Forget about winning a home game. The Colorado football team has enough trouble just trying to score points in Folsom Field these days.
The Buffaloes' stuck in the mud offense flopped once again and this time it came in a very winnable game against a Washington team that seemed to struggle almost as badly at times. The Huskies handed the Buffs their seventh consecutive loss 38-3 in front of perhaps the smallest crowd to see a game in Boulder in three decades.
CU announced it had sold approximately 45,000 tickets before the game but there appeared to be no more than 30,000 fans in the stadium, and that might be generous.
"That's something we need to get right," tight end Nick Kasa said. "If you don't win games, people don't want to come see you. We have to win some games."
Who could blame CU fans for not showing up when the offense has scored three points at home in the past 10 quarters played here and the defense has been one of the worst in the nation most of the season?
The loss was the 10th of the season for CU. It is just the fifth time in the program's history the Buffs have suffered double-digit losses in a single season.
The fourth time was last year when CU was 3-10.
"Losing hurts," defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe said. "I don't think there is a guy in the locker room who isn't hurting. We just have to work hard to try to send our seniors out the right way."
The Buffs must beat Utah at home next week in the season finale to avoid becoming the first CU team in history to go winless during an entire season at Folsom Field.
CU definitely hasn't had the look of a team with any belief in itself for weeks now and it doesn't go unnoticed by opponents.
"They looked dead," Washington safety Justin Glenn said of the Buffs. "Cody (Bruns) and I were talking about that because we've been there. I think back to our freshman year (0-12), and you just don't have hope. Coming into the game, it's just not the same. It feels great to be on the opposite end of that."
CU coach Jon Embree said he believes his team has showed a sense of urgency all season.
"You can't say that this team has not played with urgency," Embree said. "We just have not executed or played both sides of the football."
Colorado's defense played considerably better than it had last week when it was run over at Arizona. It kept the team in the game but couldn't overcome turnovers by the offense and special teams that gave Washington prime field position on multiple occasions.
The Buffs held an opponent scoreless in the first quarter for the first time since last season's finale at Utah and nearly shut out the Huskies through the first half. But Washington quarterback Keith Price was able to lead a late first-half scoring drive culminating in Bruns' first career touchdown catch that gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead at the intermission.
Price completed 22 of 29 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns. Price tied the school record for touchdown passes.
Sophomore Connor Wood started at quarterback for the first time in his career but made two poor decisions that led to interceptions and he was replaced by junior Jordan Webb before halftime. Webb couldn't do much better.
The Buffs produced 141 yards of total offense. They have now generated 217 yards of total offense in the past two home games combined.
Colorado's running game was unable to take advantage of a Washington defense ranked 90th in the nation against the run.
The Buffs were so bad offensively, they didn't seem to know the correct down and distance at one point. Midway through the second quarter, Webb ran a quarterback sneak on first-and-10 as if it was fourth-and-1.
Webb and Embree explained later that the officials initially failed to rule the Buffs had made a first down on the preceding play, but the chains had been moved by the time the Buffs came to the line of scrimmage.
The game got away from the Buffs again in the third quarter, keeping alive a streak of anticlimactic fourth quarters played with fans streaming up the aisles at Folsom and the sound of bands echoing through the empty seats.
The Buffs handed the Huskies points early in the third quarter. CU wide receiver Nelson Spruce was hit by a bouncing punt that Washington's Kevin Smith grabbed as he was going out of bounds and flipped up in the air. Washington safety Will Shamburger recovered.
The Huskies scored three plays later when Price hit Kasen Williams with a 17-yard touchdown pass.
CU left tackle David Bakhtiari was beaten by Washington's Josh Shirley on third down on the Buffs next possession. Shirley sacked Webb and forced a fumble in the process. Washington recovered and the Huskies scored two plays later when Price hit Kendyl Taylor with a 23-yard screen pass.
Colorado finally scored with 6 minutes, 15 seconds left in the third quarter when a drive stalled after a holding penalty and Will Oliver kicked a 37-yard field goal. Oliver's kick broke the Buffs' scoreless streak of more than eight quarters at home. CU hadn't scored at Folsom Field since the second quarter of the Arizona State game on Oct. 11.
But the Buffs couldn't muster any more than that and like numerous previous opponents the Huskies poured it on late with two more touchdowns and a field goal.
Eleven down, one to go.
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleRingo
Washington 38, Colorado 3
Washington 0 7 17 14--38
Colorado 0 0 3 0-- 3
Wash -- Bruns 3 pass from Price (Coons kick), 1:02.
Wash -- Williams 17 pass from Price (Coons kick), 12:01.
Wash -- Taylor 23 pass from Price (Coons kick), 9:22.
Col -- FG Oliver 37, 6:15.
Wash -- FG Coons 25, 1:07.
Wash -- Seferian-Jenkins 3 pass from Price (Coons kick), 9:24.
Wash -- Mickens 18 pass from Price (Coons kick), 5:01.
A -- 43,148.
First downs 22 10
Rushes-yards 38-228 31-90
Passing 248 51
Comp-Att-Int 22-29-0 10-23-2
Return Yards 16 2
Punts-Avg. 3-40.7 6-41.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-3
Penalties-Yards 8-89 5-60
Time of Possession 34:34 25:26
RUSHING -- Washington, Sankey 23-139, Taylor 9-78, Mickens 1-20, Glenn 3-5, Price 2-(minus 14). Colorado, Powell 17-66, T.Jones 3-36, Abron 2-5, Creer 1-1, C.Wood 2-1, Goodson 1-0, J.Webb 5-(minus 19).
RECEIVING -- Washington, Williams 7-80, Sankey 4-48, Bruns 3-33, Seferian-Jenkins 3-22, Campbell 2-20, Taylor 1-23, Mickens 1-18, E.Hudson 1-4. Colorado, Abron 4-20, G.Thomas 2-16, McCulloch 2-14, Hobbs 2-1.