This week, Colorado will have to contend with USC running back Ronald Jones, who has rushed for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In a win against Arizona on Saturday, Jones had 194 yards and three touchdowns, and Pro Football Focus posted that 101 of those yards came after contact. According to PFF, Jones forced six missed tackles.
That’s a problem for the Buffs, who have struggled against the run. They gave up 381 yards on the ground to ASU, and CU coach Mike MacIntyre cited missed tackles as the main reason.
“You can kind of work on different things (as coaches), but go back and watch it,” he said. “We’re right there and (ASU’s Demario Richard) just runs over us. Literally. On two long runs he made, two people miss that are faced up on him and they have to make the tackles. Players have to make those tackles. We work on tackling all the time and they have to make the tackles.”
MacIntyre said Jones is “fast as lightning” and athletic.
“He’s an excellent, excellent back,” MacIntyre said. “He’s a pro back for sure.”
To punt or not to punt
With about 3 minutes to play against the Sun Devils, the Buffs trailed 34-30 and faced fourth-and-14 from their own 45-yard line.
MacIntyre elected to put faith in his reeling defense, rather than giving his offense a shot to pick up a first down. MacIntyre said a shorter fourth down might have changed his decision.
“At fourth and (14) … your chances of making that are slim and none,” he said. “But, we could have definitely tried it. Now that we didn’t stop them, we probably should have tried it.”
ASU had scored 17 points and rushed for 151 yards on its three previous possessions. After CU’s punt, the Sun Devils wasted little time adding to that, marching 85 yards in seven plays – all runs – for a game-clinching touchdown with 46 seconds left.
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was named Pac-12 offensive player of the week, ending a streak of four straight awards for Arizona’s Khalil Tate. Oregon State’s Manase Hungalu was defensive player of the week and Washington’s Dante Pettis the special teams player of the week. … CU senior Phillip Lindsay ranks eighth nationally with 133.4 rushing yards per game. Jones is 14th at 120.22 yards per game. … CU’s James Stefanou is tied for seventh nationally with 16 field goals made, and his success rate of 88.9 percent (16-of-18) is tied for ninth.