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Buff Bites: How Much Progress Was Made Against ASU?

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Nelson Spruce has had a fantastic start to the season. The Buffs are becoming more consistent on the ground. Will the Buffs be Arizona's biggest roadblock to a Pac-12 title?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

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Spruce, Fields Present Formidable Coverage Challenges - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Spruce’s latest superhuman effort (seven receptions, 97 yards and two touchdowns) adds yet more validity to the belief that he is not only becoming a suitable replacement for the departed Richardson, but that he may be well on his way to becoming one of the best receivers this program has seen.

CU football: Consistency from O-line keying Buffs' run game - Buffzone

That continuity and all those repetitions in practices have led to the CU running game starting to generate some explosive plays on the ground that have long been missing in the Buffs' offense. The Buffs ran for 274 yards last week in a loss to Arizona State.

"We can play at this level" " CU At the Game - A CU Football blog by Stuart Whitehair

But something happened on the way to the rout … Colorado played well, even very well at times. Until Sefo Liufau threw an interception inside Sun Devil territory with just under five minutes to play, the game was still in doubt. While many of the 38,547 who came for the game left in the third quarter, these Buffs battled to the end before falling, 38-24, to the No. 16 team in the country.

CU football: Buffs' defense encouraged by effort vs. ASU - Buffzone

"I was really encouraged by the effort," CU defensive coordinator Kent Baer said. "Early in the game we didn't do some things very well, but from that point on, I thought those kids grew up a little bit more today. They started to believe in themselves and playing harder, and we did some really good things against a really, really good offense."

Colorado Buffaloes football keeps on improving behind Mike MacIntyre, Sefo Liufau - Pacific Takes

This Buffaloes' offense is way ahead of last years' unit. It might not result in many wins because the defense is lacking the athletes, but the production on offense has improved in each game this season. CU quarterback Sefo Liufau is still young, and appears to be improving weekly.

A look at the backup quarterbacks of the Pac-12 conference - ESPN

Gehrke remains mostly an unknown after transferring from Scottsdale Community College in Arizona before the 2013 season. While Sefo Lifau is the unquestioned starter, reports out of Boulder indicated that Gehrke did a good job pushing Liufau throughout fall camp. He completing 174 of 366 passes for 2,388 yards and 22 touchdown with 14 interceptions for SCC.

CU football: Buffs' defense encouraged by effort vs. ASU - Buffzone

"I was really encouraged by the effort," CU defensive coordinator Kent Baer said. "Early in the game we didn't do some things very well, but from that point on, I thought those kids grew up a little bit more today. They started to believe in themselves and playing harder, and we did some really good things against a really, really good offense."

Woelk: Buffs have pieces for future success - Buffzone

Shay Fields is a quality wide receiver. Addison Gillam will be a force at linebacker. Wide receiver Donovan Lee has big-play ability, Kenneth Olugbode has the chance to blossom into a solid linebacker and defensive back Tedric Thompson has the potential to be a quality defender. All but Liufau are MacIntyre recruits - and all are underclassmen on what is officially the youngest team in the Pac-12. Each came up with big plays Saturday night, enough at least to keep the game relatively interesting, even when ASU built a 21-point lead.

Colorado football: Buffs get run game going against Arizona State - Buffzone

Led by Christian Powell's 118 yards, CU racked up 232 yards on the ground in Saturday's 38-24 loss to Arizona State at Folsom Field. That's CU's highest total since a 273-yard effort against Arizona in 2011.

CU football: McCulloch plays role in Buffs' offense vs. ASU - Buffzone

McCulloch finished with five catches for 72 yards, including a 26-yard catch that set up a second-quarter touchdown. "I can't even describe the feeling," he said of his night. "I do that all week in practice; it just hasn't translated to the game yet. Actually I had a few more plays I feel like I could have made. Definitely a positive."

CU football: Buffs put up good fight in loss to No. 16 Sun Devils - Buffzone

If not for two momentum-killing CU turnovers in the first half, this one might have been a nail-biter. It also would have helped if Buffs fans stuck around instead of bolting for the exits in the fourth quarter apparently so jaded by years of losing they had no faith in a comeback.

Photos: Buffs keep it close, but fall to No. 16 Arizona State ‹ CU IndependentCU Independent - A bunch of good pictures from Saturday's loss.

Brooks: Buffs Show Progress In Loss To Sun Devils - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

"Wow, that really hurts, really hurts," MacIntyre said. "We can’t turn the ball over, but our kids kept fighting . . . we’re definitely improving. We’re playing faster, playing harder, tackling better . . . I think we’re improving, we’ve got a long way to go but I think we’re making strides. But we have to go get it done. There are a lot of great teams in our league."

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 3 - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

The Buffs put up a good fight against No. 16 ASU, but ultimately fell 38-24. There were plenty of positives to build on, and the emergence of Nelson Spruce has been fun to watch. Good opportunity for Colorado to get win No. 2 at home this week against Hawaii. Then again, considering how Hawaii has played its first two Pac-12 opponents ...

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3-point shot: A look at the Pac-12 schedule - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN - Will Colorado be the biggest test for Arizona?