The Colorado Buffaloes were determined to prove themselves in a 2016 Pac-12 Championship rematch against the #7 Washington Huskies, but just like last year, the Huskies capitalized on every CU mistake as they dominated in a 37-10 victory.
Looking at box score, you would be surprised that Colorado started the game rolling. Steven Montez looked superb as he cut up the defense with Juwann Winfree and Bryce Bobo working the slot and Devin Ross picking up a big gain on a screen pass. Phillip Lindsay mixed physicality with elusiveness as he too had early success against a stout Washington defense. That opening drive was punctuated with a violent 1-yard touchdown by Lindsay.
Washington took over and put together a decent drive, but on 3rd-and-9 from their own 44-yard-line, Jake Browning went deep only to have Afolabi Laguda fly for a spectacular interception on the sideline. The Buffs followed that up with a decent drive of their own but that stalled out on the UW 40-yard-line after the CU offensive line broke down on successive passing plays.
From there on out, the first half (and later the game) was defined by mistakes more so than anything else. Washington missed a 32-yard field goal, but Colorado answered back by allowing a blocked punt on the ensuing possession. The Huskies recovered at the 11-yard-line and Myles Gaskin soon punched it in to tie the game at 7-7. The Buffs followed that up with another mistake. This time, Lindsay dropped a pass and UW’s Jordan Miller flew in to intercept the deflection. Washington then ran the ball down CU’s throat and eventually settled for a 25-yard field goal that they converted into a 10-7 lead. The half ended fittingly with Montez throwing an interception in the end zone.
As you would imagine, the second half was also defined by mistakes. The second half started with Colorado holding down the Washington offense, but a facemask on Drew Lewis gave the Huskies new life. Shortly thereafter, Browning found Quinten Pounds for a ridiculous 39-yard touchdown.
On Colorado’s next possession, the Buffs put together a wonderful drive led by Montez’s running ability, but on back-to-back plays at a crucial spot, Shay Fields dropped an easy pass and Montez slipped in the grass for a 9-yard loss. James Stefanou drilled the 49-yard field goal, but the Buffs looked like they were going to score a touchdown to answer back.
There was still hope for the Buffs after Washington missed another field goal attempt, but that ended when Montez immediately threw an interception that Myles Bryant returned 35 yards for a touchdown to go up 24-10. After a 28-yard Colorado punt, Gaskin continued to run through the Buffs’ front seven and the Huskies added 7 to their lead. After a Colorado turnover on downs, Gaskin capped off his 202-yard performance with a 57-yard touchdown run. UW’s kicker missed the PAT to give us the final score of 37-10.
I wish Gaskin would just run through my heart and end me right now.— RalphieReport (@RalphieReport) December 3, 2016
That tweet was actually from last year, but there’s no way to tell other than the time-stamp.
Hopefully the Buffs show up next week at UCLA. Hopefully they can play a well-rounded game without the back-breaking mistakes.