Oct 16, 2021; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Members of the Arizona Wildcats line up across from the Colorado Buffaloes in the first quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona loses 18th straight game in blowout fashion at Colorado

Colorado scored touchdowns in every phase of the game during the third quarter as the Buffaloes snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Arizona 34-0 on Saturday in Boulder.

Brendon Lewis completed 12 of 19 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, including an 11-yarder to Dimitri Stanley with 4:08 to go in the game to complete the scoring.

The Wildcats (0-6, 0-3 Pac-12) have lost 18 consecutive games, the longest skid in the nation. Arizona was shut out for the first time since Sept. 22, 2012, at Oregon.

The Buffaloes (2-4, 1-2) held a 6-0 lead midway through the third quarter when Trevor Woods blocked an Arizona punt and then scooped the bouncing ball, taking it 32 yards for a touchdown.

Just over a minute later, Carson Wells stepped in front of a pass from Gunner Cruz and took the interception 50 yards for a score.

The offense got in on the action on Colorado’s next possession, with Lewis throwing deep for a 62-yard touchdown to Brenden Rice for a 27-0 lead with 1:42 go in the quarter.

Cruz, who started the first two games at quarterback for Arizona, returned to the starting lineup after Jordan McCloud suffered a season-ending leg injury last week. Cruz was pulled after the pick-six, which came three plays after he appeared to injure his right thumb on a scramble.

Cruz was 13 of 22 for 82 yards. Backup Will Plummer threw for 71 yards with an interception on 7-of-17 passing.

A game that featured two of the nine worst scoring offenses in the country played out to form in the first half.

Colorado settled for Cole Becker’s 19-yard field goal on its first possession, and he added a 37-yard field goal midway through the second quarter for a 6-0 lead that managed to hold up until halftime thanks to a defensive stand by the Buffaloes.

Arizona’s best drive of the half resulted in first-and-goal from the 1, but a quarterback sneak and two handoffs netted zero yards. Cruz threw incomplete into the end zone on fourth down.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Carson Wells (26) tackles USC Trojans wide receiver Drake London (15) in the second quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kedon Slovis powers USC past Colorado

Kedon Slovis threw three touchdown passes and Drake London had nine receptions for 130 yards and a score to pace Southern California to a 37-14 win over Colorado on Saturday in Boulder, Colo.

Slovis completed 19 of 29 passes for 276 yards.

Michael Trigg and Gary Bryant Jr. each had a touchdown reception and Vavae Malepeai ran for another score for USC (3-2, 2-2 Pac-12). Keaontay Ingram rushed for 124 yards for the Trojans, who improved to 15-0 all-time against the Buffaloes.

Colorado’s Brendon Lewis completed 10 of 17 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown and an interception. Brady Russell had three catches for 87 yards, Deion Smith ran for a score and Chase Penry had a touchdown reception for the Buffaloes (1-4, 0-2).

Slovis connected with London for receptions of 29 and 28 yards to bring USC to the Buffaloes’ 1-yard line. Two plays later Slovis found London for a 1-yard touchdown pass to give the Trojans a 10-0 lead.

Slovis hit Trigg down the right side for a 46-yard pass on USC’s next possession that made it 17-0. Parker Lewis added a 44-yard field goal with 6:41 left in the half.

Ingram reeled off a 17-yard run to midfield but fumbled, and Colorado recovered at the USC 48. Five plays later, Smith went around the left side for the touchdown to cut the Buffaloes’ deficit to 20-7 at halftime.

Colorado was driving on its first possession of the second half but Lewis was sacked and fumbled, and the Trojans recovered at the Buffaloes’ 29. They settled for a 49-yard field goal to go up 23-7.

Ingram had a 53-yard run to the Buffaloes 5 on USC’s next drive, and Malepeai ran it in from the 2 to make it 30-7.

The Buffaloes answered with Lewis’ 6-yard TD pass to Penry that made it 30-14.

Joshua Jackson Jr. intercepted Lewis at the Colorado 35. Slovis capped the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Bryant with 14:08 left.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Tyrin Taylor (28) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton (6) during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State begins Pac-12 play with big win over Colorado

Jayden Daniels threw for 236 yards and led Arizona State with 75 yards on seven rushes in the Sun Devils’ 35-13 victory Saturday over Colorado in Tempe, Ariz., in the Pac-12 opener for each team game

Daniels completed 18 of 25 passes, connecting with seven different receivers. He rushed for two touchdowns, including a twisting and turning 15-yard scamper that capped the Sun Devils’ scoring with 8:30 left in the game.

Arizona State (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) pulled away with two touchdowns in the final quarter, also scoring on Rachaad White’s 30-yard touchdown reception on a lateral pass from wideout Ricky Pearsall.

The Sun Devils have outscored opponents 37-9 in the fourth quarter this season.

Arizona State, ranked 18th nationally in rushing offense averaging 226.3 yards entering the game, rushed for only 50 yards on 14 carries in the first half.

The Sun Devils finished with 167 yards on the ground, their ninth straight game with at least 150 yards rushing.

Arizona State led 14-3 at halftime behind its defense, which held Colorado to only 101 yards in total offense.

