Ten down and two to go for the Colorado Buffaloes in 2022. It has been quite a year with a lot still yet to be decided in the Pac-12.
The final road trip of the year puts the Buffs in Seattle to meet the 15th-ranked Washington Huskies. The Buffaloes have a chance to pull off an upset with UW fighting to stay alive for a spot in the Pac-12 championship game.
The Dawgs are hungry for more after last week’s upset over Oregon, and with some luck will have themselves in prime position to slide into Vegas. First, it’s Colorado staring down another shot at picking up a win over a ranked opponent. Washington needs to survive the stampede before facing Washington State in the Apple Cup after Thanksgiving.
Kalen DeBoer has the Huskies back to competing for a conference title in his first year at the helm. The former Fresno State coach has wins over three ranked opponents this year including a 39-28 non-conference victory over Mel Tucker’s MSU Spartans. They’ve also won four straight going into Saturday’s game with CU.
“We’ve got to be ready,” DeBoer said eariler this week. “We’ve got a lot riding on the season as far as the opportunities that could present themselves. Before we think about the last week of the season, we’ve got to make sure we’re focused on Colorado.”
It’s a different tale of the tape for Colorado, who has dropped four straight, allowing opponents 40+ points in each contest. Now the Buffs will be asked to contain the electric talents of Michael Penix Jr., who’s coming off an NFL highlight reel game vs. Oregon.
Penix leads the nation with 3,640 passing yards, along with 25 TDs to just six INTs. He has also thrown for over 300 yards in all but one game this season (298 yards vs. Oregon State), and has only been sacked five times. Talk about efficiency at its finest. Penix comes with hype and has shown why he’ll be playing at the next level soon. He’s closing in on Cody Pickett’s single season school record of 4,458 yards set in 2002.
For Mike Sanford’s group, it’s all about playing hard until the clock hits zeros. Colorado, as a whole, doesn’t stack up to Washington on paper. However, the Buffs haven’t packed up yet and don’t plan to. Sanford is coaching for a job and the players seem to have more fight in them.
“From basically the first snap it was like Washington’s better than Oregon on the field that day,” Sanford said. “It’s a monumental task for our football team to go in there. And we’re excited for that task.”
Colorado had a season-high 108 yards rushing from Alex Fontenot last week against USC. An unexpected bright spot for the Buffs offense that ranks as the second-worst ‘Power 5’ unit ahead of Iowa, who averages 251.1 yards per game.
Colorado hits the road for a final time in 2022 to face No. 15 Washington. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT from Husky Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 19. The Huskies are the Buffs third straight ranked opponent of November.
TV: Pac-12 (National)
Radio: 850 KOA (Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett)
Weather forecast: 38°
Odds: -30, Washington