Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre says he expects to win every game he coaches and he believes his team has adopted that approach with the Buffs starting the season winning games over Colorado State and Central Arkansas.
“Am I surprised that we're 2-0? No,” MacIntyre said. “Am I excited that we're 2-0? Yes.”
There is nothing particularly unusual about a coach saying such things except that MacIntyre is coaching at CU, where the football program has been a disappointment for the better part of a decade and no one expected much from the Buffs this season.
He took over a program last December that was coming off a 1-11 season with players split into factions and a complete lack of leadership. He seems to have fixed those problems but now faces his biggest challenge to date on Saturday (noon, Pac-12 Network) when Fresno State visits Folsom Field.
The Bulldogs hammered the Buffs last year in Fresno 69-14 in a game that was over by the end of the first quarter when Fresno State led 35-0. Quarterback Connor Wood and wide receiver Paul Richardson said last season's game is not a factor in their preparations for the Bulldogs this week, but other players on the team have posted on social media accounts that they are eager to redeem themselves.
MacIntyre said he believes this game does carry added significance to his players and for good reason.
“In any competitors mind, it's in the back of your mind,” MacIntyre said. “If it's not, then you're not a competitor. And I know it's in the back of our young mens' minds and they'll use that to help them motivate themselves.
“I do not look at it as a revenge game of anything like that. I think when you get into revenge, all you're doing is getting mad and that's not focusing. It's about executing what we do well better than they do it with all the heart you've got.”
The Buffs are 10-point underdogs and will be hard-pressed to pull off an upset against a team with a possible first-round draft pick at quarterback in Derek Carr and plenty of playmakers surrounding him.
"Fresno State, fast, fast, fast and even faster,” MacIntyre said, describing the Bulldogs. “…Hopefully they sprain their ankles getting off the bus.”