“Colorado Offense Struggles in Loss to No. 16 Oregon State”

“Colorado Offense Struggles in Loss to No. 16 Oregon State”

Despite a change in play-calling duties, the Colorado Buffaloes were unable to alter their fate on Saturday. They suffered a 26-19 loss to No. 16 Oregon State at Folsom Field.

Under the leadership of Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders, the Buffs mounted a late, spirited comeback, but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory. This marked their third consecutive loss and their fifth loss in the last six games, leaving them with a 4-5 overall record and a 1-5 record in Pac-12 play.

In contrast, the Oregon State Beavers improved their record to 7-2, with a 4-2 Pac-12 record.

At the beginning of the week, Colorado assigned play-calling responsibilities to Pat Shurmur, who had been promoted from an offensive analyst role. However, the Colorado offense faced significant challenges for most of the game, managing to score only one field goal in the first three quarters. It wasn’t until the late fourth quarter that the offense rallied, producing two substantial scoring drives.

Throughout the game, Colorado’s defense played a crucial role in keeping the contest close. They made two fumble recoveries during the first half, with one of them leading to a successful Colorado field goal.

However, Oregon State maintained their offensive pressure, securing two touchdowns during the first half and adding another touchdown and two field goals in the second half, which kept the Buffaloes at a distance.

Despite the challenges, the Buffaloes didn’t give up. In the fourth quarter, Colorado orchestrated two impressive 75-yard scoring drives. CU’s quarterback, Shedeur Sanders, who endured significant pressure and was sacked four times, concluded both drives with touchdown passes. The second of these passes, a 12-yard connection to Anthony Hankerson, brought the score to 26-19 with 1:42 remaining in the game.

Nonetheless, Oregon State retained possession after the subsequent kickoff and secured a first down, enabling them to run out the clock and secure the victory.

Colorado’s overall offensive performance amounted to 238 yards, marking the second-lowest total for the Buffaloes this season. Of this yardage, 160 were gained in the fourth quarter. The Buffaloes faced difficulties in rushing, accumulating minus-7 yards on the ground, in part due to four sacks by Oregon State, resulting in 41 yards lost.

Shedeur Sanders completed 24 of 39 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. However, he faced significant pressure throughout the game and experienced four sacks, increasing his total sacks for the season to 45.

Oregon State University (OSU) concluded the game with 418 yards of total offense, with 223 yards through the air and 195 on the ground.

Coach Prime expressed the challenges of the game and the frustration of not meeting their full potential. Despite a strong effort from the team, he emphasized the need for greater consistency throughout all four quarters, which has been lacking thus far in the season.

The game unfolded with Colorado’s defense making a significant impact during the first half. They secured two takeaways through fumble recoveries by Trevor Woods and Derrick McLendon, along with three sacks on the opposing quarterback.

Oregon State University (OSU) executed one substantial drive in the opening half, consisting of nine plays and covering 71 yards. This drive ended with a 23-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Aidan Chiles, granting OSU a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

However, Colorado’s offense struggled to establish a consistent rhythm throughout this period.

The Buffaloes managed to secure a field goal after their second fumble recovery in the first half. A hit by Shilo Sanders on OSU running back Damien Martinez dislodged the ball, and McLendon recovered it at the OSU 19-yard line. Four plays later, the Buffs capitalized on this opportunity with a 32-yard field goal by Alejandro Mata, reducing OSU’s lead to 7-3.

As the first half neared its end, it seemed like the score would remain at 7-3 at halftime. However, following an Oregon State punt, Colorado took possession at their own 4-yard line with 49 seconds left on the clock. The Buffs opted to attempt to advance the ball, but they encountered two incomplete passes and a run for no gain. Oregon State stopped the clock with a timeout.

Following Colorado’s punt, a 29-yard return by Oregon State, coupled with a 5-yard penalty, positioned the Beavers at the CU 20-yard line with 22 seconds remaining in the first half. In just one play, OSU scored its second touchdown, as DJ Uiagalelei connected with Deshaun Fenwick on a 20-yard pass.

