Buffaloes Grapple with Offensive Challenges Despite Coaching Shake-Up: Oregon State Prevails 26-19

Coaching Shift Fails to Spark Buffaloes: Colorado’s Struggles Continue Against Oregon State

In a challenging showdown on Saturday night, Colorado’s coaching overhaul yielded no immediate benefits as they fell short in a 26-19 loss to the No. 16 Oregon State Beavers.

The Buffaloes faced persistent difficulties in establishing a ground game and struggled to accumulate yards through the air, particularly during the first three quarters. Their early performance was characterized by seven punts on nine initial drives, a costly fumble, and a remarkable scarcity of offensive yards. The turning point came in the fourth quarter when a 75-yard touchdown drive nearly equaled their total yardage from the preceding segments.

On the preceding Friday, multiple reputable sources, including Yahoo Sports, revealed that Colorado had appointed Pat Shurmur, a former NFL head coach and team analyst, as their offensive play-caller. Shurmur took charge of play-calling duties, supplanting offensive coordinator Sean Lewis.


The decision to transition from Lewis to Shurmur stemmed from Colorado’s ongoing struggles, epitomized by the staggering 42 sacks conceded in the first eight games of the season and their one-dimensional offense due to a beleaguered offensive line. Regrettably, Shurmur’s inaugural game at the helm failed to bring about substantial alterations. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders was frequently forced to evade Oregon State defenders, and when he did complete passes, they were remarkably short. By the early third quarter, Sanders had completed 15 of 23 passes for a mere 67 yards.

The Buffaloes concluded the game with a total of 238 yards, including a disheartening negative-7 yards on the ground, with a meager yardage surge occurring during the final quarter when Oregon State was in a commanding position. In a third-quarter hit, Sanders briefly retreated to the locker room but swiftly returned to the sideline without missing a play.


The game’s turning point materialized late in the second quarter when Colorado had an opportunity to potentially enter halftime trailing by a mere 7-3. Unfortunately, Sanders’ two incompletions and an unsuccessful third-down run resulted in a three-and-out, allowing Oregon State to regain possession with 22 seconds left on the Colorado 20-yard line. With the clock ticking, the Beavers seized the moment, as DJ Uiagalelei connected with Deshaun Fenwick for a touchdown, extending their halftime lead to 14-3. Although Colorado managed to reduce the gap to a touchdown with 1:42 remaining, they never regained possession for a chance to equalize or take the lead.

This defeat drops Colorado’s season record to 4-5 with three games remaining. To secure a spot in a bowl game, the Buffaloes must triumph in at least two of these contests—a formidable challenge, as they are likely to be underdogs against Arizona, Washington State, and Utah.

On the other hand, Oregon State boasts a season record of 7-2, with a 4-2 standing in the competitive Pac-12. The Beavers remain firmly in contention within the Pac-12, with upcoming clashes against No. 5 Washington and No. 8 Oregon in the final two weeks of the season.


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