- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Three yards from a chance to get back in the game against No. 9 Stanford, Colorado went nowhere.

The Buffaloes failed to convert on a third quarter first-and-goal following Tedric Thompson’s 71-yard interception return and Stanford went on to put Colorado away 42-10 on Saturday.

“That was a downer, a real downer,” Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. “That was the most disappointing part of the game to me. You get a score there, it’s 35-17, you get a little momentum and you never know.”

Kevin Hogan threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in leading Stanford (8-1, 7-0 Pac-12) past the Buffaloes (4-6, 1-5). Christian McCaffrey, who grew up in nearby Denver, where his father, Ed, starred for the Broncos in the 1990s, added 220 all-purpose yards along with a 28-yard touchdown pass to tight end Austin Hooper in a little more than three quarters of play.

It was the Buffs’ 21st consecutive loss to a ranked team.

“We just have to keep guys focused and not let something like this get us down,” Colorado wide receiver Nelson Spruce said. “I feel like it’s the worst game we played all year. I don’t think it’s indicative of where we are and where we’ve been.”

The Buffs wore throwback uniforms - gold helmets, black jerseys, gold pants - in honor of former coach Bill McCartney, who led Colorado to the national title in 1990, after watching ESPN’s 30-for-30 “The Gospel According to Mac” earlier in the week.

The resemblance to that national championship team didn’t go past the uniform, however.

After answering Stanford’s touchdown on its opening drive with one of its own, the Buffs gave up 21 consecutive points to go into halftime trailing 28-7.

Hogan drove the Cardinal 81 yards on 15 plays capped by Remound Wright’s 1-yard TD on the opening possession. He quieted the crowd even more when he hit Michael Rector in stride with a dart over defensive back Ken Crawley for a 43-yard touchdown on third-and-18 to give Stanford a 14-7 lead.

McCaffrey’s 40-yard run set up the Cardinal’s next score, a Hogan pass to a wide-open Dalton Schultz on fourth and 2 from the 6.

Sefo Liufau badly overthrew his receiver and was intercepted with 1:09 left before halftime, just enough time for Hogan to drive the Cardinal for another touchdown. This time, he took it in himself from a yard out with two seconds to spare for a three-TD halftime cushion.

Colorado had a debacle of a second-half start.

The Buffs weren’t aggressive after getting a first down at the Stanford 16, running three times and then settling for a field goal.

Then, they tried an onside kick that failed when Rollins Stallworth stayed home on the end and recovered the kick for Stanford.

“We had seen a flaw in what they did. And the kid didn’t take off running like he has in all the other games,” said MacIntyre.

Following the recovery, freshman running back Bryce Love scored on the next play, racing into the end zone to make it 35-10.

Thompson then intercepted Hogan and returned it to the Stanford 3. Colorado went for it on fourth down this time and Liufau threw incomplete.

Failing to capitalize in that situation was tough to swallow for Liufau and the rest of the Buffaloes.

“You have to (score). You have to do that,” Liufau said. “You have to finish off drives. We didn’t.”

___

AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org

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