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October 2nd – at Arizona          Arizona 42, Colorado 34

A year after burning Colorado for 327 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, Arizona quarterback Kahlil Tate torched the Buff secondary for 350 yards and five touchdowns through the air, leading the Wildcats to a 42-34 win over the Buffs. Tate went 17-for-22 passing, needing to carry the ball only four times, relying on running back J.J. Taylor (40 carries for 192 yards) to carry the rushing load.

In all, the Arizona offense went for 566 yards of total offense, compared to 386 for Colorado. Quarterback Steven Montez went 27-for-42 passing, good for 343 yards and three touchdowns. Juwann Winfree had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, but it was the Colorado rushing attack which failed to keep up with Arizona. While Arizona had 216 yards rushing, the Buffs were held to 40. Travon McMillian contributed 11 carries for 59 yards, but Steven Montez was sacked five times, setting the CU offense back time and time again.

“I thought our kids battled,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “We had opportunities to win the football game. They made some big plays. Khalil ran around and threw it up in the air and their guys came down with it on long, delayed plays. Those were tough to stop”.

Game Story … For a team looking for redemption after a humbling loss, the Arizona game couldn’t have opened up much better for the beleaguered Buffs. After forcing a three-and-out on Arizona’s first possession of the game, Ronnie Blackmon returned the punt 59 yards to the Arizona 14-yard line.

The Colorado offense, however, could not make good on the golden opportunity. Three plays netted eight yards, and, after a time out, the Buffs decided to go for a first down on fourth-and-two at the Arizona six yard line. Instead of a first down or touchdown, a K.D. Nixon fumble gave the ball back to the Wildcats.

Undeterred, the CU defense forced another three-and-out, giving the ball back to the offense at the CU 34 yard line. After a sack on first down, quarterback Steven Montez connected with wide receiver Juwann Winfree on successive plays for ten yards and 15 yards, putting the ball back on the Arizona side of the field. Two plays later, the pair hooked up for a third time, with this completion going for 13 yards. An eight yard completion from Montez to Nixon gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the eight, with Nixon running the ball in on the next play, giving CU an early 7-0 lead.

A botched kickoff return set the Wildcats up at their own seven yard line, with the Buffs picking up a turnover on the next play from scrimmage. Arizona running back J.J. Taylor got the carry, with Rick Gamboa forcing a fumble, recovered by fellow linebacker Nate Landman at the Arizona seven yard line.

Having the ball inside the Arizona ten yard line for the third time in the first quarter, the Buffs failed to take advantage. Three plays resulted in a net loss of a yard. Freshman kicker Tyler Francis came in and kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it a two-score game.

With just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter, the score was 10-0, Colorado, but it could have been 21-0. The Buffs had the lead, but the Wildcats had the momentum.

And Arizona took advantage.

It took seven plays for the Wildcats to drive to the CU 16-yard line, but their the Buff defense stiffened. A holding penalty and a sack of Arizona quarterback Kahlil Tate by Carson Wells pushed the ball back out to the CU 31, where Wildcat kicker Havrisik hit from 49 yards out, making it a 10-3 game in the first minute of the second quarter.

After going nowhere on its next possession, the Buff offense was quickly forced to punt, with the Wildcats needing only four plays to tie the game. A 40-yard touchdown pass from Tate to Stanley Berryhill made it a 10-10 game with 10:33 to go before the break.

A three-and-out by the Buffs gave the ball back to Arizona at its 18-yard line. A pair of long passes from Kahlil Tate to Devaughn Cooper, one for 19 yards, the second for 33, set the Wildcats up at the CU four yard line. On third-and-goal from the one, Tate hit Shawn Poindexter for the score, making it a 17-10 game.

Down for the first time in the contest, the CU offense finally found its stride. Two completions from Steven Montez to Kabion Ento, going for 18 and 12 yards, were sandwiched between two Travon McMillian runs totaling 18 yards, giving CU the ball at the Arizona 41. A completion to Juwann Winfree, good for 25 yards, set up the offense at the AU 14 yard line. After a three yard loss on a run by Kyle Evans, Montez hit Evans for a 17-yard touchdown to complete the nine-play, 89-yard drive.

Colorado 17, Arizona 17, with less than three minutes to play in the second quarter.

The two teams were far from halftime, however, as both offenses posted quick touchdowns. It took six plays for the Wildcats to score again, with a 45-yard completion the big play. The long completion set up a 12-yard touchdown pass from Tate to Shun Brown with 59 seconds remaining. A missed extra point left it a 23-17 game.

Not to be outdone, the Buffs needed only three plays and 26 seconds to retake the lead. A 57-yard touchdown pass from Montez to Travon McMillian made it a 24-23 game with 33 seconds left.

