CU v. Washington: “T.I.P.S.” for Buffs’ Attempt To Make It Three Wins in a Row at Home

… Related … If you prefer your predictions verbally, “CU at the Game Podcast: “T.I.P.S.” for CU v. Washington / UCLA Recap: Breaking down the Debacle can be found at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or pretty much wherever you download your favorites. Or, if you would prefer, you can find the podcast here or here.

If you want to look at the world through black-and-gold colored glasses, the Buffs actually played well for eight straight quarters.

Problem was, those eight quarters of good football were spread out over three games.

The Buffs found some rhythm on offense in the second half of the road game against then No. 7 Oregon, playing the Ducks close to a draw (21-16) in the final two quarters, while accumulating more total points (29) than any other team Oregon has beaten this season.

The Buffs then played well – for the most part – throughout the Oregon State game, coming away with a 37-34 double overtime victory.

The Buffs then finished out their eight quarters of good play in the first half against UCLA before imploding in a manner similar to what we witnessed during the games against Minnesota and Cal.

With the 44-20 loss to UCLA, Colorado is now 3-7, and will not qualify for a bowl game this fall. As a result, the Buffs only have eight quarters of football left to try and build some momentum for the 2022 season.

Going to Salt Lake to play Utah in the finale doesn’t sound promising, so if the Buffs only have four quarters of good football left in them, here’s hoping they come out in sequence this Saturday.

Washington fired its coach, Jimmy Lake, on Sunday. The Huskies can either come out fired up, playing for each other and the remaining coaching staff, or they can come out and go through the motions, ready to put the 2021 season behind them.

Which CU team will show up? Which Washington team will show up?

Let’s find out …

 

This Week’s “T.I.P.S” for CU v. Washington – Saturday, 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

T – Talent

Colorado and Washington have had disappointing seasons.

To make matters worse, the Buffs and Huskies are both coming off of tough losses, games in which both teams had – and then spectacularly blew – two-score leads.

Whether they were playing for their suspended coach, their interim coach, or themselves, the Huskies raced out to a 14-0 first quarter lead over the favored Arizona State Sun Devils. It was 14-0 until the final minute of the second quarter, when ASU got its first score, followed 46 seconds later by a Washington field goal to make it a 17-7 Washington lead at the break.

With six minutes to play, it was 24-14, Washington … until … ASU scored three touchdowns in five minutes to take a 35-24 lead. Only a consolation touchdown by the Huskies with three seconds to play made it a more respectable 35-30 final.

Translation: Colorado is not the only team playing in Boulder this weekend coming off of a second half collapse.

When the Washington offense is on – which hasn’t been often this fall – second-year freshman quarterback Dylan Morris is at the helm. Morris has 2,071 passing yards this fall, with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (compare Brendon Lewis: 1,344 passing yards; 10 touchdowns and three interceptions).

Like the Buffs, the Huskies have struggled on offense. Washington’s leading rusher is senior Sean McGrew, who has 431 yards rushing this fall (Jarek Broussard has 618 yards) … but missed the Arizona State game with an undisclosed injury. With McGrew out, freshman Cameron Davis carried the load against the Sun Devils, going for 67 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Washington also played against Arizona State without its leading receiver, junior Terrell Bynum, who has 436 yards and four touchdowns this fall (CU’s leading receiver is Brenden Rice, with 299 yards and three scores). Against the Sun Devils, the leading receiver was freshman Rome Odunze, who had eight receptions for 82 yards.

With Washington’s ugly offense rivaling CU’s for futility, how have the Huskies even managed a 4-6 record?

One word: Defense.

Washington has the No. 1 passing defense in the nation.

That one bears repeating: Washington has the No. 1 passing defense in the nation, giving up only 136.3 yards per game.

So … What’s the problem? Well, Washington is 118th in rushing defense, giving up over 200 yards per game.

Tallied together, the Huskies are 32nd in total defense, and 29th in scoring defense.

Translation … Two struggling offenses … Two struggling programs … Not many points.

Which leads us to …

 

I – Intangibles

This just in: Washington fired its head coach on Sunday.

Jimmy Lake didn’t even make it to the end of his second season as Chris Petersen’s replacement, finishing with a 7-6 record (for those who love irony: Washington’s Jimmy Lake and Washington State’s Nick Rolovich were both hired in December, 2019. Neither of them made it long enough to coach in their first Apple Cup). The Huskies went 3-1 during the 2020 season, “winning” the North division. This fall, Washington was ranked No. 20 in the preseason rankings, but fell out immediately after losing, 13-7, to Montana, in the opener.

Washington has three Pac-12 wins this season – over Cal, Arizona, and Stanford – with all three wins coming as one-score victories.

The Huskies played with an interim coach this past weekend, that being defensive coordinator Bob Gregory, while Lake was serving a one game suspension for pushing his own player during Washington’s loss to Oregon. Gregory now gets the chance to coach at least three games as a head coach … four if Washington makes a bowl game.

Washington is 4-6, and can still qualify for a bowl game with wins over Colorado and Washington State. The Huskies have won seven straight in the Apple Cup, with every win by double digits. So, the math for the Huskies is easy – take care of business against the reeling Buffs and against a Cougar team the Huskies have owned of late, and Washington goes bowling.

