The University of Colorado’s 31-28 loss to Oklahoma State last night encapsulates all the reasons it’s been such a frustrating season for those trying to support CU football. The Buffs took a 21-10 lead into the third quarter, but couldn’t capitalize on the many mistakes of the two inexperienced quarterbacks Oklahoma State put on the field, writes the Longmont Times-Call.

The loss puts CU at 3-8 this season and extends the team’s road-losing streak to 12 games, putting beleaguered CU head coach Dan Hawkins’ road record at 2-19 during his four-year stint in Boulder. It may have been easier to accept the loss to the number-12-ranked team in the nation had it been a blowout, but the Buffs could have easily won the game.

On one play late in the third quarter, Oklahoma State running back Keith Toston was left wide open in the middle of the field when Colorado rushed the quarterback, giving up a quick pass for a 47-yard score, notes Boulder’s Daily Camera. If the Buffaloes could have stopped just that one defensive blunder, they would have won the game.

But there were a couple of highlights: Brian Lockridge returned a kickoff for 98 yards in the second half, the first return touchdown for the Buffs since August 2008. And wide receiver Markques Simas seems to be settling into the top receiver role, falling just 10 yards short of his third consecutive, 100-yard receiving game. He tied a school record with 11 catches in the game and the record for most consecutive games with at least seven catches.

But it all comes back to Hawkins, and the writing is on the wall. The only place for Hawkins to go now is out the door, writes The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla.