It's only fitting that Halloween would yield one of the more interesting and wild games of the season. The Colorado Buffaloes came into the Rose Bowl in a game that not many people were giving them a chance in and from the jump showed they belonged on the field, the only problem was - they didn't get much to show for it.
In the first quarter, the Buffaloes had a 16-play drive, in which they methodically drove down the field, end in a missed field goal, worst case scenario, right? Wrong. On their first drive of the second quarter, the Buffaloes similarly picked apart the Bruin defense on a 16-play drive and again got nothing to show for it, but this time they also handed over seven points. A Sefo Liufau interception near the goal line went 96 yards the other way to give the Bruins a 14 -0 lead. The Buffaloes would take two more double-digit play drives into the red zone in the half but would only yield 6 points on two field goals. Meanwhile, Paul Perkins took a handoff 82 yards to the house for the Bruins, leaving them with a 21-6 lead at the half, despite only possessing the ball for 53 seconds in the second quarter.
As they have proved time and time again, Colorado does not quit when they face hard times. The Buffs came right out of the half and orchestrated an eight play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a Donovan Lee touchdown to bring Colorado back within two scores. Colorado wasn't able to capitalize on a UCLA fumble on the ensuing kickoff and the Bruins would make them pay, scoring on their next drive to build another seemingly insurmountable 28-13 lead.
Again, the Buffaloes showed their grit and fought back. A Diego Gonzalez field goal made it 28-16 and a 33-yard scoop and score from Samson Kafovalu, on a fumble forced by Jordan Carrell, brought the Buffs back within one score. Another short drive from the Bruins gave the Buffs the ball right back and after a quick strike from Sefo Liufau to Devin Ross for 62 yards and a six-yard touchdown run from Patrick Carr, the Buffaloes were somehow in the lead 31-28.
Unfortunately for Colorado, that would be their last score of the game. A chance to extend the lead was squandered and the Bruins went 4 plays for 69 yards and a touchdown in 27 seconds on the ensuing drive to take a lead they wouldn't surrender. A Sefo Liufau interception on a potential game-winning drive sealed up the 35-31 win for UCLA.
Obviously, the Bruins were the victors but, surprisingly, they did not have any obvious standout performers. For that reason, we'll highlight the player of the game for the Buffs.
Patrick Carr gave Colorado fans a good idea of what they're going to be getting out of the Texas product for the next four years and it was all good. The freshman back showed terrific patience and explosion on his 19 carries on which he notched 100 yards and a touchdown.
You'd expect to see Carr's role increase from here on out.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Nelson Spruce's catch solidifying him as the all-time leader in career receptions in the Pac-12. A vintage piece of Spruce beauty in which he showcased his strength, hands and masterful route running.
Colorado blows another chance to win a big-time conference game and falls to 1-4 in the conference this year. When the schedule looks the way it does from here on out for the Buffs, each one of these becomes a little more painful for the team and the fans.
Colorado welcomes in the buzzsaw that is the Stanford Cardinal next week at 11 AM (Pac-12 Network).