The weather was terrible in Pullman on Saturday night. The problem is, you wouldn’t be able to tell that if you just looked at the home team. Washington State was virtually unaffected by cold and rain in a 28-0 beat down of Colorado in a “Pac-12 After Dark” game that was anything but. Colorado could get nothing going on offense, and even a pretty solid defensive performance considering the last couple of weeks couldn’t keep the Buffaloes in the game.
On offense, Colorado did absolutely nothing right. It was one of the worst offensive performances I’ve ever seen, and I lived through the 2011 Tim Tebow led Denver Broncos offense. Quarterback Steven Montez had trouble with a wet ball, went 4/13 for 21 yards in the first half, and got benched for backup Sam Noyer to start the second half. Noyer didn’t fare much better, going 7/18 for 53 yards until he, inevitably, was also pulled for redshirt freshman Casey Marksberry, who finished 2/3 for 20 yards. The Colorado receiving corps, who have had been termed the best receiving corps in the Pac-12 conference could only muster 94 yards receiving, led by Devin Ross’ 4 catches for 27 yards. Phillip Lindsay again took the bulk of the carries in the running game for Colorado, rushing the ball 29 times for 98 yards in the shutout.
Defensively, Colorado held their own, holding a high-powered Cougars offensive attack to 28 points on the road. Luke Falk threw 3 touchdown passes, but only completed 17/34 passes for 197 yards. Washington State did average 5.5 yards per carry on the ground, rushing for 194 yards on 35 carries. The Buffaloes were ravished by injury in the game, with senior defensive end Derek McCartney and shutdown corner Isaiah Oliver going down and not returning to the game. Colorado had a couple of opportunities to make big plays on the defensive side of the ball, but dropped 2 sure picks on errant throws and bad reads by Falk which could have potentially swung the momentum.
Moving forward, the Buffaloes have a lot of questions at all positions. The offensive line continued to get throttled, which forced the quarterbacks in bad spots to throw the ball. Coach McIntyre has opened up the quarterback competition this week, so Sam Noyer and Steven Montez will compete for the job again. There is also the issue with predictability. On offense, Colorado has no identity. There is no intermediate passing game, only screens and deep balls. McIntyre is famous for saying “players make plays, players win games” and as good of a job as he did in motivating the players last year, it hasn’t worked this year. Eventually, the coaches need to look in the mirror, take responsibility for what’s occurring, and find a way to fix the issues at hand. Instead of coming out in “Jason” masks for warmups as a gimmick, maybe the team could focus on taking care of business instead of looking cool before the game.
A hungry California team comes to Boulder next week for Homecoming, and if Colorado doesn’t wake up, they could be on their way to missing a bowl game, and going from worst, to first, to worst in the Pac-12 once again.