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Buffs Throttled At Washington

Nov 19, 2022

SEATTLE — Colorado had no answer for Washington on either side of the ball and the Buffaloes threw some self-inflicted wounds into the equation as well Saturday as CU dropped a 54-7 decision to the No. 15 Huskies at Husky Stadium.

CU fell to 1-10 overall and 1-7 in Pac-12 play while Washington improved to 9-2, 6-2.

Washington scored on its first three possessions of the game to take a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Buffs then contributed to their own woes with a disastrous final two minutes of the half. Colorado gave the Huskies a safety with a bad snap on a punt, which also led to a short field and another UW touchdown, and then fumbled a kickoff that led to a UW field goal as time expired.

The string of errors added up to a 33-0 Washington cushion at the break and the Huskies added three more touchdowns to their total after halftime.

CU finished with 202 yards total offense. Colorado quarterback J.T. Shrout  was 6-for-18 for 120 yards, one touchdown and one interception and Alex Fontenot rushed for 71 yards on 11 carries.

Washington finished with 575 yards total offense. Quarterback Michael Penix threw for 229 yards and a score and running back Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 107 yards and two scores.

"We wanted to keep (Penix) off the field as much as humanly possible," CU coach Mike Sanford said. "We wanted to run the football and win this game in the trenches. But hats off to Washington. They were good up front and that led to us not capitalizing on the opportunities that we had. That's a really good team. I think right now they're playing as good of football as anybody in our conference."

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado's first three possessions of the game ended with two punts and a failed fourth-down conversion try.

The Huskies produced three straight touchdowns off those opportunities. UW went 85 yards in 12 plays for its first score, then followed up with a two-play, 38-yard scoring drive and a 12-play, 57-yard scoring march.

With 10:33 still left in the first half, Colorado trailed 21-0.

The Buffs finally managed to move the ball on their fourth possession when a Shrout pass to Jack Hestera produced a 31-yard gain and put Colorado in Washington territory.

But Colorado couldn't take advantage of the opportunity and punted.

UW quickly drove into CU territory but Colorado's defense finally came up with a stop, forcing a 48-yard Washington field goal try. Peyton Henry's kick drifted right and CU had another chance with the ball.

But the chance didn't end well. Shrout threw three straight incompletions and the fourth-down snap to punter Trent Carrizosa went over his head. The ball skipped through the end zone, giving UW a safety and 23-0 lead.

But the bad news for the half wasn't over. Washington took the kickoff after the safety and went 45 yards for a touchdown and 30-0 lead with 15 seconds remaining in the half.

The Buffs then committed one more self-inflicted wound as they fumbled UW's ensuing squib kick. Washington recovered and collected a field goal as time expired in the half to take a 33-0 lead into the break.

"At halftime, I challenged the team," Sanford said. "Are we truly what we say we are, are we going to fight for each other? We're going to be a brotherhood. What I would say is I think the response in the second half was much better."

To their credit, the Buffs didn't quit. Colorado's defense came up with a goal-line stop to open the second half. Quinn Perry and Na'im Rodman stopped Washington's Wayne Taulapapa for no gain at the 1-yard line, but the Buffs couldn't move and punted.

Four plays later, the Huskies found the end zone again to extend their lead to 40-0, and they added another score late in the third quarter to take a 47-0 lead.

Colorado finally found the end zone on its next possession. Shrout, who had left the game on CU's previous possession with an injury, returned to the game to throw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Montana Lemonious-Craig. The CU sophomore got behind a UW defender and Shrout delivered a perfect long ball to give the Buffs a touchdown.

CU's defense then came up with an interception when linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo grabbed a deflected ball, giving the Buffs possession at the Buffs 35. 

But the Buffs couldn't move and punted and UW added one more score to push the final tally to 54-7.

TURNING POINT: This one was never in doubt after Washington drove 85 yards for a score on its first possession and the Buffs never threatened to answer.

KEY STATISTICS: CU was outgained 575-202 … Colorado converted just three of 12 third-down tries … CU was also 0-for-4 on fourth-down conversion attempts while UW was 2-for-3 … The Buffs averaged just 2.4 yards per rush while Washington averaged 6.5.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs will have one more chance to secure a second win and avoid becoming the second team in CU history to lose 11 games in a season.

NEXT UP: The Buffs wrap up their season next Saturday when they host Utah at Folsom Field.