COLUMBUS, Ohio Another road trip, another defeat for the Colorado Buffaloes.
The mistake-prone Buffaloes got in a first-half hole and never were able to climb out of it in a 37-17 loss at Ohio State on Saturday, extending their road losing skid to a school-record 19 in a row.
We have a long way to go as a program, first-year coach Jon Embree said. We have a long way to go from the standpoint of getting to where we are competing and not hoping to upset an Ohio State.
Colorado (1-3) has not won a road game since Oct. 27, 2007, at Texas Tech.
Once again, as frequently has been the case particularly this season in two road defeats, it seemed as if the Buffaloes werent in the thick of the battle until it was too late.
We have been awful starting games, Embree said. We script plays; we go through it; we give them the looks and then for whatever reason when the lights go on, its a drop or a fumble. We continually struggle starting the game.
Against the Buckeyes (3-1), who were coming off a painful 24-6 loss at Miami that knocked them out of the rankings, the Buffaloes made numerous mistakes, nine penalties and had two turnovers.
We really didnt have field position all day, quarterback Tyler Hansen said. It seemed every series we started backed up. So its tough. Every series youve got to go 90 or 95 yards. Its tough to do, especially against Ohio State.
Wide receiver Toney Clemons, who had four catches, including an 11-yard touchdown pass from Hansen, blamed another belated beginning.
We just started too slow, he said. You cant start slow against a squad like this. We havent put two halves together.
First-time starter Braxton Miller tossed two touchdown passes to Devin Smith for the Buckeyes.
Ahead 20-7 at the half, the Buckeyes only had to drive 50 yards before Miller hit Smith with his second scoring pass. After Colorado countered with a field goal, Jordan Hall brought the kickoff back 90 yards before he was brought down from behind at the 5. Carlos Hyde then scored on a sweep on the next play to make it 34-10.
Averaging 26 points and almost 394 yards per game, the mistake-prone Buffaloes did amass 314 yards but never were in the game.
Hansen, who threw for 474 yards and three touchdowns in an overtime loss at Cal, had two touchdown passes and completed 22 of 39 passes for 238 yards with no interceptions.
The Buffaloes were one of only nine teams in the nation that had committed just one turnover coming into Saturdays games.
But on their first possession, Darragh ONeill shanked a punt that covered just 20 yards and put the Buckeyes in control at the Buffaloes 43. Seven plays later, Hall vaulted up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown.
Tailback Rodney Stewart and Hansen miscommunicated on a handoff with no defender around on the next possession. The ball came free, and Ohio States Adam Bellamy fell on it at the Colorado 22. Drew Basil then converted one of his three field goals for a 10-0 lead.
Late in the half, with CU still down by just 10 points, Stewart was interfered with by a teammate on a punt return and fumbled, with Zach Domicone recovering for the Buckeyes at the Colorado 11. Two plays later, Basil converted again to make it 20-7.
Everything we were good at, we werent good at (Saturday), Embree said of the turnovers.
He made no idle promises. Hes in for the long haul.
Im realistic, he said. We have a lot of work ahead of us.