BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Colorado lost concussion-plagued
quarterback Craig Ochs but found an able replacement.
Robert Hodge, who logged only 10 offensive plays last season,
subbed for the ailing Ochs in the second half and helped lead the
No. 17 Buffaloes past San Diego State 34-14 on Saturday night.
Ochs departed at halftime with his third concussion in the last
14 months, but Hodge didn't miss a beat, guiding Colorado (1-1) to
a pair of second-half scores -- both by Chris Brown, who ran for 185
"We went right to Robert and he was ready to go,'' coach Gary
Barnett said. "He wasn't nervous at all. He's been waiting for
More of a runner than Ochs, Hodge "brings a different dimension
to the game,'' Barnett said.
"I felt comfortable out there,'' Hodge said. "I was happy I
didn't make any big mistakes. I knew we had the lead, and I
couldn't do anything to jeopardize that lead. I had to manage our
offense and play within myself.
"I'm sure a lot of things were sloppy, but I'll get better.''
San Diego State (0-2) crossed midfield five times in the second
half but came up empty each time, including a missed field goal and
a sack on fourth down.
Rebounding from last week's loss to Colorado State, the
Buffaloes extended their lead to 28-14 late in the third quarter
after Jeremy Bloom returned a punt 31 yards to the San Diego State
44-yard line. Bobby Purify promptly broke off the left side on a
43-yard run, and Brown went the final yard on the next play.
With 51 seconds left, Brown bolted 38 yards up the middle for
"Colorado was physical, and we were overmatched,'' Aztecs coach
Tom Craft said. "I thought we really played hard and we stayed in
the game all the way up to the fourth quarter. We just ran out of
gas. Where we got exposed tonight was our lack of depth. We just
don't have enough numbers.''
Ochs threw two touchdown passes as Colorado took a 21-14
halftime lead. The Buffs scored on their first two possessions for
a 14-7 first-quarter advantage.
Brown carried five times for 46 yards, and Ochs hit wide-open
tight end Beau Williams on a 22-yard touchdown pass for the game's
Making liberal use of the no-huddle offense, San Diego State
countered with an 80-yard, 15-play scoring drive. Adam Hall
converted four third-down plays, including a 17-yard pass to Kassim
Osgood on third-and-16, and Garric Simmons ran the final 4 yards
for a 7-7 tie.
Colorado needed just three plays to reclaim the lead. Ochs
avoided a sack and hit Derek McCoy down the left sideline at the
50. With blocking by receiver Jeremy Bloom, McCoy finished the
75-yard scoring play.
The Aztecs got a tying touchdown early in the second quarter
after Heath Farwell downed a punt at the Colorado 1 and the Buffs
couldn't get a first down. Freshman Michael Franklin ran 31 yards
off the left side for the TD.
Midway through the period, Colorado scored on a fumble recovery.
Franklin, who had never before returned punts, retreated under Mark
Mariscal's 66-yard punt and grabbed the ball as it bounced into the
end zone. Instead of downing it for a touchback, he picked it up
and returned to the 8-yard line, where he was hit by Marcus Moore
and fumbled. Akarika Dawn picked up the ball and scored with 7:43
left in the half.
"Michael is young, he's a freshman,'' Craft said. "He made a
mistake, and it was a costly one. But that's what we're going to
have to live with right now.''
Two plays later, Colorado had another scoring opportunity after
J.R. Tolver's fumble at the SDSU 29, but Pat Brougham's 32-yard
field goal attempt was wide.
The Aztecs' Tommy Kirovski missed a 45-yarder late in the half.
After missed field goals by each team early in the third
quarter, Bloom -- whose 75-yard punt return for a touchdown ignited
a second-half surge against Colorado State last week -- had a
31-yarder to set up Brown's first score with 3:34 left in the
Hall set career highs for completions (39), attempts (59) and
passing yards (359).
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