September 30th – at Los Angeles    UCLA 27, Colorado 23

The Colorado defense “held” UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen to 372 yards and one touchdown passing, but the Buffs could not make a play late, with UCLA holding on to defeat Colorado, 27-23.

CU quarterback Steven Montez went 17-for-36 for 243 yards and a touchdown, and also led the Buffs in rushing, going for 108 yards on 15 carries. Running back Phillip Lindsay posted 83 yards on 19 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run. Lindsay also had a 21-yard touchdown reception.

UCLA out-gained Colorado, 467 yards to 434, with the most important 79 yards coming on the Bruins’ final drive. The Buffs had pulled to within a point, at 24-23, with 6:49 remaining, but the Bruins pieced together a 15-play, 79-yard drive, icing the game with a 31-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining.

“Our kids will bounce back but I was really proud of the way they fought and really proud of the way they played,” sai Mike MacIntyre. “Had a couple plays here or there that could have gone either way, that was the difference in the game, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

“It’s real frustrating, actually,” said Steven Montez of the loss. “I thought there were a lot of plays out there that could have gone our way. Obviously they didn’t. We need to get back to practice on Monday and just use this as motivation.”

UCLA opened the #Pac-12AfterDark game (8:30 p.m., MT, kickoff on ESPN2) by converting a third-and-11 with a 16-yard completion from quarterback Josh Rosen to wide receiver Darren Andrews and a fourth-and-one with a two-yard run by Jalen Starks near midfield. The Bruins went to the well once too often, though, failing to convert on a fourth-and-nine at the CU 39-yard line.

Colorado also had a third-and-11 on its first possession … and also converted, with Steven Montez completed a 14-yard pass to Devin Ross. A 15-yard run on a scramble by Montez garnered another first down in UCLA territory. A targeting call against the Bruins kept the drive alive, with Montez hitting Phillip Lindsay for a 21-yard touchdown on the next play.

Colorado 7, UCLA 0, with 4:34 remaining in the first quarter.

The lead didn’t last very long.

On a third-and-12 at the Bruin 34, Rosen hit Jordan Lasley for a 44-yard gain down to the Buff 22-yard line. Five plays later, Rosen connected with Austin Roberts for 12 yards and a touchdown. Late in the first quarter, the game was tied at 7-7.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Buffs took over at their 37-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Steven Montez hit Laviska Shenault for a 42-yard gain down to the UCLA 21-yard line. The Buffs could not take advantage, however, with the next three plays gaining five yards. James Stefanou was called upon to give the Buffs back the lead, hitting a 33-yard field goal to make it a 10-7 game with ten minutes remaining in the first half.

Once again, however, the Buffs could not hold the lead. The big play in the eight-play, 75-yard drive was a 46-yard completion from Josh Rosen to Jordan Lasley down to the Colorado one yard line. Two plays later, Jalen Starks took it in for a one-yard touchdown, giving the Bruins their first lead of the game, at 14-10, midway through the second quarter.

Later, after another exchange of punts, the Buffs manufactured a 15-play, 76-yard drive … and didn’t score. Eleven yard gains punctuated the drive … an 11-yard run by Phillip Lindsay … followed by an 11-yard completion from Montez to Jay MacIntyre … followed by an 11-yard run by Phillip Lindsay … followed by an 11-yard completion from Montez to Bryce Bobo.

The Buffs made it as far as the Bruin 11-yard line, where the Buffs faced a fourth-and-seven. Rather than go for an easy field goal, CU head coach Mike MacIntyre opted to try and take the lead. The Buffs went for a fake field goal, with holder T.J. Patterson’s throw to kicker James Stefanou falling incomplete in the final minute of play in the half.

Halftime score: UCLA 14, Colorado 10

The Buffs received the opening kickoff of the second half … and quickly went three-and-out. A bad snap on third-and-two resulted in a six yard loss, ending the drive before it had a chance to begin.

