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CU football beat Central Arkansas 38-24 in a game riddled with turnovers Saturday night under the lights at Folsom Field. The win snaps a six-game losing streak at home and doubles the amount of wins Colorado had all of last season.
Junior wide receiver Paul Richardson is reminding Buff fans just how big a difference one player can make for a team. He caught 11 balls for 209 yards and two scores Saturday.
Richardson alone accounted for nearly half of Colorado’s total 425 offensive yards. His performance came just six days after his 10 catches and 208-yard game against CSU and marks the first time in CU history that a Buff wide receiver has had back-to-back 200-yard games.
Head Coach Mike MacIntyre said after the game he believes the team is turning a corner.
“The kids are believing we can win now, and that’s a huge step,” he said.
Richardson and CU’s starting quarterback, junior Connor Wood, both agreed with MacIntyre.
“The confidence stems from our great new coaching staff, they’re doing a great job of getting us prepared,” Richardson said.
Wood didn’t have a spectacular game. He committed four turnovers, tipped a pass for an interception, threw another interception and fumbled twice. However, both Wood and MacIntyre were happy with how the team held together through adversity.
“Last year’s team would have crumbled under the stuff we faced tonight,” Wood said. “This year’s team stuck together and kept fighting.”
The key play in the game came early in the fourth quarter, when the Buffs were trailing 17-24. Junior safety Jered Bell intercepted a pass from Central Arkansas quarterback Wynrick Smothers and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown. The pick-six tied up the game, brought the crowd of 35,168 back to life and gave Colorado a huge momentum boost.
Less than two minutes later, a stripped ball from Bell deep in Central Arkansas territory led to Wood hooking up with a wide-open Richardson for a 20-yard touchdown. That goal gave the Buffs a 31-24 lead that they would never look back from.
Turnovers turned into points all night as 42 of the games’ 62 points came following a turnover. Both Colorado and Central Arkansas had 4 turnovers each.
Capitalizing off of these turnovers was huge for Colorado and showed that the Buffs have a defense capable of making big time plays now.
MacIntyre believes the win originated from preparation and referred to the team’s motto–“knowledge equals confidence equals playing fast”–when asked what the difference was between this and last year’s defense.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take the win any day of the week,” MacIntyre said after the game.
Next Saturday, the Buffs take on Fresno State, a team that beat them 69-14 last year. The game is at noon at home.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Grayson O’Roark at Grayson.email@example.com.