The scoring was still not over, however, with Arizona able to gain 21 yards in four plays, with kicker Lucas Havrisik hitting a 55-yard field goal as time expired.

Halftime score: Arizona 26, Colorado 24

For the fifth time in the 2018 season, the Buff offense scored a touchdown on its first possession after the break. It took the CU offense 11 plays – and a little help from the Arizona defense – to regain the lead. On a third-and-five to open the drive, Steven Montez hit for nine yards and a first down. Three plays later, on third-and-14, Montez connected with Kabion Ento for 21 yards. Three plays later, on third-and-20, the Wildcats were called for pass interference.

A second pass interference call gave the Buffs 30 yards in two plays, putting the ball at the Arizona 24. Three plays later, on third-and-six at the 20, Montez hit Tony Brown for a 20-yard touchdown, making it a 31-26 CU advantage.

It took the Wildcats only five plays to respond, with Kahlil Tate hitting Shawn Poindexter for a 39-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving it 32-31 game midway through the third quarter.

A 21-yard run by Travon McMillian on CU’s next play from scrimmage was wasted, with the Buffs punting the ball back to the Wildcats four plays later. Arizona then marched 62 yards in nine plays, culminating in a Josh Pollack 41-yard field goal to up Arizona’s lead to 35-31 late in the third quarter.

The Buff offense responded with a field goal drive of its own, but the 44-yard “drive” was more Arizona penalties (25 yards) than it was CU offensive production (19 yards). Still, when Tyler Francis hit a 48-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter, it was once again a one-point game, at 35-34.

Four plays later, it was 42-34. Kahlil Tate produced his fifth touchdown pass of the game, this time a 57-yarder to Cedric Peterson, giving Arizona an eight-point cushion two minutes into the final quarter.

A 17-yard completion from Steven Montez to Juwann Winfree, followed by yet another 15-yard penalty against the Wildcats (this time on a personal foul), gave the Buffs an opportunity to tie the game. Instead, on fourth-and-nine at the Arizona 29-yard line, a pass from Montez to Kabion Ento fell incomplete, turning the ball over on downs.

The Buffs were given new life a few plays later, when Kahlil Tate was intercepted by Derrion Rakestraw, giving the ball back to the CU offense at its 31-yard line with 9:20 still to play.

A 23-yard completion from Montez to Kabion Ento, followed shortly thereafter by yet another 15-yard penalty against the Wildcats (pass interference), set the Buffs up at the Arizona 18-yard line. Two plays later, however, on third-and-ten, Montez was intercepted by Wildcat defensive back Troy Young at the Arizona one yard line.

There was still 5:07 left on the clock, and the Buffs had the Wildcats pinned down at their one yard line. A quick three-and-out, and the Buffs would be back in business, most likely on Arizona’s side of the field. Instead, on third-and-nine at the Arizona two yard line, running back J.J. Taylor gained 15 yards and a first down. A few plays later, after CU had used up its time outs, Taylor went for 21 yards on third-and-six at the Arizona 35, allowing the Wildcats to run out the remaining time.

Final score: Arizona 42, Colorado 34

In losing their fourth straight game, the Buffs bemoaned the lost opportunities to defeat the Wildcats.

“It’s not a question of effort or of guys going hard, it’s just what’s killing us, dragging us down, is when those opportunities to make plays present themselves, we have to take advantage,” Buffs quarterback Steven Montez said. “There was a fade at the very beginning of the game (to Kabion Ento) that I missed wide. That’s on me. I just missed a throw. It was there, the fade was there, the opportunity was there to score a touchdown. We just didn’t execute. We’ve got to start executing if we want to have a chance to win these close games.”

Game Notes …

— Colorado’s lead in the series fell to 14-7 margin, with Arizona winning its second in a row against the Buffs;

— The winner of the game in all eight Pac-12 meetings between the two since CU joined the league in 2011 has scored at least 38 points;

— When kicker Tyler Francis made CU’s first  PAT, he became the fourth player to attempt a placekick (FG and/or PAT) in 2018 – tied for the most at Colorado since the end of the platoon era (1965-on).  He joined James Stefanou (out with a hip strain) and the Price brothers (Davis and Evan, the latter whom did not make the trip due to illness).  CU also had four players attempt kicks in 2016 and in 1976. Francis is a true freshman walk-on from Carlsbad, Calif., who joined the team for August camp (he didn’t kick in high school until his senior year; he has a soccer background);

— The 59-yard punt return in the first quarter by Ronnie Blackmon was the second-longest by a Buffalo in the last 13 seasons; Isaiah Oliver returned one 68 yards for a touchdown against UCLA in Boulder in 2016.  It was the longest away from Boulder by a Buff since Jeremy Bloom returned one 80 yards for a score against Oklahoma in the 2002 Big 12 Championship Game;

— Juwann Winfree had his second career 100-yard game (101 yards) while catching a career-high eight catches.

