A week after a hard fought road loss against UCLA, the Colorado Buffaloes (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) came home to add a third-straight conference loss to their 2017 campaign. This time they fell to the unpredictable Arizona Wildcats behind backup quarterback Khalil Tate. Tate lit up the Buffs for an FBS record 372 rushing yards and five total touchdowns.
Colorado heads back out on the road towards the Pacific Northwest for Saturday’s game vs. the Oregon State Beavers (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12). It’s been a difficult season in Corvallis that recently ended the tenure of coach Gary Anderson, who mutually decided to part ways with OSU this week after suffering fourteen straight road losses and only three conference wins. Following back-to-back conference wins to end the season against Arizona and Oregon, Anderson agreed to a multi-year contract extension in December, a deal that had $12.6 million remaining.
Without a permanent option yet, Oregon State AD Scott Barnes named assistant Cory Hall interim coach going forward. The Beavers will move forward with Hall and host the Buffaloes with both teams scrapping for their first conference win of the season. With Andersen exiting and the unproven Hall entering his first real coaching interview, OSU could come out raring to go.
The lack of consistency became more apparent and the Beavers’ lone win nearly became an upset against FCS opponent Portland State. A last-minute drive capped off by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jake Luton to Isaiah Hodgins preserved the 35-32 victory. Oregon State has been outmatched against three ranked Pac-12 foes in recent weeks (No. 21 Washington State, No. 6 Washington, and No. 14 USC), losing by a combined score of 138-40.
It’s a different story for the Buffaloes in the past three games with much closer contests despite the same results in the win-loss column. Dropping the past two by a combined margin of seven points is the difference from CU being at the bottom of the Pac-12 South and being second overall behind USC.
Colorado’s offense finally broke out against Arizona. Phillip Lindsay’s record-breaking 41 carries for 281 yards and three touchdown propelled him into fifth in the nation with 810 rushing yards. CU will look to continue that trend this week for the Buffaloes and Lindsay, who have an advantage over the Beavers 113th ranked run defense (199.2 yard avg.). One of the three starts last year for Steven Montez was a 47-6 win over Oregon State. In that contest, he threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns all to Shay Fields. Montez could exceed those numbers on Saturday as the Beavers are the worst conference team defending the pass, ranked 121st overall (294.7 yard avg.).
Colorado meets Oregon State at Reser Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. MT. The Buffaloes can even the series at 5-5 with a third-straight win over Beavers. A determined Buffs squad won 17-13 in 2015 for the first-ever win in Corvallis, snapping a 14-game losing streak in conference play.