The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING -

san an­to­nio» Most mem­bers of the Colorado foot­ball team don’t have to worry about their rel­a­tives cheer­ing for the op­po­nent when the Alamo Bowl kicks off Thurs­day night.

Run­ning back Phillip Lind­say can’t say the same.

Lind­say’s cousins, Tony and Gabe, played for Ok­la­homa State in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Tony was a quar­ter­back. Gabe was a wide re­ceiver. Their fa­ther is Phillip Lind­say’s un­cle, Tony Lind­say, who was also his high school coach at Den­ver South.

The fam­ily con­nec­tion has made CU’s matchup with the Cow­boys even more spe­cial for Lind­say, who had a break­out ju­nior sea­son in 2016 with 1,189 yards and 16 touch­downs, the most in the Pac-12. He also caught 47 passes, the most ever by a CU run­ning back.

“Both of them were ex­cited to hear that I was go­ing to be in the Alamo Bowl,” Lind­say said. “My cousin, the quar­ter­back (Tony Lind­say), ac­tu­ally did play his first bowl game in the Alamo Bowl ver­sus Pur­due (in 1997). It was ex­cit­ing to hear that and be able to joke around with them and every­thing else, and they will be at­tend­ing the game, so it’s ex­cit­ing.”

Thank­ing fans.

Colorado fans didn’t wait to pounce on Alamo Bowl tick­ets. The school sold its al­lot­ment of 6,500 and then asked for more.

Jim­mie Gil­bert, the Buffs’ top pass rusher, said CU has rid­den the en­thu­si­asm of a fan base that has rev­eled in a turn­around sea­son.

“That re­ally touches you be­cause it lets you know that what you’re do­ing isn’t cen­tered around just you,” Gil­bert said. “It in­flu­ences the whole cir­cle around you and the peo­ple from afar who have their eyes on us. When they see we can go from zero to 100 re­ally quickly, that re­ally mo­ti­vates us to go harder and not let their good­will go to waste.”

Fresh­man chal­lenge.

The Buffs know they will face a chal­lenge Thurs­day in OSU run­ning back Jus­tice Hill, whose 1,042 yards are third among all FBS fresh­man.

“He breaks through some tack­les,” CU in­terim de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Joe Tump­kin said. “His yards af­ter con­tact are pretty good. He runs low and he’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge for our guys up front.”

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