November 20th – Boulder           Colorado 20, Washington 17

Colorado’s defense produced four takeaways and the offense came up with a game-clinching 90-yard touchdown drive Saturday as the Buffaloes claimed a 20-17 win over Washington at Folsom Field.

Washington dominated nearly every statistical category except one — turnovers. CU’s defense collected two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, including a 92-yard scoop-and-score by linebacker Jack Lamb in the first quarter that gave CU a 10-0 lead. Colorado also turned a Robert Barnes fumble recovery into a field goal in the fourth quarter, then drove for the game-clinching touchdown following a Nikko Reed interception.

The Buffaloes were outgained 426-183 and allowed the Huskies to convert 14 of 21 third-down tries while converting just 2-of-14 of their own. On the day, Washington gained more on third downs (188) than Colorado did all day (183).

Quarterback Brendon Lewis hit on 14-of-25 passes for 112 yards, and contributed 30 yards on the ground, including the game-winning two-yard touchdown run with four minutes remaining. CU’s leading rusher was Jarek Broussard, who had all of 43 yards on 12 carries, with 26 of those yards coming on the Buffs’ game-winning drive.

“It was a hard-fought win,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “I’m very proud of his team. They’re starting to develop that competitiveness, that drive to just fight for 60 minutes. It’s definitely something our program’s going to build on. It’s really going to be part of who we are, that’s our fabric, is being fighters. We have to continue to build this program the way that it used to be. We’re going to get it back to that level.”

Game Story … The Colorado offense opened the game with a scoring drive, a scoring drive which proved to be anything but a precursor of what was to come. Aided by a facemask penalty on a first down run by quarterback Brendon Lewis, the Buffs found themselves in Washington territory. Three plays later, faced with a fourth-and-five at the Washington 34, the Buffs decided to go for the first down instead of attempting a 51-yard field goal. The drive was kept alive when Lewis connected with wide receiver Daniel Arias for 10 yards and a first down. The drive stalled, however, three plays and seven yards later, with the Buffs getting on the board first with a 35-yard Cole Becker field goal five minutes into the contest.

The Huskies responded in kind on their first drive, marching smartly down the field. Along the way, the Washington offense converted a third-and-six (with a 16-yard completion), a third-and-eight (with a 21-yard completion), and a third-and-six (with a 14-yard completion). The Buff defense had their backs against the wall, with Washington positioned for a score on a first-and-goal at the CU three-yard line. A botched snap, though, was picked up by CU linebacker Jack Lamb, who lumbered 88 yards the other way for a Colorado touchdown. Instead of a 7-3 Washington lead, it was suddenly 10-0, Colorado.

(A side note … Washington came into the game, the 11th game of the season, as the only FBS team to be perfect in the red zone … but lost that record with the fumble at the CU three yard line).

The Washington offense got it right the second time, though. On its second consecutive 12-play drive, the Huskies converted two more third downs before stalling at the CU ten yard line. Washington had to settle for a Peyton Henry 30-yard field goal, making it a 10-3 game early in the second quarter.

Much of the remainder of the second quarter was an embarrassment for the two struggling offenses. After the Washington field goal, the Buffs went three-and-out (1 yard gained), then Washington went three-and-out (zero yards), then CU went three-and-out (six yards), then Washington went three-and-out (nine yards), before the Buffs again went three-and-out (four yards).

Taking over after CU’s third consecutive drive without a first down, Washington, thanks to a 17-yard punt return by Giles Jackson, took over at the CU 40-yard line. From there, the Huskies drove for the tying touchdown, though it took seven plays – and two more third down conversions – for Washington to cash in. The score came on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Morris to Rome Odunze, making it a 10-10 game with 2:11 left before halftime.

A 20-yard completion from Brendon Lewis to Brady Russell gave the Buffs their first first down since their opening drive, but the CU offense could go no further before punting. The Huskies did manage to get to the CU 37-yard line before the end of the half, but couldn’t get close enough for a field goal attempt.

Halftime score: Colorado 10, Washington 10

The score was tied, yet it was clear that Washington was dominating the game. Taking the second half kickoff, the Huskies put together a 12-play drive for the third time in the game, but, for the second time in three attempts, failed to score. With the ball on CU 36-yard line, Washington quarterback Dylan Morris was intercepted by Buff linebacker Robert Barnes, giving the Buffs their first second half chance to take the lead.

But the Buffs went three-and-out.

Again, the Huskies were successful in driving into CU territory, covering 34 yards in nine plays. On third-and-seven at the CU 23-yard line, however, Morris was sacked by senior defensive tackle Mustafa Johnson, pushing the ball back to the 31-yard line. There UW kicker Peyton Henry missed a 49-yard field goal, leaving the score at 10-10 late in the third quarter.

