Connect with us


CU Buffs vs. Cal football: 4 things to know, key matchups and predictions



CU Buffs vs. Cal football: 4 things to know, key matchups and predictions

Colorado (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) at Cal (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12)

1:30 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, Calif.)

TV/Radio: PAC-12 Network/850 AM, 94.1 FM

Line: Colorado +8, 43.5 over/under

Weather: 59 degrees, mostly cloudy

What to know

Air born. For the first time all season, the CU passing attack looked dangerous vs. Arizona last week. QB Brendon Lewis had three completions that went for 30-plus yards, including receptions of 62 and 31 yards from receiver Brenden Rice. Have Lewis and Co. finally found their footing? We’ll find out Saturday when they take on a Cal pass defense that ranks 111th in FBS at 274.2 yards/game. This is not the Golden Bears defense of coach Justin Wilcox’s first three seasons.

TFL fever. The disruptive Buffs defense that defined the first two weeks of this season finally returned in the 34-0 win over Arizona. Led by outside linebacker Carson Wells (one sack, four tackles for loss, one pick-6), the Buffs accumulated nine tackles for loss and two turnovers in CU’s first shutout of an FBS opponent since 2005. Was that more an indication of how far Arizona has fallen? Possibly. But Cal’s stuck-in-neutral offense, ranked 104th in FBS at 23.0 points/game, isn’t a whole lot better.

Deceptively bad. Are the Golden Bears as bad as their 1-5 record suggests? Maybe not. While they have yet to beat an FBS team this season, and are one of just 24 teams to not win a league game thus far, it’s not as if the Bears haven’t been competitive. Four of their fives losses have been by seven points or less, including a heartbreaking 24-17 defeat at Oregon last Friday that ended with QB Chase Garbers throwing incomplete on fourth-and-goal from the Ducks’ 2.

Bowl math. The Buffs’ postseason prospects are murky at best, but a win at Cal would offer a ray of hope. The remaining schedule includes road games at Oregon, UCLA and Utah, with visits from Oregon State and Washington interspersed in between. Lose to Cal, and CU will have to win four of those matchups. That’s an extremely tall order for a team that has just one win over FBS competition on its resume.

Key matchups

QB Chase Garbers vs. CU secondary. Bad as the Bears are, the fourth-year starting QB has been effective with 38 plays of 15-plus yards (31 passes, 7 rushes) as the Pac-12 leader in per game total offense (283.3 yards/game). The CU pass defense is coming off arguably its best game of the season. But that came against one of the worst offenses in the country. The Buffs will have to earn it against Garbers.

CU run game vs. Cal defense. More than halfway through the season, and we’re still waiting for a 100-yard game from Buffs RB Jarek Broussard. The Cal defense is better at stopping the run (50th nationally) than the pass (111th), but it sure would be nice for the Buffs to re-establish their identity as a physical running team. At an average of just 3.5 yards/carry, that has yet to materialize this fall.


Kyle Fredrickson, sports reporter: Cal 24, CU 21

The Buffs fall behind early, rally to make it a one-possession game late, and clinch the loss with a Brendon Lewis turnover. That pretty much sums up the entire season.

google news


Guregian: No need to pump the brakes on the Patriots. They’re for real.



Guregian: No need to pump the brakes on the Patriots. They’re for real.

The game came down to a testament of wills, but more important, coaching decisions.

Playing in crazy elements, with gusting winds and blustery freezing temperatures, surely altered the game plans for the Patriots and Bills in this Monday Night Football showdown of AFC East titans.

That’s why the Patriots having Bill Belichick remains a huge advantage.

He identified the way to win in those elements, and stuck with it no matter the down and distance.

He was going to be conservative with his offense, sink or swim.

That plan didn’t include much of Mac Jones.

Belichick ran, ran, and ran some more. Every down, every possession, he had Jones hand the ball off, and it worked to the tune of a hard-fought 14-10 win in Orchard Park.

If the Patriots had lost, there would inevitably be more questions about Belichick’s strategy, but it’s hard to argue with results.

The Patriots now have seven straight wins, and remain atop the AFC East at 9-4, and also stick as the AFC’s top seed.

After the game, Belichick called the conditions “somewhat challenging.” Naturally, he didn’t make a big deal out of only throwing the ball three times.

“We kind of played the way we felt we needed to win,” said Belichick.

Usually, the Hoodie makes opposing teams play left-handed, taking away their best asset.

Against the Bills, he voluntarily played left-handed, taking Jones out of the mix. And the Patriots still ruled.

Talk about taking the starch out of the Bills, who had to be deflated being crushed in the trenches, and losing their grip in the division so soon.

Plus, they have no idea what to make of Jones, still having to face him again down the road.

Maybe some — including the Bills — will feel Belichick’s strategy was an indictment on the rookie quarterback, who passed just once in the first half, and only twice in the second half.

