The game against the Aggies November 1st was a back breaker in more ways than one for the 2008 team and the overall season outcome. This game had it all and sort of summarized the season in 60 minutes. There were injuries, red zone turnovers, missed field goals, a lack of halftime adjustments, busted assignments and in the end, a head scratching loss. The fact that the Buffs pretty much handled A&M three fourths of the game only to blow the third quarter and throw away golden opportunities, was enough to make any fan go crazy. The exclamation point on the loss, though, was that Texas A&M and Iowa State were the two wins CU needed to be bowl eligible and, in terms of wins, not regress from the 2007 campaign. If the Buffs cashed in on that November 1st day, we are previewing a bowl game today and not reliving this frustrating loss!
The game was not on TV so we were living through the voices of Mark Johnson and Larry Zimmer, who do a good job covering the Buffs. To hear them talk about the game in the second half was exactly what every fan was thinking: "what is happening with this team?"
But it wasn't all bad that day. I did say CU dominated all but the third quarter. Their were some positives. Colorado jumped out to a 10 - 3 lead at half and seemingly stopping the Texas A&M offense, holding them to 14 yards rushing and 62 yards passing. CU had a 219 to 76 yard advantage at half, but only 10 points to show for it. The Buff offense went for 392 total yards which was the second most of the season. That should have been expected as A&M ranked 103rd in the nation on defense at the time. The CU defense was good against the rush except for a 54 yard scamper in that dreaded third quarter. Without that run, A&M had 40 yards on 32 carries and George Hypolite, far and away, played his best game of the year, living in the Texas A&M backfield.
This is still a worst of 2008 moment and for good reason. This game got most of us pretty fired up about the play of Colorado this year. The main reason was the fact that CU dropped an egg. Whether it was a lack of halftime adjustments or sloppy play that led to turnovers, the boiling point was reached. One reader commented saying:
I hate this team so much, I think I can officially say that this is the most frustrating buffs team and coaching staff in my lifetime of being a fan
That day we all felt it. The mistakes the Buffs were making seemed to becoming a habit and the ability to make a big play was answered with turnovers. Just talking about it makes me frustrated. Look at all of these negatives from the post game reaction:
- Zero halftime adjustments and a 21 point third quarter doomed the Buffs. How can the Texas A&M coaching staff motivate, adjust and game plan at halftime better than the Buffs coaching staff? Not just a little bit better but 21 points better!
- 3 turnovers, especially the Cody Hawkins interception in the endzone and Hansen's late in the game where horrible turnovers. The Buffs only got one turnover which they capitalized for seven points.
- The Buffs should have been up 20 - 3 at halftime but with Cody's interception and another Aric Goodman missed field goal made it only a 10 point game. Throw in a dropped touchdown by Josh Smith and that is a Buffs team who doesn't make plays.
- On defense, the Buffs let up big play after big play in the third quarter making a rather weak offense look like juggernauts!
- I don't know who to blame for the third quarter but a big portion falls on the Coach Hawkins. Sherman out-coached him in the third quarter and it led to 21 unanswered and a loss.
- The Buffs were 0 - 6 on third down in the second half. Again, the Buffs aren't making plays.
- Josh Smith. I love him most of the time but today he was not good. A big fumble that lost the Buffs 14 yards and a dropped touchdown is a bad day of work. He made a couple of nice returns but still had his trouble back there.
Special team continues to be a problem with short punts and missed field goals.
Ugly. The worst part may have been the dirty horse collar tackle by Aggie LB Von Miller on Rodney Stewart that ended the freshman's season and cost the Buffs their leading rusher. Somehow Stewart got left off lists like this and if he was able to keep plugging away the last three games of the year he, without a doubt, would have been named Honorable Mention Big 12 and on the All Freshman Team.
It was a bad day!