October 15th – at Washington          Washington 52, Colorado 24

The Washington Huskies, in their first game against Colorado since 2000, ran over, through and around the Buffs, dominating from start to finish in a  52-24 rout. Washington quarterback Keith Price had 230 yards and four yards touchdowns passing … at halftime, as the Huskies scored on all six first half possessions and never looked back.

After the first two drives of the game, it appeared that it would be an offensive shootout in Seattle. Washington made quick work of the Colorado defense to open the game, going 65 yards in six plays on its first drive, facing no third downs (and only two second downs) in marching down the field.  Sophomore quarterback Keith Price hit a wide open Jermaine Kearse for a 17-yard touchdown before three minutes were gone in the game.

The Colorado offense, though, to the surprise of the 62,147 in attendance on a cool day in Seattle, responded with a touchdown drive of their own. The Buffs went 70 yards in seven plays, highlighted by a 33-yard run by Rodney Stewart and a 19-yard pass from Tyler Hansen to Keenan Canty on a third-and-ten at the Washington 26-yard line. Two plays later, Hansen hit Kyle Cefalo for a seven yard touchdown, and Colorado had its first first quarter touchdown of the season. Washington 7, Colorado 7.

On the ensuing possession by Washington, quarterback Keith Price missed on his first two passes, bringing up the first third down of the game for the Washington offense.

It was as close as the Buff defense would come to a defensive stand the entire first half …

Price then hit Kearse for 17 yards and a first down, and the Huskies were never in danger the remainder of the game.

Running back Chris Polk, who would go on to post 64 yards rushing in the decisive first half, posted three straight carries, gaining 18 yards. Another 17-yard completion set up the Huskies at the Colorado 22-yard line, where sophomore wide receiver scored on a 22-yard reverse. Washington 14, Colorado 7.

On the Buffs’ next drive, the offense reverted to more familiar first quarter form, with Tyler Hansen absorbing his first sack of the afternoon. After a 44-yard punt by Darragh O’Neill, the Washington offense again made the Colorado defense look silly (at best) and inept (at worst). On the final play of the first quarter, Price connnected on his second touchdown pass of the afternoon, this time hitting Austin Seferian-Jenkins for an 11-yard touchdown. Washington 21, Colorado 7.

The Colorado offense opened the second quarter the way it opened the first, with a scoring drive.

Tyler Hansen hit senior wide receiver Logan Gray for 24 yards and a first down on third down to sustain the drive. At the Washington 29-yard line, however, the drive stalled, with Hansen throwing three straight incomplete passes. Kicker Will Oliver was called upon to keep the Buffs close, and the freshman hit from 46 yards out. In pulling the Buffs to within 21-10, Oliver hit on his ninth field goal of the season, going five-for-six from over 40 yards. Washington 21, Colorado 10.

The fourth possession of the first half was just as easy for the Washington offense as had been the first three. The Huskies covered 70 yards in eight plays – once again not facing a third down along the way. The two stars for the Washington offense, quarterback Keith Price and running back Chris Polk, connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter. Washington 28, Colorado 10.

The Buffs’ offense next went into full retreat. The next two possessions by the Colorado offense looked like this: three plays, minus-12 yards; and three plays, minus-15 yards.

Washington took full advantage of the Buffs’ withdrawal from competition. A fourth touchdown pass by Keith Price, followed by a 41-yard field goal by Eric Folk as time expired, gave the Huskies an insurmountable lead.

In the first half, Washington had six possessions. The Huskies scored five touchdowns, and were only kept out of the endzone a sixth time because they ran out second quarter clock. Washington had 22 first downs, 379 yards of total offense

Halftime score: Washington 38, Colorado 10

While the game was well out of hand to start the second half, the Buffs did show some signs of life early. On the opening possession of the third quarter, Colorado put together its second touchdown drive of the game.