Is that enough motivation for a team responding to news that their suspended coach is now their fired coach?

Or are the players all-in, all-done, and are really not that excited about 15 more practices with a lame duck coaching staff?

We’re about to find out.

Meanwhile, back in Boulder … 

The seventh loss of the season ended any chance at a bowl opportunity and a winning season. Nothing new there, as CU has now failed to qualify for a bowl game in 13 of the past 16 seasons.

This is not where the 4-2, nationally ranked and Alamo Bowl-bound Buffs of 2020 were expecting to end up less than a year later.

So, what’s left for the Buffs?

“We’ve got some seasons to ruin still if we want to,” tight end Brady Russell said. “I know Washington’s having a poor season, but Utah, we can affect them in a big way. That’s some motivation for sure. And just pride also. That’s big, going out with some dignity. I know we don’t want to go out like we did today for the rest of the season. That’s embarrassing.”

Both teams have plenty to play for … and little to play for.

It may come down to whichever team jumps out to a lead early, with the other team scoreboard watching the rest of the game, just wanting for it to be over.

 

P – Preparation/Schedule

As noted, both teams have their “rivalry” game next weekend.

For Washington, the rivalry doesn’t have to be in quotes … they enjoy beating up on little brother Washington State. The Huskies have an all-time record of 74-32-6 in the Apple Cup (.688 winning percentage). [In case you were wondering, that record is not unlike the record Colorado has against Colorado State (67-22-2, .747 winning percentage)]. Still, it’s fun for the Huskies to humble the bumpkins from the eastern part of the state, and another win would be Washington’s eighth straight inthe series (tying a record streak which Washington has already done … twice before).

For Colorado and Utah, the “rivalry” does belong in quotes. Not because it hasn’t been close over time – the series actually tied, 32-32-2 – but because it has been lopsided of late. Utah has won eight of ten in the series since the two teams joined the Pac-12, including the last four.

Since the Buffs’ big win in 2016 to win the Pac-12 South, the Utes have won those four straight by an average score of 37-14. Considering how the Buffs have done so far this season, and all that Utah has to play for next weekend, a 37-14 final is not out of the question.

Both Washington and Colorado will have short weeks next week, with both the CU/Utah and Washington/Washington State games being played on Friday.

So, all things considered, the Colorado/Washington game will mean more to the Buffs than it will the Huskies. Even with a loss, the Huskies still have a home finale to look forward to.

Next weekend for the Buffs? Well, let’s just say that they have more to look forward this weekend than next.

 

S – Statistics 

Otherwise known as the car accident section. You know you should look away, but you just can’t …

Stats to make you smile … Every team at this time of year has warts, and the 4-6 Huskies have their share of problem areas …

  • On offense … 115th in total offense … 110th in rushing offense … 107th in scoring offense (22.8 points per game) …
  • On defense … Unlike Oregon State and UCLA before them, who were terrible at pass defense, Washington is No. 1 in pass defense, but are 118th in rush defense …
  • Other … 111th in punt returns (unlike UCLA, which was in the top ten in punt returns – and proved it) …

Stats to make you cringe … You can feel free to skip this one, if you are squeamish … Categories wherein the Buffs are ranked 100th in the nation or lower include:

  • On offense … 126th (not last!) in total offense (275.8 yards/game) … 125th in passing offense (137.9 yards/game) … 119th in scoring offense (19.2 points/game) … 122nd in third down conversions (.328) … 125th in first downs (156) …
  • On defense … 101st in rushing defense (184.0 yards/game) …
  • Other … 113th in time of possession (27:40) …

Stats to watch (i.e, stats which will decide the game)Jarek Broussard needs to be a star … Broussard has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the past two games. Against UCLA, Broussard had 108 yards, with 78 of those yards coming in the first half – you know, when the Buffs were playing well. Against the 118th-ranked rush defense in the nation – so goes Broussard, so goes the Buffs … Penalties … CU is 88th in penalty yards per game, while Washington is 7th. If the Huskies remain disciplined (and the Buffs do not), it could be a deciding factor … Turnovers … Duh … In a game which could come down to a few possessions and a missed opportunity, the team which can generate turnovers and a short field will win …

Prediction … 

Colorado is a seven-point underdog to Washington.

Looking ahead to the 2022 schedule (conference schedule same as this year’s, just with reversed home sites; non-conference games against TCU, Air Force and Minnesota), it’s not a stretch right now to say that the Buffs will be favored in only two or three games next fall, and will be an underdog of a touchdown or less in only a handful of other games.

Now, if the Buffs pick up a transformational quarterback in the Transfer Portal (possible, but not likely), and/or if CU picks up a dynamic new offensive coordinator (possible, but not likely), these odds might change. But, based upon what CU has produced on the field this fall, there is not much to hang our hats on for future expectations.

That could change slightly this Saturday.

If the Buffs play well, like they did (for the most part) against Oregon State, and like they did (again, for the most part) in the first half against UCLA, the Buff Nation might have few more highlights to remember. A few more memories to say: “Yes, this team improved towards the end of the 2021 season, and we can reasonably expect more growth, and more wins, in 2022”.