It appeared more a reflection of Belichick sticking with what he felt was the best way to win. Ditto offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Heavy personal, ground and pound. Nonstop. Forty-six running plays, three passes.

“The coaches have been in a lot of games like this,” said Jones. “Coach Belichick, Coach Josh, they’ve been in every type of element there is. They know what it takes to win.

“So I think we knew if we held onto the ball, we’d be OK.”

Jones, who was experiencing those nasty conditions for the first time, doesn’t have the strongest arm, and in those winds, Belichick didn’t want to take a chance.

The elements spoke to the Hoodie, and he and McDaniels didn’t blink with their intentions to pound the rock, and also, rely on the defense to keep Josh Allen at bay.

Even the strong-armed Allen (15-for-30, 145 yards) had some difficulty rifling some balls through the 40 mph winds.

Turnovers loomed large. Ball security and field position was paramount.

Ultimately, Belichick wasn’t trying to earn style points, he was trying to win a significant football game.

And that’s just what he did.

No need to pump the brakes on these Patriots, even playing old style football. They’re for real. They are legitimately going to make noise down the road.

And that just eats away at Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who refused to give Belichick much credit for the win, or simply being out-coached.

“I don’t think, with all due respect, it’s not a Bill Belichick type thing,” said McDermott, “it’s what are you doing with the opportunities you got.”

Well, the Bills certainly didn’t do much. They were 1-for-4 in the red zone, and largely couldn’t run the ball. As it was, Allen was their leading rusher with 39 yards. The Patriots, meanwhile, ran all day.

They’re built to win in December and January in the outdoors. Between their defense and ability to run, they’re going to be a tough out especially against teams like the Bills, whose defense is built more to stop teams with elite passing games, such as the Chiefs.

Having a lighter, quicker front may be good against Patrick Mahomes & Co. but not against mashers and maulers like the Patriots.

The Bills knew the Patriots were going to run, loading the box with seven and eight guys, and they still ran, and did so effectively. At one point, McDaniels called 32 straight running plays.

Damien Harris gained over 100 yards. Rhamondre Stevenson was just as huge, as the Patriots ran down the Bills’ collective throats for 222 yards.

The Patriots were effective running whether they were going into the wind, or had it at their backs.

This was old-school running as McDaniels made good use of traps with great blocking from the line up front, along with fullback Jakob Johnson and N’Keal Harry at times.

The Patriots had a lead, so there was no real need to put the ball up in Belichick’s mind and gamble.

But that plan also called for the defense to stop the less-conservative Bills, with Allen putting the ball up, largely because Buffalo trailed.

Unlike his offense, Belichick didn’t hold back with his defense, sending an all-out blitz against Allen with a fourth-and-14 from the Patriots 18-yard line with 2:00 to play to help preserve the lead, and the win.

Belichick played his cards right, and in the process, demoralized the Bills, and remain a team no one wants to play, especially outdoors in the elements.

Devin McCourty put it all in perspective, talking about finding ways to win, and doing whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.

“That’s why I love playing here. This team isn’t about one person, it isn’t about egos, it isn’t about this is what we do, so we’re going to do it  . . . it’s about winning,” said McCourty. “We’re going to adjust and find a way to win . . . I think everyone will look at this game and say, they played good defense. But we ran the ball, we broke out a long run when we needed to run the ball and take the clock down . . . this week our offense morphed into a team that was going to run the football and it worked.”

google news
Continue Reading


Boston pension payouts at-a-glance



Boston pension payouts at-a-glance

The city’s pension payouts list police and fire commanders atop the heap with a total of 470 retirees from various departments pulling down six figures annually. Here are the annual pensions at a glance:

Top 5:

$193,570 William Gross, former police commissioner

$185,416 John McDonough, ex-school superintendent

$181,979 Lisa Holmes, past BPD superintendent

$178,086 William Ridge, past BPD superintendent

$173,278 Joseph Finn, former fire commissioner

Oldest pensions:

1956, Joseph Vogel, firefighter hurt on job, $14,446

1959, Leroy Mahoney, firefighter injured, $20,158

1964, Robert Glynn, police officer injured, $20,083

1970, James Hardaway, firefighter hurt, $19,129

1974, Frank Murano, BFD injured on job, $24,835


$111,126, top-earning retired teacher

$108,890, top fire scuba diver

$52,673 Ray Flynn, former mayor

$33,752, tree climber

$32,562, vehicle impound specialist

$21,216, telephone operator

Go to for the database listing all 12,718 city retirees.

google news
Continue Reading


Full Boston pension database: Your Tax Dollars at Work



Full Boston pension database: Your Tax Dollars at Work

For the first time, here are the 12,700 City of Boston retirees listed by name, annual pension, date of retirement and last job.

To search on this database, click the magnifying glass icon (at right) and enter names and more. Use the scroll bar at bottom to move the data over to the right to sort by highest to lowest. Send any tips or questions to [email protected] See other payroll databases here. Follow the Watchdog newsletter for related coverage.

google news
Continue Reading