Colorado’s senior linebacker grew up in northern California and was passed over by Stanford, even though his brother had played t.

With its backs against the wall, the Pac-12’s best defense answered the bell time and again, stymieing Stanford and star running back Christian McCaffrey in a 10-5 victory that makes the Buffs bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.

As the shadows began to stretch across Stanford Stadium, the walls of the visiting locker room roared to the tune of the CU fight song, the distinct yell of “Shoulder to shoulder” threatening to rattle the foundation.

Senior Tedric Thompson had intercepted Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns in the fourth quarter to set up Graham’s redemptive kick.

After Graham’s field goal, Isaiah Oliver intercepted Burns on Stanford’s next drive to seal the victory.

CU drove to the Stanford 3-yard line on its opening drive of the second half, but the Buffs absorbed a 7-yard sack on second down.

The Buffs, clinging to a 7-3 lead, shook off that miss and drove to the Stanford 15-yard line on their next possession.

After Stanford went 14 plays for 66 yards during a seven-minute drive in the first quarter that ended with a field goal, it seemed as if the Cardinal looked like the bullying group that has lived at the top of the Pac-12 in recent seasons.

Three of Stanford’s five first-half drives went three and out.

Stanford Football