November 13th – at UCLA          UCLA 44, Colorado 20

Colorado squandered a 20-7 second quarter lead, giving up 37 unanswered points as UCLA ended up routing the Buffs, 44-20. The CU defense gave up only 69 yards rushing to UCLA offense in the first half, before giving up 149 yards rushing – and three touchdowns – in the third quarter alone.

Brendon Lewis threw for 158 yards, including some long completions to Daniel Arias and Brady Russell, but was ineffective in the second half. Jarek Broussard had his second 100-yard game, with 16 carries for 108 yards, but almost all of those yards were in the first half. Alex Fontenot had two one-yard touchdown runs in the first half, but the Buffs settled for field goals instead of touchdowns in first half red zone opportunities … before collapsing in the second half.

“They did a nice job. I take my hat off to them”, said head coach Karl Dorrell of UCLA’s 37-0 run in the second half. “They made the right adjustments at halftime. We thought we were making the right adjustments, but, of course, it didn’t work out that way.”

“The only other game that I remember being like that was the Oregon State game a few years back”, said tight end Brady Russell, who had five catches for 60 yards. “It was really unexpected, so that’s what’s most frustrating about it. I don’t think they elevated their game that much; I felt like we brought our level down after playing so well. It wasn’t that guys weren’t fighting or anything.  It was weird.”

Game Story … The game started ominously for the Buffs, as a run for a first down by Jarek Broussard on third-and-one on the game’s opening possession, forcing a three-and-out. The CU defense, though, was undeterred, forcing a three-and-out from the UCLA offense on their first possession.

Taking over at their 30-yard line, the Buffs put together the first scoring drive of the night. After a nine-yard run by quarterback Brendon Lewis to open the drive, three straight runs by Jarek Broussard netted the Buffs 25 yards. Facing a third-and-three at the UCLA 33, Lewis ran up the middle for four yards and a fresh set of downs. A pair of Alex Fontenot runs pushed the ball into the red zone, with a nine-yard completion to tight end Brady Russell giving CU a first-and-goal at the four. Two plays later, Fontenot scored from a yard out to finish off the 12-play, six-minute drive.

A pair of scrambles by UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson resulted in a 10-yard completion and a 15-yard run. On the next play, Bruin running back Zach Charbonnet raced around end for a 51-yard gain to the CU one-yard line … but … the Bruins were called for holding on the play. Two plays later, facing a third-and-18, Thompson-Robinson’s pass over the middle was intercepted by safety Mark Perry, who returned the pick back to the UCLA 46-yard line.

The Buffs couldn’t take advantage, though. Three plays netted six yards, resulting in a fourth-and-four at the UCLA 40-yard line. CU went for the first, but, on the first play of the second quarter, a Brendon Lewis pass to La’Vontae Shenault fell incomplete. It was then the Bruins’ turn to fail to gain a first down on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Buffs.

Jarek Broussard took off for runs of 15 and 13 yards on the ensuing drive, giving CU good field position, with a pass interference penalty against the Bruins giving the Buffs 15 more yards. The Buffs made it to the Bruin red zone, but the 10-play, 55-yard drive finished off by a 23-yard Cole Becker field goal. Colorado 10, UCLA 0, at the 8:37 mark of the second quarter.

It then took UCLA all of three plays to respond. After an unsportsmanlike penalty on the kickoff set the Bruins up at their 36-yard line, Dorian-Thompson Robinson hit wide receiver Kyle Phillips for a 47-yard gain to the Buff 17-yard line. Two plays later, Brittain Brown scored from a yard out, making it a 10-7 game.

Undaunted, the CU responded with a touchdown drive of their own. A ten-yard completion from Lewis to La’Vontae Shenault was followed in succession by Jarek Broussard runs for nine, seven, and 46 yards, setting the Buffs up with a first-and-goal at the UCLA three-yard line. Two plays later, Alex Fontenot scored on his second one-yard touchdown of the first half, giving Colorado a 17-7 lead with 4:53 remaining before the break.

On UCLA’s next play from scrimmage, Thompson-Robinson hit tight end Greg Dulcich for 55 yards to the CU 27-yard line. Just when it looked like the Bruins had the CU defense reeling, the Buffs held, forcing a 47-yard field goal attempt. The kick by Nicholas Barr-Mira, though, drifted wide left, ending the scoring threat.

