Even down 17-0 in the home opener, and in his first game at Folsom Field, Colorado head coach Mel Tucker never flinched on Saturday.
Instead, he did what he was hired to do in leading the Buffs through adversity, and it contributed to a 34-31 overtime win against Nebraska.
“He’s just cool as a cucumber,” quarterback Steven Montez said Tuesday. “Especially when things aren’t going right for us and we were kind of in a tough spot there at halftime, he was still cool, calm and collected, keeping everybody in the game. I think that was huge for us. I think the outcome would have been a lot different if he came into the locker room freaking out and yelling and just showing emotion and getting nervous.”
Several players have described Tucker in a similar way, but Tucker said he’s just being himself.
“For me, in a game situation, when we have our guys on this sideline and their guys on the other sideline and we’re doing everything we can to impose our will on that opponent and win our one-on-ones and win those downs, that’s not a time for me to lose my mind,” he said. “(The players) want to play well. They want to put their best foot forward, so what can I do and what can we do as a staff to help them play better? Whatever that is, I’m willing to do it.
“I’m just trying to lead in the best way I know how, relative to what I know that my players need; this particular team. Every team is different and every player is different.”
CU shattered its program record for revenue on Saturday against Nebraska, generating $2.55 million in single-game ticket sales.
According to CU, the previous high since 2007 was $1.42 million in sales for the Oct. 3, 2015, game against Oregon. Data prior to 2007 was not complete, but it is believed by CU that no game prior to that year was even close to Saturday’s number.
Three of the top four since 2007 have been matchups with Nebraska. The 2009 meeting with the Cornhuskers generated $1.29 million in single-game ticket sales, while the 2007 meeting brought in $1.28 million.
Jackson makes mark
Sophomore receiver Jaylon Jackson had a 57-yard catch against Nebraska that set up a fourth-quarter touchdown. He also had a 14-yard run that helped to set up CU’s first touchdown.
On both plays, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound speedster showed the burst and excitement that led CU to recruit him out of Cedar Hill, Tex., in 2017.
It was the most significant contribution of Jackson’s career, which has been marked by several injuries. He missed all but one game of his final two years of high school because of injuries and then missed his first year with the Buffs (2017) after a broken ankle in preseason camp.
“J-Jack is a good player. He’s explosive and he works hard,” Tucker said. “He’s working to get better and he competes. When he gets opportunities, he makes the most of them; that’s what I’ve seen from him. That says a lot about his character and his desire, his internal motivation to get better every day and be a player and help our football team. I’m pulling for him, just like I am all these guys.”
Redshirt freshman running back Jarek Broussard had knee surgery on Sept. 6 and is set to begin rehabilitation. He has not played this season. … Outside linebacker Carson Wells, who missed the Nebraska game with a concussion, is listed as day to day. … CU’s captains for Saturday against Air Force: receiver Tony Brown, safety Mikial Onu and punter Alex Kinney.