If Buffaloes fans thought last week’s loss to FCS Sacramento State was rock bottom for the Colorado football program, they underestimated what Jon Embree and Co. were capable of.
Colorado was taken behind the woodshed Saturday, losing 69-14 to Fresno State but this game was over before the first quarter was even in the books. It was 35-0 after the first and 55-7 at halftime in one of the worst performances that Colorado has shown in their 123 year history. How bad was it? Just take a look at some of these numbers.
-Fresno State racked up 322 yards of total offense, 160 rushing and 162 passing, in the first quarter as they raced out to a 35-0 lead. Colorado looked like the smaller conference school as they gave up the most yards they have ever allowed in one quarter. The previous most yards allowed in one quarter was to Oklahoma (312 yards) in a 82-42 beat down back in 1980. Even in their previous two games the Buffs defense never quite looked this bad.
-Also in the first quarter the Buffs gave up the longest run (94 yards) and the second longest pass (97 yards) that has ever been allowed by a Colorado defense. It was also the first time that Colorado has surrendered two plays longer than 80 yards in the same game. On both plays neither running back Robbie Rouse or receiver Isaiah Burse were barely even touched as they scampered the length of the field. The Buffs defenders at least made a good effort to track them down but it was all for naught.
-The 55 points scored by Fresno in the first half tied for the second most ever allowed by CU in a half. The 516 total yards of offense by the Bulldogs in the first half was the most ever allowed in one half by the Buffs. At one point the broadcast showed a graphic of the average yards per play for both teams and Fresno State was gaining a stunning 13.6 yards a play. It seemed like the Buffs defenders were waiting for the Bulldogs to gain five yards before even trying to tackle them.
-This is the first time in the modern era of CU football that the team has lost three games in the same season to teams from non-BCS conferences. Losses to Colorado State, Sacramento State and Fresno State do not look good from a local or national perspective. It was a rough day for Colorado on Twitter as fans and journalists alike expressed their disappointment and surprise to the Buffs’ dreadful first half performance.
-Colorado nearly avoided the most lopsided loss by a team from a BCS conference against a team from a non-automatic qualifier when Josh Ford rushed in from a yard out in the fourth quarter. UCLA still holds that ignominious record with a 59-0 loss against BYU in 2008. CU’s offense had a tough time getting anything going as they only had 278 yards of total offense, most of which came in garbage minutes in the second half.
-Since 1980, Colorado had previously started a season 0-3 five times: 1980 (0-7), 1984 (0-5), 1986 (0-4), 2000 (0-4) and 2006 (0-6). Last season the Buffs were able to win against Colorado State in their third game in order to avoid a 0-3 start but another “cupcake” is nowhere to be found the rest of the year for CU.
The early season schedule was supposed to be the opportunity for Colorado to notch a few wins before they start conference play. It has not worked out in their favor and it only gets tougher from here. The rest of the Pac 12 conference has improved tremendously this season with five teams now ranked in the top 25. Colorado still has to play each one of those ranked teams the rest of the season.
If the Buffs give up 69 points to Fresno State it will be scary to see what happens when they face the likes of USC, Oregon and Stanford. Colorado is giving the effort but the talent is just not there right now. Maybe they will improve as the season rolls on but it’s a rough time for Colorado football to say the least.