For the third week in a row, the Colorado Buffaloes have lost a football game in blowout fashion. This week’s rendition would come in the form of a 49-7 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis on Sept. 17.
The Buffaloes went into Saturday’s game ranked as the worst football team in any of the major Power 5 conferences, and they went into Saturday’s game hoping to prove that they didn’t belong at the bottom. However, the game did not go as they had planned. Seven minutes into the game, the Buffs were down 14 points, and Minnesota didn’t stop expanding that lead until the final whistle.
“We’ll get better,” Karl Dorrell, Colorado’s head coach, said in last week’s press conference after the Buffaloes’ 31-point loss to Air Force.
Unfortunately, the results of this week’s game were eerily similar to the last. The Buffaloes’ would lose by an even more considerable margin this week than the last, with a whopping 42-point loss.
“I wasn’t expecting that type of performance, given the week we had last week,” said Dorrell postgame. “Poor start again, in terms of how the game started. We’re just not doing those things in a positive way early for us to be as good as we can be. And it’s unfortunate, you know. It’s unfortunate and it’s frustrating.”
The Colorado offense’s inability to get sustained offensive momentum against Minnesota would be the main culprit for the result of Saturday’s game. The offense could only move the chains for a first down two times in the entire first half.
Colorado’s offense has been below average and disappointing this season, and this game against Minnesota would reinforce this issue. The first play from scrimmage for the offense set the tone for the rest of the day when sophomore quarterback JT Shrout fumbled on the very first offensive snap of the game. CU’s offense never seemed to bounce back, which struggled immensely throughout the game. The Buffaloes finished the game after only 90 receiving yards and 136 rushing yards. The only points of the game for Colorado were scored on a four-yard touchdown reception by freshman tight end Austin Smith.
All three of Colorado’s quarterbacks would get extended playing time in this game, and freshman Owen McCown used this as an opportunity to give Buffs fans the only glimmer of hope the game was able to provide. McCown completed four out of his seven passes for 52 receiving yards and finished the game with an average of 7.4 yards per completion. The young quarterback looked promising for his first action in college football and one of the few positives that CU fans can be happy about.
When asked about the possibility of McCown starting in the future, Dorrell said he was open to any answers to fix his struggling football team.
“That is something to consider when you’re in a position we’re in right now,” said Dorrell. “We’re 0-3. We have to find something that’s going to give us a spark. So we’re going to turn every corner and turn over every stone to try to figure out as a staff what can give us a spark that we need.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Buffaloes struggled to contain Minnesota’s persistent rushing attack for the duration of the game. The battered and exhausted unit allowed Minnesota to rush for 334 yards and Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim to rush 202 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite the mounting losses in the last three weeks, Dorrell insists that the team won’t give up.
“I didn’t feel any quit out there.” said Dorrell in his postgame presser, “I didn’t see that at all. So I feel good about our attitude about playing the game. We’re just not very good at really playing it effectively and proficiently. That’s where we have to be better.”
Next week, The Buffaloes will have a shot to get their first win against the in-conference UCLA Bruins. The contest will take place on Sept. 24 at Folsom Field in Boulder.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ryland Scholes at Ryland.Scholes@colorado.edu.