Shedeur Sanders relentlessly pressured as CU Buffs fall at UCLA
Oct 28, 2023, 9:09 PM
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
The CU Buffs offensive line could not protect QB Shedeur Sanders at all on Saturday night at UCLA, and it cost them.
Colorado is now 4-4 on the season after a 28-16 loss to the Bruins, and the story of the evening was CU’s miserable o-line. Sanders was relentlessly pressured on almost every single play. He finished by getting sacked seven times, pressured 25 times, hit 18 times and knocked down 14 times.
The Buffs defense played pretty well after the debacle against Stanford two weeks ago, creating four turnovers, including two incredible interceptions by two-way star Travis Hunter. Safety Shilo Sanders also forced a fumble in the first half, but was ejected in the second quarter on a controversial targeting call.
For the first time in his career in black and gold, Sanders nearly didn’t throw a touchdown pass. He did keep the streak alive with one to Jimmy Horn Jr. with just 2:37 left on the clock. Sanders also finished with only 217 yards through the air, although again, he had absolutely no time to throw the rock.
CU managed to get in the red zone twice in the first quarter, but settled for two short field goals. UCLA took a 7-6 lead into the break, and extended the lead to 14-6 in the first minute of the third quarter. Colorado cut it to 14-9, but a touchdown early in the fourth quarter from the Bruins essentially put the game on ice. They added one more for good measure before Sanders found Horn in garbage time.
Now, the Buffs will have to win two of their final four games to make a bowl under first-year head coach Deion Sanders. A home game against No. 11 Oregon State is up next, followed by Arizona at Folsom Field and then road games at Washington State and No. 13 Utah to finish the year.
The offense hasn’t been a problem for most of the season, but at the Rose Bowl, it was. And it wasn’t an entire offense problem, it was the line.
They’ve got to figure out how to protect Sanders moving forward, or the Buffs might not win again this season. It was that tough to watch the unit do absolutely nothing right in an extremely frustrating loss.