November 19th – at Washington            No. 15 Washington 54, Colorado 7

Washington scored on its first three drives, then turned the game into a laugher as the Buffs surrendered 12 points in the final two minutes of the first half, giving the Huskies a 33-0 halftime lead on their way to a 54-7 domination of Colorado. Washington rolled to 575 yards of total offense, with the Buffs limping to 202 total yards.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had fairly pedestrian numbers, completing 19-of-31 passes for 229 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The Husky rushing attack, though, was dominant, with 280 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Wayne Taulapapa led the way, with 11 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Colorado was completely inept on offense, with quarterback J.T. Shrout completing only six of 18 passes and 120 yards … with 69 yards coming on one play, a touchdown pass to Montana Lemonious-Craig late in the third quarter, when the the Buffs were already down 47-7.

“We wanted to keep (Penix) off the field as much as humanly possible,” interim CU coach Mike Sanford said. “We wanted to run the football and win this game in the trenches. But hats off to Washington. They were good up front and that led to us not capitalizing on the opportunities that we had. That’s a really good team. I think right now they’re playing as good of football as anybody in our conference.”

Game Story … The Buffs opened the game averting its first disaster by having an interception thrown by J.T. Shrout on the second play of the game nullified by an offsides call against the Huskies. With the aide of the five yard penalty, the Buff were able to post a first down on a six-yard run by Alex Fontenot. Two more six yard gains, a run by Fontenot and a completion to R.J. Sneed, gave the CU offense a first down in Washington territory. That was as much as the Buffs could do, however, punting the ball away after a seven-play drive.

Washington, which had scored eight touchdowns in ten games on its first drive of the game, did not disappoint the home fans on Senior Night. Taking over at their 15-yard line, the Huskies drove 85 yards in 12 plays to take the lead for good. The Buff defense did force a fourth-and-one at the Washington 42-yard line, but the Huskies were undeterred, picking up a first down on a five-yard run by Cameron Davis. The six minute drive was culminated with an eight-yard scoring run by Wayne Taulapapa.

After a three-and-out from the CU offense and a 31-yard punt return by Jalen McMillan, the Huskies set up shop at the CU 38-yard line. This time, it took the Huskies only two plays to score. After an 11-yard run, the 46 second drive was completed with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Michael Penix to Jalen McMillan. Just like that, it was 14-0.

A 26-yard run by Alex Fontenot on CU’s next offensive play gave Buff fans a momentary reason for optimism. That optimism, though, as the next four plays netted only four yards, with the Buffs giving the ball over on downs at the Washington 43-yard line.

As was the case with Washington’s first drive, the Buff defense made the Huskies work for their third touchdown. It again took the Huskies 12 plays to score, with the 57-yard drive including a conversion on fourth-and-two at the Colorado 49-yard line, and then a third-and-10 at the CU 45. The five-minute drive was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Wayne Taulapapa, his second of the evening. With ten minutes left in the half, the new score was 21-0.

CU’s longest play of the half, a 31-yard completion from J.T. Shrout to Jack Hestera, gave the Buffs their third first half possession inside Washington territory. As had been the case with the first two drives, though, the Buffs failed to score. CU managed to hold onto the ball for almost five minutes, but still punted the ball away.

Washington’s fourth drive of the first half became the first of the game to not net the Huskies a touchdown. Washington did drive into Colorado territory, but stalled at the Buff 31-yard line. After the Washington kicker Peyton Henry missed a 48-yard field goal attempt with 1:55 remaining in the half, it looked like the Buffs would escape the second quarter down only 21-0.

But these were the 2022 Buffs.  CU had the ball, with a first down at its 31-yard line, with less than two minutes remaining … and still managed to give up 12 points to the Huskies before the break. How?

  • The Buff offense went three-and-out, with three incompletions taking exactly 23 seconds off of the clock;
  • The Buff special teams botched the punt attempt, giving up a safety, making it a 23-0 game;
  • The Buff special teams gave up a 28-yard return on the free kick, allowing the Huskies to start their next drive at the CU 45-yard line;
  • The Buff defense gave up a seven-play drive covering those 45 yards in only 1:10 of game clock, with Cameron Davis scoring on a four yard run with 15 seconds remaining in the half, making it a 30-0 game;
  • The Buffs fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff, giving the ball back to the Huskies at the CU 16-yard line; allowing
  • Washington kicker Peyton Henry to hit a 33-yard field goal as time expired, upping the lead to 33-0.

So, to recap, the Buffs had the ball, with a first down at their 31-yard line, with less than two minutes before halftime. Not only did the Buffs not score in the final two minutes after taking possession … they managed to give up 12 points.

Halftime score: No. 15 Washington 33, Colorado 0

Washington took the second half kickoff and marched smartly down the field. A 57-yard run by Wayne Taulapapa pushed the ball to the Colorado six-yard line. Three plays later, on fourth-and-goal at the one yard line, Taulapapa was stopped by defensive lineman Na’im Rodman and linebacker Quinn Perry, turning the ball over on downs.

