The clock struck twelve on the University of Colorado’s Cinderella football season Friday night in Santa Clara, Calif. After the opening quarter at Levi Stadium the Buffaloes were on the verge of completing the fairy tale season and ending up in the Rose Bowl with a tied score of 7-7 against the No. 4 team in the land, the Washington Huskies.

However, moments before the proverbial midnight, The Buffs lost its glass slipper as the Huskies turned their defense into offense, which proved to be the difference in the game as the Buffs fell 41-10.

The Huskies are known for their balanced attack on offense, as well as their stout defense, and both were on display in this one.

The Buffs faced a Washington squad that scored 45 points on Washington State last week and has only allowed 127.0 rushing yards and 201.9 passing yards per game this season. They didn’t disappoint early as they held the Buffaloes to only 49 rushing yards and 69 passing yards in the first half. A key reason for that was senior quarterback Sefo Liufau was injured in the first quarter.

As much of a struggle as it was for the Buffs before the half against the fierce Washington defense, the Huskies, who happen to have one of the most talented quarterbacks in the nation, couldn’t find much room to pass either.

“It was awkward”, said Washington head coach Chris Petersen. “We just couldn’t get much going with our passing game. [Give] much credit to their corners for guarding our receivers close and us just not executing.”

The Huskies came in averaging 279.6 passing yards per game but managed to have a mere 38 yards passing at the half. Browning’s second completion of the game ended up being a 15-yard touchdown to Darrell Daniels that put the Huskies up 14-7 heading into the half.

With a 14-7 score in favor of the Huskies to start the half in a game in which both offenses couldn’t get much going, it was the defense that made the big play. Sefo Liufau re-entered the game and on the first play to start the half Taylor Rapp made a play on the ball and returned an interception for a touchdown to give Washington a 21-7 lead.

Rapp again picked off Liufau on the very next drive and from there Washington cruised.

On the offensive end, the second half was much more kind to the Huskies, specifically the running game.

Running the ball is what worked for the Huskies as each of their running backs had over 100 yards on the ground. Coleman finished with 101 yards as Gaskin finished with 159 yards.

“I tip my hats to their running backs and their offensive line,” Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre said postgame. “They really blocked well and for that they clearly ran well tonight.”

Jake Browning had a bit of an off night as he finished 9-for-24 with only 118 yards, but he was able to make plays happen when he needed them. Plays like this:

With the convincing win, the Huskies are now 12-1 with three wins in a row and have an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff.

The loss drops the Buffaloes to a 10-3 record overall on the year and a second-place finish in the Pac-12 which places them in a unique situation as they have now more than likely dropped from Rose Bowl contention and opened the door for USC Trojans.

The College Football Playoff selection and bowl selections will take place on Sunday to inform the Buffs where they end up.