Washington 37, Colorado 10
How it happened: After a back-and-forth and fairly even first half, Washington dominated the second half. A pick-six by Myles Bryant turned the tide and Myles Gaskin added a 57-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Turning point: Bryant's 35-yard interception return, with 2:03 to play in the third quarter, turned a seven-point game into a 24-10 Huskies lead. CU never recovered.
CU's stars of the game
RB Phillip Lindsay: He finished with 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught five passes for 32 yards.
PK James Stefanou: The freshman drilled a 49-yard field goal, the longest of his career.
Bottom line: It was only the opener in conference play, but CU proved it has a long way to go to be among the elite teams in the Pac-12.
Washington's Myles Bryant read the eyes of Colorado quarterback Steven Montez, jumped in front of a pass and never broke stride.
After picking off Montez's pass, Bryant out-raced him to the end zone and the seventh-ranked Huskies ran away from the Buffaloes, 37-10, on Saturday night at Folsom Field.
In a bit of déjà vu, CU's opportunity to prove itself as a Pac-12 title contender was squashed by a Huskies' defensive back sprinting to the end zone with a demoralizing pick-six.
"I was thinking, 'Alright the corner bails, we should have it,'" Montez said in recapping that play. "So right when I released the ball, I saw, I want to say it was the nickel, buzzed right under it. He just outran me. Bad decision."
Bryant's 35-yard interception return, with 2 minutes, 3 seconds to play in the third quarter put the Huskies (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) ahead 24-10. Not an insurmountable deficit for the Buffs, but it broke their back and Washington rolled from there and snapped CU's eight-game home winning streak.
The play was reminiscent of a 35-yard interception return for touchdown by the Huskies in the third quarter of last year's Pac-12 title game. That one also gave the Huskies a 14-point lead, and it also broke the Buffs, who went on to lose 41-10.
Saturday's rematch wasn't quite as lopsided, but it felt like it.
Montez threw three interceptions, the Buffs (3-1, 0-1) had a punt blocked, and Washington tailback Myles Gaskin had a whale of a night, with 202 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
"We just didn't handle business. Simple as that," CU safety Afolabi Laguda said.
Since December, the defending South division champion Buffs have been talking about winning the conference title that eluded them a year ago. It's too early to dismiss their chances, but the Buffs' first opportunity to prove themselves was a disaster.
"That was our first real, real test in the Pac-12 and we kind of dropped the ball," Laguda said. "We just have to keep moving forward, practicing hard and good things will come of it.
The night started off well enough.
The Buffs received the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in 11 plays, capping the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Phillip Lindsay.
On the ensuing Washington possession, Laguda picked off a Jake Browning pass to get the ball back in the hands of the offense.
Eight plays and 42 yards later, the Buffs were threatening to score again, with first down at the Huskies' 41-yard-line. They got nothing out of that drive, however, and soon after the mistakes began to pile up.
Early in the second quarter, Washington's Vita Vea busted through the Buffs' punt protection shield and blocked an Alex Kinney punt.
"The way it looked to me, they had two big guys that ran into our guys and knocked our guys back," MacIntyre said. "And, there was another thing we should have done on that that we didn't do up front that would have helped that. There was a mistake made. But they still shouldn't run through our shield and blocked it."
Washington took over at the Buffs' 12 and needed just four plays before Gaskin punched in the tying touchdown from a yard out.
CU's offense marched into Washington territory on each of the next two possessions, but both ended with Montez throwing interceptions to Jordan Miller.
"Point blank, you can't throw three picks and expect to win a game," Montez said. "You just can't do it."
Despite all the miscues, the Buffs were down just 10-7 at the half.
Just like in December, however, Washington out-scored the Buffs 27-3 after the break, with Gaskin's 57-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter putting the cap on the night.
Washington had 161 of its 254 rushing yards in the second half.
"It was pitiful by us in the second half stopping the run," MacIntyre said. "We should be better at that. We have to find a way to get better at it."
That's not the only thing the Buffs have to get better at if they are to truly make a run at the Pac-12 championship.
Colorado was out-matched once again by a Huskies team that is eyeing not only a second consecutive conference title, but a return trip to the College Football Playoff.
While the Huskies march on, the Buffs have to regroup quickly, as they face their first road trip of the season, Saturday at UCLA.
"We have a lot more season left," safety Ryan Moeller said. "We'll get out of here now and go get ready to take on the rest of the Pac-12. It's not going to be an easy road but it's one that we're happy to be on."
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.