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Colorado football: Despite poor results, Buffs not lacking effort and energy

Colorado running back Alex Fontenot carries against Southern California during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John McCoy)
Colorado running back Alex Fontenot carries against Southern California during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John McCoy)
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Losing – and losing big – week in and week out certainly isn’t easy for anyone to take.

Yet, as the Colorado football team limps to the finish line of this disastrous season, it continues to put forth a spirited effort each game.

“Oh, yeah, that’s one thing about this team that really, out of the six years I’ve been here I’ve never really experienced,” running back Alex Fontenot said after Friday’s 55-17 loss at No. 7 USC. “Like, us losing but we keep that same energy. Nobody’s getting down on themselves. Everybody’s still locked in. Everybody wants to win and we still have belief that we can win.”

CU (1-9, 1-6 Pac-12) faces a difficult task in trying to get another win heading into the final two games. The Buffs visit No. 15 Washington (8-2, 5-2) on Saturday and then host No. 10 Utah (8-2, 6-1) on Nov. 26 to finish the season.

Already, the Buffs have lost eight times by 23 points or more, and they’ve been outscored 104-27 in the last two games. So, what keeps them going?

“That’s a good question,” defensive lineman Jalen Sami said. “Overall, it’s team heart. (This) is not what we wanted, but we’re out here working every day. We’re trying to compete. For me personally these are just opportunities for me to get better to elevate my game and hopefully reach my dreams of going professional.

“We’re just trying to work on (fixing mistakes), trying to get better. And so I took a pretty much personal job to try to get us motivated. We come in everyday to practice, and just trying to get better, even though the season hasn’t gone (how we wanted).”

Sami has been one of the Buffs’ best defensive players in recent weeks, while Fontenot had a season-high 108 rushing yards – his first 100-yard game in three years – against USC.

Those two and other Buffs will do their best to get a win Saturday in Seattle. Even if it’s another difficult result, it’s a good bet the Buffs will fight and put forth a spirited effort.

“We still have two more games to play to show our talents, to show what you can do on the field,” Sami said. “I feel highly about that. Like, what you put on tape (with effort) is what your character is, what defines you as your character.”

Extra day

By playing on Friday night this past week, the Buffs have an extra day of rest before facing the Huskies. Sami was grateful for that opportunity to relax on Saturday.

“I get to watch the full day in football, get to see Washington and Oregon,” he said. “That’s gonna be a good game to watch. I’ll probably watch some film (after the USC game) … and then just put it to rest and focus on Washington.”

Sami and the rest of the Buffs watched Washington pull off an upset of the favored Ducks, who came into the game ranked No. 6. The Huskies, who were ranked No. 24, rallied with 10 points in the final 3:07 to win, 37-34.

That victory vaulted Washington nine spots in the Associated Press poll on Sunday.

Notable

Per Oddsshark.com, CU is a 31-point underdog for Saturday’s game at Washington. Dating back to 1976, this is the first time CU has been an underdog of 30-plus points in three consecutive games. … This will also be the first time CU has played top-15 teams in three consecutive weeks since Weeks 7-9 of the 2012 season.

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