The Bruins had a better plan coming out of the break, with Josh Rosen hitting Austin Roberts for 30 yards on UCLA’s first play from scrimmage. Consecutive completions from Rosen to Caleb Wilson, going for 19 and 21 yards, gave the Bruins and first-and-goal at the CU three yard line. Two plays later, Soso Jamabo scored from two yards out.

UCLA 21, Colorado 10, less than four minutes into the second half.

Rather than folding, the Buff offense responded. On CU’s first play from scrimmage, Montez hit Devin Ross for 24 yards to midfield. The Buffs faced a third-and-15 shortly thereafter, Montez hit Jay MacIntyre for 14 yards. On fourth-and-one at the UCLA 31-yard line, Montez faked a handoff to Phillip Lindsay, going 25 yards to the UCLA six yard line. Three plays later, Phillip Lindsay took it in from two yards out.

The ten-play, 75-yard drive consumed almost five minutes of game clock, with the Buffs making it a 21-17 game with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.

On UCLA’s next possession, the Buff defense posted the first turnover of the game. Josh Rosen tried to throw deep, but safety Evan Worthington stepped in front of the pass, with Worthington’s interception giving the Buffs the ball back at their 21-yard line.

Runs by Phillip Lindsay of five, 14, and four yards helped to push the ball into UCLA territory. Three plays later, on fourth-and-two at the UCLA 41-yard line, Montez hit Lindsay for a 15-yard gain and a first down. Thereafter, on third-and-eight at the Bruin 24, Montez connected with Jay MacIntyre for 14 yards and a first-and-goal at the UCLA nine yard line.

Steven Montez scored on the next play, but a holding call nullified the score. Three incompletions later, James Stefanou was back in the game. Stefanou hit his second 33-yard field goal of the game, making it a 21-20 game late in the third quarter.

The third quarter came to an end with the Colorado defense forcing a three-and-out from the UCLA offense.

Down one point with the ball to start the fourth quarter … the Buff offense went three-and-out as well.

The Bruins took advantage of their next opportunity, covering 57 yards in 13 plays. UCLA made it as far as the Colorado 11-yard line before the drive finally stalled. Bruin kicker J.J. Molson matched Stefanou’s 33-yarders with one of his own, giving UCLA a 24-20 advantage with just under ten minutes remaining in the game.

After an 11-yard run by Lindsay to open the Buffs’ ensuing drive, the Buffs faced a third-and-one at their own 49-yard line. There, Montez took off for a 37-yard run down to the UCLA 14-yard line. Again, however, the Colorado offense bogged down in the red zone, with the Buffs settling for the third 33-yard field goal of the game from James Stefanou.

UCLA 24, Colorado 23, with just under seven minutes remaining.

The chances of the Buffs getting the ball back with a chance to win the game looked good when the Bruins were forced to start their next drive at their eight yard line following a penalty on the kickoff. Instead, the UCLA offense methodically moved the ball downfield. A 18-yard completion from Rosen to Darren Andrews got the Bruins out from beneath the shadow of their own goalposts, with completions to Jordan Lasley of 19 and 11 yards pushing the ball deep into Colorado territory.

In all, the UCLA drive covered 79 yards in 15 plays. More importantly, the drive consumed 6:13 of game clock. When J.J. Molson connected from 31 yards out to give UCLA a 27-23 lead, there were only 26 seconds remaining in the game.

Completions by Steven Montez to Jay MacIntyre of 31 yards and five yards to Shay Fields set the Buffs up at the UCLA 37-yard line with five seconds remaining. There, the Buffs had one last chance at a victory, but the heave by Montez was out of the end zone … leaving Colorado with a second consecutive defeat.

Final score: UCLA 27, Colorado 23

“Our kids battled extremely hard and just kept fighting and fighting and fighting and had a chance right there at the end,” said Mike MacIntyre. “Give credit to them that last drive, they made a couple plays. We were all over them and they made some great throws and catches. But you know when you rush for almost 200 yards and they only had like 60, you should win the football game and we didn’t”.

