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CFN Take: Colorado Rally Falls Short vs. Utes
Colorado Buffaloes 2013 ...
Head Coach: Mike MacIntyre
at Utah 24, Colorado 17
| 2013 Record: 4-7|
8/31 Colorado St (in Denver) W 41-27
9/7 Central Arkansas W 38-24
9/14 Fresno State PPD
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 at Oregon State L 44-17
10/5 Oregon L 57-16
10/12 at Arizona State L 54-13
10/19 Charleston Southern W 43-10
10/26 Arizona L 44-20
11/2 at UCLA L 45-23
11/9 at Washington L 59-7
11/16 California W 41-24
11/23 USC L 47-29
11/30 at Utah L 24-17
Basically … Utah jumped out to a 21-0 first half lead on two short touchdown runs from Kelvin Yokr and a 16-yard Jake Murphy touchdown catch. Colorado battled back with Scott Fernandez catching a 34-yard touchdown pass and Nelson Spruce scoring from 14 yards out, but the Utes held on. Both teams turned it over three times with Utah’s Trevor Reilly coming up with a key pick.
- Utah RB Kelvin York ran 31 times for 132 yards and two scores.
- Colorado converted 2-of-14 third down chances and ran 25 times for 48 yards.
- Colorado QB Sefo Liufau completed 23-of-46 passes for 241 yards and two scores with a pick.
- Utah QB Adam Schulz completed 19-of-33 passes for 233 yards and a score with a pick.
USC 47, at Colorado 29
Basically … USC didn’t mess around scoring the first 23 points of the game with Javorius Allen running for touchdowns from 12 yards and one yard away and Nelson Agholor catching a 20-yard scoring pass. Allen added a 23-yard touchdown run and Randall Telfer caught a ten-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. The Buffs were down 37-7 before the offense scored in the fourth quarter on a 38-yard Nelson Spruce catch. They pulled within 11 with just over three minutes to play on a five-yard Paul Richardson catch, but that would be as close as they’d get.
- USC RB Javorius Allen ran 21 times for 145 yards and three scores and caught three passes for 24 yards.
- Colorado QB Sefo Liufau completed 17-of-33 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns with a pick.
- Colorado WR Paul Richardson caught eight passes for 88 yards and a score.
- USC QB Cody Kessler completed 19-of-28 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
at Colorado 41, California 24
Basically … Sefo Liufau threw three touchdown passes with Kyle Slavin catching a ten-yarder in the second quarter and Michael Adkins taking one 63 yards to help the Buffs pull away in the fourth. Cal tied it at ten in the second on a 55-yard Khalfani Muhammad dash, but Colorado scored 24 straight points to take over. Cal stopped the run with a one-yard Brendan Bigelow touchdown run, but Colorado answered with a Nelson Spruce kickoff return for a score.
- Colorado QB Sefo Liufau completed 23-of-36 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns with a pick.
- Cal QB Jared Goff completed 23-of-45 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown with a pick. He also punted three times.
- Cal RB Brendan Bigelow ran 15 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
- Colorado WR Paul Richardson caught 11 passes for 140 yards.
at Washington 59, Colorado 7
Basically … Keith Price threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores, and the Washington defense came up with two touchdowns on a Tre Watson 84-yard interception return and a 53-yard Marcus Peters fumble return for a score in the third. Colorado scored in the first quarter on a 53-yard touchdown catch from Paul Richardson, and then it was all Huskies as they scored 49 unanswered points.
- Washington QB Keith Price completed 22-of-29 passes for 312 yards and two scores, and he ran seven times for 29 yards and two touchdowns.
- Washington outgained the Buffs 628 yards to 299. The Huskies had an almost perfect balance with 312 yards passing and 316 rushing.
- Colorado QB Sefu Liufau completed 12-of-22 passes for 160 yards and a score with two interceptions.
- Washington RB Bishop Sankey ran 23 times for 143 yards and a score, and he caught four passes for 53 yards.
at UCLA 45, Colorado 23
Basically … Brett Hundley connected with Devin Fuller for a 76-yard touchdown in the first quarter and from six yards out in the second, on the way to a 21-13 UCLA lead, but it would be a fight. Colorado got three Will Oliver field goals and a seven-yard Paul Richardson touchdown catch, but Hundley ran for two scores and Fuller added an eight-yard touchdown late in the fourth. Hundley’s one-yard run early in the third and a five-yard touchdown from Damien Thigpen late in the quarter put it away.