In a 30-0 loss to Minnesota at home last week, the Buffaloes had only 63 yards of total offense, including minus-19 on the ground.

Colorado (1-3, 0-1) finished with 183 yards rushing against the Sun Devils.

Arizona State, beset by 16 penalties for 121 yards in a loss last week at BYU, reduced that number to seven against Colorado, although they totaled 90 yards.

Daniels, who completed 10 of 15 pass attempts for 138 yards in the first half, started Arizona State’s scoring with a 7-yard run with 7:45 left in the first quarter to put the Sun Devils ahead 7-0.

The Sun Devils increased the lead to 14-0 with 9:28 left in the second quarter on White’s 11-yard scoring run, which finished a seven-play, 72-yard possession.

Colorado’s offense awoke at the start of the second half with an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that included Alex Fontenot rushing on the last five plays for 29 yards. His 1-yard score with 11:01 left in the third quarter cut the lead to 14-10.

Daniels responded by completing all three of his attempts for 42 yards in a 71-yard scoring drive.

White rushed twice for a combined 12 yards, and Elijhah Badger completed the possession with a 17-yard rushing touchdown with 7:53 left in the third quarter, enabling Arizona State to take a 21-10 lead.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Zach Calzada (10) looks to pass in the second quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes  at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Backup QB Zach Calzada leads late drive as No. 5 Texas A&M tops Colorado

Backup quarterback Zach Calzada threw a go-ahead TD pass to Isaiah Spiller with 2:41 left, and the fifth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies rallied to beat the Colorado Buffaloes 10-7 in Denver on Saturday.

Calzada came on for injured starter Haynes King in the first quarter and finished 18-for-38 passing for 183 yards and the score. Spiller had six catches for 56 yards for Texas A&M (2-0).

Colorado’s Jarek Broussard rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Brendon Lewis was 13-for-25 passing for 89 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 76 yards for the Buffaloes (1-1).

King was injured at the end of the Aggies’ second drive of the day. He was tackled on a third-and-4 scramble and appeared to have his right leg contorted as he went down. The freshman hobbled off the field and then limped to the locker room.

King was 1-for-2 passing for eight yards.

Texas A&M settled for a 53-yard field goal attempt that was wide and kept the game scoreless.

The Aggies appeared to have taken the lead midway through the fourth. Calzada scrambled from Colorado’s 13-yard line and was hit at the end zone as he extended his arm over the goal line. A review ruled Calzada had fumbled and the Buffaloes recovered in the end zone.

Texas A&M forced a punt and drove 77 yards in 11 plays, capped by Calzada’s scoring strike to Spiller on third and 9.

Colorado took the lead in the first quarter. Taking over on their 31, the Buffaloes used nine plays to drive down the field. Lewis broke off a 30-yard scramble that gave them a first down at the Texas A&M 19, and four plays later, Broussard scored on a 2-yard run to make it 7-0.

Colorado had chances to score on its next two possessions but Cole Becker missed a 46-yard field goal attempt and Lewis was tackled at the Aggies 5-yard line on a fourth and 1.

Texas A&M finally got on the board with Seth Small’s 41-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2021; Hollywood, CA, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Karl Dorrell, wide receiver Dimitri Stanley, linebacker Nate Landman speaks with the media during the Pac-12 football Media Day at the W Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado takes on Northern Colorado in Ed McCaffrey’s debut

Ed McCaffrey has three Super Bowl rings and a son, Christian, whom many consider the top running back in the NFL right now. But on Friday night those things won’t be on his mind. He’ll be focusing on his first college football game as the head coach of Northern Colorado.

McCaffrey’s long wait for his coaching debut ends when the Bears take on the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder in the season opener for both teams.

McCaffrey was hired before the 2020 season after a successful stint as head coach of Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Northern Colorado sat out the 2020 season because of the pandemic and now takes on a Pac-12 team in its first game in 21 months.

McCaffrey isn’t going into the game without weapons. The quarterback is his son, Dylan, who transferred from Michigan where he had an uneven career under Jim Harbaugh, and 18 players on the roster have played for FBS schools.

“We’ve seen David-Goliath games before, where every now and again, David connects and wins the game,” McCaffrey said of the Buffs. “And we expect to win every game.”

The expectations for Colorado are no different, and there is budding confidence in head coach Karl Dorrell’s second season. Dorrell was hired in February 2020 after Mel Tucker bolted to Michigan State after one year guiding the Buffaloes. Despite being hired later than most head coaching positions are filled, and not having a spring practice, Dorrell guided Colorado to a 4-2 finish and won Pac-12 Conference coach-of-the-year honors.

Dorrell has won the confidence of the roster — upperclassmen included — with his style. The Buffaloes feel confident going into this season.

“His culture is (about) working hard and just playing football the way the game is supposed to be played,” senior linebacker Nate Landman said. “I think that foundation that was built last year is going to be brought up a lot this year.”

