November 25th – at Salt Lake City           Utah 34, Colorado 13

In a battle between two teams with 5-6 records, Utah became bowl-eligible with a dominating 34-13 victory over Colorado. The Utes sprinted out to a 28-0 halftime lead, never looking back to post a three-touchdown win, the first game between the teams as members of the Pac-12 decided by more than a touchdown.

Zach Moss ran for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Utes, while Phillip Lindsay closed out his Colorado career with 18 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown.

“(A bowl game is) a big positive. … It beats the alternative”, said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “If we’re sitting here at 5-7 and not going, we’re feeling pretty lousy.”

Of course, the loss left Colorado at 5-7 and “feeling pretty lousy”, completing a worst-to-first-to-worst campaign, finishing the 2017 season as the only team in the Pac-12 South not eligible to compete in a bowl game.

The first possession of the game went to Utah, with the Utes crossing into Colorado territory before a Drew Lewis sack of quarterback Troy Williams forced a punt.

The Colorado offense, which had two weeks to prepare for the game … promptly went three-and-out.

On Utah’s next opportunity, the Utes took the lead for good. The Utes needed only six plays to cover 73 yards, with Zach Moss taking it in on a 15-yard run with 6:25 to play in the first quarter.

The Buffs did show some life on their next possession, but came up empty. A Phillip Lindsay run of 11 yards on third-and-two gave CU its first first down of the game. Then, after an offensive pass interference call against Jay MacIntyre, Steven Montez ran for 23 yards on a second-and-22 to keep the drive alive. Another 11-yard run by Lindsay gave the Buffs a first down at the Utah 34-yard line. Three incompletions and a missed 51-yard field goal by James Stefanou later, however, the score was still 7-0.

That would change quickly.

It took Utah only four plays to cover 66 yards to give the Utes all of the points they would need in the game. Aided by two 15-yard penalties against the Buff defense – which made up 30 of the necessary 66 yards – Zach Moss scored his second touchdown of the quarter on a two yard run, making it a 14-0 game in the final minute of the first quarter.

After another quick punt from the Buffs, the Utes made the game a rout.

Two passes from Troy Williams to Raelon Singleton – the first going for 14 yards on third-and-11 at the Utah 11; the second going for 40 yards – were the highlights of an 88-yard drive, capped by an eight-yard scoring run by Williams.

Utah 21, Colorado 0. The game was only one-third complete, but it was done.

The teams traded punts for most of the second quarter, before Utah took over at their own 26 with 1:43 to play. Three passes from Williams to former Oregon star wide receiver Darren Carrington, going for 16, nine, and 10 yards quickly moved the ball into Colorado territory. With 23 seconds remaining before the break, Williams scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, taking it in from eight yards out.

Halftime score: Utah 28, Colorado 0

The Buff offense, with the season on the line, came out after halftime … and went three-and-out.

The Buff defense did force a punt on the Utes’ first possession, though, giving the CU offense another chance at redemption.

A 21-yards completion from Montez to Jay MacIntyre got the drive started, with a 13-yard run by Phillip Lindsay and a 19-yard completion from Montez to Chris Bounds setting up the Buffs at the Utah six yard line. On the next play, Lindsay took it in, making it a 28-7 game six minutes into the second half.

Utah restored order on its next possession, however, finishing off an 11-play drive with a 37-yard field goal by Matt Gay. Utah 31, Colorado 7.

The Buffs next put together their most complete drive of the game, covering 78 yards in a 13-play drive. A 14-yard Montez to Juwann Winfree connection was followed on the next play by a 28-yard Montez-to-Bryce Bobo pass. Three plays later, the Buffs faced a fourth-and-12 at the Utah 39-yard line. Going for it, Steven Montez again hooked up with Juwann Winfree, this time for 19 yards and a fresh set of downs.

On the next play, Montez was sacked, but again, the Montez-to-Winfree combination worked, this time for 13 yards. Three Steven Montez runs later, the last covering three yards for a touchdown, made it a 31-13 game two plays into the fourth quarter (the two-point conversion attempt failed).

Still time for a Buff comeback?

The CU defense forced a three-and-out from the Utes on their next possession, giving the Buff Nation hope. Taking over after a short punt from Utah All-American Mitch Wishnowsky, the Buffs set up at the Utah 48 yard line.

