SALT LAKE CITY - On a snowy day in Utah, the Colorado Buffaloes followed the script of their 2015 season, fighting valiantly but once again failing to get a victory due to costly mistakes and a lack of execution in the red-zone.
The defense did their part, holding the Utes to just 20 points and limiting quarterback Travis Wilson to just 108 yards through the air on 10 of 28 but the offense, which featured three different quarterbacks (including linebacker Jaleel Awini) was never able to capitalize only mustering 14 points and scoring on just one of their three trips to the red zone.
It was just another loss in a long string of frustrating ones throughout the season for the Buffaloes and their fans.
Original starter Cade Apsay was 8-18 for 145 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions before exiting the game with a concussion. His replacement, Jordan Gehrke was 11-20 for 111 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Even fourth-stringer Jaleel Awini got in the game, you may know him from his spot atop the opening day depth chart at outside linebacker. Awini did not attempt any passes, but carried the ball four times for 20 yards and helped jumpstart the offense into it's second and final TD drive of the day.
For the Utes, it was all Joe Wilson, the running back had 34 carries for an impressive 184 yards and a touchdown, gashing the Buffs at a 5.5 yards per carry clip. After going into the half up just three points, Utah decided to rely on Williams and that decision paid dividends as the Utes gashed the Buffs on the opening drive of the second half for 13 plays and 68 yards to take a 17-7 lead, 9 of those 13 on the ground.
Those 17 points would prove to be all the Utes would need to put the Buffs aside and end the season on a win.
Colorado's late rally would fall short as Jordan Gehrke was strip-sacked while trying to muster up a game-winning drive with just under a minute left.
Utah's Joe Williams made the Utes offense go on the day, his 187 yards on 34 carries was the difference for Utah on that side of the ball on a day where their senior quarterback didn't have it.
On the opening drive of the game Colorado was moving, they methodically maneuvered their way all the way down to the Utes eight yard line, but then, like we've become accustomed to seeing so many times this season, the Buffs stalled, going backward on the next three plays only to have a Diego Gonzalez kick blocked.
There was still a whole bunch of football to play, but it gave you a strong feeling of what was to come the rest of the game.
4 - The number of turnovers the Buffs had in the game, one more than the Utes three. Lose the turnover battle, lose the game.
4 - The number of wins Colorado finishes the season with, leaving them far from their goals and far from appeasing the fanbase.
23 - The number of receiving touchdowns Nelson Spruce ends his career with (one today) that's good enough for most all-time at Colorado.
Colorado will head into the long offseason with many questions about their coaching staff. Many on the offensive staff will have some explaining to do on how their group took such a step back this year. The fans want change and they'll likely get it, the only question left is to what degree?
Eight months without college football in Boulder. Sad face.