October 25th – Boulder           No. 25 UCLA 40, Colorado 37, 2OT

Colorado fought back from a 17-0 first quarter deficit, out-scoring No. 25 UCLA 17-0 in the fourth quarter to force overtime at 31-31. After the teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and the Buffs had posted a field goal in their second overtime possession, Bruin quarterback Brett Hundley scored on an eight yard run to give the Buffs their second double-overtime loss of the season, 40-37.

The Buffs went toe-to-toe with the Bruins for much of the game, finishing with 500 yards of total offense … to 509 for UCLA. The Buffs went for a season-high 233 yards rushing, with Michael Adkins going for 107 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. But it was not enough to overcome the 309 yards rushing posted by the Bruins, with two players going for over 100 yards. Running back Paul Perkins had 19 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yard score on UCLA’s second play from scrimmage. Brett Hundley, in addition to passing for 200 yards and a touchdown, had 12 carries for 110 yards and the all-important eight yard score to bring CU’s upset bid to an end.

If the Buffs were anxious to dispel the bad taste left in their mouths from a 28-0 first quarter the previous weekend against USC, there was little indication of it early on against the Bruins. After going three-and-out to open the game, the Buff defense gave up a quick touchdown. The UCLA offense backed itself up with a holding penalty, then gave the ball to running back Paul Perkins, who ran 92 yards – untouched – to give the Bruins an early 7-0 lead.

Later, after Colorado’s second three-and-out, UCLA marched 55 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 20-yard pass from Brett Hundley to Jordan Payton. UCLA 14, Colorado 0, with five minutes still to play in the first quarter.

The Buff offense, after picking up its second first down of the quarter on an 11-yard run by Michael Adkins, gave the ball right back to the Bruins. Sefo Liufau, three-of-five for six yards to that point, threw the ball right into the arms of Bruin linebacker Eric Kendricks, who returned the ball 21 yards to the CU 20-yard line. The Colorado defense did hold, forcing a 31-yard field goal, but the score was now up to 17-0.

Once the teams traded sides of the field at the end of the first quarter, the Buffs started playing better. Taking over at their 30-yard line after a Bruin punt, the Buffs forged a 12-play drive to get on the scoreboard. Tony Jones posted a first down on a ten-yard catch, following that with a 27-yard run. After Michael Adkins kept the drive alive with a two-yard run on fourth-and-one at the UCLA 22, Sefo Liufau hit Jones for a 20-yard gain to the Bruin two-yard line. After a false start penalty pushed the Buffs back, it appeared as if Colorado would have to settle for a field goal when a Sefo Liufau’s pass on third down fell incomplete. UCLA defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy, though, was called for roughing the passer, giving the Buffs new life. Two plays later, Tony Jones scored from a yard out to make it a 17-7 game with 6:12 left in the first half.

Less than two minutes later, it was a 17-point game again.

It took the UCLA offense only six plays and 1:24 of game clock to cover 75 yards, with Paul Perkins scoring his second touchdown of the first half on a 24 yard run. UCLA 24, Colorado 7.

On the Buffs’ next possession, the Bruins posted not one, but two interceptions, with both being negated by defensive penalties. UCLA cornerback Ishmael Adams was called for pass interference on his interception, then for defensive holding on an interception by Myles Jack. The net for the Buffs was 25 yards of territory, pushing the ball to the UCLA 37-yard line. An 11-yard run by Sefo Liufau was then followed by a 27-yard touchdown run by Michael Adkins, making it a 24-14 game with 1:46 to play in the first half.

Buff fans were hoping that the Bruins would not be able to put together another quick drive, and that the Buffs would be down only ten points at the half. Instead, the Colorado defense forced a turnover on UCLA’s first play from scrimmage. Derek McCartney forced a fumble from UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, with the ball recovered by linebacker Kenneth Olugbode at the UCLA 32-yard line.

A ten-yard completion to D.D. Goodson and a five-yard completion to Nelson Spruce on third-and-two put the Buffs in the red zone. Another completion to D.D. Goodson, this time for six yards, gave Colorado a first-and-goal at the six yard line with 23 seconds to play … and the Buffs never got another play off before the half. Thinking Goodson had been pushed out of bounds, the Buffs did not line up fast enough. Then, when the coaching staff realized the clock was running, tried to get Sefo Liufau to spike the ball. Confusion ensued, with offensive lineman Stephane Nembot being called for a false start with one second left. By rule, the penalty brought about a ten-second runoff of the clock, and the end of the half with no points for the Buffs.

