Expectations can be an awful thing. During the disaster that was 2012 it quickly became somewhat easy to handle blowout after blowout because in the back of your mind you knew it was going to happen. It hurts a hell of a lot more when you hold out some hope, hope not just for a close, well fought game, but actual optimism for a road win and a statement about the the return of a successful program. When that doesn't come it can feel like a band-aid being slowly ripped off with little to no warning.
The Buffs are improving, it's hard not to when you recently camped out at rock bottom, but there is still a long, long way to go and it would be best if we all sat back and realized that.
The Buffaloes fell in Corvallis Saturday, 44-17, because of an inept offense that literally couldn't get a single thing going and a defense that held on for a while, but couldn't pul it off for a full 60 minutes. Connor Wood looked like a completely different quarterback, at least from what we have seen this year, consistently missing receivers and looking extremely uncomfortable. The Buffs finished with a meager 146 yards passing and most of those came in garbage time.
Thankfully, there were two bright spots in this game. Freshman running back Michael Adkins looked like the best Colorado running back by a very large margin, finishing with 64 yards on 10 carries with two catches to boot. He had an awareness and escapability that we have missed in Boulder and I expect that we will be seeing a lot more of the young back.
On the defensive side of the ball, Addison Gillam continued to show why he is quarterbacking the defense as a true freshman. It boggles the mind to think that this kid was a coaching shakeup away from ending up at San Jose State, but the Buffaloes ended up with a defender that will be making a ton of plays at Colorado over the next few years. Outside of one series where it seemed that Gillam was a bit lost he looked to be the one guy on the defense with the capability to consistently disrupt the offense. I'm extremely excited to see him grow as a Buffalo.
The honeymoon is over for Coach MacIntyre. Oregon comes into Boulder next week followed by road dates at Arizona State, UCLA and Washington with a home game against Arizona squeezed in the middle. That's a scary, scary schedule that should strike fear into the hearts of Buffs fans who started to enjoy the feeling of being undefeated for 34 days. Let's hope that today was a bit of an aberration and not something that we should expect to see for the rest of the season.