Given another opportunity to take the lead … the Buff offense went three-and-out.

A 44-yard punt by Josh Watts pinned the Huskies back at their ten yard line, and, on their second play from scrimmage, they fumbled. Robert Barnes fell on the ball at the Washington seven yard line, collecting his second turnover in three possessions.

Given a golden opportunity to take lead, the Colorado offense … went three yards in three plays. Kicker Cole Becker made the 22-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter to give the Buffs a 13-10 lead … but … the 41,284 fans in the stands for Senior Day had to be left with the feeling that CU’s last best chance at a victory had been wasted.

But the CU defense was none done yet.

The Huskies again drove into Colorado territory – again converting on third downs – and appeared poised to take the lead for good. On a third-and-nine at the CU 28-yard line, however, Morris was intercepted for the second time, this time in the end zone by cornerback Nikko Reed.

CU had the ball, and the lead, with just over ten minutes to play. The Buff offense, though, had produced exactly one first down since the first drive of the game, and seemed likely to give the ball right back to the Huskies (especially after having to start at their ten yard line after an unsportsmanlike penalty was called on the Buffs after the Reed interception).

Instead of folding, however, the Buff defense put together a drive. A 13-yard completion from Brendon Lewis to Matt Lynch got the Buffs out of the shadow of their own goal line, with the drive kept alive on a third roughing the passer penalty against Washington when the Buffs would have otherwise been forced to punt. Lewis then hit wide receiver Chris Carpenter for 15 yards and a first down before Jarek Broussard ripped off a 26-yard run and a first down at the Washington 14-yard line. Two Brendon Lewis runs gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the UW three yard line, with Lewis scoring from two yards out on third down.

Suddenly, the Buffs were up, 20-10, with only 4:05 to play.

Then, the Colorado defense, which had played so well, gave up a quick touchdown. A 55-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Morris to Ja’Lynn Polk completed the five-play, 75- yard drive. Just like that, it was 20-17.

Still, there was only 2:30 left on the clock, with CU needing only one first down to claim the victory. Instead, the Buffs went three-and-out, giving the Huskies the ball back with one time out remaining … and still two minutes to play.

But … the Buff defense, which had done all it could all afternoon to give CU a chance to win, made one last stand. After giving up a five-yard completion on first down, the Buffs forced three straight incompletions, giving the Buffs the ball back at the Washington 22-yard line.

The Buffs were now in victory formation. To cap off his stellar career in Boulder, linebacker Nate Landman was given the honor of being the deep safety for the final three kneel downs of the game.

Final score: Colorado 20, Washington 17 

“Offensively, we still didn’t have a lot of production, but their production came when they needed it,” Dorrell said. “We had a 90-yard drive when we needed a 90-yard drive.”

On the afternoon, Colorado had 183 yards of total offense, compared to 426 yards for Washington. The Huskies went 14-for-21 on third down, with another conversion on fourth down. The Buffs, meanwhile, went 2-for-13 on third downs, and posted all of one first down during seven possessions between their opening drive of the game and the fourth quarter.

Had it not been for the defense, with four turnovers and a final stand in the final minute, the game would have been a Washington rout.

“They know they needed to make a stand,” Dorrell said of his team. “That is something  this team is learning through this process, understanding the adversity that games present, and then how you have to step up. When they’re around the football they’re trying to generate the play to be made.”

Here are the video highlights … 

Game Notes … 

— The victory left the series at 12-7-1, Washington, with the Buffs winning the most recent two games (after dropping seven straight since joining the Pac-12);

— Twelve players participated in CU’s Senior Day ceremony pregame: Graduate Transfer (1)—TE Matt Lynch; Seniors (3)—DL Mustafa Johnson, OG Kary Kutsch, OLB Nate Landman; Juniors (8): OL John Deitchman, TE Nico Magri, S Chris Miller, PK Evan Price, C Colby Pursell, TE C.J. Schmanski, ILB Jonathan Van Diest and OLB Carson Wells;

— CU played without a turnover for the sixth time in 2021. The previous best for a season was four turnover-free games;

— Linebacker Devin Grant had his first career start;

— Quarterback Brendon Lewis raised his consecutive pass streak without an interception to 108 consecutive passes, breaking the record of 104 for a CU freshman quarterback set by Craig Ochs in 2000;

— Carson Wells had a great day to close out his final game at Folsom.  Wells had seven tackles; three tackles for loss; two quarterback hurries; two third down stops; one fourth down stop (the game-winner); two passes broken up; and a forced fumble;

— The 88-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Jack Lamb was the third-longest in school history (96 by Ben Kelly v. Kansas in 1999; 95 yards by Ryan Walters v. Kansas in 2008)

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26 Replies to “Colorado 20, Washington 17”

  1. The old adage of “Win the 3rd downs and win the game”………….Huh?
    Best words to describe Buffs offense, Plodding, Puny, & generally Pedestrian.