Halftime score: No. 25 UCLA 24, Colorado 14

The Colorado defense continued to hold the UCLA offense at bay for much of the third quarter, but the Buff offense, for its part, could not post anything positive. Three possessions by the Buff offense generated only one first down, with the teams trading field position.

UCLA, on its fourth possession of the half, put together a nine-play, 80-yard drive to give the Bruins a three-score cushion. A 21-yard run by quarterback Brett Hundley took the ball to the CU three-yard line, with linebacker/fullback Myles Jack scoring two plays later to make it a 31-14 game late in the third quarter.

It was now the Buffs’ turn to put together a drive. Nelson Spruce had a pair of catches in the nine-play, 75-yard drive, including his first gain of over ten yards on the afternoon (going for 11). The Buffs drove to the Bruin 38-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-two. Down 17 points, and outside of realistic field goal range, the decision was made to go for it. Sefo Liufau drifted out to his left, tossing the ball back to the middle of the field to Shay Fields. The short pass was good enough for a first down, but Bobo broke a tackle and out-raced the rest of the Bruin secondary for a 38-yard touchdown.

New life for the Buffs, down 31-21, with 12:59 left in the game.

The Colorado defense then did its part, forcing a three-and-out from the Bruins. Taking over at their own 36-yard line, the Buffs were again able to piece together a scoring drive. A ten-yard completion from Liufau to Tyler McCulloch was good for one first down, with Liufau hitting Nelson Spruce for a 28-yard gain to take the ball down to the UCLA 22-yard line. Two plays later, an eight-yard completion to tight end Kyle Slavin put the ball on the three yard line, where Liufau connected with Shay Fields for the touchdown, the second hookup between the pair in five minutes of game clock.

UCLA 31, Colorado 28, with 7:52 still to play.

The Colorado defense then forced another three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Colorado offense.  This time, the Buffs took the field with the ball at their 30-yard line, 6:40 on the clock, and the game in their hands. A 19-yard run by Michael Adkins put him over 100 yards for the afternoon, and got the Buffs near midfield. Two plays later, though, Sefo Liufau threw his second interception of the afternoon, with Marcus Rios getting the pick.

Taking over near midfield, the Bruins had the ball – and the momentum – back. A roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive, pushing the ball to the Colorado 31-yard line. Three plays later, the Bruins faced a fourth-and-one at the CU 22-yard line. Timeout, UCLA, with three minutes to play.

With the game on the line, the CU defense stiffened. Bruin Eddie Vanderdoes got the call, but the Buffs were up to the task, stopping him for no gain. Colorado ball with 2:55 to play.

On third-and-two at the 30, the Buffs got a reprieve when the Bruins were called for defensive holding. On the next play, Liufau hit D.D. Goodson for 12 yards and another first down. Runs of 12 yards and 11 yards by Tony Jones got the ball to the UCLA 25-yard line, with just over a minute left to play in the game. A two yard run by Liufau, a five yard completion to Bryce Bobo, and an incompletion left Colorado with a fourth down at the UCLA 18-yard line.

Will Oliver, who had missed three field goals which might have defeated Cal in a double-overtime loss earlier in the season, was called upon to tie the game. This time, Oliver was true, connecting from 35 yards out.

UCLA 31, Colorado 31, with 36 seconds to play.

The Bruins were not done, though. A 17-yard completion from Hundley to Payton got the ball out near midfield. Penalties and incompletions, though, ended the UCLA threat.

End of Regulation: UCLA 31, Colorado 31

Colorado won the overtime toss, and elected to defend. UCLA quarterback missed on two passes to Jordan Payton before, on third-and-ten, hitting Payton for an 11-yard gain and a first down. A seven-yard completion gave the Bruins a second-and-three at the Buff seven yard line … but the Bruins would go no farther. A Brett Hundley run went for no yards, with Paul Perkins then being thrown for a three yard loss. Ka’imi Fairbairn was then called upon to kick a 28-yard field goal. The kick was good, and UCLA had a 34-31 lead.

Three plays by the Colorado offense netted only four yards. Will Oliver was called upon again … and again he was true, this time from 38 yards out.

End of First Overtime: UCLA 34, Colorado 34

Taking the ball first in the second overtime, the Buffs were again unable to gain a first down. Two Tony Jones runs netted ten yards, but on third-and-one Sefo Liufau’s pass fell incomplete. Will Oliver, for the third time, was good, this time from 34 yards out. Colorado, down 17 points in the first quarter, and down 17 points at the start of the fourth quarter, had its first lead, at 37-34.

