PULLMAN - Heading into Saturday's game against the Washington State Cougars, the Colorado Buffaloes were actually still in contention to make a bowl game, but those hopes faded quickly as the Cougs took down the Buffs in convincing fashion, 27-3.
For Colorado, it once again came down to the inability to convert in the red zone (one field goal in three trips) and an inability to convert on third downs (5-of-16). Two missed field goals from Diego Gonzalez added to the comedy of errors on what was an all-around ugly game for the Buffaloes.
While they didn't light up the scoreboard as much as they are capable of, the Cougars got much of what they wanted against the CU defense. At one point, Luke Falk had completed 25 of his first 27 passes. Unlike Colorado, Washington State was able to capitalize on their opportunities, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and extending it to 17-0 before the Buffs finally got on the board with a field goal late in the third quarter.
Cade Apsay, who had many Colorado fans excited with his performance in the USC game, regressed slightly on the night throwing for just 238 yards on 26-40 with two interceptions and no touchdowns. But, as often was the case with Liufau, Apsay didn't get much help from his offensive line, facing immense pressure for much of the game.
Colorado's only real momentum of the game came after the night's scariest moment, when Luke Falk was slammed to the ground by Samson Kafovalu, leaving him seemingly unconscious on the ground. After Falk was carried off and thankfully gave two thumbs up to the crowd, the Buffs were able to force new quarterback, Peyton Bender, and the Cougars into a field goal which they missed.
Down just 17-0, it seemed as if it could be a turning point for Colorado but after only getting a field goal of their own, the Cougars came back with a 10 play, 76 yards touchdown drive to gain back the momentum and effectively put away the Buffs. When all was said and done the game went on the books as another disappointing loss for the Buffaloes in what has seemed to be a season full of them.
There weren't any for CU, so here, have a Gabe Marks touchdown catch.
Washington State's top receiving threat was as advertised, bringing in 11 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars. Marks was seemingly always open for the Cougs at the right time and his touchdown catch was the official back breaker for the Buffaloes.
If you're looking for a POG for the Buffs, Spruce is your guy. The senior has one of his best games of the season bringing in 12 catches for 120 yards, proving to be the security blanket you would expect him to be for Apsay.
Late in the first quarter, the Buffs faced a fourth-and-one from their own 42-yard line, head coach Mike Macintyre elected to go for it, putting in the power package and attempting to push Apsay forward. The play failed, giving the Cougars a short field and allowing them to score their first touchdown of the night just before the first quarter whistle. Those seven points would be all they would need to win.
7.1 - The yards per carry average for Washington State
9 - The number of years it's been since Washington State held a Pac-12 opponent without a touchdown.
The Buffs were officially eliminated from bowl contention meaning yet another senior class will leave Boulder never having sniffed the post season. Colorado will have fallen short of the expectations that they bestowed upon themselves leaving many fans asking questions.
The Buffaloes travel to Salt Lake City for the final game of the season, a chance to leave a good taste in the mouths of the fanbase heading into the offseason.