong game, too, and collected his first sack.
“Davion is starting to flash a little more,” MacIntyre said. “Those two guys (Lewis and Taylor) can really run and I think you’ll see keep seeing that. They’re really starting to understand it. As the season goes on, I think they’ll make more and more plays.”
CU made some changes on its offensive line Friday, with junior Tim Lynott losing his starting job at right guard and William Sherman getting his first career start.
Friday was the first time in his career that Lynott, who has 27 career starts, was healthy and not in the starting lineup. A redshirt freshman, Sherman started at left tackle. He had come off the bench to play in each of the first three games.
Aaron Haigler, who had started the previous three games at right tackle, moved to right guard, while Josh Kaiser started at right tackle.
Kaiser had started the previous three games at left tackle, but split time with true freshman Frank Fillip at right tackle on Friday.
Rounding out the starting group was junior Brett Tonz, back at left guard after missing the Sept. 15 game against New Hampshire with an ankle injury, and freshman Colby Pursell. To this point in the season, Pursell is the only lineman to start all four games in the same position.
McMillian tops century mark
Senior running back Travon McMillian finished with 102 yards and a touchdown on a season-high 21 carries.
McMillian, who got his first start of the year, hit the century mark for the third time in four games and now has 392 yards and four touchdowns on the season.
Overall, CU rushed for 209 yards, topping the 200-yard mark for the third time this season.
New look on the field
For the first time in the 496-game history at Folsom Field, the entire end zones were painted. The grounds crew gave the end zones a sharp look, with “Buffaloes” in gold lettering and the rest of the area painted black.
“I definitely did (like the look),” receiver Tony Brown said, “especially with the black uniforms. It was a good look.”
The grounds crew wanted to surprise the players with the look, so didn’t start the painting process until Thursday night. With cool temperatures throughout the day Friday, the paint took a while to dry. In fact, just a couple hours before the game, CU had fans blowing air on the paint to speed up the drying process.
Steven Montez became the seventh quarterback in CU to hit 5,000 career passing yards (5,084). … Montez is now 11-8 as a starter, including 8-3 at Folsom Field. … CU receiver Juwann Winfree missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury. A senior, Winfree was injured late in CU’s 33-28 win at Nebraska on Sept. 8. He has seven catches for 55 yards and a touchdown this season. … Receiver Jaylon Jackson (foot) and linebacker Akil Jones (ankle) were both in uniform Friday. Jackson had missed the first three games and Jones had missed the previous two. … Friday’s announced attendance was 46,814 – the ninth-largest attendance at Folsom Field in the Mike MacIntyre era (32 home games). … Kicker James Stefanou hit a 41-yard field goal and was 5-for-5 on extra points. He is now 55-for-55 on extra points in his career.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.