The matchup was supposed to pit strength against strength – the high-flying passing attack of quarterback Mason Rudolph and the No. 12 Oklahoma State Cowboys against the stingy secondary of the No. 10 Colorado Buffaloes, led by cornerback Chidobe Awuzie. But it was clear from the outset the Buffs were overmatched as Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington shredded the Colorado defense in a 38-8 blowout.
Rudolph passed for 314 yards in the contest, while the Buffaloes mustered just 318 as a team in the loss. Colorado did not find the end zone until there was 5:28 remaining in the fourth quarter. Rudolph and Washington, who both announced ahead of the game they will return for their senior seasons, connected nine times for 171 yards and a touchdown. Awuzie was the main victim of those connections, before he left the game with turf toe. Injuries plagued the Buffaloes again as senior quarterback Sefo Liufau missed extended time between the second and third quarters.
Colorado also struggled to stop the Cowboys on the ground. Justice Hill and Chris Carson went for 100 and 61 yards, respectively, and each found the end zone in the win. The lone bright spot offensively for Colorado was running back Phillip Lindsay, who went for 166 all-purpose yards, including 103 in receptions out of the backfield.
Colorado ended the season with a pair of disappointing losses to teams that will likely finish inside the top-10 in the final rankings, Oklahoma State and Washington. The Cougars will face Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal for a chance to play for a national championship. The losses will certainly move Colorado out of the top 10, but a top-25 finish is nearly assured for the Buffs at 10-4 on the season. Despite the disappointing end, it was a banner season for the Buffs, who won their first Pac-12 South championship despite being picked preseason to finish last in the division.
Featured Video Courtesy of Buffs TV, Other Video Courtesy of 120 Sports