Battlin’ Buffaloes fall to No. 25 UCLA 40-37 in 2 OTs
BOULDER — Tony Jones stood in the stairwell of the football building, pounding the wall in frustration.
Colorado’s comeback came up empty, and the senior running back was feeling the disappointment on Saturday.
“It’s devastating,” he said. “It’s devastating when you put your work in all this week and come out and lose at the end of the game, it hurts.”
The Buffaloes’ hopes at their first conference win were thwarted when quarterback Brett Hundley scored on an 8-yard keeper in double overtime to give No. 25 UCLA a 40-37 victory over Colorado.
UCLA (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12) squandered a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter as Colorado tied the game on a 35-yard field goal by Will Oliver with 36 seconds remaining.
“When it ended all I kept thinking about was, ‘What am I going to tell those young men when I get back into that locker room and see those crocodile tears, and the effort and the hard work and the blood and the sweat,’” Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said.
It was Colorado’s second double-overtime loss of the season. Cal beat the Buffaloes 59-56 on Sept. 27.
“I’d like to have some boring games and win them instead of some of the exciting games and keep losing them,” McIntyre said.
The teams traded field goals in the first OT. The Bruins then stopped the Buffaloes (2-6, 0-5) in the second OT and they settled for a 34-yarder from Oliver.
Hundley faked a handoff and went into the end zone untouched for the winning score.
“He’s really good,” Buffaloes defensive lineman Derek McCartney said. “You rush too high he’ll go underneath you, try to come under he’ll go outside. He’s a dual threat.”
The junior quarterback rushed for 110 yards. Hundley also threw for 200 yards and one TD pass, giving him 67 in his career and moving him one away from tying Cade McNown for most in program history.
Paul Perkins rushed for 180 yards and two TDs, including a 92-yard score in the first quarter.
Sefo Liufau finished with two TD passes. He has 23 TD passes this year and broke Koy Detmer’s single-season mark.
Once again, Colorado struggled at the start, falling behind 17-0 after the first quarter. Last weekend at USC, the Buffaloes were behind 28-0 after the opening 15 minutes on their way to a 56-28 drubbing.
This time, they rallied.
However, a penalty at the end of the first half loomed large for Colorado. The Buffaloes had the ball at the 4, but were called for a false start that ended the half without running a final play.
Down 31-14 late in the third after a short score by Myles Jack, Colorado climbed back into the game behind the right arm of Liufau, who connected with Bryce Bobo for TDs of 38 and 3 yards.
Liufau was leading another drive when Marcus Rios thwarted it with an interception.
“One of my balls was too high and I threw a pick. That’s just me losing the ball mid-throw,” Liufau said. “I don’t want to say the wind factors were a problem, it was just me.”
Colorado got the ball back after stuffing UCLA on fourth down.
The Buffaloes went on a nine-play, 59-yard drive that culminated with a 35-yard field goal from Oliver.
Colorado suffered a big loss in OT when safety Tedric Thompson was injured on a play. He was strapped to a back board and taken off the field in a cart. He lifted his hands and covered his face as he exited the stadium to applause.
Perkins got the Bruins going early. On their first play from scrimmage, Perkins headed left, found a seam and went 92 yards down the sideline for a score. That play tied for the second-longest run in school history. The longest was 93 by Chuck Cheshire against Montana in 1934.
The Bruins led 24-14 at halftime, pushing the team’s record to 22-0 under coach Jim Mora when they go into the locker room ahead. They’re also 12-4 under Mora in true road games.
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