CU opponent glance

Opponent: Utah Utes

Game time: Saturday, 12:37 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City

Coach: Kyle Whittingham, 11th season (93-46)

Record: 8-3, 5-3 Pac-12

Last week: Lost at home to UCLA, 17-9

Key players: QB Travis Wilson, Sr. (176 of 272, 1,916 yards, 12 TD, 9 INT; 113 rushes, 434 yards, 6 TD); RB Joe Williams, Jr. (45 rushes, 199 yards); WR Britain Covey, Fr. (41 catches, 518 yards, 4 TD); P Tom Hackett, Sr. (47.4 average); K Andy Phillips, Jr. (21-of-25 on field goals, 40-for-40 on PATs); LB Gionni Paul, Sr. (96 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 INT); LB Jared Norris, Sr. 84 tackles, 5.5 TFL); DB Marcus Williams, So. (57 tackles, 4 INT); DE Pita Taumoepenu, Jr. (6 sacks); DE Jason Fanaika, Sr. (44 tackles, 9 TFL, 2.5 sacks).

Notable: The loss to UCLA dropped the Utes out of the Top 25 for the first time since the preseason rankings. ... The Utes are 2-3 since reaching No. 3 in the rankings on Oct. 18. ... Utah is the eighth CU opponent this season that spent some time in the Top 25, but only three were actually ranked when facing the Buffs. ... Utah's leading rusher, Devontae Booker (1,261 yards, 11 TD) is out for the season with a knee injury. ... The Utes may also be without Covey, who injured his ankle against UCLA, and several other key players.

PULLMAN, Wash. — For nearly a year, the Colorado football team has been striving for one thing: bowl eligibility.


On Saturday night, that goal officially went unfulfilled, as a 27-3 loss to No. 20 Washington State dropped the Buffaloes to 4-8 on the season.

With that dream now gone, the Buffs will try to pick up the pieces and get up for one last game, Saturday at newly unranked Utah.

"We still have one more game," quarterback Cade Apsay said. "We're going to give it our all and compete and just prepare throughout the week. It's just another game."

How the Buffs, who are 1-7 in Pac-12 play, approach that game will be interesting because frustration is building within a program that has clinched its 10th consecutive losing season.

"We need to find ourselves," running back Phillip Lindsay said. "We're tired of the same story every day. Our friends are tired of it, our parents are tired of it, our head coach is tired of it. We're all tired of it. Something has to give. Something has to change."

Those changes may not come until after the season, when each member of the coaching staff is sure to be evaluated. Athletic director Rick George has stated publicly that head coach Mike MacIntyre will be back for his fourth season 2016. Whether or not all of the assistants come back remains to be seen.

As far as Lindsay is concerned, though, the buck stops with the players.

"It comes from us," he said. "We're playing the games. We're in between the white lines.

"At the end of the day, (the coaches) give us a play call we have to go execute. If we don't execute it, it's our fault. They give us the tools. We practice every single day, we have a good game plan. It's on us. We have to find it."

The Buffs certainly didn't find it in Pullman.

They managed just 85 rushing yards against the nation's worst run defense. They gave up 149 rushing yards to a team that doesn't really care to run the ball. That was the highest rushing total by the Cougars in coach Mike Leach's four seasons at Wazzu.

Against one of the nation's worst red zone defenses, the Buffs scored on just one of three trips inside the Wazzu 20.

On the night, CU crossed the 50-yard line six times in 11 possessions and ran 37 of its 71 plays in Cougars' territory, and yet managed just a single field goal.

Two missed field goals, an interception and a bad snap on fourth-and-goal all occurred on separate drives into Wazzu territory. On one possession, the Buffs had three false start penalties and an offensive pass interference call — all after crossing the 50.

"Somehow we have to fix that," MacIntyre said of the self-inflicted wounds.

Those wounds have plagued the Buffs all season, though, and they have yet to find the answer to preventing them.

They've got one last shot to figure it out, and one last shot to take the some positive vibes into the offseason and send the seniors off with a win.

"We'll see the pride of (the players)," MacIntyre said. "It's the seniors last game. Hopefully they've got enough pride in them that they'll do it. I believe they will.

"The games against Utah have always been close, no matter what. Hopefully we'll go down there and play well enough to win."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or