Dorrell already has a big challenge to start the season. Sophomore quarterback JT Shrout, who transferred from Tennessee, suffered a knee injury in a preseason scrimmage and will miss a significant amount of time. That elevated freshman Brendon Lewis to the top of the depth chart.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) passes the ball during a game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 Texas, Colorado renew rivalry in Alamo Bowl

Upstart Colorado and No. 20 Texas, two teams with different expectations entering the 2020 season, will look to end the COVID-19-influenced campaign in style when they square off in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio.

The Longhorns will play in the Alamo Bowl for the fifth time and second straight year, while Colorado will appear in the postseason game for the third time and first since losing to Oklahoma State in 2016.

Texas (6-3, 5-3 in Big 12 play) came into the season with an experienced and talented team that was expected to challenge for the Big 12 Conference title. But the Longhorns were derailed by early-season losses to TCU and Oklahoma and dropped a crucial game to Iowa State on the day after Thanksgiving that kept them out of the Big 12 championship game.

Still, Texas won four of its last five contests, including a 69-31 road win over Kansas State on Dec. 5 in its most recent outing. That stretch also included a road win over then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, which marked Texas’ first road victory over a top-10 opponent since 2010.

The Longhorns were supposed to play a rescheduled game at Kansas on Dec. 12 but the game was canceled because of positive COVID tests in the Texas program.

“Obviously, for us, it’s a return trip, and I know our kids will be excited, regardless of the circumstances that 2020 has thrown everyone’s way,” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “We are honored and proud to be a part of it, and I know we will definitely have our hands full.”

The Alamo Bowl marks the 57th all-time bowl appearance for the Longhorns, the second-most in the country behind only Alabama. It is the fourth-straight year Texas has appeared in a bowl game under Herman, with the Longhorns winning each of the first three.

“It will be bittersweet, but I’m going to savor every last practice, every last minute I have with this great group of seniors,” Herman said. “Most of them came in when we took this program over and have been great models of leadership for our team and our university.”

The Buffaloes were the surprise team of the Pac-12 this season and made the most out of their limited opportunities, finishing the regular season with a 4-1 mark, and 3-1 in league play for a second-place finish in the South Division.

With a roster that sports only a handful of seniors and a long list of underclassmen who earned valuable playing time, the bowl bid serves as another validation of what coach Karl Dorrell, who was not hired until February, is building in Boulder.

“We feel like our program’s on the rise,” Dorrell said. “We’re trying to get better week after week and keep improving the depth of our team with our freshmen and sophomores that are playing. This has really been an extra bonus year for us to build a foundation in our program. It was just another step.”

The Buffaloes head to San Antonio after losing their final game of the regular season 38-21 at home to Utah on Dec. 12. Colorado was set to play Oregon on Dec. 19 but that game was cancelled after the Ducks were elevated into the league’s championship after COVID issues kept Washington from playing in the title game.

Once conference foes in the Big 12, Texas and Colorado will face off for the 19th time in school history and for the first time since 2009. The Longhorns will be the first ranked opponent the Buffaloes will play in 2020.

“We’re looking forward to extending the fruits of our labor from what we’ve done so far this year,” Dorrell said. “To be able to play this game and celebrate the game of football and particularly postseason — it’s fun to be a part of that. We’re very, very thankful for the opportunity to play.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Brenden Rice (2) returns the ball for an 81 yard touchdown against Utah Utes defensive end Devin Kaufusi (90) and cornerback Kenzel Lawler (25) in the second quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sportsffd

Visiting Utah rallies past No. 21 Colorado

Ty Jordan rushed for 147 yards and two scores, Jake Bentley went 20-for-32 passing for 240 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and the visiting Utah Utes beat the No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes 38-21 in Boulder on Saturday.

Britain Covey had nine catches for 76 yards and a touchdown and Solomon Enis had a TD reception for Utah (2-2, 2-2 Pac-12 Conference).

The win ended Colorado’s chances to win the South Division and earn a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game.

Sam Noyer was 16-for-34 for 258 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception and Brenden Rice had a TD reception and a punt return for a score for the Buffaloes (4-1, 3-1).

The Utes trailed 21-10 when they rallied in the second half. Jordan ripped off an 18-yard TD run to cap a quick three-play, 60-yard drive, and after Colorado was forced to punt, Bentley put Utah ahead with a 20-yard pass to Covey.

Jadon Redding kicked a 43-yard field goal with 9:19 left to increase the lead to 27-21 and the Buffaloes drove to the Utah 34 before Noyer’s fourth-down pass was knocked down. Jordan scored on a 66-yard run on the next play, and Bentley hit Dalton Kincaid for the two-point conversion.

Colorado turned the ball over on downs and Redding’s third field goal, from 38 yards, made it a 17-point lead.

The Utes took the opening kickoff 60 yards and finished it with Bentley’s 7-yard TD pass to Enis to give them an early 7-0 lead. Colorado tied it on Noyer’s 21-yard pass to Maurice Bell early in the second quarter.

Rice returned a punt 81 yards with 1:30 left in the second quarter to give the Buffaloes a 14-7 lead, but a late Buffaloes fumble led to Redding’s 42-yard field goal as time expired to make it 14-10 at halftime.

The Buffaloes struck on the first snap of the third quarter when Noyer threw to Rice in the flat and he raced 61 yards for a touchdown and a 21-10 lead.

–Field Level Media