It’s not been since 2008 that the Colorado Buffaloes have started a season 2-0 but after their 38-24 win over Central Arkansas on Saturday that’s exactly where they find themselves, undefeated.
However, their win over the No. 5 FCS school in the country was not without it’s share of adversity as Colorado gave up a double-digit lead for the second straight game and fell behind early in the fourth quarter. Central Arkansas looked like they were about to put the game away and go up by two scores in the fourth quarter but Colorado took advantage of a few mistakes and turned a seven point deficit into a 14 point win.
The reason for their comeback? Their ability to fight through adversity.
The thing that makes this Colorado team different than last year’s 1-11 squad is how they have responded to adversity in their first two games. That has been the biggest difference between the Buffs being 2-0 instead of 0-2.
“They are starting to see the fruits of their labor,” Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre said after the win. “They are starting to see keep fighting, keep playing, keep the intensity going and those are not just words those are things they are doing.”
After falling behind 24-17 UCA was driving into Colorado territory once again but a tipped pass fell right into the hands of junior defensive back Jered Bell who raced 79 yards the other way to tie the game and it was ultimately the turning point.
Would that type of play happened on last year’s team? Not likely, simply because this year’s team has learned that when you get punched it’s ok to punch back and fight through their mistakes.
“I said to this team at halftime, the reason we won last week was that when adversity hit we stuck together,” quarterback Connor Wood stated during the post game presser. “We clung together. Last year’s team would have crumpled.”
Credit the majority of the new mentality to the new coaching staff and their belief in the players.
“I think we have great confidence but it’s stemming from these coaches,” receiver Paul Richardson claimed during the post game press conference. “They changed our whole attitude, we don’t have that cave-in mentality. (Now) we rise to the occasion.”
It’s crazy to see how much Colorado has improved mentally in such a short amount of time under MacIntyre. Every different unit on the team is playing with more confidence and it’s helped the players believe that they can fight through the adversity and start to win.
“I’ll tell you one thing, these young men keep fighting, they never get down, they keep playing,” MacIntyre said. “Yeah they made mistakes but they kept playing. I can’t tell you how proud I am of their fight and how they are coming together.”