If only the game ended at halftime.
In front of a capacity crowd of 101,152 on Saturday in Austin, Texas, the Colorado Buffaloes football team led the heavily favored and second-ranked Texas Longhorns by four points after two quarters.
It was in the final 30 minutes when everything unraveled for the struggling Buffaloes.
The Longhorns outscored CU 28-0 in the second half to prevent the major upset and help them march to an easy 38-14 win.
CU (1-4, 0-1 Big 12 Conference) sophomore quarterback Tyler Hansen, whose original plan was to redshirt this season, entered the game early in the fourth quarter after junior starting quarterback Cody Hawkins threw two interceptions on back-to-back possessions in the third.
Hansen was 3-of-5 for 17 yards while Hawkins finished 6-of-18 for 68 yards with two touchdown passes to senior tight ends Patrick Devenny and Riar Geer.
On a fourth-and-10 play of CU’s second possession in the third, senior Matt DiLallo’s punt was blocked by Texas freshman Marquise Goodwin and picked up by sophomore Ben Wells, who took a few steps and found himself in the end zone to give the Longhorns (5-0, 1-0) a 17-14 lead.
Midway through the third, Longhorns senior quarterback Colt McCoy was intercepted by junior cornerback Jalil Brown at the UT 15-yard line.
CU running backs Rodney Stewart and Demetrius Sumler combined to gain five yards on the next two plays, but Hawkins’ ill-advised pass to junior wide receiver Scotty McKnight was intercepted by sophomore safety Earl Thomas, who sprinted 92 yards to give the Longhorns a 24-14 lead.
Early in the fourth, special teams play once again hurt the Buffs when UT grabbed a 31-14 advantage as senior Jordan Shipley returned DiLallo’s punt 74 yards for a touchdown.
With the game already in hand, Longhorns sophomore running back Foswhitt Whittaker crashed down on the pylon after a 12-yard run to provide Texas its final points with 6:12 left to play.
UT senior quarterback Colt McCoy went 32-of-39 passing for 265 yards and a touchdown completion to Shipley late in the second quarter.
CU’s defense held the Longhorns to 46 rushing yards, but the Buffs were only able to gain 42 yards on the ground themselves. CU sophomore tailback Rodney Stewart led the Buffs with 40 yards on 21 carries.
The Buffs were called for a school-record 20 penalties, eclipsing the 18 they had on Sept. 30, 1950 against Kansas State. The 140 penalty yards were the second-most behind the 153 accrued on Oct. 11, 1958 against Arizona.
Colorado will look to bounce back next Saturday as they host No. 16 Kansas (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) at Folsom Field at 5 p.m.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alexander K.W. Schultz at Alexander.firstname.lastname@example.org.