It was time for Brett Hundley, a Heisman trophy hopeful at the start of the 2014 season, to take over. A 17-yard run by Hundley gave the Bruins a first-and-goal at the Colorado eight yard line. Hundley ended the drama, and the game, with an eight yard touchdown run on the next play.

Final score: No. 25 UCLA 40, Colorado 37 

“What a game. I tip my hat to UCLA for winning it; they did a heck of a job,” said Mike MacIntyre. “I tip my hat to our players and coaches, what a game, what a battle. I’d like to have some boring games and win them since we have so many exciting games, but keep losing them. Those kids are fighting hard and getting better and better. The process is still going on. All I could think about when it ended was what I was going to tell those young men when I get back in that locker room and I see those big, crocodile tears along with the effort, hard work, blood and sweat. Sometimes life is not fair. That was a game, but I do believe that football teaches character and reveals character. I think that our team has great character. They’ll keep battling and we’ll bounce back and start getting these.”

“Improvement doesn’t really mean anything until you turn it into numbers in the left column,” said Sefo Liufau, who became the single season leader in touchdown passes, with 23. “We’re really focused on moving forward. We have a great opportunity next week. This one hurts now, but we really got to take it and make the best out of it.”

 

It may not have seemed like it early on, but the Buffs played the Bruins well overall. Colorado had 31 first downs to 21 for UCLA, with the Buffs holding on to the ball for almost ten minutes more than the Bruins. UCLA had 509 yards of total offense, to 500 for Colorado, with both teams using the rushing game to great success. UCLA had two 100-yard rushers, with running back Paul Perkins going for 180 yards, with 110 from quarterback Brett Hundley. The Buffs countered with 233 yards rushing overall, with Michael Adkins going for 107 yards on 17 carries.

Sefo Liufau went 27-for-45 on the afternoon, good for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Two interceptions by Liufau, though, proved costly, as did a communication breakdown in the final seconds of the first half, with the Buffs unable to get a play off in the final 20 seconds after gaining a first-and-goal at the UCLA seven yard line.

– Game Notes – 

– Colorado fell to 5-7 all-time in overtime games, including an 0-3 record in multiple overtime games (a three overtime loss to Baylor in 2006; another double-overtime loss to California earlier in the 2014 season).

– The 92-yard touchdown run by Paul Perkins was the second longest by a Colorado opponent. In 2012, Robbie Rouse went for 94 yards for Fresno State, in a game played in Fresno. The Perkins run was the longest by a Buff opponent in a game played in Boulder, besting the 90-yarder Walter Mack of Kansas had against the Buffs in a game played in 1980.

– Quarterback Sefo Liufau set the school record for single season touchdown passes, with 23. The old record was 22, set by Koy Detmer in 1996. Liufau moved past 4,000 yards in both passing and total offense, moving into the top ten in each category on CU’s all-time list. His 16 straight games with at least one touchdown pass kept him fifth on the longest active streak, and his streak of throwing at least two touchdown passes in a game reached 11, the longest active streak in the nation.

– The Colorado offense hit 500 yards for the third time in 2014, the first time the 500-yard plateau was reached in a season since 2002.

– Tony Jones, with 68 yards rushing and 36 yards receiving against UCLA, became just the ninth player in Colorado history with at least 1000 yards rushing (1,189) and at least 500 yards receiving (514).

– Michael Adkins had 107 yards on 11 carries, the second 100-yard game of his career, and the second 100-yard game by a CU running back in 2014 (Christian Powell had 118 against Arizona State).

– Two Buffs earned their first career starts. Red-shirt freshman guard Gerrad Kough started in place of the injured Kaiwi Crabb, while red-shirt freshman Bryce Bobo started at wide receiver. Bobo made the decision to start him look like a good one, collecting four passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns, the second and third touchdowns in his first year as a Buff.

– Will Oliver, just five-for-nine in field goal attempts coming into the game, hit from 35, 38, and 34 yards, with all three kicks coming in the final minute of regulation and overtime. Oliver also extended his own school record for consecutive extra points to 93.

16 Replies to “No. 25 UCLA 40, Colorado 37 2OT”

  1. A lot of critism about the last 20 seconds of the first half. Credit that to an inexperienced QB ? Think not. He has been in on situations like that since he was in H.S. …. perhaps since Jr. High…. he should have known to spike the ball since they were out of time outs.

    I think Sefo was in a dilemma not knowing what the OC and Coach MM wanted him to do and was simply confused. Then again, I remember Coach MM going nuts with his Charades antics trying to get Sefo to spike the ball.

    Perhaps QB’s feel more like puppets and the coaches feel more like the puppeteers. (Think about that a bit and what all of that scenario implies). Does it suggest that the coaches hate to relinquish a decision to someone else ? Is it a ego thing ? I’m not suggesting anything…. just curious as I don’t know the answer.