Down three scores, but with over 13 minutes remaining, the CU offense went to work. Six plays later, which included a 12-yard run by wide receiver K.D. Nixon on a third-and-two, and the Buffs were in business at the Utah 14 yard line. There, however, quarterback Steven Montez was sacked, fumbling the ball away.

The turnover took the steam out of the Buffs, with the Utes putting together a time-consuming drive to put an end to the comeback threat. A 48-yard field goal by Matt Gay with 5:58 remaining iced the game, and ended the scoring.

Final score: Utah 34, Colorado 13

The game statistics resembled the final score.

Utah posted 491 yards of total offense, to just 319 for Colorado. The Utes had 29 first downs, and 310 yards rushing. The Buffs, meanwhile, settled for 17 first downs, with only 124 yards on the ground.

Steven Montez went 14-of-28 for 195 yards, while Phillip Lindsay settled for 18 carries for 72 yards in his final game for Colorado.

“We’ll open up every year with the goal to win the Pac-12, if you’re not then you shouldn’t be coaching,” said Mike MacIntyre. “I’ll look at it, I learned it from Bill Parcells not to say anything emotion in the moment, I’ll look at it over the next few weeks, a little over Christmas time, I’ll look at it and make decisions from there.”

“It’s been a long road for us,” said Phillip Lindsay, who closed out his CU career with over two dozen school records, including most all-purpose yards (5,760), most yards gained from the line of scrimmage (4,683), and most receptions by a running back (110). “Everything we went through made us stronger men.  You have to get pushed out of the door at some point, this is just our turn.  A lot of greats got pushed out the door.  It’s just how it goes.  Next ones up.”

 

 

Game Notes … 

— The game gave Utah a 5-2 advantage in games played between the two teams as members of the Pac-12, with CU maintaining a 32-29-3 edge overall in the series;

— In addition to the records noted above, Phillip Lindsay also finished his career with the most receiving yards by a running back (976) while also posting the most carries in a season, with 301;

— CU punter Alex Kinney set a new school record for punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, with half (28) of his 56 punts finishing inside the opponent’s 20 (old record: 27, by Darragh O’Neill, 2014);

— Buff placekicker James Stefanou went 35-for-35 on extra points on the season. The only other freshman kicker in CU history to be perfect on every attempt was Pat Blottiaux, who went 7-for-7 in 1988;

— Quarterback Steven Montez finished the year with 3,313 yards of total offense (2,975 passing, 338 rushing), the third 3,000-yard season in CU history (and just behind the record of 3,336 set by Sefo Liufau in 2014).

— The game was the 100th of Mike MacIntyre’s career. MacIntyre finished the game 41-59 overall; 25-28 at Colorado.

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30 Replies to “Utah 34, Colorado 13”

  1. How sad to see CU come out utterly defenseless and uninspired after two weeks of preparation in an away win or go home situation. THAT is on the coaches…I believe MAC II is soft ,too loyal to weak asst. coach’s and senior players and we have reached our ceiling under him and his leadership(and lack thereof). I believe that while players make plays and clearly overrated senior WR’s dropping 3 or 4 sure touchdown passes would have helped us to be 7-5 with a Bowl game to follow would been an acceptable follow up to last years 10-4 season , Truth is we are 5-9 in our last 14 games. The co-OC situation has failed as has Lindgren after 5 years. Time for Chev. to run it. The O scheme is pathetic. Not utilizing a TE is a crime especially in red zone or 3rd and 6 when it is perfect. I truly believe the mistake Mac and his coaches have made is recruiting all QB’s,WR and athletes while ignoring the O and D lines where the magic happens. In addition MacII’s arrogance to not hire a full time special teams coach has led to that units disasterious performance the past 2+ years and certainly cost us 3 or 4 games (Michigan comes to mind). So if coach Mac is just going to blather on about Kumbaya and all is ok then Rick needs to get busy forcing changes and I can tell you all the ones I would make since I am not at all happy 1) fire Lindgren and promote Chev to OC and leave as recruiting coordinator 2) Fire Jeffcoat and hire someone who can recruit and coach D linemen 3) Hire a full time special teams coach, and lastly MacII needs to look at himself and create a culture that the most hungry, aggressive, focused and talented players play. My last thought that Mac II is soft was allowing 2 5th year senior Captains (Irwin and Frazier), to remain Captains after violating team rules and being suspended for 1st two games. They should have been stripped, earn their way back into starting rotation and next man up. I LOVE our Buff’s and am hurting but that is my assessment and roadmap to continued excellence.