 

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21 Replies to “Arizona 42, Colorado 34”

  1. observations:
    – Wildcat? since Viska went down it’s been ineffective. Why do Buffs keep going to that well?
    – Maybe Beau gets some more carries. Need some back-up RB production.
    – DB’s have to be able to find the ball.
    -Scrap the read option. It doesn’t appear there is any reading going on. QB rarely keeps, resulting in a slow developing play that leads to a lot of no gains.

  2. This is the first loss where I actually don’t think that the coaching staff lost the game. The offensive play calls and defensive play calls were good. But there’s only so much you can do when your offensive line can’t block anyone and your secondary can’t cover.

    If Mac stays, and I think he does, klayton Adams has to go. The secondary coaches are new, but they’ve not done a good job.

  3. Completely outcoached on both sides of the ball. 3 freshmen on offensive line – the o-line is playing worse now then before, when will the coaches get a clue? Montez was running for his life all game, no running game either. D-line played awful as well. No pressure on the QB, and gave up too many big plays. Washington State and Utah are going to feast. Really disappointed at how the last 2 seasons have played out, time for a new coaching staff.

  4. Things I’m speculating that Rick George probably already knows:
    1) 65 year old Les Miles is not the answer.
    2) Chev is not the answer.
    3) a proven, power 5 winner would love boulder and could be had if we can get the $$ to fit.
    4) the next, great, home run hire coach from the group of 5 is probably not the answer i.e. HWSRN and the current coach.

    1. Hahahaha

      Guy has been out of coaching for 2 years and you say he is too old? His age means nothing btw. He’s got national prominence tagged to his name, he recruit some of CU’s best players. He was the only coach to truly challenge Saban year in and out. Everyone keeps bringing up Leavitt, this guy is like Leavitt x10.

  5. Actually a bit surprised they came out ready to play after the mental debacle last week. Looked good early…should have been up 21-0. Missed offensive opportunities again, as usual. When healthy, this is a good team. The injury thing is very disturbing. Wondering how much, if anything has to do with training methods. These guys are dropping like flies, while other teams are getting stronger. Depleted at too many positions. Secondary missing dudes. Witness Nixon…set to have a huge game…pulls a muscle, out for game(that’s a baseball injury)…MacIntyre out for game…no Shenault…o-line a patchwork unit…poor Montez getting the rap kicked out of him.

    Granted, coaching has a lot to do with wins and losses, but let’s face it, sans key starters playing, only so much coaches can do.

    Still believe they will somehow capture that elusive 6th win, the mid conference finish, and low tier bowl which they were predicted by many in the preseason. Don’t lose all hope Buff fans, this ain’t over yet.

    Besides, the cost of buying out Mac’s contract now is in the neighborhood of $10million…not a preferable neighborhood.

  6. Yo Stuart,
    Every keeps saying Mickey Mac is a much better coach than Dan Hawkins. Interestingly enough, if you take away the 2016 anomaly season because of the Leavitt effect, their records are strikingly similar. Hawkins was 19-39. Mickey is 20-38.

    Hawkins had a win over a top 3 team. MM is 0-17 against ranked or higher ranked teams, with two more coming to Folsom soon.

    Hawkins overall coaching decor is 123-68-1
    McINtyre coaching record is 46-63
    Hawkins has coached 11 winning seasons in 17 years as a head coach.
    MacIntyre has coached TWO winning seasons out of eight seasons as a head coach. If they win two more games it’ll be three of nine. More likely two of nine.

    I don’t want Hawkins back, but everyone really needs to quit giving Mickey Mac credit for being better. He’s not. The whole idea is kind of insulting to what Hawkins has done in his career. Mac should hope to be as accomplished some day.

    But it will never happen here. He’s in way over his head in the Pac-12.

    Mark

    1. Agree. Both Hawkins and Mac2 are low ceiling guys in a top league. Hawkins could not turn the corner on a winning season. Mac2 cannot (with one exception to date) turn the corner on bowl eligibility. Hawkins got to one bowl during his tenure. And lost. Mac2 has been to one bowl during his tenure. And lost. Both have blown 28 point leads and lost in embarrassing fashion. Both came from a non-Power 5 program when they came into Boulder and are/were in over their heads. Both love to talk, cite quotes from other people, but say nothing of substance and blame others. The parallels are interesting. I advocated for Mac to move on after 2016, feeling that though he was a turnaround guy, he did not appear to be a run it guy moving forward. With patience, and taking into account of a possible let down in the 2017 season, accepted (reluctantly since the guy had been the COY) that perhaps Mac had a blip. Now, the same patterns, the same behavior is there. Mac is a program improvement guy, not a situational game guy. He has hired a weak coaching staff. Other than Hagan, is there anyone you would tag as an interim coach?

