BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – An Arizona team with the nation’s longest losing streak was just the balm the Colorado Buffaloes needed.
“With everything we’ve been working on over the past two weeks with our goodbye, it was good to see it paid off in a convincing way,” coach Karl Dorrell said on Saturday after Colorado moved away. broke a four-game skid with a 34-0. beating of the Wildcats at Folsom Field.
It was the first conference shutout for the Buffaloes (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) since defeating Oklahoma State by the same score on Oct. 1, 2005, when they were in the Big 12.
“It’s a very good win for us as a program because all three zones scored touchdowns.” Dorrell said.
The Buffs scored on a blocked punt and an interception in addition to a long pass from Brendon Lewis as they extended the nation’s longest losing streak to 18 games.
Stumbling from an opening rout of the season in northern Colorado, the Buffaloes rocked their four-game losing streak thanks to Trevor Woods’ 36 -cour scoop and score the punt he blocked and the defensive end of Carson Wells 50 yard intercept return for a touchdown on back-to-back Arizona possessions.
Lewis followed up with a 62-yard goal for Brenden Rice that gave Colorado a 27-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Lewis finished 12 of 19 for 248 yards and two touchdowns and Rice caught three passes for 111 yards.
The Buffs managed just two first-half field goals against an Arizona team that hasn’t won since Colorado’s 35-30 victory at Folsom Field on October 5, 2019.
The Wildcats (0-6, 0-3) had played better in recent weeks, keeping the No.9s Oregon and UCLA close until the fourth quarter, but it blew them up in the third.
The Wildcats lost a quarterback for the second straight week. First-year Redshirt right-hander Gunner Cruz tore a ligament in his right thumb when he struck a helmet on the pick-6. Wildcats coach Jedd Fisch said Cruz appeared to be done for the year.
Cruz took the start after the ‘Cats lost starter Jordan McCloud to ankle and knee injuries that ended the season last week. Arizona then turned to Will Plummer, who threw for 71 yards on 7 of 17 passes and also threw an interception.
“I don’t think we can get Gunner back this year,” Fisch said. “Will is going to be our guy we’re going to ride with.”
Colorado held onto the shutout when cornerback Nikko Reed smashed Plummer’s fourth pass to Jalen Johnson in the end zone with one minute remaining.
“The game did not go as we expected,” said Fisch. “The first half of the game sort of did.”
It was the Western version of the UMass-UConn game earlier this month that pitted two winless FBC independents against each other, and for much of the afternoon it was the rehearsal festival everyone was waiting for.
The first half featured almost as many punters (five) as it did points as the Buffs took a 6-0 lead in the locker room thanks to two Cole Becker field goals and a goal line. .
The Wildcats were pissed off without a gain on three straight Colorado 1 points at the end of the first half. On the fourth try, Cruz came under pressure from linebacker Nate Landman and missed his pass to Stanley Berryhill.
Colorado also faced a fourth and a 1 in the first half, but Dorrell sent his kicker to the chagrin of the 49,806 crowd.
Becker’s 19-yard field goal gave the Buffs their first opening practice score of the season.
“As soon as the offense scored a field goal in the first quarter, we said if they didn’t score again they wouldn’t win,” said Wells. “So that was our philosophy throughout the game.”
Dorrell’s decision to go for 3 looked much better through the lens of Colorado’s second practice which ended when Alex Fontenot was pissed off without a gain on the fourth and 1 off the 30-yard line. Arizona.
Fontenot netted Becker’s second basket, 37 yards, collecting a 43-yard assist to Arizona 24.
“It’s definitely tough,” Arizona running back Jalen John said. “But I mean, things do happen. It’s definitely a process, but we’re in the middle of the season. And our mentality right now is just 0-0 right now. So we will continue. “
Unsurprisingly, punters had some of the best games for both teams in the first half.
Arizona’s Kyle Ostendorp buried the Buffs in their 3 with a perfectly placed 42-yard punt in the first half and Josh Watts followed that up by putting Colorado out of trouble with a punt of 64 yards out of his own end zone.
“When Josh came in from the back of our end zone to like the 30, our whole team went crazy,” said Carson. “We like it.”
Arizona: hosts Washington on Friday evening, October 22.
Colorado: Visit the California Bears on October 23.
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