Colorado draws strength from rivalry game opener against Colorado State
LOS ANGELES – In an era of college football when the vast majority of programs open up their seasons against FCS opponents and much smaller schools, Colorado is a rarity. On Aug. 30, the Buffs take on their in-state rival Colorado State to open up the 2014 season. The Rocky Mountain Showdown is almost always a hard-fought, emotional affair that sets the tone for both teams’ season.
Despite beginning the season with one of their most challenging games, the Buffaloes relish the opportunity to take on their fiercest rivals in their opener in Denver.
“I think it's good to start off with that big game. It's a good way to kick-start our season, a little bit of competition before conference play,” CU wide receiver Nelson Spruce said.
Spruce’s teammate on the defensive line, Juda Parker, agreed.
“I really like having our crosstown rival as our opening game. It really sets the tone."
This is the third-straight year that the Buffaloes open up their season with the showdown. Last season’s 41-27 victory over the Rams started Colorado's Mike MacIntyre era on a positive note. The Buffs' win served as a bold opening statement to Colorado fans and the college football world that CU was going to be a different team under MacIntyre. The coach says he hopes his team can do the same again this year as fans expect the program to keep improving.
“It was a fun game last year. I know it will be a fun game again this year so I think it adds a lot of anticipation by our fan base,” MacIntyre said.
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Knowing that a game like the Rocky Mountain Showdown can fuel momentum in either direction to start the season, Colorado might be preparing to kick off the 2014 season with more urgency than other teams around the country.
“I think it sets a standard all through fall camp that we are pushing for that game," MacIntyre said, "There is a lot of excitement around it. There is a lot of intensity around it. So I think it pushes your team knowing that they are getting ready for that game."