  2. I got sooooo damn tired of seeing the Huskies WR’s roam at will thru’ the Buff’s defensive backfield, I had to turn the damn TV off……

    THAT, AND…….. I THOT’ CHEV’ GOT THE HINT AND WOULD QUIT CALLING runs straight into the middle of a stacked D-Line on 2nd and 10…..Scheeeeeeeesh.

    I GUESS IT’S BETTER TO BE LUCKY THAN GOOD ON SOME DAYS.

  3. The Flatiron God was playing with the Buffs today.
    No other explanation.

    With no offense (like it has been all season…………30-point-chev is nowhere to be found…………and a hit and miss defense………..the Mighty Buffs pull it out.

    Cool and calm HCKD on the sidelines………….nice. If you watch the before game and aftergame locker room scenes………………..he has plenty of emotion……….but while at work……………..calm cool and collected (except for the camera deal)………….He just needs to get a better staff starting with the offensive side………..Chev has peter principaled………….time to move on……..I like chev and rooted for his success but………..

    Now go upset the utes……………..

    Buffs win Buffs win Buffs win

  4. I think the OC has to go. I think we have talent and it isn’t being used right. Maybe in 2 years we can call three plays up the middle inside the 10, but not right now.

  5. I’m like almost everyone else. I’m happy to have a win, no matter what.

    But I agree with Eric, it’s a total joke to praise Wilson’s defense in this game. They we’re out of position most of the night, especially if it was 3rd and long. For the last 4/5 weeks, our open field tackling has been dismal at best. And that’s starting to spill over into the special teams. Yes, we got 4 turnovers – but honestly, only Reed’s interception was our good play rather than Washington’s mistake. The Buffs need to be much better at D; regardless if Landman is in the lineup or not — and it doesn’t look like Wilson can take them there to me.

    I’m also enormously disappointed in the Offense, like everyone else. Listen, Coach Chev is a great coach — at the tactical level. He can teach players to be great (esp. at receiving). But strategically, the guy just doesn’t have the right mind for it. He’s not putting the whole picture together (which includes understanding the true capability of his players when he’s putting together schemes AND figuring out how to exploit the way a defense is actually playing). He seems like a guy that can draw up cool plays, but he doesn’t know when to call what play to leverage his own team’s strengths and exploit the defense. This is NOT his skillset. I hope he figures that out himself, because he’s an awesome guy, a great recruiter and incredible at player development –> he should be in the job that uses these skills best!

  6. So I am confident that Dorrell will make a change at o coordinator. I suspect though that we are all going to be completely confused as the person is going to have NFL experience but not as an o coordinator. He may have had some Co O coordinator at some point in college but he is not going to be a well known name. It someone who has been around the game for a long time and is respected as a position coach. Not sure how I feel about that. But that is what I bet.
    Chev’s offense actually regressed today. It doesn’t show on tv but the defense called out our play pre snap on formation and motion.
    Wilson’s defense disappointed today in its bend but don’t break, and the non stop 3rd and long. But our db’s are young across the board and I think we will get better. I think he bought himself another year.
    I still think Lewis is not seeing the field well. I expect the answer competition will go into fall.
    I think between Perry, Barnes and Lamb we will be ok at lb. they WILL. NOT replace Landman but they can play solidly and we will be ok.
    I don’t think anyone played well enough to truly test the portal. Rice maybe, but not sure he is going to get on a better program as a featured receiver. Better to be #1 on our team then #3 on a better team. Gonzalez, yes but not sure he needs to go somewhere to get to the next level and why risk it. People that go in the portal are those that are not getting to play and they go lower.

    1. Gonzalez is in a great spot at CU. He consistently gets chances to show he’s a great player against good competition. He’s often left on an island and even then it’s shown fighting through blocks and making big tackles.

      Better to be the best player shining brightly on a bad team than risk being just a dude on a good team.

      Rice is a different question. WR needs chances at the ball to shine and he doesn’t get that at all.

  7. What a great day. Buffs win ugly. But at the end of the day they still won.

    But more important in this lost season…
    The three most despicable teams to this BUFFS fan were all smoked big time.

    Of course, that would be the University of Spoiled Children, the Billion Dollar Ducks (the most overpaid employees of the Nike empire), and the child molester loving, deep pocketed idiots in East Lansing. The three teams gave up a collective 156 points! That despite the fact that two of them were ranked in the Top 7 in the country.

    Oh please, Michigan State, go ahead and give Lying Mel that $95 MILLION extension. It still won’t pay for your sins. Even that $500 Million that MSU had to pay to the victims of Larry Nassar didn’t pay for their sins.

