Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre said it was "gut-wrenching" to watch his offense during a 27-3 loss to Washington State on Saturday.

Offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren didn't feel any better about the performance.

Entering the final game of the season, on Saturday at Utah (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12), the Buffaloes (4-8, 1-7) are hoping for a quick turnaround.

"I think it's huge," Lindgren said of playing well on offense against the Utes. "I thought last year against Utah, our guys showed up and played hard and we moved the ball and scored some points.

"More importantly, just a win for the program (would be big); any time you can end the season on a win, that just builds confidence and momentum going into the offseason."

To get that win, the Buffs hope to shed the bitter taste of that ugly game against Washington State.

It was the first time in MacIntyre's three seasons that the Buffs failed to score a touchdown, and this came against a team that gives up nearly 30 points a game.

Most frustrating was how they played, with dropped passes, missed field goals, low snaps and interceptions all proving costly.

"It was tough," Lindgren said. "I think we were all disappointed.

"(There were) just some things there I thought were very uncharacteristic of our offense most of the year. It was frustrating because I thought we did some good things at times; we just left some opportunities and, obviously, we left a lot of points off the board."


Both Lindgren and MacIntyre said they were relatively pleased with the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Cade Apsay, who made his first career start.

Apsay completed 26 of 40 passes for 238 yards but had several passes dropped by his receivers.

"I think that's the most drops we've had in a game," Lindgren said.

The Buffs also had a couple of bad snaps, one of which came on a fourth down near the goal line and cost them a chance at a touchdown.

"I really think those have probably been the first two (bad snaps) that I can remember all season," Lindgren said. "That's something that we work on every day and we'll continue to work on, but I don't anticipate having a problem with that again."

It was one of several problems on Saturday, and the Buffs don't have much time to fix those problems.

They will, however, lean on Apsay once again to guide the offense.

Asked what progress he'd like to see out of Apsay from his first start to his second, MacIntyre said, "Our team win the football game and the guys around him help him a little bit better."

That's not to say that Apsay was perfect, but his coaches liked how he handled his first start.

"I liked his demeanor on game day," Lindgren said, adding that he was pleased to see some fire from his young quarterback, who barked at his linemen after the bad snap near the goal line.

"He did some good things," MacIntyre said of Apsay. "He's got to read the coverages a little bit better. Now that he understands what's going on, he'll have a better feel for that."

Part of Apsay's progression will be in eliminating turnovers. He threw two interceptions, one of them on a third-and-14 play and the other on fourth-and-19.

"We're down and trying to be aggressive and go get it," Lindgren said. "That's something that is a great learning opportunity for him to just be able to tuck it in and run or check it down and be smart about it in that situation. It'll be something he can learn from."

Lindgren hopes the entire offense learns from the Washington State game, because in order to pull the upset of the Utes, the Buffs need the offense to do some heavy lifting.

"(With Apsay), there was a lot of good things to build off of," Lindgren said. "Like the rest of the offense, we've just got to just be more detailed and make less mistakes."


Tailback Michael Adkins hasn't played since Sept. 19 because of a hamstring injury, and it's not likely he'll play this week, but MacIntyre didn't rule that out yet. "If he could go full speed, we'd play him, but right now he hasn't been able to go full speed," MacIntyre said. ... Offensive lineman Jonathan Huckins, who injured his right leg on Saturday, got an MRI on Tuesday and is questionable to play this week.

Brian Howell:, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.