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 19-of-24 passes for 273 yards and two scores, and he led the team with 72 rushing yards and two scores on 11 carries.
- Colorado QB Sefo Liufau completed 25-of-36 passes for 247 yards and a score.
- The Bruins committed 11 penalties for 122 yards.
- UCLA WR Devin Fuller caught three passes for 99 yards and two scores, and he ran for an eight-yard touchdown.
at Colorado 44, Arizona 20
Basically … It took a little while, but the Arizona offense exploded over the final 33 minutes as Ka’Deem Carey finished with four touchdowns and B.J. Denker found Nate Phillips for a 44-yard touchdown with 30 seconds to play. Colorado had a 13-10 first half lead on two Will Oliver field goals and a 75-yard touchdown catch from Paul Richardson, but the defense couldn’t stop the Arizona ground game that rumbled for 405 yards.
- Colorado’s offense has Paul Richardson, and that’s about it. He came up with the one big pass play to get everyone excited, and that was it as the O fell flat in the second half. The Buffs settled for field goals early, and while Will Oliver hit some long ones, the team needed touchdowns to be ready for the run from the Wildcats.
- Baby steps. The Buffs are trying to find steady offensive production and they need someone to be off. There are still chances for wins with Cal to play along with an offensively challenged USC and a banged up Utah, but road games at UCLA and Washington over the next few weeks will be rough.
at Arizona State 54, Colorado 13
Basically …Arizona State jumped out to a 25-0 first quarter lead with two Marion Grice touchdowns and a 69-yard Jaelen Strong touchdown catch. Colorado scored early in the second quarter on Nelson Spruce touchdown catch, and then it was all ASU with 22 points to close out the half and 27 straight points for a 54-6 lead helped by a Taylor Kelly 17-yard scoring run and a one-yard touchdown pass.
- Arizona State was too fast and the offense too effective for Colorado. It was a clean game from the Sun Devils with just three penalties and no turnovers, and while Taylor Kelly only completed 9-of-19 passes, he made his throws count with 233 yards and two scores. Marion Grice continues to be a touchdown machine, running for 88 yards with two scores.
- Colorado has to give Sefo Liufau even more of a shot now at quarterback. Connor Wood missed all four of his passes with an interception, and while Liufau wasn’t great, he was accurate on short throws completing 18-of-26 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown and two picks. There wasn’t any running game to help the cause, with ASU getting up so fast that the Buffs had to keep throwing.
- The offensive punch has to come, and the turnovers have to stop, giving it away four times against the Sun Devils. Fortunately, Charleston Southern is up next, and there’s a chance to hang around with Arizona and beat Cal at home. Win those three games, and then the Buffs will be at five victories and in range for a bowl appearance.
- When the Arizona State offense is rolling, it’s unstoppable. It was fantastic against USC a few weeks ago, and it took advantage of every break against the Buffs. Now comes the real test at home against Washington, and with three of the next four games on the road, it becomes a must win.
Oregon 57 … at Colorado 16
Basically … Colorado held a 10-8 lead on a 75-yard double-reverse pass from receiver Paul Richardson to D.D. Goodson for a score, and then Oregon exploded for three touchdowns in less than four minutes. Marcus Mariota connected with Bralon Addison for a 75-yard touchdown, and he found Keanon Lowe for a 17-yard score late in the first. After two Colorado field goals, Mariota was at it again, running for his second touchdown run of the first half and closing out a 43-point first half in the final minute with a four-yard scoring pass to Josh Huff. The Ducks scored 28 unanswered points, with Mariota’s fifth touchdown pass coming with fewer than seven minutes to play in the third.
- Marcus Mariota is playing at a whole other level. Colorado might not have a dominant defense, but Mariota was still close to perfect, completing 16-of-27 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns, and running for 43 yards and two scores.
- Colorado can’t settle for field goals against a team like Oregon. It had to go for the points when it was still a game in the first half, but three Will Oliver field goals and a trick play touchdown weren’t nearly enough to keep up the pace. The Buffs tried things, but they were outgunned. Everyone is against Oregon.