The Buff offense, which had relied upon its ground attack for most of the first half, next took to the air, with Brendon Lewis hitting Daniel Arias for 42 yards to the UCLA 27-yard line. A pair of Deion Smith runs went for 13 yards and a first down at the UCLA 14-yard line. From there, however, the Buffs went backwards, with Colorado settling for 40-yard Cole Becker field goal. With 57 seconds remaining before halftime, the Buffs had a 20-7 lead.

The CU defense, though, couldn’t hold on. In 57 seconds, the Bruins ran off eight plays, covering 52 yards. As time expired, Nicholas Barr-Mira hit a 41-yard field goal.

Halftime: Colorado 20, UCLA 10

On the first drive of the second half, the Bruin offense took command. It was a nine-play, 75-yard drive, with the CU defense offering little resistance. Three runs by Zach Charbonnet covered 17 yards before Thompson-Robinson hit Greg Dulcich for 31 yards. Five plays later, Charbonnet went in from the two yard line. The extra point was missed, leaving it a 20-16 game.

The Buff offense seemed ready to respond when Alex Fontenot broke out for a 27-yard gain. Two plays later, though, Brendon Lewis was thrown for a 18-yard loss on a sack, effectively ending the drive.

A 58-yard punt by Josh Watts pushed the Bruins back to their 17-yard line, but the length of field made no difference. The UCLA offense was now on a roll, going 83 yards on only seven plays. Runs of 10, 17, and 14 yards opened the drive, with a 23-yard run by Thompson-Robinson completing the drive. With 6:07 to play in the third quarter, UCLA had its first lead of the game, at 23-20.

Pass completions from Brendon Lewis to tight end Brady Russell, going for nine and 35 yards, gave the Buffs a scoring opportunity. The drive came to nothing, however, when Cole Becker’s 43-yard effort tie the score was pushed to the right.

UCLA finished off the dominant third quarter with yet another long scoring drive. It took the Bruins nine plays to cover 75 yards, but UCLA faced only one third down along the way, with Zach Charbonnet scoring from three yards out to make it a 30-20 lead for UCLA.

The Bruins posted all of 69 yards rushing in the first half … but went for 149 yards rushing … and three touchdowns … in the third quarter.

The Buff offense opened the fourth quarter facing a fourth-and-one at their own 34-yard line. After witnessing the Buff defense give up three straight touchdown drives – with little resistance – there was no choice but to go for the first down. Brady Russell, though, was stuffed on the fourth down attempt, giving the ball right back to the UCLA offense.

Five plays and 34 yards later, the Bruins had another score. Zach Charbonnet scored his third touchdown of second half, this time from three yards out on a third down when defensive lineman Janaz Jordan missed the tackle. UCLA 37, Colorado 20.

But the nightmare wasn’t over yet.

After the Buff offense was forced to punt four plays later, Josh Watts’ offering was returned 82 yards by Kyle Phillips for UCLA’s fifth touchdown of the second half. UCLA 44, Colorado 20, with ten excruciating minutes of football still remaining to be played.

The CU offense would have gone three-and-out on its next possession, but UCLA was called for abusing Brendon Lewis on an incomplete pass on third-and-15. It mattered little, as the Buffs gained only one more first down before turning the ball over on downs.

With sympathy for the Buffs’ plight, UCLA ran up the middle before punting the ball back to the Buffs. With five minutes remaining in the game, freshman quarterback Drew Carter came into the game. After completing one pass to Daniel Arias, Carter threw two incompletions … before fumbling the ball back to the Bruins at the CU 22-yard line.

Showing mercy to the beleaguered Colorado defense, UCLA drove inside the CU ten yard line, but gave up the ball on downs with less than a minute to play.

Final score: UCLA 44, Colorado 20

“We played a decent first half. I thought, offensively, there were definitely some positive signs”, Karl Dorrell said. “We got some run game established. We hit a few things in the passing game, but it was good to churn out some points and get some drives going. We were handling their offense fairly well from our defensive standpoint in the first half – pretty much had control of their run game, but they were making some plays in their passing game that put some scores on the board late in the second quarter. We knew that, coming into halftime, it would still be a tremendous – we tried to approach it as a 0-0 game and to come out with a blank slate to win the second half. That’s where we didn’t get the job executed the way that we thought we would. Defensively, there were three consecutive scores on three drives. That was unfortunate for us at the start of the third quarter.”