  2. Too many carries for lindsey in two years. Finally took it’s toll last three games all losses. Didn’t come close to 100 yards in all three games.should have gave Adkins Junior a few carries to ease the burden

  3. I doubt if Leavitt would be willing to come back as HC for a small raise even after getting bounced by a sonny boy at K State. With all the other openings around the country with Buff’s job has to look like a trap. All of the bright young stars like Frost and the guy at Memphis can pretty much choose their next job. I guess the great and only hope is that Miles becomes the knight in shining armor out of some sort of sense of nostalgia.

  4. Clearly MickeyMac is not the defensive guru the Cali banker espoused. And again he referenced his relationship with Bill.

    It is shocking he played the juniors and seniors when the freshman class should have been out there kicking arse. Especially the receivers. There are frosh receivers that are so much better than what the coaches put on the field. Sorry but the sons of coaches on this team do not have anywhere near the talent that got limited or no time. Shocking. Maybe not.

    Mac ain’t gonna get fired (But he should and would if the $12 million wasn’t hanging over RG’s head.) Mac is a turnaround guy not a “run the business guy” and that is just how it is. His loyalty to his MWC coaches and his “favorite players” is neat, but not acceptable. Got to play the best and get rid of the rest.

    The issue with the assistants is that there are no good ones willing to come coach for Mac. The good ones he did have………..left. He is a dictator. You can see it and sense it.

    Even if he makes changes (And RG will have to force it) he will take forever to find the next set of lower level assistants. History says so.

    Ya know, it is just so sad. It really is. I believe it really do.

    Buffs.

    Note: Go Rebels………..Make us proud.

    Note 2: Disgusted

    1. Hi VK. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. You just can’t get one comment written without trying to throw shade my way, can you? Oh well. It’s been a decade or so. I’m used to it.

      Now, as to my Buffs? Definitely a disappointing season. No doubt. A dumpster fire? I don’t think so. Look at Michigan State; from 3-9 to 9-3. Look at the Pirate of the Palouse. Coaches coach. Players make plays. It takes both doing their part to win. The Buffs just didn’t do quite enough this year. If that’s the case again next year? It may be time for a new head football coach. But, as I’ve said before, the jury is still way, way out on that call.

      Now, as to Mac being a defensive genius? I believe I said he’s a DB savant, and a pretty good defensive coach as well. I stick to that. Take a look at the DBs. They still played pretty dang well, despite losing a bevvy of talent. Linebackers? Good to middlin’ with talent developing still (and more speed).

      Nate Landman? Dude is appearing to be able to grow into a difference maker.

      Now, how ’bout that D line? That’s the glaring problem on that side of the ball. Coaching? Talent? Execution? Most likely a little of each of those. But, they did lose three dudes from last year, each of whom got a shot at the NFL. I wonder if that had anything to do w/ the step backwards on that front?

      If they still suck and cannot stop a running back inside, at or near the line of scrimmage next year? Ok. Maybe there’s a bigger problem. I believe – which is hope b/c I’ve no idea how the kids in the cupboard are doing – but I believe that Javier et al will be much improved next year.

      Offense? Again, we don’t have a clear read on what went wrong. WR’s? Under performed. O-Line? Way under performed. RB? Stud. QB? Probably about as expected. Dude needs to get some patience, some touch, some timing, and get into the film room so he can read defenses pre and post snap. I believe this season may have been the kick in the pants that dude needs. Progress is made in the off-season. They’d better get after it.

      Offensive coaching the root of the problem? Well, I guess the players and coaches got a little something going after half time, when they could’ve mailed it in, right? They were – again – one play away from making it a pretty thrilling ending. There’s potential. Can they turn that into reality in nine months?

      We’ll see. Of course, I believe they can, and will. But, we’ll see.

      In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing this recruiting class come together, and reading/hearing all the stuff going forward. If Mac makes changes to his staff? Great. If he doesn’t? I trust his judgment on that, too. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see that play out.

