3 takeaways: WSU doesn't stop CU ground game

BOULDER - Washington State's winning streak abruptly ended at eight after it fell to Colorado 38-24 on Saturday. The difference between winning and losing was crystal clear when you look at one specific stat category.

1. Third down conversions killed Wazzu's chances

It was about as bad as it gets for the Cougs on third down.. Colorado converted 13 out of its 21 attempts while WSU only converted 4 out of 15. Every time the Wazzu defense had a chance to get off the field, it seemed they gave up another big play that allowed Colorado’s offense to stay on the field. Meanwhile, whenever the Cougs needed a third down completion, they came up short. This was by far the biggest minus for WSU on the stat sheet.

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2. Cougar D couldn’t stop Liufau, Buffs on the ground

Colorado quarterback Sefo Luifau found his running groove early in the second half and CU continued to pound the Cougs on the ground the rest of the way. Wazzu had no answer on defense. After it was all said and done, Liufau was responsible for 453 hashes -- 345 through the air and another 108 on the ground. The ground yards may have been fewer but they were more deadly. Luifau’s quarterback keepers resulted in three TD runs and whatever adjustments WSU made at halftime or in-game clearly didn’t play out well, especially in the second half. CU outscored the WSU 24-7 after intermission.

3. DB’s stepped up, but front seven collapsed

Defensive backs Darrien Molton, Treshon Broughton and Jalen Thompson came up with some big plays that kept Colorado out of the end zone.  But The Washington State front seven was clearly worn down in the second half as Colorado ran roughshod over the Cougar D for 260 yards -- 108 of which came from the QB. he Cougs handled the run game in the first half for the most part, but WSU got beat up and pushed around in the third and fourth quarters. The most telling play: Colorado RB Phillip Lindsey ran in the go-ahead TD from 13 yards out while carrying multiple Cougs into the end zone with him.

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