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Arizona State 41, Colorado 30: Three things we learned

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Thrilling this game was not.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s game in Tempe ended the same way many previous games have for the Colorado Buffaloes this season. It was familiar scenario with an eventual breakdown in the fourth quarter that resulted in a loss.

The Buffs can get that all-important sixth win, but it will take a much more concentrated effort. Here’s what we learned after the loss to Arizona State.

Colorado’s not ready for ‘prime time’ football

The Buffaloes had another opportunity to win and were outplayed in the fourth quarter, but this game was different than the ones against UCLA and Arizona. Colorado led going into the fourth quarter and squandered it by allowing Arizona State to score at will. What happened against the Sun Devils was proof this team isn’t ready to compete at the highest levels of the Pac-12, especially in late games where exhaustion can play more of a factor. This year wasn’t meant to be one where the program exceeded last year’s success; not after losing the amount of talent CU did on both sides of the ball. However, it wasn’t projected to go like this either. Colorado could easily be 8-2 and competing for a Pac-12 South title with more discipline. Instead, they are fighting for a trip to the postseason

Phillip Lindsay needs to be trusted in all four quarters

It goes without saying the best part of Colorado’s offense this season has been the production of Lindsay, who’s fourth in the nation in with 1,334 rushing yards. Yet, he wasn’t relied on in the fourth quarter to stretch out drives or keep CU’s defense off the field. Colorado’s play selection was questionable with Lindsay carrying the ball four times for ten yards in the fourth quarter vs. ASU. Outside of the 60-yard pass play, Lindsay was rarely used for the purpose of keeping the momentum in the Buffs favor.

It’s time to talk about coaching

Colorado needs to start over with the coaches around Mike MacIntyre. The assistants that were brought over from the San Jose State’s staff have served their purpose and it’s time to fill the positions with coaches who will help advance the program. The Buffs could see a boost with a superb well-known recruiter being added to the staff (i.e. Darrin Chiaverini last year). Nearly half of the assistants under MacIntyre followed him from SJSU, which should prompt a re-evaluation of their contributions during the offseason.