Three weeks ago, Phillip Lindsay was Colorado's first option at tailback.
Saturday, he was an afterthought.
Three weeks after posting a career-high 23 carries in a loss to Arizona, the sophomore from Denver South High School had just five carries for 14 yards in Saturday's 42-10 loss to Stanford.
Four of Lindsay's carries came in the last eight minutes, when the final outcome had already been determined. He didn't touch the ball in the first half.
"Of course it's going to be frustrating," said Lindsay, who leads the Buffs with 503 rushing yards this season. "Everybody's role is different. For me, I have to be patient. Everybody's role changes."
Why Lindsay's role has changed is a mystery, though.
"I couldn't tell you that," he said. "I don't know."
Lindsay had 91 yards in that loss to Arizona on Oct. 17, but he has just 89 yards on 20 carries in three games since then.
"We're playing him more on special teams and we felt like for this game Patrick Carr has been playing really well," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "Donovan Lee given us a lot of different options in the passing game and the running game."
Carr and Lee did combine for 162 yards a week earlier at UCLA, but combined for just 33 yards on Saturday.
For whatever reason, the Buffs didn't turn to Lindsay to ignite their stale running game on Saturday. That doesn't mean they won't look his way in the future, though.
"We've got some guys that we're trying to find different things we can do," MacIntyre said. "Phillip will get his shot at different times.
"It's just the way we see it working out at this time."
Worth a try
After pulling within 28-10 early in the third quarter, the Buffs tried an onside kick. It was recovered by Stanford, however, and the Cardinal scored a touchdown on the next play.
"We had seen a flaw in what they did," MacIntyre said. "The (Stanford) kid didn't take off running like he has in all the other games. We've done it before. Our kids tried to execute it."
Left hash woes
Kicker Diego Gonzalez lined up from the left hash and missed a 37-yard field goal in the first half.
Gonzalez has now missed his last four attempts from the left hash, after starting the year 4-for-4 on that side.
"I don't really care about where the ball is, but they usually say for a lefty it's harder to kick from the left hash," said the left-footed Gonzalez, who is now 16-for-23 on the season. "That might have something to do with it. But I don't really care with where the ball is placed. There's the natural hook, then you know you have to pull it to the right and you can pull it too hard."
Gonzalez did make a 29-yard field goal later in the game, hitting that one from the middle of the field.
Sophomore receiver Shay Fields played sparingly early, but was unable to continue with a sore ankle.
"He got it rolled up again in the game last week and he just couldn't practice this week," MacIntyre said. "We were trying to see if he could go and he really couldn't go today."
Fields injured his ankle against Arizona on Oct. 17, missed the next game and caught four passes for 39 yards last week against UCLA. The Buffs are hoping he'll return for Friday against USC.
Receiver Nelson Spruce hit the 3,000-yard mark for receiving yards. He now has 3,022. ... Senior Christian Powell, who has led the Buffs in rushing the last three years, did not touch the ball. It's the first time in his 42 career games he didn't run the ball at least once. ... CU used a different starting combination on the offensive line for the sixth game in a row. Junior Sully Wiefels got his first career start, lining up at left guard. ... CU's captains vs. Stanford: Chidobe Awuzie, Alex Kelley, Sefo Liufau and Kenneth Olugbode. ... CU's oldest living football letterman, Dick Meckley (1942), was in attendance.
Brian Howell: email@example.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.