    There is obviously too much money available in East Lansing. But it can’t buy decency or common sense. Or, apparently, a football team that isn’t behind by 49 points… at halftime! Go ahead and complain again about being ranked behind the Wolverines again. This is big time football based on what have you done lately, and for MSU that’s a loss to an unranked team last week and being exposed for the pretenders they are this week at Ohio State. It’s a good thing for MSU that the Buckeyes were playing the waterboys and cheerleaders in the second half, or the Spartans might have lost by 75.

    We can’t help but rejoice when the Ducks squander all that money from Phil Knight. Apparently, even a BILLION dollars isn’t enough to buy a national championship. All those fancy uniforms and shiny helmets just make it that much more sweet when they find yet another way to lose a conference game or two despite outspending everybody in the country.

    And good old USC, surrounded by the most high school football talent in the country year after year. And having a roster loaded with so-called four and five star star talent and they still get smoked over and over. You gotta love it.

    Yes indeed, what a great day to be a Buff. Even little Ralphie seems to finally be growing some fur finally! We gotta enjoy these rare days when we can.

    And for those wondering why Nebraska is no longer in the top three… they’re not worthy anymore. And, besides, they lost today too, for the 8th time this year.

    What a great day to be a Buff!

    1. I agree with every word you wrote, except that the Cornholers will always be #1 on the despicable list, primarily because of their “best fans in college football”.

      1. Totally agree with that. I’m an older guy and have many experiences with these “great fans” including when several drunk Husker Fans fell from a row up in Folsom and landed on top of my wife and I. Of course, there was the penultimate “Sal is Dead, go Big Red” classless move. The list could go on and on. But lately I’m satisfied with their continual losing under Frost and all of his arrogance and petulance. In particular, I like that Buffs are 2-0 against Frost and in excruciating late game fashion. Go Buffs!!

  8. How can we expect the players to get excited when the coach stands on the side line like a dead fish showing no emotion a all. It looks like he could care less how the boys play . He’s the leader! Would you work your butts off for some one who doesn’t get excited or mad or happy. Attitude wears off on the team!

    1. There have been times I felt that way, but I sense he has a good bond with his players and they respect him, just a different approach/style on the sideline.
      The quotes Stu put in above from KD post game hints at that connection.
      I would like to put a mic on him during practice just to see more of his personality…
      I am behind KD for another year for sure, but the Offense should have had better progress.

  9. Kudos to the players for the win and surviving their coordinators’ ineptitude. Our offensive play calling is beyond terrible. It’s simply embarrassing. Looks like Chev’s mental abilities end after scripting the first series. The defensive schemes allowed the same plays over and over. I personally think Rick George has done a good job. Now he is talking about changes and having resources to do so. Let’s see those changes, starting next weekend after the Utah game. I agree continuity is important but not with this staff. That would only ensure the continuity of some of the worst (as borne out by the results and stats) in FBS football.

  10. That was a hilariously entertaining game to watch. Washington just could not stop shooting themselves in the foot, else this would have been a 37-3 game. I’ve never seen so many long third down conversions in a game!

    For what it’s worth…. My bet is no notable changes in staff good year. Shrug.

  11. I cannot read a defense. But when the announcers said chris called a great game, I was amused. Is a great game allowing 3rd and long conversions all day? Now, I also do t know if that’s missing Nate, or just the defense In general. But damn. Thank goodness for the two picks and fumbles.

    It will be interesting to watch what Karl does and does not do this off season.

    And like Robert said, recruit, recruit, recruit.

    And good night Mel. Enjoy that money.

    Go Buffs

    1. Agreed on the ‘great game’ comment…it was almost backwards. First half playing a shell that was dropping too deep and hence gave up all those short throws. 2nd half we finally moved to more man/man coverages (hence some deeper shots were completed)…but kept at it too long, even when leading, when we should be soft shell, and make them take time to score. Oh brother…my thought at the end of the game was that the defense won the game in spite of their coordinator.

  12. While this was a gutsy effort by the defense it’s clear if Dorell is to succeed he needs to make major changes on both offensive and defensive staffs. It’s inexcusable to allow success on third and long over and over. No excuse. The offense has been a disaster all year.
    It looks like there are pieces to work with but it’s going to take some changes in the off season.
    Recruiting recruiting recruiting

    1. As far as recruiting goes….. O line, O line, O line….. that’s what we need. I’ll be at the Utes game next week, we gonna get crushed, sigh! But I’ll be there. My son goes to Utah, want them to win the PAC 12.

      1. Man, did the Utes look good tonight! Fun team to watch, and the Buffs could learn something watching the effort that EVERY player on the Utah team exerts. Physicality. Execution. Offensive creativity. Defensive will. Holy cow, does Whittingham motivate his players.

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