TOLEDO — The two losses have been identified, but from where will the 10 wins come?

    The Colorado defense is a sieve. The offense is mistake-prone and the entire team is being overpowered and outran by supposedly inferior opponents after an allegedly successful offseason of workouts. The Buffs are 0-2 because of it.

     Coach Dan Hawkins' team fell behind Toledo by two touchdowns early in the first half Friday night at the Glass Bowl in a scene eerily similar to the season opener against CSU. The Buffs gave up a big play bonanza a second-half rally couldn't overcome. The Rockets' Blue-out in the stands became a 54-38 blowout loss for the Buffs that will further fuel calls for Hawkins' job.

    And to add injury to insult, CU starting quarterback Cody Hawkins sustained a concussion on what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit while crossing the goal-line with 1:53 remaining in a game that was over long before that.

    Holy Toledo? CU fans are already calling for Dan Hawkins' job.

    “It's the nature of the beast,” Hawkins said. “ And I think it's great that people want us to win. All I can do is what I can do. We're going to have supporters. We're going to have detractors. I can't control what people think, nor am I willing.

    “I know this: Inside our program we're doing things right.


    Just not on the field in the first two games.
    Colorado gave up 624 yards of total offense to a team picked to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack in the Mid-American Conference this season. The Rockets racked up 11 plays of 20 yards or more and four plays of 40 yards or more, and that was just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter. Seven of those big plays went for touchdowns.

    Midway through the fourth quarter Toledo had run 50 plays and was averaging more than 10 yards per play.

    Meanwhile, CU struggled to score points against a defense that gave up 52 points in Week 1 to Purdue, until producing a couple touchdowns in the final 2:56 of the lopsided game.

    “Too many big plays, that's for sure,” Hawkins said.
    This isn't the first time Toledo left a team from a Bowl Championship Series conference slack-jawed. The Rockets have defeated Pittsburgh, Kansas, Iowa State and the Buffs at home in the past six seasons. But this was the first big upset for first-year coach Tim Beckman

    The Buffs' road losing streak extended to six games dating back October 2007 when they won at Texas Tech. The program is now 4-16 in games played outside Boulder since Hawkins was hired.

    The game began just after 9 p.m. in Toledo, making it the second latest start in CU history. The 1991 Blockbuster Bowl against Alabama began at 9:09 p.m. in Florida.

    Cody Hawkins completed 30 of 62 passes for 356 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions as he tried to rally the Buffs in the second half. CU scored three third quarter touchdowns to trim what was a 30-3 advantage to 37-24.

    Two Buff touchdowns came in a 20-second span with a fumbled kickoff return by Toledo sandwiched in between. But the Buffs' defense squandered touchdown passes to Jason Espinoza and Riar Geer when they allowed Toledo quarterback Aaron Opelt to dash 61 yards up the middle for a score that stretched the lead back to 20.

    The run didn't end Opelt's night but it capped a tremendous performance from the senior, who came into the game leading the nation in passing. Opelt completed 15 of 23 passes for 319 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

    Friday's game began in similar fashion to the season opener. The Buffs gave up a 60-yard pass on a third-down play, allowing Toledo deep into its territory. Opelt connected with wide receiver Danny Noble on an eight-yard touchdown pass two plays later, and the Buffs were playing from behind again.

    The Buffs missed a golden opportunity on a third-down play with four minutes left in the first quarter. Hawkins lofted a ball to tight end Riar Geer who had come open down the middle, but Geer dropped the ball and the Buffs punted.

    Toledo wasted no time scoring again.

    Opelt connected with true freshman Eric Page on a 70-yard touchdown pass. Page blew by linebacker Michael Sipili, made the catch and raced untouched to the end zone. Page, one of the best high school quarterbacks in northern Ohio the past two years, had two catches for 130 yards at that point in his new role as a wide receiver at the college level.

    Unlike Week 1 when they abandoned the running game after falling behind, the Buffs stuck with the ground game on the next possession. Scott began to find chunks of real estate, including a 32-yard run. But the drive stalled when CU was unable to convert a third down and the Buffs settled for a 32-yard field goal.

    Toledo answered the Buffs with a 50-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in the half. The line drive kick from Alex Steigerwald had just enough distance. It was a career best and the fifth-longest kick in Toledo history.

    The kicking woes of Aric Goodman returned on the next Colorado possession. After the offense sputtered out on a 10-play drive, Goodman missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt.

    Toledo lengthened its lead in the final minute of the half when Opelt scrambled eight yards for a first down on fourth-and-seven and ran 27 yards for a touchdown two plays later. Toledo led 23-3 at the end of the first half.

    The onslaught continued on the Rockets' first possession of the second half. Following a 40-yard kickoff return, Toledo chewed its way down the field in big chunks scoring on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Opelt to Kenny Stafford.

    Colorado finally found the end zone in the third quarter when Hawkins hit wide receiver Scotty McKnight for the second week in a row with a four-yard touchdown pass. The score began the Buffs' rally, but it came too late.