November 10th – at Tucson          Arizona 56, Colorado 31

Arizona’s star quarterback, Matt Scott, was out with a concussion. A problem for the Arizona offense?

Uh, no.

Against Colorado’s porous defense, running back Ka’Deem Carey ran over, through, and around the Colorado defense for 366 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Wildcats to a 56-31 rout of the Buffs in Tucson.

The previous best for any runner against Colorado was almost a full 100 yards less, a 268-yard day by David Winbush of Kansas in 1998. Carey’s five rushing touchdowns also set a new standard, besting the four-touchdown record set by four different opponents (the last coming in 1983 by Mike Rozier of Nebraska).

Colorado and Arizona started the day with the 11th- and 12th-worst defenses in the Pac-12, but the Buff and Wildcat offenses did not take advantage early. The Buffs took the opening kickoff … and promptly committed two penalties in their first four snaps, forcing a punt. Darragh O’Neill got off a 61-yarder, though, pinning the Wildcats down at their seven yard line.

Then it Arizona’s turn to fail on offense. On his first snap from scrimmage as a starter, quarterback B.J. Denker fumbled, with Buff junior linebacker Derrick Webb collecting the ball at the Arizona seven yard line. On the Buffs’ first play from scrimmage, Christian Powell took the ball in for a score. 7-0 Colorado, with the Buffs taking their first lead in almost a month (the Buffs led briefly, 7-6, over Arizona State).

A deficit was not what the Arizona home crowd of 51,236 had come to see, and the Wildcat offense quickly gave the home crowd something cheer about. Denker redeemed himself in leading the Wildcats on a nine-play, 80-yard drive to tie the game. Ka’Deem Carey did much of the work on the drive, including a ten yard run to tie the score with 9:01 left in the first quarter.

The Colorado offense, which had all of 76 yards of total offense against Stanford the week before, then actually put together a drive. Sophomore quarterback Nick Hirschman, making the second start of his career in place of the deposed Jordan Webb, led the Buffs on a 15-play drive. Included in the drive was a first down run by Hirschman on fourth-and-one, and a pair of 14-yard passes  by Hirschman, first to Nelson Spruce, the second to Vincent Hobbs. The drive stalled, which took 8:24 of game clock, stalled at the Arizona one yard line, with the Buffs settling for an 18-yard field goal by Will Oliver.

Colorado had its second – and last – lead of the game, 10-7, as the first quarter came to a close.

Enough was enough for Arizona, which proceeded to blitzkrieg Colorado the remainder of the first half. Responding to the Colorado field goal, Arizona took eight plays to cover 64 yards to take the lead for good. Carey scored his second touchdown of the game on a 13-yard run, putting Arizona up 14-10 early in the second quarter.

The Colorado offense, though, did not fade … at least not right away. A 16-yard pass to Tyler McCulloch and a 12-yard pass to Dustin Ebner helped push Colorado to the Arizona 30-yard line.

Then, the play of the game …

With a first-and-ten at the Arizona 30, Hirschman, who had been eight-for-eight passing to start the game, threw the ball on a sideline pass … directly to Tra’Mayne Bondurant. The Arizona safety returned the ball 19 yards near midfield. On the Wildcats’ second play from scrimmage, Ka’Deem Carey scored on a 30-yard run. Arizona 21, Colorado 10.

The Buffs though, responded with another touchdown drive. Against a defense which was giving up even more yards than was CU’s, the Buff offense pieced together a 13-play, 75-yard drive. Freshman running back Christian Powell, who posted 137 yards rushing on the day, scored from a yard out. With 2:39 to play before halftime, it was still a game. Arizona 21, Colorado 17.

But then back luck hit the Buffs … the defense had to take the field again.

For the fourth consecutive drive since fumbling on the opening offensive play, the Arizona offense made quick work of the Colorado defense. Facing only two second downs on the drive, the Wildcats marched smartly down the field, with Denker hitting Dan Buckner for a 21-yard score just before halftime.

Halftime score: Arizona 28, Colorado 17

What little intrigue remained about the outcome was quickly dispelled by the Arizona offense early in the second half.

Taking the second half kickoff, the Wildcats did what most teams did against the record-setting Colorado defense … score. On the second play of the half, Ka’Deem Carey sprinted for a 46-yard gain. Four plays later, Arizona was on the board again, with Denker hitting Buckner for another touchdown, this time from nine yards out.

13:04 still remained on the third quarter clock, but the game was over. Arizona 35, Colorado 17.

The Colorado offense did manage one first down in its first possession of the second half, but after punting the ball back to Arizona, the Wildcats put the Buffs out of their misery with a seven-play, 49-yard drive. Carey did the honors for the fourth time, this time from eight yards out, and the Wildcat fans could relax. Arizona 42, Colorado 17.

On its next drive, the Buffs posted two first downs, but again punted the ball away. A 71-yard run by Carey, part of his record-setting 400 yards of total offense on the afternoon, set up a 10-yard touchdown run by the quarterback Denker. Arizona, which had fumbled the ball away on its first possession, had now scored touchdowns on seven straight possessions. Arizona 49, Colorado 17.

In the decisive third quarter, the Buffs had held the ball for 10:27 of game clock, to only 4:33 for Arizona. Yet the Wildcats out-scored the Buffs, 21-0.

Christian Powell and Donta Abron then took turns running the ball and the clock, leading the Buffs to a consolation score. Abron scored his first touchdown as a Buff from ten yards out with 13:15 to play. Arizona 49, Colorado 24.

A three-and-out by the Arizona offense, its first of the day, was quickly followed by another Colorado touchdown. Connor Wood, in for Nick Hirschman, hit junior tight end Scott Fernandez for a 71-yard touchdown. It was the first catch of the season for Fernandez, and the longest connection for CU on the season. Arizona 49, Colorado 31.