      On another note, you know you love dem notes, who should Leach fire, do you think? His team, arguably, laid an even bigger egg last night. With their own destiny in their hands.

      Go Buffs.

      1. The mailroom is full of mailroom guys. Some with a lot of experience and they are good at their jobs. Damn good. But the fact is they will always be mailroom guys. No offense, just the facts. The Mighty Buffs have a group of MWC coaches (starting at the top) and that is all they will ever be. Just like the mailroom guys.

        You can be blinded by the light but eventually it burns out.

        The cali banker rode with the 600. Probably gave the order.

        Buffs.

        Note: Leach should fire himself. And then immediately rehire himself. MickeyMac should do the same………….except for the part about rehiring himself.

    2. VK, I think you are right about Mac not being able to recruit and keep good assistants. Do you think Ole Miss can also see this in his makeup? Hope not. If CU was and is willing to pull the plug they may have to take another chance on some hot shot coordinator. They’re out there, along with some probably good young somewhat inexperienced non Power Five head coaches. It is always a gamble. Lately CU has sorta crapped out though in that regards.

      1. It’s a tough deal. Tough decisions. But they need to be made. And if MickeyMac can’t make em than make him for it. If he don’t like it. Fire his babbling about nothing arse.

        Less than 24 hours later it still feels like Mickey bamboozled RG……….and all of us…………Never believe what that loan shark has to say…………he is clueless………….resembles the 5 year OJT OC and HC.

        Losing ain’t fun but dang nab it when you lose the team……which he has (deny all you want)……..someone other than him needs to take charge.

        Buffs.

        Note: Unless the rebels come through in getting the rebuilding king (which is what they need) Buffs will have had 9.5 years of a flim flam man…………and more to go.

  5. Going back in history when this program went through a long dry spell and then under Mac 1 the Buffs finally achieved a winning season they stumbled a bit with a follow up .500 season. But after that……..let the good times roll. Things have changed a lot in college football though since then, and I’m not very optimistic that as this staff is currently constructed that history will repeat itself. After what happened last season this year of watching the same problems that happened during the rough times rear their ugly head again makes one pause and be apprehensive with the leadership of this program.

    Ever since the 2016 PAC12 Championship game this program has pretty much performed on a very inconsistent mediocre level. Oh sure there are a few bright spots here in there but overall they have never played with verve, imagination, and pulling it together when it became gut checking time. They really have not even dominated teams that on paper they should have, played to the same level of comparable teams (Utah and others) or pulled an upset or near upset with superior teams.

    I really would hate the thought of starting all over with a new coaching staff from the head coach on down as it really does affect the recruiting and one never knows if the current players will buy in etc. etc.

    But it sure is depressing right now after waiting all these years to turn a once proud admired program around,and to be tantalized after last year……. then have what occurred this year stuck into our collective craws.

  6. If Mike is unable or unwilling to clean house with this staff…he needs to go as well. Did we just step back 5 years? We have the horses to run, not with the Alabama’s mind you. But we have the horses to run with the Utes and we were out coached…period!

  7. So many players on this team — but particularly Phillip Lindsay and Derek McCartney — deserved better! And when I look at how bad that game was, I look no further than the CU coaches. Time for McIntyre to make changes at the coordinator positions, or go away himself.

    The Utah game only solidifies for me that last year’s team was Leavitt’s team. In fact, go back and revisit how the CU at Stanford game played out last year. The CU Offense was as terrible and uninspired as we were (again) yesterday at Utah, but the difference was we had an amazing Defense to keep the game from getting out of hand.

    Thank you to all of the players that worked hard this season. I hope your coaches realize they had a team that should have gone 8-4, and the #1 reason they didn’t reach that number was because of the coaching itself. Terrible.

    Go Buffs!

    1. Add the USC game in 2016 to that analysis. 5 takeaways by JL’s D and the offense still couldn’t get into the end zone with the exception of a gadget play and one drive.

