SAN ANTONIO — None of the Colorado Buffaloes felt good about how the Pac-12 championship game played out on Dec. 2.

Receiver Bryce Bobo was especially disappointed, and the junior views Thursday's Valero Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma State as a chance to make up for it.

"No doubt. I have to end the season out right and I have to have a good feeling in my stomach after this game, or else I won't feel like I've done as much this season," Bobo said. "That's what this game means to me."

One of the top receivers for the Buffs this season, Bobo sprained an ankle during the first half of CU's 38-24 win against Washington State on Nov. 19. He sat out the win against Utah the following week and returned to the lineup against Washington in the Pac-12 title game.

Although he played against Washington, Bobo was not fully healthy, and it showed. He didn't catch a pass — even dropping one that hit his hands — and could not give the Buffs the support in the run game like usual.

"I'm always trying to be the one out there trying to make plays and be there for my teammates and do my role," he said. "I wasn't able to execute or do any of the things I wanted to do because of the injury.

"I like to play aggressive in the run game. I like to move people out of my way and do a lot of other things. That's probably the thing that hurt me the most was that I wasn't able to be aggressive in the run game."

Bobo, who had career highs in catches (41) and yards (523) this season, is now healthy and eager to have a big game on Thursday.


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"It's good that I get to come out here to this bowl game and try to give it my all," he said.

Like father, like son

In 1982, George MacIntyre was in his fourth season at Vanderbilt when he led the Commodores to a turnaround season, going 8-4. It snapped a string of several losing seasons.

It's not lost on CU coach Mike MacIntyre that the Buffs' turnaround has also occurred in his fourth season on the job, following a streak of 10 losing seasons.

"There are quite a few parallels, I would say," MacIntyre said of this team and his father's Vanderbilt squad.

Both schools had to fight their way through a difficult conference schedule — Vanderbilt in the SEC and CU in the Pac-12. Both schools also had an experienced, senior quarterback leading the way: Vanderbilt's Whit Taylor and CU's Sefo Liufau.

"He had a quarterback ... that kind of went through all the battles and losses and just kept going and ended up being the guy that got it turned around," MacIntyre said. "That was a special part. He had a lot of special guys in that system."

Bowl No. 2 for Callahan

While the Buffs are snapping a nine-year bowl drought, it's been just three years since offensive lineman Shane Callahan has been in a bowl.

The senior is the only CU player expected to see the field on Thursday who has been in a bowl game before. He was with Auburn in 2013 when the Tigers played in the Rose Bowl/BCS National Championship game.

"I wanted to be able to share that experience with all these guys," said Callahan a backup lineman who also plays on the punt team. "I went to one, but it was with a different crew. It's awesome that we finally get to go."

Callahan said both bowl experiences are similar, and he had only piece of advice for teammates making their first bowl appearance.

"Just go and have fun," he said. "Don't worry about outside stuff. Just focus on the bowl and have fun and that's what we're doing. We're having a good time."

Notable

The Buffs announced on Tuesday that they will wear traditional uniforms — gold helmet and pants and black jerseys — on Thursday. ... MacIntyre said that playing in the Alamodome will likely cause the Buffs to use more silent counts on offense because of the expected noise that comes from playing in a dome.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.