The game was as close statistically as it was on the scoreboard. UCLA out-gained Colorado, 467 yards to 434, but the Buffs did hold the Bruins well under their season average of 571.8 yards (and 45 points).

The real difference in the game came in the red zone. Both team had five penetrations inside the enemy 20 yard line. UCLA came away with three touchdowns and two field goals, while Colorado came away with one touchdown, three field goals, and a botched fake field goal.

“If this doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will,” said Steven Montez. “I thought that we played a good game. We’ve just got to finish.”

Here is a YouTube video of the game, courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul:


Game Notes … 

— Attendance for the game was 61,338 … The Rose Bowl, which has an official capacity of 92,542, but which holds over 100,000 for the New Year’s Day bowl, didn’t look very full (UCLA had just over 50,000 for its last home game, against Hawai’i);

— With UCLA wearing all white, the Buffs came out in all black. It marked just the fifth time that CU wore all-black away from Folsom (once in a bowl; once in a Big 12 title game; twice in Denver). CU’s record in all-black uniforms away from Folsom fell to 3-2;

— Defensive lineman Lyle Tuiloma had his first career start, playing nose tackle in place of Javier Edwards;

— Colorado finally started the offensive line it practiced with for all of August camp: LT-Jeromy Irwin, LG-Gerrad Kough, C-Jonathan Huckins, RG-Tim Lynott, RT-Aaron Haigler).  Irwin missed the first two games for violating team rules, Huckins the last two after being injured against Texas State;

— With four receptions (for 47 yards and a touchdown), Phillip Lindsay became the 17th Colorado player – and first running back – to reach 100 career receptions (100 for 830 yards). Though only 17 players in CU history had reached the 100-catch plateau, four were on the 2017 CU roster, joining Shay Fields (169 after UCLA game); Devin Ross (120); and Bryce Bobo (113);


29 Replies to “UCLA 27, Colorado 23”

  1. Yo Stuart,

    After the loss to UCLA, head coach Mike MacIntyre once again stated that this Buffaloes team would “win a lot of games” this year. Since we’re five games in already, I’m looking for a little context on what qualifies as “a lot of games” when Mac talks.

    Is “a lot” 10 games? Eight games? Six games? Or What?

    In MacIntyre’s seven full seasons as a head coach, he’s had TWO winning seasons and FIVE losing seasons. More telling than the 2 vs 5 is the drastic differences each represents. It’s really either feast or famine.

    In the two winning seasons (one each at CU and San Jose State), Mac has a record of 20-6. In the five losing seasons, Mac has gone 16-46. For the fellow math geeks out there, that means the losing seasons averaged roughly 3-9 (3.2-9.2).

    It’s even more glaring when looking at conference games. In the two winning seasons, Mac’s teams went 13-2 during conference games. In the five losing seasons, Mac’s teams went 5-37 against conference foes.

    Although the Buffs still have a winning record so far this season at 3-2, they are 0-2 in the Pac-12. With arguably the two weakest teams this year on tap the next two weeks, one wonders if Mac and staff will have the guys ready to play.

    For most of us fans, time and games are running out if the goal is to win “a lot” of games this year.


    1. Hey Mark,

      Yeah, the jury’s still out on this year. I still think they can get four, five, or dare I say six wins of these last 7 games (in that case, maybe, maybe having a shot at a return to the Championship game, since the South is looking like a mess).

      But, to read the tea leaves of what Mac’s saying (presuming it’s not just coach speak) four of seven wins is a bunch. Five’s a lot (70%). Six would be sweet, but unlikely, unless the breaks start going their way (both the created ones, and those given them). Seven? No one outside their walls really thinks they’ll win out, do they? I do think he looks ahead knowing this team has a legitimate shot to beat everyone left on their schedule, too.

      That said, I’m not sure comparing Mac’s prior record/s in his HC tenure is a very helpful benchmark. Dude stepped into arguably the two worst jobs in D1 ball at the time he took them. So, piling up losses is to be expected, right?

