I know most of us can't wait until Wednesday to officially get this loss behind us but there is a lot to discuss on this one. Let's look back on the "Keys to the Game" and see how the Buffs graded out on them.
DEFENSIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1) Limit the second quarter production of the Texas Offense. CU needs to put more on the board than they do going into half time.
The defense held up its end of the bargain in what I thought was a pretty well played game on their part. The unit gave up a late touchdown in the second half. The Buffs offense was a different story. CB Jalil Brown picked off Colt McCoy pass at the end of the first quarter and returned it to the Texas 16 yard line. The Buffs went on to get no points out of it, missing a field goal. Later in the quarter, K Aric Goodman missed his third field goal of the first half. Buffs offense should have had at least 10 points in the second quarter. Thank your offense, defensive unit.
2) Limit Texas plays over 20 yards. They had 31 coming to the CU game
The defense gave up 3 plays over 20 yards but two of those were over 50. The 51 yard run by Ogbonnaya after the Buffs made it a 28 - 7 game in the third quarter really put the game away if it wasn't already. The Buffs gave up 5.7 yards/play which is never a good stat.
3) Get to Colt McCoy early and often.
The Buffs actually did do a decent job getting to McCoy early in the game with Brad Jones sacking Colt early. The Buffs ended the game with 4 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. I really thought the defense did a better job than the score indicated.
4) Make someone other than Colt McCoy beat you
Once again, the offense killed the defense's chances for success. Whenever your opponent has 13 more minutes of total offense, it is not going to be beneficial to the defense imposing its will. Texas still rushed for a mediocre 3.7 yards per carry but they still ran 46 times. If it wasn't for Ogbonnay's 51 yard run, Texas would have averaged 2.6 yards/carry. Colt McCoy only had 39 yards rushing, down almost 50 yards from his season average. McCoy was very efficient through the air, though, going 23 - 30 for 262 yards and a 2 touchdowns.
5) Be aggressive on defense. Blitz and try to force turnovers.
I loved the game plan. They tried to attack with blitzes. Remember this game should have been 14 - 9, at the worst, at half time. The defense held its own early. The Buffs caused 2 turnovers, sacked McCoy 4 times and made 6 tackles for loss. Loved the way they came out and attacked.
OFFENSIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1) Become a play making offense. It all starts with Cody Hawkins.
Does this one even need explanation. No plays were made except on defense and Cody went 13 - 33 for 118 yards.
2) Establish a rhythm on offense. Get the ball out of Cody's hands quick and relieve pressure on the offensive line.
Same old long developing plays. They kept rolling Cody out even when he has trouble throwing deep outs on the run. No rhythm, CU did not control the ball. Too many three and outs. Not until the third quarter with 7 minutes left did the Buffs throw a short turn in route to Patrick Williams. Guess what, the Buffs got a first down on that play.
3) WR's Scotty McKnight and Patrick Williams need to make an impact.
Hard to be an impact player when the quarterback only completes 13 passes. Patrick Williams had a decent day with 4 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown but Scotty McKnight continues to have low catch totals for minute yards.
4) Cody can't turnover the ball against Texas. CU needs to win the turnover margin.
On the bright side, Cody did not continue his streak of throwing an interception in 15 of his 17 Colorado starts. That being said, he did drop the ball in Colorado territory that led to a touchdown. The Buffs and Longhorns both turned over the ball two times.
5) Get a lead.
Hahaha...yeah right. Not with this offense.