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Colorado Buffaloes blow big lead, drop third straight to Beavers in OT

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Colorado’s offensive performance was overshadowed by a late collapse.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado looked good all afternoon. The offense was explosive and the defense was making stops but it all came crashing down in the fourth quarter when the Beavers outscored them 24-3 to overcome a 35-3 deficit and pull off a huge upset in Boulder.

Both teams struggled to get going early on, trading punts and playing the field position battle. Finally on their fourth possession of the game, the Buffs capitalized on excellent starting field position when Steven Montez connected with KD Nixon for a 36 yard touchdown pass. Nixon showed off his shiftiness and long range speed on the play.

The Beavers answered the Colorado score with an impressive 9-play, 68-yard drive that was capped off by a 30-yard field goal by Jordan Choukair. CU had an opportunity to go up two scores early in the second quarter when a pass interference penalty on Nixon set them up with a first and goal at the four yard line, but they were forced to settle for a field goal when Montez fumbled the snap on 3rd and goal.

However, the mistake didn’t prove to be costly as a dropped pass by Andre Bodden that was tipped into the air fell right into the hands of Dante Wigley for a pick six to put the Buffs up 17-3. On the play, Wigley became the 18th player in program history to score a touchdown on his first career interception.

The Buffs extended their lead to 24-3 when Nixon caught a 7-yard TD pass. He was the focal point of the drive with catches of 7, 8, and 47 yards. Nixon finished the day with 198 yards on 13 catches.

While the rushing game was stagnant for much of the early going, they finally got a spark when Travon McMillan had a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half. It was Travon’s second touchdown on the opening play after the break with the first coming against UNH. McMillan had his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, running for 132 yards for the game.

Oregon State scored their first touchdown of the game when Isaiah Hodgins made a nice one-handed grab in the corner of the endzone. They cut the deficit to 31-17 when Colleto ran in for a one yard score.

OSU swung the momentum when they stopped McMillan on a fourth-and-one on the Beavers forty three. But a costly holding penalty stalled a promising drive forcing the Beavers to settle for a field goal that made the score 31-20.

The Beavers continued to chip away at the Buffs lead when Luton connected with Hodgins for his second touchdown reception of the afternoon. He then caught the two point conversion on the very next play.

CU seemingly put the game away when Nixon made a one handed circus catch on a 39 yard pass from Montez. But they were forced to settle for a field goal allowing the Beavers to stay within a touchdown.

The same OSU offense that struggled mightily for most of the day proceeded to drive 75 yards down the field in 1:36 to knot the score up at 34. But in perhaps the craziest turn of events of the day, Choukair missed the extra point keeping the game tied. With 23 seconds and two timeouts left, the best CU could do was set up Davis Price for a 53 yard field goal attempt that hit off the side of his foot.

In overtime, the Beavers scored on their first possession when Colletto ran for his second score of the day from two yards out. Colorado missed an opportunity to force a second possession when a pass in the endzone glanced off Nixon’s hands on third down. A fourth down pass to Juwann Winfree sailed high eliciting a pin dropping silence at Folsom Field while the Beavers stormed the field in celebration.

With the loss, the Buffs face an uphill battle in their quest for a division title after Utah defeated UCLA. Colorado will have a short week to wipe out the bad taste in their mouth. They play the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson in primetime on Friday night.