    To be blunt, I think Sefo was simply confused. (Not a criticsm, just fact). Nothing wrong with that, all of us have been in a short period of confusion when trying to make an instant decision that didn’t turn out well.

    I think Sefo learned a lot in those short 20 seconds. I also think more trust should be given to QB’s to allow them to make a decision at the LoS to call an audible based on the tendicies he has noticed on the defense….

    Why stop and look to the sidelines to get a decision all the time…. we see it too much in college ball. I think it’s the reluctance of the OC (or coaches) to place that trust in the QB.

    Oh sure, the QB may call an audible that doesn’t get the desired results, but we see that all of the time on calls coming in from the sidelines which don’t always turn out well. I think it’s a control, ego issue with coaches… they think no one knows as much as they do, especially the players who they need to trust more. With experience, QB’s can make decisions and audibles just as well as some coaches.

    Didn’t mean for this to turn into an episte.

    GO BUFFS, WHIP THOSE PUPPIES.
    YOU CAN DO IT.

  2. My wife and I arrived at DIA – from New Jersey – at about 9:00 on Saturday, grabbed our rental car and were in Boulder by 10:45 to meet our son/daughter-in-law. I was very impressed by the effort the Buffs showed, bouncing back twice from 17-point deficits. The final half-minute of the first half however was a poor reflection, in my opinion, on both on-the-field and on-the-sideline leadership. They looked like the Keystone Cops out there. Dreadful.

    I was impressed by the play of the defense, especially after the first quarter. They proved more capable of making a big stop when needed than I had believed them to be. The offense’s ability to hit a big play is impressive but the inability to sustain a drive was a bit maddening to watch.

    Beautiful day to watch football at Folsom. Wish that more than 2/3 of the seats had actually been occupied. We sat in Section 208 (upstairs in end zone in what was – formerly – the closed end of the stadium) and from where we sat, far too many (for my liking) empty seats were on display.

  3. Even with my comments below (fun to have dialog), I feel that Sefo, OC, team will (and need to) turn the corner next year with a winning record. I feel that they can do it, just frustrating to see the one play short situation over and over this year. But, that is far better than the blowouts and I love that the team never quits. And for that reason, and using the motivation from last weekend, I am going out on a limb by saying that the Buffs will find a way to win this coming weekend versus Washington. Not a rational pick from the head, just one from the heart.

  4. Yeah, before we throw the OC under the bus, let’s not forget that under Mark Helfrich (current Oregon ‘genius’) we initially dipped from 350 yds/gm in 2005 to 291 (his 1st year in ’06), before climbing to 377 and dipping back to 319 yards per game. This got him hired as OC at Oregon by Chip Kelly where he is now head coach. Under Lindgren we’ve jumped twice from 302 in 2012 to 370 last year and now 470, so let’s just hope the guy sticks around long enough for us to find out if he’s smart or not.

  5. All day long I kept telling myself “I am not going to fall for this” Because I am older and much more intelligent that I was in years past. But when we tied it at 31 I was all in and screaming my head off. I knew I should have listened to myself earlier.

  6. Let’s not forget that Sefo is only a TRUE sophomore. I think it is easy to conveniently forget that fact given how well he has played this year. Yes, he has thrown a number of interceptions (some pretty untimely and make me scratch my head), but like no other quarterback we’ve had in a long time he is actually able to brush these off and keep this team in games. Lack of situational leadership with the QB? Not nearly as big of an issue as it is made out to be. You want to put some of the blame on Lindgren, that’s fine. He’s a grown man and gets paid a lot of money to do what he does. But don’t forget (as Stuart has so often pointed out) this offense is PRODUCING (read: 500+ yards for the third time this year)! I don’t think there has ever been a Buffs offense this productive.. At least not in the last decade. Love this team, love where they’re going, love the drive and determination they are showing fighting back into games like OSU and UCLA (they absolutely blew the Cal game), and will definitely continue to support them. GO BUFFS, let’s give the UW Puppies their 3rd loss in a row!!

  7. CJBuffCo, agreed, the play at the end of the first half was maddening. Sefo should have known to spike the ball. I’m hoping these are the growing pains of a young and inexperienced team (fingers crossed). I think more broadly you have hit on something that is increasingly prevalent throughout all of college football (particularly at the quarterback position): a lack of situational leadership or IQ. To me it’s happening because increasingly coaches are taking the decision making out of the hands of QBs. For example, get lined up early, wait for the defense to show their hand and then look over to the sidelines to be told what to do. Maybe we have a lack of situational leadership because we are not training our guys to think situationally. Does Sefo ever audible on his own (this is not rhetorical, I honestly don’t know the answer to this)? Some players have the talent to overcome a lack of situational leadership. I think Sefo is a nice young player, but he’s not yet ready to carry an average team on his back. Hopefully he will get there. Time will tell.