The loss eliminated the Buffs from bowl contention for the 13th time in 16 seasons. With two games left in the season, the 3-7 Buffs were now left to the role of spoilers. “It’s all about having a neutral mindset. I don’t care if we are winning or losing, I have been a steady guy all year”, said tight end Brady Russell. “When we have the highest of highs, I don’t want to be acting different than when we are all the way down here. We have to come to work every day. We have some seasons to ruin and that’s motivation moving forward.”

Perhaps the miserable second half was best summed up by CU’s star freshman cornerback Christian Gonzalez: “They went in and made adjustments and we went in and did the same thing. They made their adjustments better.”

Game Notes … 

— The win gave UCLA a 12-5 advantage in the all-time series (8-1 in California; 6-1 in Pasadena). The loss left CU with an all-time record of 4-27-1 in games played in the state of California;

— CU had 242 yards of offense in the first half, the highest total of the season … but finished with only 359;

— Wide receiver Daniel Arias set new single game career highs for catches (4) and yards (70);

— Running back Jarek Broussard posted his sixth career 100-yard game (16 carries for 108 yards);

— Tight end Brady Russell (five catches for 60 yards) moved from 60th to 50th on the all-time career catches list (53), and moved from 74th to 65th in all-time receiving yards (603).

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23 Replies to “UCLA 44, Colorado 20”

  1. Hearing comments like, “They went in and made adjustments and we went in and did the same thing. They made their adjustments better.”. Makes me worry that the coaching staff is not qualified to do it’s job.

    Over the past couple of weeks there have been several comments made by players and coaches that makes you wonder what is going on behind the scenes?!?

  2. Here we are again, hoping/wishing for better results in 2022.
    I expect a lot of turnover and the perpetual excuse of a young but talented team. The larger question is Dorell able to put together a quality staff. clearly there is work to be done

  3. The additional reality check is that it could/should have been at least 21-20 UCLA at halftime, they had two additional TDs called back…unfortunately we are fortunate they only put up 44.

  4. The Berliner’s comment on Texas is funny. My first thought this morning was, hiring football coaches is hard. Not sure Karl is the guy, but the early returns on jimmy and Steve, both of whom I would have rather had in Boulder, aren’t great either.

    Oh well, guess we’ll see what Karl can do over the next year or two. Hopefully he figures it out. If not, at least with the next reset, it may include the entire athletic department executives.

    Hey, at least the osu game was fun. And hopefully impressed some good recruits. I guess Saturday we can fight the dawgs for bottom of the pac 12. Even az is putting up points now.

    Go Buffs

    1. Sark even has a healthy supply of J and Js. The way things are going he might fall off the wagon again.
      The loss to Kansas (Kansas???) reminds me of the Zappa tune “It cant happen here.” I’m sure its lost on today’s snotnoses but everyone in my generation in Boulder, including VK, must have listened to it. Maybe he can insert some football appropriate lyrics.

      1. As to sark? So far, it seems they are not buying what he is selling. Not sure they have any of their coaches since mac left.

        I bet we get a year or three to see though, unlike in Seattle.

        Damn, a quarter, or maybe a third of the pac will be looking at new hires. Interesting times.

        Go Buffs

    2. but the early returns on jimmy and Steve, both of whom I would have rather had in Boulder, aren’t great either.

      Well you did pick and cried when mickey mac snuck out of town…………………………..so there is that

      go Mice

      1. At least I go by coaching and recruiting. You go by who you like and don’t like. You liked chev. Until you didn’t like his lobbying.

