The Buccaneers fall for the first time this season to drop to 7-1 overall. Colorado improves to 3-3 on the season.
The Bucs' freshman quarterback Kyle Copeland made his first start, and he kept CSU close in the first half, putting together a pair of scoring drives of over 80 yards. Colorado, however, leaned on the Bucs in the second half to pile up 208 yards rushing and five TDs in the win.
CSU, playing on the road for the sixth time in eight weeks, showed the toughness that has the Bucs off to a 7-1 start and surging under first-year head coach Jamey Chadwell.
"Getting to play a Pac-12 team, even when the stadium was not necessarily packed full, was definitely an experience for us," Chadwell said. "We also wanted to see if we could compete at this level. For the first half, we did that. In the second half, we did not. What we can take from this is that if we play well and to our capabilities, then we can compete with some really good teams; that is what we are going to sell.
CSU ran the ball with some success, but never broke off a big run. Freshman Mike Holloway flashed exciting potential with five carries for 44 yards, but 9.0 tackles for loss by Colorado kept the Bucs behind the markers for much of the game.
Reyes had 14 carries for 43 yards and will almost certainly become the Bucs' single-season record holder for rushing yards next week at Buccaneer Field. He has 771 yards this season and is three shy of the mark.
Colorado started fast as Micha Adkins II scored from 23 yards out to give the Buffaloes an 8-0 lead. Colorado ran in for two on the conversion attempt to cap the fast start. Colorado had 52 yards rushing on the drive.
CSU would answer back with an impressive 15-play, 69-yard drive to cut the Colorado lead to 8-3. Running back Christian Reyes took the toss from Copeland and flipped a would-be 11-yard TD pass to a diving Nathan Prater for the apparent score. The play would be overturned on replay and CSU would settle for a 33-yard chip shot from Mark Deboy. Copeland had a 22-yard run on 4th and 3 to keep the drive alive.
Colorado would force a Copeland fumble and add to its lead as Adkins scored from 5 yards out to give CU a 15-3 lead on a two-play drive.
The Buffs took a 22-3 lead on a 60-yard throw-and-catch from Liufau to Paul Richardson on a three-play scoring drive with just over nine minutes to play in the second quarter. The Bucs would keep it the rest of the half.
Copeland would find Colton Korn for a 7-yard touchdown pass just before the half to cap a time-consuming drive and give the Bucs a shot in the second half. CSU put together a 15-play, 87 yard drive that included five third-down conversions. Copeland had two runs for first down yardage and found Korn twice to keep the drive alive.
Colorado built its lead back out to 19 points after holding the Bucs on the opening possession of the second half. Christian Powell scored from three yards out to cap a 13-play, 64-yard drive to make it a 29-10 lead for CU.
CSU struggled to get anything going in the second half offensively as the Bucs punted on their final four possessions. A pair of TD runs by Adkins on Colorado's final two possessions put the game out of reach.
Copeland finished 7-of-13 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. Safety D.J. Curl led CSU with five tackles and a tackle for loss. Nose guard James Smith added four stops and a sack, which ended a first-half drive for Colorado.
Bucs' punter Truett Burns was efficient, punting seven times for a 43.1 yard average.
CSU returns home next Saturday for homecoming against FBS-bound Charlotte. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Buccaneer Field.