      In both cases, he turned that around. That says something.

      Now, the key is, can he sustain success? Obviously, he left SJSU before anyone would know.

      I believe he can, and will at CU.

      But, that drives the next question. What is success at CU? For this year, I’d say 7-5 is ok. 8 and 4 is a success. 9 and 3? Huge success, given what the world expected based on the D side’s losses, alone, and red-shirt sophomore QB. On the other hand, 6 and 6? Not so much a success, but I wouldn’t see that as the end of the world, either. After all, our Buffs haven’t been to one bowl game, let alone two, during the “lost decade”. If they miss a bowl game? That’s a good step backwards, for sure. I don’t see that happening.

      Either way, it just strikes me as a bit too early to write this team (and/or their staff) off for the year. Go back 6 weeks, and most had UW and at UCLA as losses.

      They’re right where “most” people thought they’d be. How they finish will speak volumes.

      As will next year, as it relates to Mac and his legacy at CU. Certainly, he’ll be the guy who put the “lost decade” of CU football behind us. But, will he also be the guy to get us back to routine national prominence? We’ll see.

      I sure hope he is. And, I think he’s got the skills to do it.

      In my eyes, they’ve played better each week. I think that’s hard to dispute. They just haven’t gotten over the hump, for whatever reasons. I think they will. And, they’ll be back to making the right plays, at the right times, like last year, that helped turn this thing around. I think this team has that in them, as well. Time will tell.

      Go Buffs.

      1. Well said, Eric…especially “what is success at CU?” Neil Woelk wrote an excellent article on that a few years back wherein he compared CU to Kansas State and described their program as a model for us, i.e. usually a winning record, usually in a bowl, and, every once in a great while, a top 10-15 program.

        Most all coaches and AD’s will tell you that winning conference championships is their goal, but only a few universities are willing or able to pay for that and CU is not one of them. See the Duck$ and Jim Leavitt for details. Hope Coach Mac doesn’t jump ship for greener pa$ture$ in the SEC. Hey Coach, the gra$$ is greener where you water it! Stay at CU and cultivate the coaches and culture needed to grow up and compete annually, i.e. Kansas State (yes, I used to despise K-State’s schedule too while in the Big 12, but they always gave most everyone a tough game each week…and still do).

  2. Wow 5 games done already. All that waiting and
    the season just flys by.

    Certainly there are still goals.

    Priority is to win 3 more. Get that bowl game

    Get those 15 practices

    Can ya see 3 more wins?

    2 at Home and 1 on the road? Maybe 2 on the road

    Damn I hope so

    Last year was no fluke

    This year needs to back that up


  3. In case you missed it

    Jim Leavitt as a DC> Last year #Oregon was No. 115 in the nation in D. This year, they rank No. 15 & are allowing a full 2 yds less per play

    1. Yes we all know Leavitt is a really good defensive coach. But you have to admit the new guy is doing pretty well considering all the seniors that graduated last year.

  4. Tough loss. Montez is growing up and improving every day and every game. He really will be special.

    Bummer about those drops. Two dudes who rarely drop anything, and a guy looking for some traction as he gets back into the swing of things.

    The defense did pretty well, considering the points and yards UCLA’s put up against everyone else this year.

    They had a chance to win that one, on the road.

    The Pac 12 South is a mess. Utah is in the drivers seat. The North is likely to get crazy too. CU’s chances of a return trip to the Championship game are waning, but, not over.

    I think they’ll continue improving each game. They need to. They will.

    Go Buffs.

  5. This is going to be a long season. Even the Arizona schools and Cal are looking decent at times, and the way things seem right now the pre-season picks of CU in the bottom third of the pac-12 might be accurate. I’m hoping for 1 or 2 wins in the next two weeks. Then things get tougher.

    Last year the Buffs found ways to win. This year they are finding ways to lose. It is reminiscent of the 2015 season.

