Colorado suffered their sixth straight defeat on a snowy afternoon in Boulder at the hands of No. 19 Utah, 30-7.
The Buffaloes (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) couldn’t overcome a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter, giving the Utes (8-3, 6-3 Pac-12) a critical win in the race for a Pac-12 South Division title. The 500th game in Folsom Field history was a rough one for the Buffs, who wait another week to try and reach bowl eligibility for the second time since 2016. One of the strangest weeks in recent history ends with CU dropping an eighth straight game vs. a ranked opponent.
Both teams struggled to find a consistent offensive attack in the blistery conditions throughout the first half. Travon McMillian’s 13-yard touchdown run put Colorado up 7-0 with 2:04 left in the first quarter. Utah would tie the game with a 10-yard pass from Jason Shelly to Samson Nacua with 9:54 left before halftime.
The 7-7 halftime score quickly became a runaway for the Utes, who scored 23 unanswered points in the second half, including a 47-yard pass from Shelly to Jaylen Dixon for his second score of the game. Shelly finished with 221 yards to account for a majority of Utah’s 390 yards of total offense.
Colorado’s offense was held to 196 yards on the day and only mustered a total of 86 yards in the second half to the Pac-12’s top-ranked defense. The Utes forced 15 negative yardage plays and held Steven Montez to a season low 84 yards on 67 offense plays. To make matters worse, the Buffs have scored a combined 20 points in the second half in the past five games, including the 41-34 overtime loss to Oregon State.
”We are just inept on offense right now. We have to find a way to move the ball better. Defense played okay at times, they just got worn down. We’re really poor on offense,” Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said after the game.
The last upset victory for CU was ten years ago, a 17-14 overtime win over No. 21 West Virginia on Sept. 18, 2008.
Colorado travels to Berkeley to play Cal next week in the season finale. It marks the first time the Buffs will end a regular season in the State of California since joining the Pac-12 in 2012.