The script is strong with these 2015 Buffaloes.
In yet another night game, in another situation where the scene was set perfectly, in another game that they controlled a large portion of, the Buffs fell short yet again.
“This hurt,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said after the game. “This really hurt.”
The game started off like many of the Colorado-USC matchups prior to this one – with the Trojans biting off large chunk of yardage after large chunk of yardage, but instead of the usual seven points, the Buffs were able to hold USC to three, it would be a good sign and a good momentum boost for the defense going forward.
The Buffs struck next as Sefo Liufau led the Buffs down the field for 7 plays and 61 yards on a drive capped off by a Phillup Lindsay touchdown run to give the Buffs a 7-3 lead.
On the Buffaloes next offenisive possesion, Sefo Liufau has the Buffs driving again, all the way inside the USC 30 yard line, but on second down Liufau would be sacked. As time ran out in the quarter, Liufau attempted to limp off the field but collaspsed in pain, unable to make it all the way off.
“Sefo Liufau has a Lisfranc injury,” MacIntyre said, fighting his emotions. “He’ll be out six to eight months. I’ve been down there with his family and him and it’s tough, it;s really tough.”
“He was trying to go back in,” added the head coach, trying to explain his toughness. “He was trying to tape it up… I looked him in the eys and said, ‘You can’t go back in.'”
Enter Cade Apsay, no pressure though, not like you’ve got a lead in what would be the biggest win for the program since joining the Pac-12.
“I was ready the second I saw him struggling,” said the redshirt Freshman.
Apsay would be sacked on his first play, but his rhythym would be aided on the next drive by a quarterbacks best friend – field position. Sixth-year senior Jered Bell picked off Cody Kessler, giving Cade and the Buffs the ball at the Trojan 26.
Apsay handed the ball off four straight times to Lindsay, who got the Buffs down to the 9 yard line. On third down, Apsay looked to the Buffs star receiver Nelson Spruce and thew a bullet right inbetween the 2’s on his jersey to give Colorado the 14-3 lead.
A field goal by each team before the half would make it 17-6 at the break.
The beginning of the second half was… well… less than ideal for the Buffaloes. It went a little something like this: CU punt, USC toouchdown, CU fumble, USC touchdown, CU missed field goal, USC touchdown.
“They made some adjustments,” MacIntyre said. ” But we just fumbled the ball to them… lined up offsides on a big third down play, which would have made them kick a field goal, but they score on the next play.”
The Buffs 11-point halftime lead had turned into a 10 point defeceit in the blink of an eye.
An Apsay to Frazier touchdown would make it 27-24, but a failed fourth down conversion on a potential game-winning drive and a subsequent thrid down conversion for the Trojans would eventually put the Buffs in their grave.
“They destroyed us the last two years,” macIntyre admitted. ” We had our opportunities and so it hurts so much more.”
So close, yet so far.
Lindsay's TD run 1st quarter. WATCH on ESPN2 https://t.co/Qljlph5Xcb
— Colorado Buffaloes (@cubuffs) November 14, 2015
— Colorado Buffaloes (@cubuffs) November 14, 2015
— Colorado Football (@RunRalphieRun) November 14, 2015
PLAYER OF THE GAME
In his final game at Folsom, Spruce turned in a vintage performance, nothcing seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
As it ofteb seems to be with Spruce, it’s not the numbers that impress you as much as how he does it, the man is just a route running machine, he made his defender look silly on the touchdown catch above, absolutely no chance of stopping him on that play.
Spruce’s longest catch of the game (36 yards) came on a double-move up the west sideline, after a perfect throw from Sefo Liufau, Spruce was able to elevate, make the grab and avoid a big hit from a closing safety all at once. Just another play Spruce makes look easy that other receivers do not.
I hope you enjoyed him during his time at Folsom Field, one day people will look back and truly appreciate his greatness.
PLAY OF THE GAME
JuJu Smith-Schuster’s impressive catch in the back of the endzone that would turn out to be the game-winning play for the Trojans.
USC 27, Colorado 17. Every week, JuJu Smith-Schuster just makes it look easy. His 36-yard TD (LIVE on ESPN2): https://t.co/TliWTgeVvb
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) November 14, 2015
The turning point took place just second before the play of the game.
On fourth down, the Buffaloes lined up for a 51-yard Diego Gonzalez field goal, but just as he got it off Adoree Jackson had slid off the edge and blocked the kick.
Jaclson returned it to the Buffaloes 36 yard line and on the next play Kessler hit Smith-Schuster to take the 10 point lead. a 10 point swing in just over 10 seconds.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
Mike MacIntyre had tears in his eyes as he delvered this quote. He did not come into his press conference until over an hor after the game ended.
Mac: This hurt. That's why I'm late. This hurts.
— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) November 14, 2015
BY THE NUMBERS
13 – The game was played on Friday the 13th
13 – Sefo Liufau’s number
13 – Sefo Liufau’s injury left him 13 yards shy of CU’s all-time passing record
13 – After the sack that injured Liufau, CU faced 3rd and 13
Another week and another missed opportunity for the Buffaloes to get a big win in Folsom Field when they had a lead.
If Mike MacIntyre ends up succeeding at CU, we will look back on these games as part of the process. If Mike MacIntyre fails at CU we will look back at these games as the root of his undoing.
The Buffaloes head north for the Palouse and a date with a surging Washington State team lead by quarterback, Luke Falk.