Seriously, though, congrats to Eric and Melinda - the best Buff fans in all of Utah, and the best friends a guy could have. I wish you both nothing but the best!
I only have two topics for you in the bag today, as I prepare to slip out of town. After the jump, I'm wrapping up the loss to Arizona, and looking ahead to future opponents.
Click below for the bag...
The record keeps skipping -
Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Colorado Buffaloes, at home, had a visiting Pac-12 opponent on the ropes, seemingly in position to land the knockout blow to claim a program building win. Instead, however, an inability to move the ball consistently in the second half, and a corresponding offensive adjustment from the opponent, turned the tide against CU in the 4th quarter, and the potential win evaporated into yet another discouraging loss.
|Even the return of the marshmallows to Folsom couldn't get the Buffs a win.|
You could almost bring yourself to believe in this one, if you were unaware of #TheScript. Homecoming, night game at Folsom, a Mike MacIntyre guarantee, the return of the marshmallows... it seemed as if the stars were aligning for it to be CU's breakthrough moment. The team even played well throughout the first half, responding to an early, heavy body blow from the Wildcats to tie it up heading into halftime. But, as I said last week, this program isn't just going to back into a big conference win, they're going to have to claim it with authority. Which is why, only up a single score after an early 3rd quarter touchdown, I began to worry as the Buffs continually came up empty against the reeling Arizona defense. They would punt on each of their next five possessions, only gaining 50 yards on 22 plays in the process. This left the back door swinging wildly open for the Arizona offense - one of the 10 best in the country, mind you - to come barging in and steal the game. The eye-rolling predictability of the oncoming disaster is implied, but nonetheless present.
|Randall's appearance turned the tide for good. From: the Daily Wildcat|
The Bulle(i)t points -
- Colorado gave up 616 yards on 84 plays, 213 of which came in the 4th quarter. Arizona's switch to Randle under center was the decisive moment, as, with a shaky Solomon running the ship, the Buffs had the Wildcats rattled until then. It took guts for RichRod to switch up his slingers, but going to the run-first Randle must've been like returning to home cooking for a read-spread guy like Rodgriguez.
- While nothing close to their opponent's offensive output, I though the Colorado offense played well... for the most part. The much maligned Sefo Liufau played a good game, and accounted for 339 passing yards on 43 attempts and four total touchdowns (two rushing). His two scores on QB draws were examples of a great call and great execution. It wasn't Sefo's fault that the team lost Saturday.
- Shay Fields was massive. Eight grabs for 168 yards and two touchdowns (including a 72-yard thunderbolt) is big enough, but the timing of each of his scoring touches caught my eye, as well. Each time, they came as CU was trying to get back in the game, and the defense was expecting passes. Unfortunately, he suffered a high ankle sprain on his final catch of the night, and will probably be out for a bit.
- In his first action as a collegian, freshman line backer Grant Watanabe impressed, recording nine total tackes and a sack. You might want to get used to this kid, as we'll be seeing a lot of him with Addison Gillam confirmed out for the season. Kenneth Olugbode should be back this week, however, helping out the beleaguered inside linebackers.
- Alumni band nuggets: In case you were wondering, tubas are very heavy instruments, and the carrying of them is not meant for the feeble or those over the age of 30... The band still hates red... The beret's are just as awkward up close as they are from a distance... High tempo offenses have completely changed the pace of play for the band, and not in a good way... The spirit and energy put forth from that group, in spite of the losing, continues to amaze -- they are special, special people.
Upcoming schedule update -
Washington State 52 - Oregon State 31 -
I continue to be intrigued by whatever it is that Mike Leach is brewing out in Pullman, but, with a trip to Corvallis looming, I'll keep this focused primarily on the Beavers. OSU simply got shredded this weekend, quickly falling behind 14-0, 24-3, and, eventually, 45-17 in a first half completely dominated by the Cougars. State allowed 323 yards of offense and six touchdowns through those first 30 minutes of play, leading to a total of 31 points in the second quarter alone. You don't usually see teams struggle like this against Washington State, at least recently, and it's an impressively worrying sign that this Beaver team is not taking well to the first year of head coach Gary Andersen's tenure.
|Oregon State has been getting man-handled of late. From: KATU.com|
Stanford 56 - UCLA 35 -
Anyone remember when UCLA was a top-10 team and an outside contender for the College Football Playoff? No? Well, I'm not all surprised that people have forgotten how well-regarded this team was just over a month ago considering how poorly they are playing now. Friday night against Stanford they were never close, surrendering 310 yards of grind-it-out rushing en route to being down 56-20 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Now, with two ugly losses in as many games, they've dropped completely out of the AP top-25, and are in desperate need a strong look in the eye.
|McCaffrey is about to skyrocket up some future draft boards. From: the LA Times|
Notre Dame 41 - USC 31 -
Over in the soap opera that is the USC camp, they managed to rally behind interim head coach Clay Helton, and make a game of it in South Bend against the Irish. They were tied at halftime, took a lead with them in the 4th quarter, and seemed to be in a position to win in a very hostile environment. But, in Colorado-like fashion, the Trojans collapsed in the final frame, allowing 17-unanswered points to a surging Notre Dame squad.
|Looking slightly more competent, USC still struggled when it mattered most. From: the LA Times.|