Season one of the Coach Prime era wrapped up on Saturday afternoon, ending a season that will forever be remembered by the college football faithful. In their final game as a member of the Pac-12 conference, the Buffaloes took on the Utah Utes. It was a matchup that stayed competitive and hard-hitting until its conclusion. Although CU’s final record of 4-8 doesn’t look too appealing, the team made a mark on the school and the college football landscape. DaBaby said it best when he visited the team during their showdown versus USC.
“…I don’t even want to call [CU football] a Cinderella story,” he said. “It’s never been done before… It’s a Prime Time story, believe that.”
The Absence of Shedeur Doesn’t Hinder CU
After starting quarterback Shedeur Sanders went down with an injury for the rest of the matchup against Washington State, the quality of depth at the quarterback position seemed troubling. Both the QB2 and QB3 entered the game, and combined they put up 78 passing yards on six completions and an interception. But against the Utes, freshman backup quarterback Ryan Staub proved his doubters wrong in his first collegiate start of his career. Staub played with poise in front of a Utah crowd who define the word hostile. He has obviously taken quality notes behind Shedeur, as he looked like a veteran out there on the field. Staub put up a skillful stat line in a clear defensive game, throwing for 195 yards and a touchdown. He kept his team within striking distance the whole way.
Subpar Run Stopping Led to the Team’s Downfall
The front seven of the Buffaloes have shown mixed results when it comes to stopping the rushing attack. During their final game, they struggled. Entering this game was Utah’s third-string walk-on quarterback Luke Bottari, who also was playing in his first collegiate start. Knowing this, the Utes made sure they played this contest with a heavy focus on their run game. It worked beautifully for them. The team was able to run rampant, posting two touchdowns on 53 carries that went for 268 total yards. Lead back Jaylon Glover had his best game of the year statistically. As the offseason and training camps come, the Buffs will need to make sure their front seven is bolstered to stop performances like this one from their opponents.
The End of an Era is Upon us
This game was the final one for the Buffs in the Pac-12. Thirteen years in the illustrious conference have concluded, and Colorado athletics’ next chapter will see them compete against a new version of the Big 12. The Buffaloes, joined by Arizona, Arizona State, and TCU, embark on a journey to face new opponents. They leave behind familiar rivals but carry the lessons and experiences gained during their tenure in the Pac-12.
The echoes of this season will linger, not just in the win-loss column but in the character forged through challenges, the emergence of unexpected heroes, and the anticipation of a promising future in a new conference. As the Buffaloes turn the page, the stage is being set for a captivating next chapter, and the team is ready to make its mark in the evolving landscape of collegiate sports.
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