In a 42-14 loss to UCLA, the Buffs managed just 83 yards on 30 rushing attempts. That included 37 yards on 10 fourth-quarter attempts, when the game was already decided.
"Let's give kudos to their defense. Their defense did a hell of a job," CU offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "We obviously didn't click on offense for whatever reason. We have to keep grinding, we have to keep getting better."
UCLA came into the game with the 82nd-ranked run defense in the country, allowing 173.8 yards per game and 4.8 yards per attempt. CU never came close to those marks, and it didn't help that freshman tailback Christian Powell went out with a hip bruise in the first half.
The 6-foot, 235-pound Powell had 29 yards on seven attempts (4.1 per rush) when he got hurt.
"It really doesn't change too much, but at the end of the day, obviously you would like that guy in the game," Bieniemy said.
Powell's presence might have helped the Buffs on a key situation in the third quarter. CU had 3rd-and-1 from the UCLA 48-yard line, trailing 21-7. They handed the ball to 5-7, 190-pound Tony Jones who was stuffed for no gain. Then the Buffs went for it on 4th-and-1 and Jones was stuffed for no gain again. (A penalty on CU would have voided a first down on that play anyway, though).
"I think I got the first down, but with the penalty, that brought us back," Jones said. "We just have to keep grinding, we just have to keep chopping wood."
Jones, who came into the year as the starting tailback, finished with a team-best 31 yards on eight carries, but didn't have a run longer than nine yards.
"It changes things," Jones said of Powell's injury, "but at the same time, I'm ready."
Jones knows the Buffs need a full complement of backs going forward, though.
"We love Christian and definitely hope he's getting healthy," he said.
CU also used Donta Abron (19 yards on four carries) and Josh Ford (1 yard on 2 carries) during Saturday's loss.
"We've got some guys who can do some things," Bieniemy said. "We just have to hammer it out. We've just got to get better."
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