BOULDER - A third consecutive Pac-12 loss leaves the Colorado Buffaloes at the bottom of their conference and potentially on the outside looking in when bowl season rolls around. But an evening riddled with struggles and mistakes for the Buffs also housed a lone bright spot - running back Phil Lindsay's dominant 282-yard, three-touchdown performance, which enshrined him in the CU record books as he became the program's all-time leader in all-purpose yards.
The star rusher carried the weight of the offense on Saturday night, single-handedly accounting for well over half of the team's collective offensive yards - a total of 320 of the 551 accumulated during the matchup. He surpassed Rodney Stewart to become CU's leader in all-purpose yards and moved into fourth place on the university's list of all-time rushing yards.
At least for tonight, Lindsay seemed disinterested in discussing his personal achievements, focusing instead on the outcome of the fight.
"At the end of the day we didn't get the win and that's what we wanted," an emotional Lindsay said after the game. "We're going to go back to square one and get stuff rolling again."
While the Buffs have struggled offensively this season, Lindsay has shined in the run game, scoring at least one rushing touchdown in each of the Buffs six games. He personally had 41 rushing attempts against Arizona while quarterback Steven Montez attempted only 32 passes. When asked about carrying the bulk of the offensive workload, Lindsay responded that he would do anything to help CU come out on top.
"I do it for my team - period," he said. "I'm going to do whatever I have to do to help win and bring glory to this program. We came up short, so obviously I didn't do enough."
It's safe to say that nearly everyone watching believed that Lindsay did everything he could. Head coach Mike MacIntyre commended the team captain on his record-breaking evening, speaking highly of his performance on and off the field.
"It's awesome," MacIntyre said. "what Phillip has done for our program, for the University of Colorado, the way he represents the University of Colorado, the way he represents the state of Colorado, for him to do that and go down in the history books forever. It'll be hard to break that all-purpose yardage, and he's got at least seven more games, at least that's what we hope. I'm really happy for Phillip and how he battled and how he fought."
For Lindsay, there will be no basking in the joy of his accomplishments. It's already on to the next game - a road tilt against another Pac-12 opponent, Oregon State. Lindsay doesn't want to make excuses about the loss, he just wants to focus on how the Buffs can improve moving forward.
"At the end of the day, it comes down to Colorado, it's all about Colorado," Lindsay said. "So we have to go back to the drawing board and we have to tweak little things here and there and get a win. And that's what we're gonna do. We're in this together - coaches, players - and at the end of the day that's all that matters."
In true Lindsay fashion, the running back headed into the locker room and immediately talked adjustments with his teammates after the loss.
"He was the first one talking to the team after the game about what we need to do and how we need to do it," MacIntyre said.
Lindsay's performance was somewhat overshadowed by yet another tough Pac-12 loss, as the Buffs stare down the barrel of several tough conference matchups and a handful of ranked opponents. With a bevy of must-win battles on the docket if CU wants to punch another ticker to a bowl game, the Buffs will continue to lean on their star rusher as he pads his lead in all-purpose yards for the remainder of the season.