Gameballs: Barnes, Vaki, Becker

Offensive GB: Barnes Everyone was enchanted with Barnes in the '22 Rose Bowl. Some were less enchanted in the 2nd RB and earlier this year.

Life has ups and downs, but when the time came to make a play, Barnes could not have been more massive. Rattle off all the attributes associated with individual redemption via sports, and a photo of Barnes should accompany the definition.

Defensive gameball: Vaki I had to follow suit and innovate on this one because Vaki had just two tackles, behind another newbie nobody’s heard of until last night: Briton Allen #19.

But, in fairness, Vaki racked up more extra credit that should be allowed by law. He jumped off the screen with athleticism commensurate with his freakish training numbers. Sometimes athletic freaks end up being a little disappointing when they get on the field, but Vaki builds on what he was blessed with and consistently makes instinctively great moves.

And he’s pretty good at defense, too.

ST gameball: Becker It’s been a quiet season for Cole, but he seems to be coming back just fine, will hopefully be adding KOs back into his repertoire soon.

The game winner had zero doubt, was NFL-right-down-the-middle.

Even more cool for Becker, I took a quick peak at NetBuffs to see their reaction to the kicker they wish they still had just beating USC at the Coliseum. The posts were actually very cool, CU fans seem to be happy for Becker’s big win. Nice.

Vaki is an impressive talent. Great quickness, vision and understands where he needs to be. So often the Utah MO is to take offensive talent and move them to the D. Nice to see a reverse of this. Can’t wait to see what else he is capable of doing. Selfishly I’d like to see him just on offense but let the players play.


USC was one of the most prolific aerial circuses we’ll face, and with Richie coming into form and Tao Johnson having come out of nowhere to be the future FS, I think we may see Vaki getting more snaps on offense than defense.

Last night really illustrated just how good Bishop is. On Branch’s punt return, Bishop missed him once & then turned on the jets to get him out of bounds downfield. Yeah, Cole is gone after this year. I’d bet $500 on it.

Richie’s whiff against one of USC’s speed guys should help him get up to the pace, take better angles, etc.

Our three CBs are holding down the 3 cover positions well - Vaughn had a pick stolen by a marginal offside mistake, Broughton has rounded into really solid form, and Battle is doing exactly what he wanted to do in transferring: getting on national TV to showcase his skills for the next level.