Inevitably, in any game that ends the way this one did yesterday, there are going to be a thousand questions. Listening to the radio show on the ride home from the game and reading comments leading into this late night, it is easy to conclude that Cougar Nation is reeling hard after this epic collapse. It’s also fair to say that they somehow feel as if we should have lost the last 2 games because of similar collapses, which I understand but do not necessarily agree with, but that’s beside the point. I heard a lot of negativity today (and let’s face it I’m feeling really negative right now as well), but the game is what it was, a 7 minute stretch of bad football by a team that’s not used to playing good football at the end of a game.
With such a young and emerging team, sometimes it’s impossible to stop momentum once it starts rolling the other direction. It’s called the “snowball effect”, and if you’re on the wrong side of it as a young player (or even an older one that isn’t used to winning), there are things that you just can’t seem to stop from happening. Consider the events that took place during the final 7 minutes (really over the final quarter and a half) that would have given our Cougies a win (we just needed any ONE of these to bounce our way). All of these plays stinted our momentum and gave Colorado any chance at all in this ball game.
First, early in the 3rd there was the holding penalty followed by the false start that made it first and forever back inside the 15. This came after a block in the back on the punt return to begin the possession and led directly to a swing pass which was fumbled and recovered for an apparent touchdown, reversed to the 1 where CU scored on the next play. Then there was the near block of the punt that ended in a roughing penalty. If you’ll remember on the play Leon Brooks took it back inside the CU 30 but of course, wiped out.
It continued when even more second half penalties took us out of field goal range, followed by the inability to draw a pass interference call from the Pac-12 officials. In fact even though one was thrown in the 3rd quarter, it was picked up in favor of ruling “incidental contact”, on a defender who held, then ran into a receiver in the endzone without ever looking for the ball. This was followed up with a missed field goal from 53 by Furney and then on the next drive a dropped touchdown by Marquess. Later, a 4th down decision by Leach to go for it, subsequently resulting in a Halliday interception. The ball simply NEVER should have been thrown there and gave CU the smallest of slivers of momentum. Then the rally of course, culminating with the Buffs somehow, someway recovering a fumble on their final drive that I do believe WSU had at the beginning of the scrum. Of course, we’ll never know that for sure but it sure looked as if they jumped on top of it inside that 5 yard line with just under 30 seconds to go.