    Like most others have pointed out the fake FG was a terrible idea. You might have one of your best kickers in recent years, and if he catches that ball he gets destroyed. Why put him in a position like that? I would be impressed if the coaches admitted that was a screw up.

    Two dropped passes in the end zone. To me this was the difference between a close game and CU handling the Bruins. Yes, Montez throws a fast ball. It’s week 5 boys. Get used to it. The ball shouldn’t be hitting your facemask.

    Same offensive line players as last year. How are they so incomprehensibly bad? The worst defense in the country was blowing holes in our O-line all night. It reminded me of the bruising Sefo games in 2014-2015. No way Montez can get through his reads.

    Speaking of Montez getting through his reads. Did you notice that on so many pass plays after Lindsay makes his block he releases to one of the sidelines for an easy outlet pass? Montez almost never looks at him, instead scrambling and wasting a play. I mean Lindsay is wide open there so many times for an easy 5-10 yards. It was the same in the Washington game.

    Wildcats get 2 weeks to prepare for Folsom. Hope Montez can heal up and the Buffs can get the win.

    1. Apparently the defense went back to basics in practice last week including gap control and patience, they picked CU as the game that they decided to start playing like a team; they always had the talent, just wasn’t playing as a unit, until last Saturday.

      I noticed the same thing about Lindsay during the game too, sometimes it looked like Montez just didn’t look at him. Maybe Montez is still leery from the pick 6 from the week before, I did see on a couple of the plays, when the camera pulled out enough to see farther down the field, and a UCLA defender was about 10-15 off of Lindsay “hawking” him, maybe Montez saw the shift and didn’t look that way.

  6. More self-inflicted wounds. 11 points left on the table with dropped TD passes. Coaches can’t catch the ball. As much as I’ve been concerned about Lindgren, here is where the players have to do their job. The fake field goal was ridiculous given the circumstances. With all that being said, Montez played great and it looked more like a complete game. I hope his leadership gets the team to a win next Saturday. He is accountable and tough. Let’s bust out to win against the Wildcats. Go Buffs!!

    1. Agree on Montez but it reminded me too much of the Sefo scramble offense of 2014 and 2015. That was also because of a terrible O-line. It will endear Montez to his team mates, but doesn’t bode well for the W-L columns.

  7. Could have called this the what if game. What if coach kicked the field goal , the two dropped passes in the end zone if the D had gotten a stop on that final UCLA drive. I am not a big believer in celebrating loses and this team is way beyond moral victories but i feel very encouraged after this game. This is the first game this year they have played a complete game or close to it. This is what i think we were all hoping to see all year from the team much better effort. I don’t think they are out of the division race yet but they also have to win out from here. Steven Montez played lights out loved his game last night. To many drops by the receivers were not helpful. O-line played better than i thought and the D did a descent job but need to put more pressure on the QB. Lots of positives time to move forward and get that win against Arizona.

    GO BUFFS !!!!!

  8. The Lingering offense put up 23 against one of the worst Ds in the country. the buffzone couldn’t wait to say the playbook was expanded but I couldn’t see it in the first half. Running sideways multiple times for a loss and it seems like the QB run is most complicated thing the OC can come up with. We have talented skill players at every position and they are being wasted.

    1. Emphasis on one of the worst defenses in all of college football. Not even a touchdown per quarter???? Don’t understand why we have a tight end position. they never see a meaningful pass. Let’s just run Montez until he can’t play due to injury and stand with stupid looks on our faces when we are forced to put in a new untested QB. Not sure who is to blame, as Lingren is the easy target, but Chev is part of this offensive debacle too.

      McIntyre may just be a one hit wonder…………..and Bernardi is a waste of a salary.

  9. Almost won

    It was close

    Got to eliminate mistakes

    Montez is great. ( beat up like Sefo)

    From Woelk

    “But what they also can’t do is expect that tide to turn simply by talking about it. Right now, this is a team that continues to show great potential at times — and then become its own worst enemy one possession later.”

