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Broussard, Noyer Lift Buffs With Sparkling Starting Debuts

Nov 7, 2020
Sam Noyer threw for 257 yards and a TD in his CU starting debut to lift the Buffs past UCLA.

BOULDER — No veteran quarterback and no veteran running back?

For the Colorado Buffaloes, that equation proved to be no problem Saturday night. 

Rather, CU senior quarterback Sam Noyer and redshirt sophomore running back Jarek Broussard looked very much at home against UCLA, fueling an offense that slapped 525 yards and 48 points on the Bruins in a 48-42 Colorado victory in the season opener for both teams.

Noyer, making his first start for the Buffs, was 20-for-31 for 257 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for 64 yards and a score.

Broussard has overcome two ACL surgeries and was starting in place of injured incumbent Alex Fontenot. But he looked like a proven veteran, recording one of the best debuts ever for a CU tailback. In his first playing time as a Buff, Broussard carried 31 times for 187 yards and three touchdowns. The effort tied Bobby Anderson's CU record for most touchdowns in a running back debut, and it was the most yards ever by a CU tailback in his first appearance for Colorado.

 "This really means a lot to us and what we had to go through with the coronavirus and getting cancelled/paused," Broussard said. "It felt really good to come out here and get the win tonight."

For Noyer, the game was a sweet reward. A year ago, he was moved to safety by the Mel Tucker staff and when the season was over, he put his name in the transfer portal.

But CU coaches convinced him to return and give quarterback one more shot.

"It felt amazing," Noyer said. "I just wanted this opportunity from the start. And I finally got it, and that's all I could ask for. I mean I've got to continue to get better and there's things I need to continue to do to get better. But overall, it was a great opportunity. UCLA is a great team and I tip my hat to them. They fought back and they showed resilience, and so I think it was just overall a great night and it just feels good to get the 'W' under our belt."

Broussard scored all three of his touchdowns in the first half, but he also had some key runs in the second half to keep CU drives alive and move the clock. He left the game briefly in the second half, but later returned and added a big 21-yard reception from Noyer to help the Buffs into field goal range.

"I'm good," he said. "I'm a little nicked up but I mean if we had to go another quarter, I would've been out there."

KICKER SWITCH: The Buffs had their issues with field goals, problems Dorrell promised would be addressed in practice next week.

Starter James Stefanou was short on his first attempt and had his second blocked. The Buffs then brought in Evan Price to add an extra point, and he kicked two more field goals before the Bruins blocked another late in the game.

Dorrell said there was a "little bit of a nick" with Stefanou, which is why the change was made. As for the blocked tries, "That is an area we will continue to work on and try to get better at. Our field goal protection with two blocks is not good. We need to really address that and make that a non-issue for us as we move forward."

NOTES: Senior wide receiver K.D. Nixon, who had been hampered by a sore hamstring in camp, did not play … Along with Noyer and Broussard making their first career starts, others doing the same were junior wide receivers Daniel Arias and Maurice Bell and true freshman cornerback Christian Gonzalez … The 90 combined points by both teams produced the highest scoring season opener in CU history … The Buffs rushed for 264 yards and passed for 261. CU is now 53-8 since 1981 when eclipsing 200 in both … CU was 7-for-7 when penetrating the red zone (six touchdowns, one field goal) … The victory was CU's fifth straight in season openers.