Missed opportunities continue to hamper the CU Buffaloes in 31-14 loss to UCLA

November 2, 2019; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Joshua Kelley (27) runs the ball as tight end Mike Martinez (88) provides coverage against Colorado Buffaloes safety Derrion Rakestraw (3) during the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was a long night for the Colorado Buffaloes and Mel Tucker as they lost yet again. Chip Kelly had his Bruins (4-5, 4-2) prepared for everything the Buffaloes (3-6, 1-5) could throw at them. After losing every game in October, the Buffs losing streak extended to five games in a contest rife with missed opportunities.

UCLA came out hot and scored 17 points in the first quarter. The Colorado defense settled into the game in the second quarter, though, and a Carson Wells interception and a couple sacks from Nate Landman provided the Buffs offense with opportunities to put points on the board over the final three quarters.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson had plenty of success passing on the Buffs secondary, completing 21-of-28 passes for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns. He added 38 yards on 11 carries and the threat of the quarterback run opened the door for explosive plays from Joshua Kelley. The senior had 126 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Bruins.

While the defense has fought through the adversity of injuries and seems to be improving as the season progresses, the Colorado offense has started to struggle during this losing streak. Laviska Shenault Jr. only had 3 catches for 16 yards and one 15-yard wildcat rush. Shenault’s role in the game plan this season has been puzzling given his talent and potential. However, injuries may be lingering and it would be understandable for the coaching staff to protect their marquis offensive weapon.

Tony Brown again picked up some of the slack with Shenault’s limited production. Brown led the Buffs with 6 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Jaren Mangham ran well as the freshman running back got the first start of his college career in Alex Fontenot’s absence. Mangham had 17 carries for 77 yards.

Dropped passes, penalties and missed tackles are issues that Mel Tucker has had to address week after week. This week, James Stefanou missed two kicks, one from 47 and then another from under 30 yards. Unfortunately, this Buffs team has lost games they should have won and the inconsistencies are hard to watch at times. 31 points and 426 yards surrendered by the defense make it hard on the offense, but the Buffs offense hasn’t made things any easier for themselves either.

Colorado plays Stanford at home Saturday, November 9 in Boulder.

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