- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre didn’t quite agree with the assertion that his team played a little too tight in a season-opening loss at Hawaii.

His take was much more candid.

“We made boneheaded mistakes that cost us a football game,” MacIntyre said of a 28-20 loss to the Rainbow Warriors last week. “We outplayed that team, out-physicaled that team, outrushed that team, outgained that team. We just made some bonehead mistakes.”

A ding to the confidence of a team that has vigorously talked about ending a seven-year postseason drought. Throughout the summer practice sessions, the Buffaloes even flew a flag displaying all the bowls with tie-ins to the Pac-12 Conference. On Tuesday, they raised a banner featuring Massachusetts - their opponent this weekend.

“It’s obviously upsetting when you lose your first game of the year, especially the way we did,” quarterback Sefo Liufau said. “This week, you definitely want to get a win. After a loss, it’s good to get a win and get yourselves on track.”

Won’t be easy, though. Colorado needed a second-half rally to beat Massachusetts 41-38 last season. The Minutemen had the opening week off.

“They’ll have some wrinkles for us,” Liufau said. “But we’ll have a good game plan coming up for them, too.”

Nothing seemed to go right for the Buffaloes in Hawaii. They had a punt blocked and turned the ball over three times. They also missed a tackle that turned a modest gain into a 79-yard TD reception.

Still, Colorado had a chance at the end. Deep in Hawaii territory, the Buffaloes completed a pass in the waning seconds and seemingly had time for one last play. But the officials struggled to get the ball spotted, even hitting a Rainbow Warriors player as they tried to do so. The clock expired before Colorado could snap the ball.

A bitter loss to digest on the long plane ride home. Asked if the team’s confidence was still high, MacIntyre said: “Confidence comes from within.”

“Of course, we inspire and motivate them every way we can,” MacIntyre added. “But when they put that helmet on and step between the lines, they have to keep the confidence.”

Liufau shouldered responsibility for a first half in which the offense struggled to get on track.

“I couldn’t hit a pass,” said Liufau, who finished 23 of 40 for 156 yards and one interception. “I have to be able to get the ball to the playmakers. We have to believe in ourselves, play loose. Not necessarily cocky, but with a sort of confidence, a sort of swagger. We know we’re good.”

But it hasn’t translated into wins on the field. After going 4-8 in MacIntyre’s first season, the Buffaloes went 2-10 in 2014, dropping four of those games by five points or less.

“One thing that’s the same as last year and has carried over - they never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up,” MacIntyre said. “If you keep doing that then eventually you’re going to start winning those games. It’s extremely frustrating for the players, for the coaches, for the fans, too. We just need to go win football games.”


AP college football site: https://collegefootball.ap.org

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