PULLMAN, Wash. — Colorado kicker Diego Gonzalez had another rough outing on Saturday night.

Special teams coach Toby Neinas doesn't believe the junior needs to be benched, however.

"We'll certainly watch in practice, but there's not been a moment this year that I didn't feel that Diego wasn't giving us our best opportunity to score points, and I still feel that way," Neinas said after Saturday's 27-3 loss to Washington State.

Gonzalez went 1 for 3 on field goals, missing from 47 and 33 yards before finally hitting a 24-yarder late in the third quarter.

On the season, Gonzalez's field-goal percentage (64.3, 18-of-28) ranks last in the Pac-12. He is 10 for 17 (58.8 percent) in Pac-12 play and has missed at least one field goal in six consecutive games.

Gonzalez had missed seven in a row from the left hash before breaking the skid with his third-quarter field goal on Saturday.

"At this point it would be more mental than anything else," Neinas said of Gonzalez's struggles. "We felt that we may have identified a mechanical flaw here in the last couple of weeks, but we felt we also had it corrected going into the game last weekend.

"We aren't going to win games in the Pac-12 hitting field goals at .500. For us to win, we have to be .750 to be average and right now we just aren't doing it. Obviously I'm concerned about his confidence level right now, because it certainly has to be damaged."

Neinas doesn't put all the blame on Gonzalez, however.


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"I'm certainly very frustrated with our field goal unit, in general," he said. "It's been disappointing. At this point, I'd almost say it's been disappointing on the year. For us to start well (Gonzalez made his first five attempts this season) and be where we are right now ... you just can't underestimate the momentum of that play."

Kickoff specialist Chris Graham is the backup kicker, but Neinas the plan is to stick with Gonzalez for now.

Evaluating Apsay

In his first career start, redshirt freshman quarterback completed 26 of 40 passes for 238 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns.

He was sacked four times and also had several of his passes dropped.

"He did some good things," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "He missed the coverage on the two interceptions and what was happening to him. (The Cougars) were rolling over the top of Spruce. He'll see that on film and he'll learn from that and be able to keep his eyes down field a little bit better."

MacIntyre said Apsay showed good poise, though, and running Phillip Lindsay agreed.

"I'm proud of him and he needs to continue to do what he's doing," Lindsay said. "He's a very, very good quarterback. He has good composure. Now he just needs to continue to grow."

Notable

The last two times CU was held without a touchdown - both in 2012 - it came back to score more than 30 points the next week. ... Entering the final week, Nelson Spruce needs 58 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the season. He also needs 11 catches to reach 300 for his career. ... Lindsay is three rushing yards shy of reaching 1,000 for his career. He got to 999 on Saturday before a pair of 1-yard losses to close his night.