Buffs hope to stay positive amid adversity

Colorado is 1-7 and banged up, with five games to play.

BOULDER -- With five games left, staying positive could be a challenge for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Following Saturday's 45-2 loss to Oregon, the Buffs are 1-7 and the schedule ahead doesn't look too kind.

Throw in the mounting injuries -- captains Tyler Hansen and Anthony Perkins were the latest to go down Saturday -- and the last five weeks could be rough.

"It's difficult on guys," linebacker Jon Major said. "Seeing guys get hurt. That's the cards we've been dealt. You've got to move on, and you got to roll."

CU had 13 players miss Saturday's game with injuries, including starting tailback Rodney Stewart and star receiver Paul Richardson. Hansen (concussion), Perkins (sprained left ankle) and cornerback D.D. Goodson (concussion) were hurt during the game.

Perkins limped off the field in a protective walking boot. Hansen said after the game that he was going to get evaluated.

"I don't remember a lot and I've got a headache right now," said Hansen, who left in the first half.

"We need as much depth as possible and we don't have a lot right now, so it's tough."

Goodson and tailback Malcolm Creer were the latest true freshmen to burn their redshirts. That means 15 true freshman have played this season. Only four teams in the country (Texas with 18, Auburn with 17 and Army and Indiana with 16) have played more.

"We've got other players on the team that have to step up and make plays," senior receiver Toney Clemons said. "Injured guys, we miss those guys, but at the same time we have to strap up and play, whether they're there or not."

That won't be easy. The Buffs still have three games on the road (where they haven't won in four years) and home games against Southern Cal and Arizona.

"It's rough, but that's the game we play," Clemons said. "We just have to keep fighting and chopping wood. You just have to keep playing and stay positive at all times."

Major added: "I don't think there has been a separation factor at all (in the locker room). We're all staying together pretty well."

For the seniors, Saturday's game ended any chance for a bowl game. It's the first four-year stretch without a bowl since 1981-84. Still, Hansen said there is still fight left in the group.

"This group of seniors, we won't give up," he said. "We're not going to throw the towel in early."

GETTING A CHANCE: With Stewart out with a knee injury, Tony Jones got the start at tailback. The redshirt freshman had a solid outing, gaining 71 yards on 19 carries.

"It was great experience, going against the No. 9 team in the nation," Jones said.

The Buffs also got a good effort out of Creer. Playing his first game, he gained 37 yards on 11 carries.

"It's always good to have a backup when you need a breather or something," Jones said. "I definitely know that I can count on Malcolm and Josh Ford, being our other running back, too."

NEW SPOT: Goodson was a running back until this past week when the Buffs asked him to switch to defense. Although it was a new position, Goodson got the start at nickel back.

"I was just trying to find work," he said.

Goodson said he played a little bit of defense in high school, but not consistently, but would be OK if he stayed on defense.

"I wouldn't mind if it was permanent," he said. "I really like the position. You just get to run wild and hit."

500 MARK: Oregon finished with 527 yards in total offense, becoming the third straight team to top the 500-yard mark against the Buffs. That hasn't happened to CU since 1983.

The Ducks had 371 yards on the ground, the most against CU since Iowa State had 377 on Nov. 20, 1993.

Kenyon Barner got 84 of those yards on one play. That touchdown run was the third-longest running play ever against CU.

BUSY DAY: Punter Darragh O'Neill booted five punts on Saturday, just two shy of the CU record for a game.

Five of his kicks landed inside the 20, tying a school record for one game. O'Neill averaged 43.2 yards per punt, with a long of 55.

NOTES: Oregon has 293 yards in the first quarter. That's the second-most CU has ever allowed in a single quarter. ... This was just the second time in school history that CU's only points came on a safety. The last time was a 6-2 loss to Colorado Mines on Nov. 14, 1914. ... The safety helped CU avoid its first shutout at home since a 28-0 loss to Oklahoma in 1986. ... With Kyle Washington and Goodson starting in the secondary, CU has now had 18 players make their first career start this season. ... Under Kelly, the Ducks are 21-1 in Pac-12 games, and they've hit the 42-point mark in 18 of those 22 games.


BuffStampede Top Stories