Once again, the Colorado Buffaloes failed to show up on the road. How many times have we used that line the last four years? But it is the best way to describe the team after yet again another poor performance and a performance that has become all too familiar.
The Buffs continue to shoot themselves in the foot when given the opportunity to excel. This team lacks a killer instinct and that starts at the top.
Whether it is getting 30 yards of penalties on first and goal from the nine yard line that resulted in zero points, kickoffs out of bounce late in the game, missing field goals or the Buffs failure to score on first and goal from the five yard line, this team continues to play poor in key situations.
Another way to gauge how well a team responds in key moments: play in the red zone and third down conversions. Today, the Buffs were 1 - 4 in the red zone, while the Iowa State Cyclones were 3 - 3. On third down, Colorado was 2 - 14. Those are absolutely pathetic numbers.
And don't forget turnovers and those mental breakdowns called penalties. Colorado turned the ball over three times today and had another turnover on downs in the red zone. In total, Colorado came up empty three times in the red zone. Add 11 penalties and 110 yards into the mix as well. Colorado ranked 117th in the nation coming into the game and that may get worse when it is all said and done. And today, the penalties were especially damaging. Two ruined a chance at points and two other ones kept Iowa State's first touchdown drive alive after the Buffs initially stopped Iowa State on third down.
Tyler Hansen finished the game 18 - 38 for 258 yards, one touchdown, one interception. Anyone who listened to the Buffs' broadcast heard the word "flushed" more than any other word spoken today. He was rushed all day and continued to get harassed as the offensive line continues to be a major disappointment in 2009. Rodney Stewart has had better days as well. He ran the ball 19 times for 85 yards but fumbled twice, once in the red zone. Markques Simas and Scotty McKnight both had over 100 yards receiving but the Buffs only attempted two passes to Markques Simas in the first half, something that had to be confusing to Colorado fans as he continues to be a big threat.
The Buffs have now lost 11 games straight on the road and are officially eliminated from postseason play for the third time in four years. Under Dan Hawkins, the Colorado Buffaloes have not beaten a Big 12 North team on the road. They are now 0 - 10. His team continues to make the mental mistakes that will prohibit them from ever excelling as a football team. They continue to show that they haven't progressed and have not shown that they can be counted on to play with any consistency.
Colorado will play at Oklahoma State next Thursday on a short week. I can hear the excuses now about the scheduling from Dan Hawkins. Instead I think we should hear from him that his team's play in key situations and his team's propensity to commit mental mistakes is inexcusable. His team has not executed for four years.
Bottom line, this team isn't getting better and they aren't fixing anything that continues to make them an unsuccessful squad.