        Go Buffs

  5. I watched the first half of an enjoyable game last night. Air Force, which is still the best team from this state turned the guys from CSU into lamb chops. Both teams play with recruiting dregs but what AF has done with them is nothing but spectacular. We all know they play a run/option game but the diversity, fakes and misdirection are taken to a science. Even their runs into the line take a lot of different angles and blocking schemes. The few times they do pass the D is caught completely off guard and its usually bombs to wide open receivers.
    I am not saying the Buffs should go to the run option even though I mentioned it might help them early in the season but the difference between the AF and the Buffs is creativity at AF and cookie cutter football at CU. Cookie cutter football is fine if you have the Jimmies and Joes to do it with (shut up earache) but even the best teams SEC in the last few years has stolen QB’s from Cal and elsewhere and gone to advanced passing games.
    I was hoping that with all the O experience that KD had in college and the NFL that we would see a new efficient offensive era here in Buffland. Instead it looks like he is stuck in the rut with Chev. Yeah chev needs to go but I’m wondering about KD now too. The buck needs to stop there.
    And now the D looks like its regressing too. (Groan)
    14 million dollar buyout (double groan)
    yup gotta give him a couple more years but I hope to hell he cleans house completely and starts all over again on a refreshingly different direction.
    One last thing.
    Football is tough and a grind but you gotta make it as much fun as possible too. When you are asked to do in a game is barely different than the fundamental drills you do over and over again in practice and it aint getting you anywhere your morale can go right out the window. I want to scream every time I hear things like “he is only a freshman” or a real kicker like this baby step crap. Your kids may not have the same talent as a lot of the teams they face but they aint stupid either. Give me a little something from the coaching that will help tilt that playing field back in their direction.
    How bout Tad’s boys? They shut down the NM 3’s last night. Still gotta reduce the turnovers. Do that and they will be extremely tough to beat

    1. Yes ep, it will be interesting to see what he does from the staffing standpoint.
      In theory this will be his first recruiting class and he has some good ones from his last class and some from the “midnight escaper” which means about 50 scholarship guys will be his, more or less. And he will get more transfers which means as I have stated previously, will mean a big elimination of players that are on the team and don’t play much. This will be an interesting exercise.

      go big restructuring Buffs

  6. The talent gap is huge. The only recruiting success we had the last 2 decades was Tucker’s year. Long couple of years coming up. Not sure KD is a recruiter. We continue to compete with MWC for players.

  7. It’s quite obvious that we have the players to compete in the Pac 12 week in and week out. The problem is our Coaches are playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess. UCLA made adjustments and we looked lost. I can see the excuses watching the film…well it worked in the first half! Our coaches were outcoached plain and simple.

    1. Agree with this. I think both coordinators need to be relieved of their duties or demoted at the end of this season. Up 20-7 at half and score nothing in the second half and give up 37. Total debacle. Chev has consistently, through the years, shown second half adjustment issues. Wilson may simply be in over his head as a D coordinator? He certainly lacks aggressiveness.

  8. Oh what a game
    late November back in 21
    never thought they would be done
    sweet surrender what a night……..

    “second string transfer” linebackers had a rough game. Looked a little lost……maybe a lot Missed “the hammer” a lot. Real lot

    “Buffs” equal:
    I know who you are
    I know what you like
    I know what you do
    I’ve figured you out
    “sung by every hc, oc, dc” who are gonna play the Buffs.

    Two to go then
    let the bloodbath…………coaches and players begin. Right???

  9. Not sure about Chris Wilson. Defensive Coordinator AND defensive line coach? Absolutely no answers tonight. Pathetic pass rush, with zero blitzing. Poor tackling by the D line. No spying on DTR, and subsequent gashes up the middle.. Easy 15-20 yard completions over the middle all night, with no defender in sight. While the offense was totally unimaginative the first several games of the season, it’s the defense now. Youth? Maybe. At least Tyson Summers showed some imagination and aggressiveness.

    1. Ya I agree.
      Maybe one or the other but both seems a bit tough.
      now it’s only 10-11 guys and you would think his total d would be aligned with and start with his dl.

      But I gotta say again, the “transfer linebackers” when they played did not look good. Confusion.

  10. Very turtle shell play calling and turtle shell aggressiveness.. Buffs have a long cold winter to gut check.. No bowl game again .. I’ll be ice fishing while the new OC figures out a passing game. CU next year .Go Buffs !! Some day….

    1. While at the game, did you see QB Lewis arguing after an unproductive series? Could not tell on the television screen if it was with teammates or coaches. Definitely not a good look, although, with the game still in doubt tempers were obviously short.

    2. I spoke with “anyone” he/she/they doesn’t have a clue accept maybe…………nope doesn’t know.

      Go Buffs.

      Note: Okay Buffs are not good but picture this
      Texas is 4 and 6 and just lost to kansas KANSAS 57 to 56. Holy Moly and all they got is a “cow” with big horns that just stands around and poops.

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