    Deja’ Vu all over again. 2013 2014 2015


    1. It is not as bad as 2013, 2014, or 2015…. but I must admit this team is beginning to show a very bad habit of making crucial mistakes at the most inopportune times. Seems to happen over and over again. The offense seems to sputter in the red zone… continuously hurt by crucial mistakes. Two dropped passes in the end zone and a holding penalty on a Montez TD run wiped points off the scoreboard. Even so, I am encouraged. That was a winnable game. The team played spirited football and deserved to win, on the road, against a desperate opponent. Just little things prevented a win. Is it coaching? Inexperience? On field leadership? Probably a combination of all. Not all the blame goes to the offense. Although the defense has played extremely well this year, that last drive by UCLA was a killer. We just couldn’t make a big stop when we needed to. The 3rd and 6, when UCLA ran it up the middle for 7 yards and a first down was a back breaker. I am being optimistic and looking at it as growing pains for a young team…. lots of season left. Still have a good shot at 7 or 8 wins and a bowl game.

      1. What you said is exactly like 2013 2014 2015

        And Az is correct. 5th year and Mac and list and
        Chev still don’t have a red zone offense

        And it is amazing how many plays start
        East or West


  10. I can’t help but wonder why the center is having problems. This time it was on a crucial down. Continual mistakes hurt the Buffs badly. Penalties at crucial times. Dropped passes. I realize its part of the game. This team appears to be falling into the Dan Hawkins mindset. How do we lose this one? Rosen never was pressured. Period.
    On the good side, I think Montez is beginning to get a better feel of his options. I do think he leaves the pocket too fast. Lindsay looked great. Offensive line looked better.
    Next week Arizona. Can’t wait.

  11. 1. Awesome to see fellow Buffs turn out for another road game! I know there are a lot in Southern California, but we did it in Ann Arbor, and hopefully it continues.
    2. Fake fg? Wtf? And has that particular fake fg play ever worked? UCLA read it well and our kicker was about to lose a limb if he caught it…
    3. Questionable hold on the Montez td. Regardless, didn’t make enough plays to win this one…
    4. What was up with the 5 yard out to Shay with 5 seconds so we could throw the one ball left 5 yards out of the end zone?

    Frustrating overall, but back home to Folsom to take care of business against Arizona next weekend. Buffalo up!

    1. I thought the same thing about #4 – with Montez’s arm strength, that play actually hurt us. We may have have been better off spreading the field and running a couple of posts with a late cross (similar to how U$C scored on a last play in first half vs. Texas).

      Sad it came down to that – Like Woelk wrote – our boys just need to stop talking about fixing the little things and start making plays on the field. We knew going in that this team wasn’t last years team and the loss of leadership from that team was huge. However, this team is slowly learning that last years success was the result of YEARS of frustrating losses and close calls -then finally finding a way to close out wins. Next week’s game is definitely no gimme and will be huge in determining how this season plays out. Go Buffs!

  12. I attended the game. In summary, I felt the players did their part, and the coaches (offensive) did not and cost CU the game. Grrrr.

  13. Jeez we didn’t even get an end around called while in the Red Zone tonight.

    It is pretty obvious that Mac & Lingering after all this time have continued to not be able to figure out what to do when CU gets into the Red Zone. It’s been going on for all these years and they still haven’t figured it out. They couldn’t operate there when many of our players were probably less talented then the opposition, and now that they have reached some parity in talent they still can’t figure it out.

    Besides not knowing what to do there, for some reason the execution just vanishes also, and the penalties occur. Very discouraging.

      1. I honestly don’t know why we absolutely refuse to use the TE. It’s not like Coach Mac is not aware of a TE’s effectiveness. During Coach Mac’s San Jose St. 11-2 season, TE Ryan Otten played all 13 games and had 47 receptions for 742 yards and 4 touchdowns was first-team conference and led all Division I FBS tight ends in yards per catch with 15.8 in 2012. He had 52 receptions for 739 yards and 5 touchdowns the year before.

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