  8. Wow, instead of having to watch a boring ‘ol football team all year, we got to watch a Keystone Kops vs 3 Stooges MovieThon… and last night was the grand finale! Lazy, uninspired, unfocused offense vs slapstick defense. Lazy, uninspired, bumbling offensive line, a mostly “who gives a crap” starting receiving corps, and a talented yet scared QB who must feel that it’s all up to him. Lindsay will always be one of my all time favorite Buffs, however. Congrats to that young man for a stellar college career. And who is that #43 Bounds guy? He’s pretty good. What’s that wacky position he plays… tight end you say? We should look into that, whatever it is. Defense appeared comedic (unless you’re a Buffs fan) in their flailing attempts to tackle… overrunning plays, bad pursuit angles, horrible tackling technique, absence of desire. Still couldn’t stop the wide running plays in the second half. No apparent adjustments. So THIS is what a team that has two weeks to “prepare” for a bowl play in game looks like. The game was over after the first two possessions by each team. Something toxic happened to our Buffs this year. Lack of leadership was apparent, both on field and off… but there had to be much more behind the scenes. Griping by wide receivers perhaps? Rampant finger pointing? Who knows. The joke is on all those who voted for Coach of the Year last year. What a farce. Even on the TV wide angle lead-in shots of the stadium, you could still hear McIntyre screaming and blustering about something. Unfortunately, his trophy star from last year has most likely faded so much that few can see it any more. Dang, I was hoping he really MIGHT go to Ole Miss or somewhere. If not, we’re most likely stuck with him for at least one more year. Rick George, you’re a wise man… do your thing. Require at least SOME changes. Please, oh please. Even when McCartney’s teams still weren’t winning yet, there was swagger, attitude, desire. We saw that again last year, at least on defense… but guess where that came from. Keystone Kops vs 3 Stooges. Never was much of a comedy fan…

  9. The defense never really learned how to tackle a good running back this season. And the offensive line failed, more often than not, to protect Montez and give him another second or two to set up his passes.
    Consequently, we only won 2 significant games this year, the Colorado State and the California games.
    I am not really optimistic that 2018 will produce much better results. If 2018 is anything like this season, MacIntyre will be fired and our program will have to start anew.

  10. Team comes out flat. Mistakes. Offense is offensive. All things we have seen before. All this after two weeks to prepare. This team is not inspired, prepared, focused. Coaching leadership is absent. Macintyre and staff achieved a turnaround program “win” over a multi year timeframe. They clearly cannot make the play when it comes down to preparing for, and winning, a specific game. The program can be set up to win again but the coaching staff changes need to occur in the next few weeks.

  11. I am looking for something positive to say. I’m still thinking. Okay we didn’t get shut out. I don’t think Montez is the answer. While physically (sic?) gifted he has no leadership , the team doesn’t rally around him either because he doesn’t demand it or the guys don’t trust him.We had one of the best running backs in the country and it should have opened up out passing game and enabled us to win more games. I am not completely disappointed in only winning 5 games but the way we lost the other 7 leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Defense my god we were gouged consistently four 4 to 12 yards all night long.

    1. In defense of Montez I go back to the “fish rots from the head downward” cliche. Not just Montez but all the players on the offense know they are running a predictable vanilla unimaginative offense. For me anyway, I know that would go a long ways to kill morale and any motivation or at least an ability to lead.

  12. Meanwhile, JL’s coached Duck defense absolutely stymied the OSU Beavers. Mac is an imposter and that’s why he hated someone showing him how to competently motivate players and run an defense. He was FORCED to dump Baer and Neines, and never wanted Chiv because it would mean that Lingering would be exposed. Meanwhile hanging on to mid-level coaching talent on the rest of his staff speaks volumes.

    This train wreck isn’t over until MM gets his wish to coach in the SEC. Can’t wait to see what his 2&3 star players look like taking on SEC talent without the academic challenges of the PAC12.

    1. Though I never imagined that we would have a losing season (I predicted 7-5), I did feel that Lindgren’s capabilities would be quite visible this year with the departure of Leavitt and senior D players. The O, regardless of drops by receivers, clearly did not step up. As you said, he is now exposed for all to see. Are the Buffs now dead last in Pac 12 offense or still 11th? Minor detail. I think that RG will insist on forcing more changes and will overcome Mac2’s emotional investments in mid-level coaching personnel. The holidays are approaching, these changes would be a nice present for the fan base to receive.

  13. First to last in one year
    Defense is laughable
    Adjustments nonexistent
    Good teams get better bad teams don’t…..this one is clearly a bad team by PAC standards
    This team and coaches looked like they wanted to pack in it in this weekend
    Looks like there may be some hope with the underclassmen however

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