Colorado's live Buffalo mascot Ralphie V did not make her pregame romp around Folsom Field before Saturday night's home opener against Central Arkansas because she was spooked by smoke pouring from a tunnel the team runs through on to the field.
It is the first time Ralphie V has not made her traditional run and the first time the school's mascot has missed a run since Ralphie IV was held out of a game in 2002 while she was in heat.
It was an ominous sign for Colorado fans who have seen their program go 1-2 against Football Championship Subdivision foes at Folsom Field since playing their first FCS team in 2006.
Over-anxious CU players might have contributed to spooking their mascot. The Buffaloes didn't stop at the mouth of the tunnel before running on to the field, possibly because the smoke was already filling the inflatable tunnel through which they run. Once players are on the field in front of her, it's too dangerous to allow the 1,300-pound Buffalo loose.
The Buffs and Bears were tied 14-14 at halftime following several key Colorado mistakes in the second quarter. Ralphie V made an uneventful run at the start of the second half.