Colorado eager to avenge Pac-12 title loss to Washington

Jake Browning also hopes to have a better performance in the Pac-12 opener in Boulder after throwing for just 118 yards on 9-for-24 passing in last year’s Pac-12 championship against the Buffaloes.

Eight-and-a-half months later, the loss still stings

You can hear the pain in Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre’s words when he talked about last year’s 41-10 defeat to Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

“You can’t ever forget it,” MacIntyre said ahead of Saturday’s 7 p.m. conference opener against the seventh-ranked Huskies at Folsom Field. “Our young men will use it as motivation. I won’t have to say much about it at all.”

He won’t have to.

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The significance of this early-season showdown between Pac-12 title contenders is clear. Both teams have looked impressive while reaching 3-0, but they didn’t receive much of a test against relatively bland nonconference opponents.

Colorado, which surrendered its first touchdown in Saturday’s 41-21 win over Northern Colorado, has allowed the fewest points in the Pac-12 (9.0 per game). Washington is second in the league at 12.3.

After a lackluster 30-14 victory at Rutgers in the opener, the Huskies dominated Montana (63-7) and Fresno State (48-16) in home wins.

“They’re an excellent team and really well coached,” MacIntyre said. “They’re clicking and they’ve got a great quarterback. Defensively, they’ve got their linebacker (Azeem Victor) back who was suspended. He’s one of the best linebackers in the country.

“It’s going to be a tough, tough game. They’re coming to Folsom and we love playing here. This is what you dream about as a player and a coach, to get to turn around and play them that quick again after them beating us last year. It’s exciting for our kids, and it’s exciting for Washington. I know they’re thinking about it too.”

Jake Browning is.

Despite throwing for two touchdowns in the 31-point win, Colorado held the Husky quarterback to a personal-low 118 yards on 9-for-24 passing. It was also the fewest completions in Browning’s career.

“I played awful against them last year in the Pac-12 Championship,” said Browning, who played the Buffaloes with a shoulder injury on his right (throwing) arm that required offseason surgery to repair. “That’s something that I remember, but I don’t think it motivates me more.

“If you always need stuff…

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