Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Colorado Buffaloes had a disappointing showing this past Saturday. It wasn’t a beatdown on the level of Oregon, but losing to the Oregon State Beavers won’t sit well with Coach Sanders (Coach Prime).
The game itself wasn’t the most action-packed, but there is still a lot of ground to cover. Let’s get into it and find out what went down on Saturday. We’ll also take a look ahead, both on the schedule and to 2024. Let’s get into the deep end.
How it Went Down Against OSU
Things were pretty quiet for much of the first half against the Beavers, a top 15-ranked program. Aidan Chiles had the only score of the first quarter, a 23-yard touchdown run with just over a minute left to go in the opening frame.
Kicker Alejandro Mata, maybe the most reliable part of the Buffaloes right now, nailed a 32-yard field goal to cut the lead in what turned out to be a rare show of offense in the first half for the Buffs. DJ Uiagalelei connected with Deshaun Fenwick on a 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Beavers a two-score lead heading into half.
By the time Uiagalelei punched in a one yard rushing touchdown with just under four minutes to go in the third quarter, it felt like things were out of hand. Even still, Kyndrich Breedlove did something cool when he took the extra point back the distance for the two points.
The Buffs woke up in the fourth quarter but it was too little, too late. Travis Hunter caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Shedeur Sanders with almost 11 minutes to go to give the Buffs life. The lead would ultimately be cut to 26-19 with 1:42 left but that’s as close as things really got.
No. 16 Oregon State defense is back intact, and it shows in Beavers’ 26-19 win over Colorado https://t.co/gYnfFT596w
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) November 5, 2023
The Defense Did Okay?
If there is one positive takeaway, it is the defense. Granted, they aren’t anything resembling good and could get a stop when they really needed it most. That said, considering they have been giving up 40+ a game, anything under that mark feels like an exceptional performance.
They held Uiagalelei to just 50% passing, 223 yards, and a single touchdown. That said, they did get gashed by Damien Martinez to the tune of 115 yards on the ground. When they needed to get off the field, Martinez found a way to push forward.
We know the story of the defense at this point and this is the best-case scenario. Until guys on the roster develop or Coach Prime brings in more talented players, the defense just is what it is. The hope is that it can show up just enough to give the offense a chance, which is what happened against Oregon State.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) November 5, 2023
The Offense is Struggling
On offense, things started so explosively earlier in the year and have since flamed out. We know the biggest issue is the offensive line and it was again a problem in this one. Andrew Chatfield Jr. was a terror, racking up three sacks on the day (the team had four).
It also doesn’t help that the offense is completely one-dimensional. Sanders was 24-for-39 for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Travis Hunter, Xavier Weaver, and Jimmy Horn Jr. are a very good trio that can do a lot of damage when they can create space.
The problem is that the running game doesn’t exist. The three backs only carried the ball 11 times between them. Sanders had -37 yards on seven carries (four of those were sacks), bringing the total for the day to -7 yards rushing. You cannot win games at the D-1 level if you cannot run the ball.
Just Hang On
At this point, the shine is definitely off the program. The one positive is that most of the country seems to have forgotten about all of the hype from the start of the year and seems content with how things have since turned out for the Buffs.
Next up is a home game against #23 Arizona and at this point, it’s hard to even expect a win down the stretch. A trip to Washington State may be the only realistic proposition but even that will likely see the Buffs as sizable underdogs heading into the game.
Finally, Utah awaits a road trip to end the season. The Utes may be physically the toughest team in the conference. It is scary to think what the Utes are going to do to the putrid Colorado offensive line. Coach Prime knows that things are a work in progress. He knows the issues with the line and the defense as a whole. It’s just about getting through the rest of the season and looking ahead to 2024.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) November 6, 2023