Buffs Can't Overcome Mistakes; Lose 24-22

The Colorado Buffaloes' return to dominance took another detour on Sunday night, when the Buffs were upset at home 24-22 to Fresno State in the inaugural Jim Thorpe Classic. <P> Not to take anything away from a very physical Fresno State team, but Colorado basically beat themselves with sloppy play and five turnovers.

No turnover was more costly than the interception Craig Ochs threw in the end zone with 3:32 to play in the game and CU only trailing 24-22. Colorado had marched down the field and had a third and goal from the Bulldogs three-yard line when Fresno State DB Devon Banks picked Ochs off ending the CU threat.

But the sophomore QB wasn't the only one making mistakes. Penalties, dropped passes, bad snaps and horrible tackling plagued the Buffs throughout the game.

It started early, when five minutes into the game RB Chris Brown, making his first college start, fumbled the ball and Fresno took over at the CU 45. The Bulldogs converted that mistake into a touchdown and a 7-0 lead when QB David Carr snuck it into the end zone on a 1-yard keeper. (See Fresno picture archive)

On Colorado's next possession, Ochs fumbled when he was hammered by blitzing safety Bryce McGill and FSU took over at the Buff 21. Fresno State went up 14-0 in the first quarter when Paris Gains scored on a 1-yard dive. Just like that the Buffs picked up exactly where they left off last season.

WR/KR Roman Hollowell got the Buffs on the board when he made some great moves and took a punt back 77 yards for the score. But on the next series, the Bulldogs countered immediately with an 80-yard scoring drive. QB David Carr was 5-of-6, including a 21-yarder to Marque Davis with 1:58 left for a 21-7 lead.

Then just before the half, the Buffs offense put together their strongest drive of the game. Using the two-minute offense (maybe they should use this more often) Craig Ochs completed passes to TE Daniel Graham and WR Derek McCoy as the Buffs drove down to the Bulldog 8 yard line. WR John Minardi capped the drive with his first TD reception of the season. (See picture achieve). But the extra point was blocked and the Buffs were down 21-13 at the half.

The CU defense began to put pressure on David Carr in the third quarter but the offense could only manage a field goal. Making his college debut, CU kicker Pat Brougham nailed a 43 yarder and the Buffs were down 24-16 entering the forth quarter.

It seemed the tide had turned when Ochs drove the offense into Fresno territory and he tossed his second TD pass to Minardi, making it 24-22 with 7:51 to go.

Colorado attempted a two-point conversion to tie it up but Ochs overthrew Hollowell . That was as close as they could get as CU's next two possessions ended with interceptions.