- The one big bright spot for Colorado was Paul Richardson, who continues to have a terrific year now that he’s healthy. The 75-yard touchdown pass was fun, but he also caught five passes for 134 yards. The Buffs have to get the ball in his hands in a variety of ways.
- 11 different Oregon Ducks carried the ball with no De’Anthony Thomas around to help the cause. His absence didn’t matter much; the ground attack gained 349 yards. Everything is clicking, but now comes the tests with Washington, UCLA and Stanford coming up in the next four games.
at Oregon State 44, Colorado 17
Basically … Oregon State broke open a 3-3 tie with 35 straight points on five Sean Mannion’s six touchdown passes with two to Brandin Cooks, a 42-yarder to Terron Ward and two short throws to Caleb Smith. Colorado got into the end zone twice in the fourth quarter on two Connor Wood scoring passes, but it was way too late.
- Eastern Washington? Now that loss is looking more and more bizarre with the way Oregon State is playing. Sean Mannion has been lights out, bombing away on the Buffs for 414 yards and six touchdowns, with Brandin Crooks unstoppable catching nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
- Colorado is better and improving, but there will be some major speed bumps once in a while. This was one of them. The offense couldn’t move the ball until it was too late, and the four turnovers were too much to overcome.
- Linebacker Addison Gillam did a decent job against the run, making 13 tackles with a tackle for loss, but the defense couldn’t get off the field. There was decent pressure, but not enough to slow down the Beaver passing attack.
- OSU got to empty the bench a bit. Getting up so big in the first half allowed the coaching staff to play around with the depth, especially on defense. There were a few problems late, but they didn’t matter. The game was well in hand.
at Colorado 38, Central Arkansas 24, Sept. 7
Basically … Paul Richardson caught a 55-yard touchdown pass and Greg Henderson took a Wynrick Smothers pass 46 yards for a touchdown and an early 14-0 Colorado lead. But Central Arkansas came back with 17 straight points and held a 24-17 lead in the fourth, but the Buff defense struck again with Jered Bell taking an interception 79 yards for a touchdown to start a run of 21 unanswered points to put the game away.
- It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but Colorado is 2-0. Connor Wood and Paul Richardson are working well together with Richardson coming back from his knee injury to roll in his first two games. He lit up Central Arkansas for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, while Wood threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns. However, he gave up two picks and the Buffs turned it over four times and committed eight penalties.
- There wasn’t much of a pass rush, but the defensive backs came through with the two really, really big interceptions the team needed. The D was too porous, but it made up for it with a few spectacular gamechangers.
Colorado 41, at Colorado State 27, Sept. 1
Basically … Connor Wood threw for 400 yards and three touchdown passes, starting out with an 82-yard bomb to a wide open Paul Richardson and ending with a 75-yarder to him. Colorado State took a one point lead late in the third on Kapri Bibbs’ second rushing touchdown of the game, but it was all Colorado in the fourth with a 53-yard fumble return for a score from Greg Henderson as part of the 18 point frame.
- Coaches have been pumping up Paul Richardson as a special player and top pro prospect, and he showed it off. Now that he’s healthy, he’s deadly again. The ten catches for 208 yards and two scores might be just the beginning.
- It’s only one game, but already Mike McIntyre has jacked up the offense to a whole other level. There might need to be more production from the ground game, but Connor Wood is looking like a keeper at quarterback.
- Colorado State just can’t find a running game. The Buffs were aggressive defensively and did a nice job of forcing second-and-long, but the Rams couldn’t find anything that worked.
- 2-of-14 on third downs. Colorado State was put in too many tough situations, and quarterback Garrett Grayson couldn’t come through.
Why To Get Excited … after Jon Embree, the only way was up at head coach. In Mike MacIntyre, the Buffaloes appear to have actually made a major upgrade on the sidelines. Fresh off a stunning run of success at hapless San Jose State, Colorado attracted a coach with the blueprint, enthusiasm and right demeanor to gradually begin to turn things around in Boulder.