Red-shirt freshman running back Tony Jones, who had only 67 yards rushing on the season coming into the game, busted loose for a 38-yard run on the Buffs’ first play of the drive. Jones’ longest run of the season was followed by sophomore running back Josh Ford’s longest run of the season, a 13-yard effort to the Washington 23. There, the Colorado drive stalled. The Buffs faced a fourth-and-four at the Washington 17 yard line. Rather than go for a field goal, the Buffs went for a first down, and picked it up when Washington was called for pass interference. Given new life, the Buffs punched it in. An eight yard pass from Tyler Hansen to Logan Gray set up the Buffs at the Washington two yard line, with Tony Jones scoring the first rushing touchdown of his career on the next play. Washington 38, Colorado 17.

On Washington’s first drive of the second half, the Colorado defense accomplished what it hadn’t done once in the first half … it forced a Washington punt.

Ready for a big comeback?

Uh, no.

Colorado did manage to take a few minutes off of the third quarter clock before giving the ball back to the Washington offense. The Huskies then reasserted themselves, needing only five plays to cover 66 yards. A Chris Polk run for 26 yards was followed on the next play by a 26-yard touchdown run by Jesse Callier. Washington 45, Colorado 17.

A three-and-out by the Colorado offense was enough for Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian to decide to save Keith Price for the upcoming game against No. 6 Stanford. Price’s replacement was Nick Montana, son of Joe, who immediately gave the ball back to the Buffs. Montana was sacked by Buff defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe, with the fumble recovered by David Goldberg at the Washington 36-yard line.

After a pass interference penalty and two short runs, the third quarter ended with Colorado facing a third-and-six at the Washington 17-yard line. A 16-yard pass from Hansen to Toney Clemons set up the Buffs with a first-and-goal at the one-yard line. What appeared to be a gimme score turned interesting, as a Tony Jones run and a Tyler Hansen pass netted no yards. On third-and-goal, though, Tony Jones was able to score. Jones second rushing touchdown of the game pulled the Buffs closer to respectability. Washington 45, Colorado 24.

With the fourth quarter clock running down, the Washington offense, almost trying not to score, was still too much for the Colorado defense. On the final touchdown drive of the game, the Huskies didn’t attempt a pass, but were still able to cover 66 yards in just nine plays, with Bishop Sankey scoring from three yards out with 2:32 to play.

In the Buffs’ final drive, red-shirt freshman quarterback Nick Hirschman saw some playing time, hitting four-of-eight passes for 52 yards … but also being sacked twice, including a “what else can go wrong” sack to end the game deep inside Washington territory.

Final Score: Washington 52, Colorado 24

“We didn’t handle the run. We didn’t do anything well defensively this game,” said Jon Embree, who fell to 1-6, 0-3 in his first year as head coach at Colorado. “We got beat in every phase.”

While the Buffs did play without nine defensive backs, and were without the services of senior linebacker Josh Hartigan for the entire game, and lost junior Doug Rippy during the game, Embree refused to cite injuries as an excuse. “I don’t know what the issues are; why we seemingly do this consistently on the road,” said Embree. “They have to go out and compete, and have some pride. There’s nothing magical you can tell them. We have what we have, so we have to understand that when we’re out there, it’s better knowing what you can’t do as a player. If you can’t run, then get up and jam the guy. If you can run, then run. Whatever it is that you do well, you’ve got to do that well.”

On the afternoon, the Buffs’ defense surrendered 562 yards of total offense, 379 of which was gained in the first half when the Washington punter went unused. The Huskies scored touchdowns on their first five drives, settling for a field goal on the sixth as time ran out just before halftime.

Defensive coordinator Greg Brown was also without an answer. “No excuses,” said Brown. “Not good enough. Didn’t get the job done. Didn’t give our team any sort of chance to win.” With high octane Oregon coming to Boulder next weekend, followed by a road trip to Arizona State to face another ranked team, the odds are the numbers will continue to pile up against the Buff defense.

“It’s hard to gain momentum,” Brown said when asked about trying to find some success as a defense when facing talented teams week after week. “It really is. You’ve got to scratch and claw and try to gain some sort of foothold and get some momentum. It’s tough. Without a doubt we did not answer the bell on defense.”

Brown said his players have a decision to make.

