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Colorado Buffaloes football: What the loss to Colorado State means

What conclusions, if any, can we draw after one game in the 2014 season? The Colorado Buffaloes came out strong against the CSU Rams, but couldn't keep enough in the tank to hold on for victory.

Doug Pensinger

You'll hear plenty of cliches during the first weekend of the college football season, but one seems to hold true every season. Generally speaking, teams are never as good, or as bad as they look after their first game. It's a long season with plenty of unforeseen circumstances that come into play. So, is there anything to gain from the Colorado Buffaloes loss to the Colorado State Rams? Well, for starters there was no killer instinct.

The Buffs controlled the first half, but still left points on the field. The biggest mishap that comes to mind is when Colorado decided to run up the middle three times in a row when they had a 1st and goal on the CSU two yard line. In the end, they were stuffed and had to settle for a 10-0 lead rather than a 14-0 nothing stronghold.

We also learned sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau isn't among the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12, but he is on the right path. Once he's a completely polished field general, the Buffs can actually find themselves in contention for a bowl game. It was a forgone conclusion going into the Rocky Mountain Showdown Liufau wasn't going to have any deep threats. Honestly, how do you replace Paul Richardson?

Liufau's first touchdown pass of the season was a 54-yard throw to Nelson Spruce. Maybe the "no deep threat" narrative is an exaggeration. Or maybe it was one good play, and it's too early to draw any conclusion. Liufau passed for 241 yards and a pair of TDs to Spruce. While he looked a little shaky under pressure, he also made quick precision passes, and gave a reason for optimism to Buffs fans.

The rushing defense doesn't appear to be any better than last season. The Rams actually gained more yards per carry (5.9) on Friday night than teams averaged against CU in 2013 (4.94). Alabama transfer Dee Hart (139 yards & two TDs), behind a young, but overpowering offensive line made the Colorado d-line look silly. Joining the smack down was junior college transfer Treyous Jarrells, who averaged a little over seven yards a carry on 17 attempts to go along with one TD.

Obviously the ground game will be a strength all season for CSU, but what can the Buffs hope to accomplish in the Pac-12 if they can't stop the run, while taking on some of the best quarterbacks in the country?

It was a fun game to watch, but the Buffs were worn down by the Rams pounding the ball on the ground. Colorado will need to rebound quickly, and get ready for a very winnable game against Massachusetts next Saturday.