Brooks: Embree Wants Buffs To Play A Complete Game
BOULDER - The first half of Jon Embree's second season as Colorado's head football coach is behind him, and it might serve him well not to look back. Then again, looking ahead at visits to No. 11 Southern California and No. 2 Oregon probably won't lighten Embree's mood.
But that - Embree's mood - was a story unto itself late Thursday night after his team had been shelled 51-17 by Arizona State at once fearsome Folsom Field. Surprisingly, his temperament was far from foul, which often wasn't the case after several of the 10 losses in his debut year.
For the record, he never went post-game ballistic in 2011. He did do several not-so-slow burns, but the fuse was never ignited Thursday night.
"So you're saying I'm boring now, huh?" he asked with a grin after the 34-point smack-down.
Oddly, the Buffs were in it at halftime, trailing by three (20-17) after scoring 10 points in the first half's final 24 seconds. They needed a strong start to the second half...and were scorched by a 100-yard kickoff return that started the Sun Devils' 31-0 point parade in the final two quarters.
"That kickoff return really killed us," said CU tailback Tony Jones. "We just have to keep our heads up and keep fighting."
CU finished the first half of its season by playing one half, an ugly fact that keeps recurring and is not lost on Embree. "I told the team right now we're about a three-quarter team," he said. "We play well for three quarters when it's all said and done. And with the level of competition that we're playing and the situations that we're in, we've got to play four quarters to have a chance. So we'll keep grinding. We're going to keep working."
The Buffs won't be favored in any of their final six Pac-12 Conference games. They've been outscored 93-31 in their last two outings and have given up 1,085 yards. The offense limps when it needs to gallop.
"We just stopped moving the ball . . . we just couldn't do it when it mattered in the second half," said tight end Nick Kasa, whose improvement at his new position is one of the offense's lone bright spots. He made a team-high four receptions for 71 yards and a TD Thursday night.
The avalanche of points and yards obviously eats at Embree, but the offense likely will get the longest look before the Buffs make their trip to L.A. In Thursday night's third quarter, CU had 13 yards rushing and 16 passing. The final number: 255 yards in total offense, only 10 more than the lowest output of the season (245 vs. Colorado State).
"I'm not happy with it," Embree said. "I'm not happy with where we are offensively. There are some things we would like to do and there are some guys we have recruited that will come in and help some of it. But I'm not happy at all with what we have done offensively, and so as an offensive staff we will take a look at some of that come (Friday)."..more