Still time for another fourth-quarter road comeback?

Uh, no.

Back in the game came Ka’Deem Carey, who raced 64 yards to the Colorado three yard line. On the next play, Carey became the first Buff opponent in 123 years of football to score five rushing touchdowns in a single game.

Final score: Arizona 56, Colorado 31.

Ka’Deem Carey was the story of the game, with 25 carries for 366 yards and five touchdowns. Overall, the Arizona offense posted 574 yards of total offense behind a backup quarterback who fumbled the ball on his first play from scrimmage, and which held the ball for only 18:12 of game clock.

Colorado’s offense was better than usual for the 2012 season, with 437 yards of total offense. Freshman running back Christian Powell posted his third 100-yard game of the season, going for 137 yards on 32 carries. Fellow freshman Donta Abron had his best day as a Buff, almost doubling his yardage for the season with 83 yards on 13 carries.

Nick Hirschman, in his first start of the season, never had a ball hit the ground. The sophomore quarterback went 12-for-13 for 123 yards, with his only non-completion being the costly interception in the second quarter. Connor Wood, thanks to his 71-yard touchdown completion to Scott Fernandez, went four-for-seven for 90 yards.

“We just didn’t get it done today,” understated CU head coach Jon Embree, who fell to 4-19 in his second year. Embree also didn’t have an explanation as to why his defense couldn’t stop the Arizona rushing attack, when it was known coming into the game that Arizona, without its star quarterback, would try and run the ball. “I don’t know if it’s an effort issue or a getting blocked and being out of position issue,” said Embree.

Apparently, though, Buff fans were to find solace in the fact that twice Carey was chased down from behind after making runs of over 50 yards. “On a couple of Carey’s long runs, we didn’t give up and chased him down”.


With the win, Arizona, behing first year head coach Rich Rodriguez, became bowl eligible. With the loss, Colorado allowed over 50 points in a game for the fifth time in 2012, falling to 1-9 with two games to play.

“We put it all out there every game, and will continue to do that the last two games,” said linebacker Derrick Webb. “We have a lot more to give, and we are going to come back strong and work hard every game. It has been a tough season, but it only makes us stronger. We have been through a lot, and we just have to continue to come back and play hard the next game. We won’t give up.”

Game Notes –

– Ka’Deem Carey smashed the record for yards rushing by a CU opponent. In 1998, David Winbush of Kansas went off for 268 yards, but Carey’s 366 was almost 100 yards more. Carey’s five rushing touchdowns were also a first for a Buff opponent. Four times previously (the last coming in 1983 by Nebraska Heisman trophy winner Mike Rozier), an opposing back had scored four rushing touchdowns in a game against CU.

– With his 137 yards against Arizona, Christian Powell became just the third Buff (Rodney Stewart, Lamont Warren) with three 100-yard games as a freshman. Powell’s season total rose to 625 yards, fourth highest in school history, and well within reach of Lee Rouson (656) and O.C. Oliver (668). It would take two more 100-yard games to reach Lamont Warren’s freshman total of 830 yards.

– Powell’s two touchdowns gave him seven on the season, within one of Herchell Troutman’s freshman record of eight, set in 1994.

– Kicker Will Oliver’s seven points gave him 100 for his career, the 45th Buff to reach that total.

– Defensive lineman Will Pericak started his 47th consecutive game, tying the record set by offensive lineman Ryan Miller (2007-11).

– Connor Wood’s 71-yard touchdown pass to Scott Fernandez was the first such touchdown for both players.

– Punter Darragh O’Neill’s first punt was a left-footed rugby punt. The punt went for 61 yards, a career long.

– When Colorado took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, it was the first lead for the Buffs since the second quarter of the Arizona State game (a span of 219:30 in game time).

– The Buffs’ first quarter field goal drive matched the longest drive of the season in terms of plays (15), and was the longest in terms of game clock (8:18).

– Colorado’s time of possession was the second most in history. The Buffs held the ball for 41:48 of game clock, to 18:12 for Arizona. The only other game in which the Buffs held the ball longer was also a blowout loss, a 49-7 loss to Indiana in 1980 (the Hoosiers’ head coach that day was Lee Corso).

– Colorado had over 200 yards rushing (224) and over 200 yards passing (213). Normally, that is a good combination. The loss to Arizona dropped the Buffs to 51-6 in such contests.

Injury Report

– Three players suffered concussions against Arizona … quarterback Nick Hirschman, tight end Nick Kasa, and defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe.

– Freshman cornerback Yuri Wright left the game in the second quarter with a sprained ankle


6 Replies to “Arizona 56, Colorado 31”

  1. The DC and the OC need to fired today. They are disgrace to the University, the other coaches and the fine young men they allegedly teach/coach. The Colorado Buffalo football team, with the greatest mascot in college sports, will be irrelevant for quite sometime unless some changes are made soon. I’ve already returned my remaining season tickets.

  2. Not sure what can be said but “make it stop already”. Topping it off, I get to spend this whole week working in…. Washington.

  3. Many programs in sports simply do not put up even with mediocrity let alone absolute crap, look no further than the Los Angeles Lakers. For whatever reason this seems to be acceptable in Boulder. Bohn and Embree GONE!

  4. Regression, regression regression, both in play and coaching. High school teams would shred that defense. It is time for a coaching staff change. PLEASE!

  5. The offense looked better ( against a very poor Arizona defense, however) and Hirschman looks like the QB who might start our remaining 2 games.

    The defense just wasn’t on the field today. They were unable to make a single stop
    until the 11 minute mark of the 4th quarter. We need a new defensive coordinator and possibly, also an offensive coordinator. And we need to recruit much more speed into our program.

    It appears almost certain that we will finish this campaign at 1-11.

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