This development sent Colorado into halftime, trailing 14-3. Shedeur Sanders explained that the team’s initial plan was to either achieve a first down and continue their drive or run down the clock, considering they were set to receive the ball in the second half. He noted that a couple of dropped passes during that series were unfortunate, and the significant return by Oregon State further impacted the outcome. Had these issues not occurred, the score could have been 7-3 in favor of Oregon State.

Oregon State gained full control on their first possession of the second half. After forcing a punt from Colorado, the Beavers embarked on an 85-yard drive, encompassing 12 plays and taking 7 minutes and 26 seconds off the clock, concluding with a touchdown. However, another questionable coaching decision, this time made by Oregon State, momentarily changed the momentum of the game.

While Oregon State’s initial PAT attempt was successful, Colorado was penalized. Subsequently, the Beavers decided to go for a two-point conversion. This decision backfired when the snap sailed over the quarterback’s head, leading to a fumble. CU’s Kyndrich Breedlove scooped up the loose ball and returned it 88 yards for two points, reducing Oregon State’s lead to 20-5.

The scoop and score narrowed Oregon State’s lead to 20-5, but the Colorado offense continued to face challenges. Oregon State’s defense forced another punt, securing their third sack of Sanders. The Beavers then executed a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, extending their lead to three scores at 23-5 with 13:57 remaining in the game.

However, the Buffs’ offense finally found some momentum on the following possession. Despite facing early difficulties that put them in a second-and-34 situation, CU managed to orchestrate a 75-yard touchdown drive. Sanders, who had briefly left the field earlier in the quarter to receive a pain-killing injection in the locker room, completed passes of 23 yards to Omarion Miller and 12 and 36 yards to Xavier Weaver, keeping the drive alive. He concluded the march with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Travis Hunter, bringing Colorado closer at 23-12 with 10:41 left to play.

Oregon State responded with another time-consuming drive, covering 52 yards and consuming 5 minutes and 54 seconds of game time. The drive culminated in a 41-yard field goal, extending their lead to 26-12 with just 4:47 left to play.

However, the Buffs rallied once more, putting together another nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive to narrow the gap to a single score. Sanders made a critical conversion on third down with a 19-yard pass to Jimmy Horn Jr. and then connected with Hunter for a 40-yard gain on second-and-21. A 12-yard pass by Sanders to Hankerson, followed by a successful point-after attempt, brought the score to 26-19 in favor of Oregon State. Unfortunately, the Buffs’ defense couldn’t secure a stop on Oregon State’s next possession, allowing the Beavers to hold on for the win.


"Colorado Offense Struggles in Loss to No. 16 Oregon State"
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


“You can’t lose faith in everything,” Shedeur Sanders said. “Things won’t always go as planned, so you have to stay positive and avoid negativity because it won’t help. This is the situation we’re in, so we have to accept it and move forward.”

  • The turning point in the game occurred when the Buffs had an opportunity to enter halftime trailing only 7-3, with the knowledge that they would receive the ball first in the second half. However, a risky attempt to move the ball from deep within their own territory late in the half backfired, allowing OSU to score a late touchdown and take a 14-3 lead into halftime.
  • KEY STATISTICS: Oregon State (OSU) rushed for 195 yards and effectively controlled the clock when needed, while Colorado (CU) finished with negative 7 yards on the ground. The Buffs struggled on third-down conversion attempts, going 5-for-14. Furthermore, Colorado allowed four quarterback sacks, increasing their season total to 46.
  • WHAT IT MEANS: After starting the season 3-0 and being ranked in the top 25 nationally, the Buffs are now at risk of missing out on a bowl bid. To become bowl eligible, Colorado must win two of its remaining three games.
  • UP NEXT: The Buffs will play their final home game next Saturday at noon (MT) when they host Arizona. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.





( Source: Colorado Buffaloes )