      As in last week’s post, I will gladly eat my words if CU can beat either WSU or Utah in Folsom. Mac2’s track record against higher ranked teams is 0-17. If there is any time for Mac2 to show that he is different and better, it is in the next two weeks, to preserve his job. Otherwise, it has been an unremarkable tenure for Mac2 and we should expect more. I do think Rick George will have the right hire the next time around after inheriting Macintyre.

    2. Who is this everyone that’s saying MM is better than HWSRN? No one as far as I can tell. The latter started the fire and the former brought the gasoline. They both suck

  7. Let’s not forget that Rick George did not hire Mac and the program is in an entirely different financial position than it was when Mac was hired, or even when Mac was given his extension. George’s first major stamp on the program was facilities. Hiring a new leader for the program in December (or January if we’re lucky enough to find another win) will be his second major move to completely change the future of Colorado football. George has been successful in every move he’s made and I think we’ll be in great shape when we move on from Mac.

  8. Mickey Mac is fond of quoting Bill Parcells, who famously said, “You are what your record says you are.” Well, Mickey Mac is a sub-.500 coach. He also gets routinely outcoached in the biggest games. 2016 was his shining moment, but it is time to move on. I doubt he will be fired before the end of the year, but if he is, I’d install Darian Hagan as the interim head coach. The greatest player in CU history.

    Rick George really has no choice but to replace him, the fan base will simply go away if faced with another year of sub-mediocre coaching, and the recruiting will suffer mightily.

  9. Good consistent teams start from the inside out….not an OL that at times is nothing more than a speed bump for every P12 DL on the way to the QB. 6 sacks in the first half alone….quit counting after that……OL Coach needs to go now….send the message….Good teams get better as the season progresses…..has not been the case with CU for a long time…One of our linebackers has become a liability out there…3rd and short & when the game was on the line late, AZ went right at him and wide on his side…..captain,good kid and “smart” by all reports but enough is enough….every gash and long run has him “running” after. In spite of all of of this……34 points is enough to win games……massive implosion on the Defense.

  10. The next two games are against very good teams with better coaches than Mac. That will drop CU down to 5-6 with a crucial road game at Cal for bowl eligibility. Sound familiar? And what do we think will happen at Cal? Déjà vu. No matter how hard and high Mac tries to jump, or spin it, he is at his ceiling and wrapped around the axle. That wrap will simply tighten over the remaining three games of the season.

    When Mac gets fired, it will be because of the epic collapse against the Beavers, one of the worst teams in college football, and losing the opportunity for bowl eligibility. That loss will be the best example of Mac being unable to close the deal. Similar to Hawkins. A lot of people were excited when he came to CU. My take then was: let’s see how he is doing in season #3. At that point, I shared with my friends that I thought he would never have a winning season at CU. Hawkins had his own ceiling and talked a lot about being “close”. The situation now is eerily similar. The reasons the Buffs were successful in 2016 include Mac’s turnaround ability to get to the program close to winning but the people that helped pushed it over into the win column were Leavitt and the upperclassmen leaders on the field. Macintyre can provide enough coaching to win games but he does not have the skills to win the games that count. There is not enough leadership in the rest of the coaching staff or on the field (no Lindsay, no Liufau) to compensate for Mac’s deficiencies. I hope Rick George will now start legwork on creating a short list of replacement coaches and funding options.

    PS- looking at the Cougars and their passing game against the Buffs secondary, ugh!

  11. Unfortunate loss for the kids. With all of the safety concerns, how is it the Buffs continue with so many injuries. The boys played well and showed true grit. Finally some imagination at pertinent times in the game. Still not enough to save Mac’s job. Its all about wins.

  12. That’s it. I believe Mac is a good coach, and he has done well to patch up the disaster that was Jon Embree/Hawkins…that said, this is unacceptable! Everytime we are given hope, it is taken away. I am 32 years old, the Buffs haven’t been anything close to a respectable football program since I was in high school. There needs to be a change, not just with coaches, but with expectations. Being mediocre (and we aren’t even that) is not acceptable. What is even more upsetting is that I as a fan never seem to learn my lesson. I put money into this program each and every season, with mediocre at best results. Fire the coach now! Find someone who understands what a lineman is and start from there.

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