Starting at its own one yard line, the Buff offense gained … five yards, punting the ball away. Washington took over after the punt at the CU 45-yard line, and needed only four plays to post its next score. Cameron Davis was given the honor, scoring on a six yard run, making the new score 40-0 midway through the third quarter.

Alex Fontenot posted a 19-yard run on CU’s next drive, but that was the highlight. Again the Buffs moved into Washington territory, and again failed to score. The memorable aspect of the drive came when quarterback J.T. Shrout left the game with an injury. The drive ended when the Buffs turned the ball over on downs, with quarterback Drew Carter’s pass to tight end Brady Russell on fourth-and-five at the Washington 41-yard line falling incomplete.

With the Colorado defense unable to stop the Huskies, Washington again marched down the field for a score. The seven-play, 59-yard drive came to its inevitable conclusion with a two-yard touchdown run by Richard Newton. Washington 47, Colorado 0, with 17 minutes in the mauling still left to play.

J.T. Shrout returned to the game, and finally got Colorado on the board. A 69-yard touchdowns pass from Shrout to Montana Lemonious-Craig allowed the Buffs to avoid the shutout – Washington 47, Colorado 7, late in the third quarter.

The Buff defense had a moment to shine on Washington’s next drive, with linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo intercepting Washington backup quarterback Dylan Morris, but even a turnover had a blemish, with CU being called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, costing the Buffs a start at midfield.

Two runs by Anthony Hankerson generated a first down for the Buffs on their next drive, but that was it, with CU punting the ball away … at least holding the ball until the third quarter mercifully came to a close.

Taking over at its 13-yard line, the Huskies took off on their third 12-play scoring drive of the game. The drive included only one third down, as the Huskies methodically used up clock grinding out more yardage. Washington got past the 50-point mark for only the second time in the 21-game series, taking a 54-7 lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Morris to Sam Adams II.

Apparently not humiliated enough, the Buffs gave the ball right back to the Huskies. On the second play of the CU “drive”, J.T. Shrout was intercepted by Makell Esteen, with Washington taking over at the Washington 33-yard line.

Too little, much too late, the CU defense forced its first three-and-out of the game, giving the Buff backups a chance to play. Quarterback Drew Carter connected with walk-on wide receiver Michael Harrison, become the 20th Buff to catch a pass on the season, a new school record. Two runs by Carter, one for 13 yards, the next for 18, helped the Buffs keep the fourth quarter clock moving. Two sacks of Carter, though, negated most of that yardage, with the Buffs turning the ball over on downs in the final minute.

Final score: No. 15 Washington 54, Colorado 7

“At halftime, I challenged the team,” Sanford said. “Are we truly what we say we are, are we going to fight for each other? We’re going to be a brotherhood. What I would say is I think the response in the second half was much better.”


8 Replies to “No. 15 Washington 54, Colorado 7”

  1. Without a major change in priorities from the administration, this season is our future. The landscape has changed and DeStefano and crew still believe the forward pass is a fad. New coach won’t matter. New AD won’t matter. We have become part of the farm system for mid tier programs. The elite programs don’t even want our best.
    I’ve watched every cu game for the last 30 years…until Minnesota this year. That was my last game until we qualify for another bowl game, which is to say that was my final game. Full stop.

  2. USC v UCLA was a fun game. After Buffs down 21-0 I just decided to watch the rest of that game instead. Not sorry. Excited but also afraid to know who the next coach will be, or even if RG has one locked in and ready to announce.

  3. If you can’t score 50 on the Buffs, you football team is crappola.

    one more week
    one more week
    one more week.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: And as you know The Badgers whom I also root for.

    So there is that

  4. Just totally disgusting or actually totally sickening. A once proud program in shambles for years now. I can remember way back before and then in the Big 8, Big 12 when the schedules would come out and you would see the awful teams & figure on those as pretty much wins. Then there were some good solid teams that you anticipated would be tough contests. Not any more though as Cu is mired in that awful team category by the entire PAC 12 and considered one of those annual bottom feeders. It has to cause almost any and everyone that follows College Football wondering what it is like having a chronic losing football program and attempting to compete at the FBS level. What’s that old saying? “There has to be a consistent bottom 10% of a class so as to have an upper 50% or as in the Buff’s position an upper 80 or 90%.

      1. Yes I am alive and even with my age and various other issues I’m in better shape than that Moribund Football Program we’ve been rooting and usually agonizing over.

  5. I remember when people thought the program had burned to the ground at the end of 2005. I wouldn’t even know how to describe it now. I have zero confidence in the Athletic Department or the CU Administration to get this solved. They have been fiddling for twenty years now. This downhill slide began in 2001 with relentless attacks agains Barnett and the program. There has never been a real commitment to ensure that Football was a priority. It has long been an afterthought.

    Thanks for all you do Stuart. I wouldn’t blame you if you packed it in. Apparently no one at CU cares why should anyone else?

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