After building an early 14-0 lead over Sacramento State University, the CU football team fell just two points short in the final seconds from a last second 30-yard field goal that put the Buffs record to 0-2 to start the 2012 season.
After a disappointing loss to Colorado State University last week, the Buffs men seemed determined to make a comeback. Colorado scored a touchdown in the first three plays of the game, with freshman tailback Christian Powell’s 64-yard run and sophomore Will Oliver’s field goal. The Buffs were up 7-0 with 13:48 left in the first quarter.
“I thought he (Powell) did a lot of good things,” said head coach Jon Embree in the post-game press conference.
The coaching staff’s decision to play Powell as a tailback came as a surprise considering he has trained all of August as a fullback. This decision proved to be the right one, though, as Powell carried 28 times for a total of 147 yards and three touchdowns, tying the CU freshman record.
The game seemed to be having a promising start when the Buffs scored on their second possession, with Powell rushing for his second touchdown of the game with 7:28 remaining in first quarter.
Sacramento State answered back shortly with quarterback Garrett Safron completing a pass to DeAndre Carter for an 11-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 14-7. With just under three minutes left in the second quarter, Sacramento State fought back again with A.J. Ellis rushing 18 yards in three plays resulting in a touchdown. The score was tied at 14-14.
CU rushed for a total of 95 yards in the first quarter, but only added 19 in the second.
“We got up, defense was playing well and we struggled a little bit offensively,” Embree said. “We couldn’t stop them from running the football.”
In the second quarter Sacramento State’s Safron tossed the ball to a wide open Chris Broadrax, who ran deep down the left side of the field for a 35-yard touchdown. This gave Sac State their first lead of the game at 21-14.
Eight plays and 77 yards later, the Buffs came back and tied the game at 21 with junior quarterback Jordan Webb passing to sophomore tight end Kyle Slavin for a nine-yard run. This was Slavin’s first career touchdown.
With 23 seconds remaining before half time, Castanedas’ 28-yard field goal attempt was good, putting Sacramento State up 24-21.
At the finish of the first half, the Buffs only managed a total of 240 yards (113 rushing and 127 passing), while Sacramento State had 290 (123 rushing and 167 passing).
Beginning at their own 35-yard line, CU had some exciting plays from some new faces. After junior quarterback Jordan Webb’s helmet came off in a sack by Henry Fernandez, sophmore quarterback Connor Wood, a Texas transfer, entered the game. In his first play as a Buff, Wood’s pass to Gerald Thomas for 28 yards was the push the Buffs needed. After a pass interference call resulted in a four-yard penalty for the Hornets and a first down for the Buffs, Powell earned his third touchdown of the game. This boosted the Buffs score to 28, while the Hornets remained at 24.
The score was still 28-24 at the end of the third quarter, but at the start of the fourth, the Hornets marched their way down to the Buffs’ 14-yard line. Safron threw an incompletion, resulting in Castenada’s 31-yard field goal which pulled the Hornets to within one (28-27).
With less than five minutes left in the game, the Buffs had a shot at increasing their lead. They took over at the 28-yard line, but lost possession in under two minutes. The ball was in Sacramento State’s hands at the 2:26 mark, and without difficulty the Hornets got four uninterrupted first downs. After a pass interference by freshman Kenneth Crawley, the ball was placed at the 28.
As the clocked ticked down to one second, Sacramento State called a time out. When play returned, Castaneda scored a game-winning field goal just as time expired. The game ended with a score of 30-28 for a Sacramento State victory.
Chidera Uzo-Diribe said the loss at home, which dropped the Buffs’ record to 0-2, was a tough setback for the Buffs.
“This one hurts a lot,” Uzo-Diribe said. “And all the [teammates] feel the same way.”
Webb said the team would be more motivated to work in practice after the disappointment.
“I guess the level of frustration is pretty high,” Webb said. “Emotions are that of being really pissed off. And you know, we just have to come ready to work next week.”
The next two games for Colorado football are on the road, against Fresno State University on Sept. 15 and Washington State University on Sept. 22.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jessica Malknecht at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.