It wasn't simply losing to Washington in the 2016 Pac-12 championship game that bothers the Colorado football team.

It was how the Buffaloes lost.

Throughout its 41-10 win against the Buffs last December, Washington dominated the line of scrimmage and had its way with the Buffs.

"They had a better O-line, they had a better D-Line," defensive lineman Samson Kafovalu, who has since graduated, said in December. "The surge was real and we felt it and hopefully we learn and grow from it."

While Kafovalu and others from last year's team are now gone, the Buffs (3-0) haven't forgotten that performance, and they are intent on closing that physical gap with the No. 7 Huskies (3-0), who visit Folsom Field on Saturday.

"Physicality from all phases of the game, all positions," cornerback Isaiah Oliver said of the difference between the Buffs and Huskies last year. "We knew they wanted to run the ball and they were able to, and they were able to stop our run game. That's what hurt us the most is they were a lot more physical."

Washington rushed for 265 yards on 54 carries, while holding the Buffs to 82 yards on 29 rushes. The Huskies' defensive line sacked CU quarterbacks twice and hit them hard several other times.

"It was a good learning experience for all of us," said running back Phillip Lindsay, held to just 53 yards on 19 carries in that game.

Although the Buffs' offensive line has struggled at times this year, Lindsay said he has seen better physicality out of the Buffs this season.


"I'm starting to see it a lot more," he said. "We're only going to get better."

Of course, a good start would help. Head coach Mike MacIntyre felt the Buffs stood toe-to-toe with Washington for the first 35 minutes. But, after a pair of CU interceptions turned into a 24-7 Huskies lead, Washington dominated the final 25 minutes, he said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or