The early story in this game was all special teams. The Cardinal muffed the opening kickoff return, fumbling the ball back to Colorado. On the very same Buffaloes drive, Stanford was able to block a 29-yard field goal attempt, as special teams linebacker Max Bergen blocked the kick and ran the ball all the way back for the first score of the game. The touchdown was a huge turnaround for Stanford and a big boost to special teams to come up so big after dropping the opening kickoff return.
After Stanford stuffed Colorado in three downs, culminating in a sack of Tyler Hansen for a big loss, quarterback Andrew Luck led the Cardinal on a long drive to the Colorado end zone. Junior Stepfan Taylor made a one-yard touchdown run. Stanford missed the point after attempt, but shut down Colorado to make it through the end of the first quarter leading 13-0.