As the Colorado Buffaloes fell to the UCLA Bruins 27-23, there were some things that the Buffs did well and other things that they obviously need to work on. As the Buffaloes try to right the ship in Pac-12, here are BSN Denver’s takeaways from the fifth game of the season.
The defense needs to find a pass rush
The Buffaloes knew that they had big shoes to fill when Jimmie Gilbert and his 10.5 sacks left for the NFL. After the first game, it had looked like they found their answer in true freshmen Jacob Callier and Dante Sparaco. Since then, those two have seen limited action and the CU pass rush has been dismal. The Buffs had one sack in the game against UCLA and that was by their nose tackle, Javier Edwards. That’s just not going to get it done against really good Pac-12 offenses. The Buffs are clearly missing N.J. Falo and Derek McCartney hasn't looked the same since he's been back from the ACL injury. They're going to need to find someone on this team that can get to the quarterback. Although CU’s secondary played pretty well, they couldn’t do everything when Josh Rosen had that much time in the pocket, play after play.
Montez wasn’t the reason they lost it but didn't make enough plays to win it
Steven Montez has been under some serious scrutiny so far this season. It feels like everyone has their own take on what Montez should be doing better as a quarterback. He played pretty well in the game against UCLA considering the circumstances. His final stat line was 17-for-36 for 243 yards and a touchdown. The most important part was that he didn’t turn the ball over, which was a major reason for CU staying in the game for so long. He also got the job done in the run game, finishing as CU’s leader on the ground with 108 yards. He continues to be the Buffs’ only other option in the run game besides Phillip Lindsay, and he’s done a very good job running the ball so far.
Fake field goal had major influence on the game
James Stefanou has been a major bright spot for the Buffaloes this season. He hit his 8th, 9th and 10th field goals of his career on Saturday and is now 10-for-11 on the season. His only miss came in the CSU game on his second kick of his career. With all of that, one would think his coach would have enough confidence to kick whenever he has the opportunity. Well not so fast. At the end of the first half, the Buffaloes lined up for what would have been a chip-shot 28-yard field goal, but instead head coach Mike MacIntyre opted for a fake field goal. As the game stayed close throughout the fourth quarter, this decision loomed in the mind of Buffs fans. What if the Buffs had three more points when they had a drive to win it late in the fourth quarter? But MacIntyre has no regrets, “I’d do it again 100 times if I had 100 more chances," said after the game.
Fans don't seem to feel the same, and, in this case, they're right.