Call it intuition.

Call it false hope.

Call it a prayer to help us get through the next nine months …

Prediction … Colorado 24, Washington 20

Previous predictions … (Straight up: 7-3; Against the Spread: 6-4) … 

  • Colorado 38, Northern Colorado 17 … Actual: Colorado 35, Northern Colorado 7
  • No. 5 Texas A&M 38, Colorado 17 … Actual: No. 5 Texas A&M 10, Colorado 7
  • Colorado 21, Minnesota 20 … Actual: Minnesota 30, Colorado 0
  • Arizona State 27, Colorado 13 … Actual: Arizona State 35, Colorado 13
  • USC 27, Colorado 17 … Actual: USC 37, Colorado 14
  • Colorado 24, Arizona 17 … Actual: Colorado 34, Arizona 0
  • Colorado 24, California 17 .. Actual: California 26, Colorado 3
  • No. 7 Oregon 48, Colorado 3 … Actual: No. 7 Oregon 52, Colorado 29
  • Oregon State 27, Colorado 20 … Actual: Colorado 37, Oregon State 34, 2OT
  • UCLA 34, Colorado 24 … Actual: UCLA 44, Colorado 20

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13 Replies to ““T.I.P.S.” for Colorado v. Washington”

  1. Well, 2 weeks ago I said if the Buff’s beat the Beaver’s they will beat the Huskies. So, here it is the score. Buff’s manage to keep UW’s defensive scoring streak alive (35 pts per game max) by winning this one CU 27 – UW 23. The Huskies like to kick field goals and the Buffs have learned how score 3 TD’s in a single game. As my grandson says, “Boooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrringgg !!!”

  2. 20 times either 3 and 1 or 4th and 1.
    20 times the OC called the run up the middle
    20 times the play failed

    Possible execution issues
    Possible the defense new it was coming and prepared for it.

    Either way it was a stupid call.

    Go Buffs
    Beat the washedup dogs

    Note: Never call that play again Chev. They are on to you and have been for years.

    1. How soon we forget … from the Oregon State game …
      3-1 OSU46 #84 M.Lynch rush for 3 yards gain to the OSU43 (#56 R.Sharp), 1ST DOWN.

        1. Actually, according to the CU Stats page, the Buffs this year are 11-for-15 on third-and-one this year; 6-for-10 on third-and-two (yes, it surprised me, too).
          CU is one-for-four on fourth-and-one … I guess that’s what we remember.

          1. I remember the play Brendon’s heart grew three sizes, when he saw the green grass and took it. I did a fair amount of that in Boulder, too. But differently.

            That call was another run up the middle (ok, B gap vs. A gap) and he did what he thought best, kept the ball, and got into the end zone. That was probably my favorite. I wish he’d have taken a more direct line, b/c he almost got stopped on the dive, but he made it. And I’m sure learned from that one, too. Clearly, neither Karl nor Chev nor Danny did. Or maybe they did?

            Go Buffs

          2. Yup. interesting.
            I mouthed off before detailing the data. I always look at the data
            Gotta say the number felt like the right thing!

            Old, but I’m not that old
            Young, but I’m not that bold
            And I don’t think the world is sold
            On just doing what we’re told
            I feel something so right
            Doing the wrong thing
            And I feel something so wrong
            Doing the right thing
            I couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie
            Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

            Not gonna forgive that butthead who posted it on here and I believed him.

            Must be the key times in the games when they happen which is implemented on the brain
            So in just 4th down (any Distance) successes the Buffs are 1 for 7 in conference play. And you know conference is what I focus on….. Hurtful times.
            And in conference 3rd down conversions, the Buffs are 30 of 92 at 33% and last in the conference. Top 3 teams are over 50%. Now that is certainly totally unequivocally influenced by the inferior game scheme, the predictability of the play call and the execution on 1st and 2nd down.

            So one might surmise the offense just sucks okay?

            go Buffs skin the washupped doggeettees

            Note: You know who you are that posted that so there is that

  3. I have lost faith in this coaching staff. Let’s be honest if changes are made in the offseason no quality coordinator will take the job knowing KD is on the hot seat.

    The players deserve better…UW 17 CU 14

  4. Two once perennial powers now the dregs of the pac 12. Although our Buffs have spent longer in that sad state of sub mediocrity. But hey, Miami isn’t great either. Clemson has lost its mojo. Alabama would have two losses in a 9 conference game schedule.

    That’s all I got. Buffs win, 19-12.

    Go Buffs

      1. Howell reminded me of that, too. Although, it could’ve been the rich donors trying to tell him how to run his program? Or that maybe he found it was harder to get NFL talent to beat NFL talent consistently at the big boy level than it was to get them to BSU to beat up the rest of the Mountain West? Or that he knew he didn’t have much at QB and 2020 and beyond were going to be rough, as a result? Or, he was just over the grind? Or all the above? We’ll never know.

        But if we pull out the win Saturday, that’ll be another bet my brother lost, and that’ll make two in a row. Been a while since we could claim that over dem dawgs.

        Go Buffs

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