“See who is healthy and try to get better,” Brown said. “That’s all we’ve got. That’s the only choice we’ve got. Either lay down and die or get up and fight. Let’s get up and fight.”

The news was just as bleak on the offensive side of the ball, where the Buffs, despite posting 24 points, were held to 269 total yards. Tyler Hansen went 18-for-30 for 155 yards and a touchdown, but was also sacked three times. The running game – with five sacks included – was once again held under 100 total yards. Before going out of the game with a sprained knee, Rodney Stewart had 42 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving. The senior running back, though, suffered a sprained knee in the second quarter, and will be, according to coach Embree, out “for awhile”.

With Stewart out, backup Tony Jones was asked to carry the rushing load. Colorado was well behind by the time Jones saw the field, but the red-shirt freshman did post 49 yards on 14 carries, and led the team with seven catches for another 49 yards.

Looking for a bright spot on the stats sheet took some work, but there was one positive statistic … Colorado had a season-low in penalties: three for 30 yards.

Oh, yeah. And there were no turnovers.

That’s it.

“We’ve got to figure out how to play all three phases together,” said Tyler Hansen. “Once you start doing that, when the defense gets a stop, we’ve got to score. Once we start doing that, we’ll be a good team, and get some wins.”

After losing to Washington to fall to 1-6, the Buffs chances for figuring it out in 2011 were reduced to six.

Game Notes –

– Colorado scored on its first possession of the game for the first time in 2011, last scoring on a field goal in the opening drive against Iowa State last November. Washington also scored a touchdown on its first drive, becoming the third of seven opponents to do so this fall;

– Colorado more than doubled its first quarter scoring output for the season. Coming into the seventh game, Colorado had posted only six first quarter points (field goals against Cal and Washington State). Meanwhile, the Colorado defense surrendered 21 first quarter points to Washington, upping the opponents’ total to 61. Doing the math – first quarter scoring: Colorado 13 points; opponents 61;

– Washington had 209 nine yards of offense in the first quarter, the highest total for any opponent in any quarter this season (Washington then went on to post 170 in the second quarter);

– The last time any team had as many as Washington’s 38 first half points against the Buffs was in 2005, when Texas opened the Big 12 championship game with a 42-3 halftime lead;

– Colorado traveled with 63 players (70 are allowed under NCAA rules); 53 played;

– The Colorado defense, with 562 yards surrendered to Washington after 553 to Stanford the previous week, gave up over 500 yards in consecutive games for the first time since … 1983;

– Sophomore defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe forced his third fumble of the season. The last time a Colorado player forced three fumbles in a season was in 2003, by defensive back Cylde Surrell.

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3 Replies to “Washington 52, Colorado 24”

  1. For those of you who made the trip or came out to support our Buffs, congrats. My son and I were there and, although the outcome was pathetic, the beginning of a new experience was fantastic. I am a die-hard FB guy and yes, we have issues. As the saying goes,” it ain’t the X’s and the O’s, it’s the Willie’s and the Moe’s”. Patience is not easy, but we have to have it. The pre-game with Pres Benson, AD, Alfred, Darian, Marc W ( I believe) was what our university was all about before and it is back. Now if the Pres would just throw on some Buff suspenders, you would guess that it were ol’ Gordon Gee standing there leading the alum.
    We have a bare cupboard, we have quality kids who are learning a new system and, realistically, learning how to play FB at a level needed in the FBS, not the FCS which is what they had before! UW has a frosh with more talent than Canty and Canty can play. Let it grow and suffer with the players. This will take three years.
    It sure was nice to be there and stand for every FIGHT song, as hard as it was to do down 28…or whatever it was

  2. Just wasted three and half hours of my good time to watch another blow out , well at least I know what to look forward to the rest of the year .

    Should have kept Hawkins offense and defensive playbooks and sprinkled in new plays as the season went along. At least we could run the ball and pass the ball and stop offenses , can’t do either now. Coaching change overs need to wake and smell the roses your gonna lose if you try and change every thing at once instead of a smooth transition.

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