UNC Bears Vs. CU Buffaloes…. A Modern Day Version of David Vs. Goliath
“And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.” Some of you may remember this quote from the popular biblical story of David and Goliath. This classic underdog story is a fitting analogy for the UNC VS. CU football game played on September 16, 2017. UNC serves in the role of David the large underdog, while CU can be compared to Goliath, the overwhelming favorite. Although UNC’s stone did not quite slay the CU giant, there were many times in the game when it appeared UNC would pull an upset of biblical proportions. Oct. 12, 1934 was the last time CU and UNC battled it out on the football gridiron. That autumn day ended in a 13–7 win for the Colorado Teachers College, now more commonly known as UNC. It has been 83 years since a Buff Vs. Bear showdown, until this year when the two teams were finally reunited. Held at CU’s very own folsom field on a brutally hot September day. UNC fans made the hour and 15 minute drive to Boulder, Colorado to support their Bears, in what potentially could have been one of, if not the biggest win in UNC bear history. The CU Vs. UNC game was a somewhat controversial game to begin with, despite the fact that UNC ended up playing an extremely good game against CU based on the circumstances.
Both CU and UNC’s football teams have progressed into two very different football organizations. Head coach for the UNC Bears, Earnest Collins Jr. has recently claimed to finally see an opportunity to return to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2002. The Bears are also hoping for an opportunity to participate in a postseason appearance in Division I, as a member of the “Big Sky” conference. Big sky conference is is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA’s Division. The bears started off their season with a big win against College of Idaho and headed into the CU game with a bevy of confidence. The bookmakers didn’t agree and made UNC a 39 point underdog. While UNC had experienced some football success over the last several decades that included winning two Division II championships they were figuratively and literally out of CU’s league. Over the last three decades the University of Colorado had a heisman trophy winner (Rashaan Salaam) and a Division I National Championship (1990). After struggling for most of the last decade, CU had appeared to find its footing last year, finishing first in its division and ranking as high as 10th in the nation. The university of Colorado has three times the number of students and almost 10 times the athletic budget as UNC. Certainly on paper it didn’t appear UNC had a chance, but that’s why they play the game. As all UNC fans could tell UNC brought everything they had to that field and showed how much they wanted that win, weather that was shown on paper or not, it was known throughout folsom field that day.
The UNC VS. CU game, the Bears had a phenomenal start to the game as shown through this quote I found, “UNC was actually first to score when wide receiver Alex Wesley finagled his way behind CU’s Isaiah Oliver for a 33-yard touchdown catch on the Bears’ first possession.” UNC came out with no fear (similar to David), even while knowing they were highly favored to get demolished by CU. Although UNC did ending up taking the loss, they were able to score more points on CU than the first 2 CU opponents combined. For example, it is very widely known that the biggest college rival in the state is CU Vs. CSU. The two teams played each other in the first game of the season, with attendance of over 43,000 fans. CU came out with a huge win of 17–3. Although, CU did play a much more competitive and advanced game with the biggest rival CSU, we were still able to put more points on the board against the buffs, than CSU did.
CU has been growing into a bigger and better football organization for several years now, with all of their hard work and dedication finally being shown through their stats in the past few years. CU came into the UNC game with the mindset of an easy defeat, as Goliaths often do. The Buffs did not take the Bears seriously in the first quarter of the game, although when they finally woke up they took over the game. “CU lost three turnovers and UNC trailed by just one touchdown late in the third quarter. The Buffaloes were penalized 14 times for 114 yards, including targeting ejections for safety Afolabi Laguda and defensive end Chris Mulumba. CU didn’t allow a touchdown in its two previous games.” CU started off with their first string players, and obviously slowly started to pulling their better players to rest up for their big game against Washington in the upcoming week. UNC’s defense has struggled in the past to contain explosive offenses giving up 329 yards and four touchdowns to Colorado State, and 435 yards and five touchdowns to Eastern Washington last year, and in turn the Buffs took advantage.
Every football watcher will share a different opinion on how they feel on the UNC V CU game. Personally, I side with UNC for various reasons. UNC came in with a huge disadvantage coming in against such a highly talked about team. CU contains three times the number of students and almost 10 times the athletic budget as UNC, therefore CU is equipped with various resources, while UNC being a much smaller school is somewhat limited in this area. UNC was able to hold their own against CU from the very beginning of the game, (hence the first touchdown coming from the Bears). I would consider this loss for us a win based on just how well we competed and the overall amazing game the Bears brought out.