  8. Cameron, I agree and respect all of your comments but beg to differ with only one: making the play when it counts. Perhaps this does relate to talent level but if you look at the games we lost, there were critical moments and lapses in all of those that come down to one thing, in my humble armchair quarterback opinion only: the lack of situational leadership which comes down to a couple of people (leaders) making or executing the right call when it counts. The players deserve a huge amount of credit! We have been in every game but one. Colorado football is exciting once again. As the fight song says: “Never give in”. I had long time friends and alums say (like in the Beavs game), “this game is over”. My response: no, it is not. And it wasn’t. So, I am just looking for that one play. BTW, I like this Board and the level, professional comments.

  9. I honestly don’t understand why some Buff fans are surprised/disappointed that we continue to lose close games to teams with superior talent than us. We are not losing because of play calling. We are losing because: (1) we have fewer highly talented athletes, (2) we have fewer donors, (3) we have inferior facilities. To me this season our guys have completely overachieved. Moreover, I don’t understand why people complain that George asks for more money, while at the same time complain about the results on the field. They are HIGHLY correlated with one another. If you want a winning program in the Pac-12, there are two paths: buy yourself a good program (i.e., Oregon) or get incredibly lucky with an incredible coach (i.e., Oregon). I like McIntire, but he is no Chip Kelly.

    Given our commitment to the football program (institutionally speaking), we are incredibly competitive this season. I think that our players deserve a huge amount of credit for how they have played.

  10. To the original CJBuff, sorry to use your name. I’m new to the Board so I should change my name and honor yours. I will change to CJBuffCo.

  11. For the record there are now two CJBuffs commeting here. Although I must say the comments from the other CJBuff are pretty much what was gong through my mind. I think we are all happy with the progress but unhappy with the overall W-L.

    If I had to single two things out: (1) at this point inthe season I would think the coaches would be calling some more innovative plays in OT,not the vanilla crap they ran in this game; (2) I just don’t see that killer instinct in all the players on offense. Example: in OT1, Goodson gets a nice swing pass and has a chance for some big yardage, yet before there is any contact with a defensive player he runs out of bounds. What is he thinking? There is no game clock to manage in OT. Stay in bounds and fight for 5 more yards! Same story at end of 4th quarter, but with different players. It’s these little things that add up (or subtract in this case) to make a big difference.

  12. If this were a team rebuilding from a two or three year slump I may be “proud” to see them fight I guess. Guys, it has been 9 years! 9! What kind of standard are we holding when we wish to celebrate and pat on the back a team that is 2-6. They should be close to these teams, these are the teams in their conference. It is amazing to me rick George has the Gaul to post videos asking me for more $. I have held up my end of the bargain, I have bought tix since 1995, now its your turn to hold up your end and produce a team that I am not ashamed to admit I love, when I travel around the country. They lost, their 2-6, I take no pride in that. And Stuart I commend you for continuing all your work during these tough times and providing a forum for comments like this.

  13. Lack of leadership, when it matters the most, both at QB and Offensive Coordinator positions, have cost, and will continue to cost, this Buffs football team. There are individuals in life who can make the “plays” when it counts and there are those that do not. Unfortunately, we have seen repeatedly (CSU, ASU, Cal, OSU, and now UCLA) that when there are key opportunities, the plays are not made, whether by the QB or through O coordinator play selection. The situation at the end of the second half today was a debacle. Then in OT, we score 2 field goals. I have refrained from commenting on the lack of being able to find a way to win until now but this has become a disturbing trend, not just 1 or 2 isolated data points. Improvement this year? Yes. Playing hard and with heart? Yes. Culture change? Yes. Getting it done when it counts? Absolutely not. Jury is out, in my opinion, until next year (3rd year of Macintyre), but getting it done is what matters, not stats nor moral victories.

  14. Heartbreaking, but I can see this team improving. A few plays here and there and we will start winning.
    After the last 4 years, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  15. Proud of our Buffs. As usual, we played a team who are physically more talented and should have steamrolled us based on pure matchups, particularly after being up big early. But our guys NEVER GIVE UP, they have a ton of heart, and I for one am extremely proud. Obviously would like to win some of these close games, but at least Saturdays have become exciting again!!!

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