Last Sunday Jimmy Smith and Nate Solder, who played together during their respective CU careers, battled for the AFC Championship in Foxborough, Mass. With the Super Bowl on the line, there was no time for reminiscing.
This was a familiar scene for the two second-year NFL players as both were a part of last year's conference championship game. The rematch, however, produced far different results as Baltimore delivered a dominant performance to defeat New England 28-13.
Solder is the starting left tackle for the Patriots offense, which was one of the most efficient in the NFL during the regular season. But that was not the story on Sunday. Instead it was the impressive Baltimore defense with Smith in the secondary.
New England took an early lead and had a 13-7 advantage at halftime, but that's when the script changed as the Ravens defense took over in the second half.
Baltimore did not allow the New England offense, who led the league in total offense, a single point in the final 30 minutes of play. On three separate occasions, the Patriots offense entered Ravens territory but was forced to punt.
The stellar Baltimore defense was superb in the final two quarters at it allowed their offense to score three touchdowns and punch their ticket New Orleans.
In the contest, Smith recorded two tackles while playing both cornerback and on special teams. The Colorado alum had 34 total tackles during the regular season.
Smith and Solder have now faced each other three times during their first two seasons in the NFL, with Smith leading the series 2-1.
Baltimore will play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 (4:30 p.m. MST, CBS).