Michael Adkins II set the single-game school record for touchdowns by a freshman, as Colorado used a strong second half to pummel Charleston Southern, 43-10.
"I thought our kids played hard today," said Mike MacIntyre. "In the first half if we could have gotten them on a couple third downs, I think they wouldn't have been able to hang around as well."
The Buffs received the opening kickoff and stormed down the field, as backfield mates Christian Powell and Adkins bruised and blitzed their way through the Buccaneers' defense. Adkins topped off the opening drive with an 8-yard rushing touchdown, the first of four for him on the afternoon. A Darragh O'Neill two-point conversion gave the Buffs an 8-0 lead - one they would never relinquish.
The Buccaneers, without the services of their first and second string quarterbacks, were resilient. It looked as though Charleston Southern would have a chance to tie the game after a sneaky flea-flicker touchdown pass from their star running back Christian Reyes to Nathan Prater, but after review, officials determined the ball hit the ground, forcing the Bucs to settle for a field goal, putting an end to an impressive 16-play, 69-yard drive that spanned 9:50.
Colorado went three-and-out after the CSU field goal drive, bringing a tired defense back out on the field, but Chidera Uzo-Diribe forced a Kyle Copeland fumble. De'Jon Wilson recovered the fumble, and Adkins scored two plays later on a five-yard run up the middle. After a Buccaneers' three-and-out, Sefo Liufau found Paul Richardson open over the middle. Richardson took the ball the rest of the 60 yards, slaloming past CSU defenders for his sixth receiving touchdown of the season.
CSU would score their final points right before halftime, as Copeland found Colton Korn, capping a 15-play, 87-yard drive that milked 9:05 off the clock.
The Colorado defense tightened things up in the second half, and the Buffs' passing game became more effective, allowing the running game to open up even more. Powell found the endzone on a two-yard run in the third quarter. Adkins scored twice more in the fourth quarter, with runs of 33 and 34 yards, respectively.
Connor Wood took over for Sefo Liufau on the game's final drive. Liufau got more comfortable as the game went on, completing 14-of-20 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown.
Next, the hunt for three Pac-12 wins begins with Arizona. It's probably safe to assume that the Buffs need to win against the Wildcats if they are serious about advancing to a bowl game for the first time since 2007.
"We're 3-3 with three bowl wins," said MacIntyre. "We need to go get the one next week. If we do, that means November matters in Colorado."