Why To Be Grouchy … as last year indicated, the Buffs are still a long way from having the talent on either side of the ball to compete with even middling Pac-12 opponents. The program’s best player, LT David Bakhtiari, bolted early for the NFL, leaving behind a questionable collection of talent. After true freshmen started a nation’s-high 57 games in 2012, Colorado will be more experienced, yet still rather green.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … building up the confidence of a squad outscored by an average of more than four touchdowns a game in 2012. Yeah, MacIntyre needs to sift through a half-dozen candidates to find the right quarterback, but there’s single decision that’ll make this program markedly better this fall. It’s just not that simple. The Buffs need a holistic turnaround that’ll begin with the fragile psyche of a team engulfed in a culture of losing.
Non-Conference Games: Colorado State, Central Arkansas, Fresno State
Games Against The North: California, Oregon, at Oregon State, at Washington
Realistic Best Case Record: 1-11
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 2-10
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Colorado State, Central Arkansas
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Fresno State, at Oregon State, Oregon, at Arizona State, Arizona, at UCLA, at Washington, California, USC, at Utah
Schedule Analysis: The Buffs always have a problem with Colorado State, but they can’t blow the rivalry game or it could be yet another brutally long season. Central Arkansas will be the one sure-thing win on the schedule, and then it’s going to take upsets the rest of the way to come up with any more victories, including the date with Fresno State before getting a week off.
Going to Oregon State and Arizona State wouldn’t be horrible for a decent team, but wrapped around a home game against Oregon makes it tough for a rebuilding program. Missing Stanford from the North will help, but going to Washington isn’t going to help. Arizona, Cal and USC are coming to Folsom, and getting a win out of the three would count as a positive step forward. Utah is one of the few teams in the Pac-12 the Buffs can beat, but the regular season finale is on the road.
Team Concerns For 2013: What has to improve? Everything. 19 starters are back, but everyone has to be better for a team that finished dead last in almost all major category. The defense was last in the nation in points allowed and pass efficiency D, but the offense was even worse. The Buffs were abysmal in pass protection which directly led to the second-least efficient passing game in college football. The running attack didn't go anywhere and the passing attack never found a spark. Hanging on to the ball would be nice after giving it up 34 times.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. What
do you get for the team that needs everything? Infrastructure, coming up
with a few nice defensive ends, led by Jimmie Gilbert out of College
Station, Texas, and loading up on offensive linemen. There aren't any
sure-thing stars, but Colin Sutton and Jonathan Huckins are promising
guards, and tackles Sam Kronshage and Gunnar Graham will be groomed for
down the road. The offense is also getting a little more help with Devin
Ross and a few good receivers, while the defense is getting a killer
with George Frazier at middle linebacker.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 33. That Class Was Heavy On ... Lots and lots and lots and LOTS of bodies. This will be a huge class with a little something for all spots, especially for a defensive line that has to be the cornerstone of the program’s resurgence. If all goes according to plan, this might be the Big 12’s best class of defensive tackles, while the ends aren’t too shabby with three-star prospects the norm. The offense doesn’t need pass catchers after loading up in previous classes, but a few solid prospects are expected to sign on.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 66. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linebackers. New head coach Jon Embree is a linebacker guy, and his first class reflects where he wants his program to be with an upgrade in speed and athleticism. Will Harlos, Woodson Greer, and K.T. Tuumalo are smallish, safety-sized linebacker prospects who can fly, but Brady Daigh is a pure middle linebacker. The quarterback situation could be interesting with Stevie Dorman and JUCO transfer Brent Burnette two big passers, while Paulay Asiata should eventually be the type of offensive tackle who becomes an anchor to keep the passers clean.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 66. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Tight ends. Dan
Hawkins is recruiting someone else's players as he's
all but gone without a sensational season. He didn't
get any instant impact help, but RB Tony Jones might
be inserted as a third down back early on. The next
head man (assuming Hawkins really will be gone) will
be loaded at tight end with four tall pass catchers
signed on. Kyle Slavin is a big wide receiver, while
Harold Mobley and Justin Favors will get their
chances over the next few years to be focal points
of the passing game.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 52. That Class Was
Heavy On ... receivers. Head coach Dan Hawkins and his staff brought in a few nice safeties, signed two good quarterbacks, and landed superstar DE Nick Casa, but the spotlight will mostly be on the three receivers who’ll be asked to contribute early on. JUCO transfer Andre Simmons has the size and the potential to be a No. 1 target from the start, while Terdema Ussery and Jarrod Darden both very big, very good targets.