BOULDER – Section 220, all three of them, had seen enough.
As Utah wide receiver Jaylen Dixon zig-zagged through the Colorado secondary for a 47-yard touchdown, putting the Buffaloes on the wrong end of a 16-7 hole, the pair closest to a slushy aisle, Rick Tye and daughter Jamie, got very , very, very, very, very quiet.
"That," Rick sighed, "it's gonna be tough."
"That's it," Jamie sighed.
Dad's a CU lifer. Literally Grew up six blocks from Folsom Field.
"I used to ride my bike over," he recalled, "and get in at halftime."
Jamie, who works in Ogalalla, Neb., Has been coming to Section 220 for 14 years now. Dad has done the same, rain or shine, for more than three decades.
Utah 30, Colorado 7.
From five-and-oh to five-and-uh-oh.
They'd seen enough.
Enough of this offense.
Enough of this regime.
Enough of Mike MacIntyre.
"I think he's a great guy. He brought us back from a really ugly place, "Jamie said of MacIntyre, the Buffs' embattled football coach. "But his record sucks. And I hate to say it, but we need to find somebody new who can get these guys really fired up and wanting to win. "
Fire. Press. Something to show that CU's 41-34 home loss to Oregon State was a stinking fluke instead of a harbinger of the November to come. For the Buffs, who were 5-4 on Election Day, to stop the bleeding and make a statement in back-to-back home tilts against ranked Washington State and Utah squads.
Instead, CU dropped both, and from a 12-story window. The Buffs went 0-for-2, by a combined margin of a 61-14.
"I can not explain it," Jamie said as her beloved Buffaloes fell to 5-6, 2-6 in Pac-12 play. "It's mind-blowing. We did so well, and then we fell flat. These last two games, there was no reason why we should've fallen as far as we did. "
At its heart, at least before that heart breaks like an old picture frame, Senior Day is about family. Fathers and sons. Fathers and daughters. MacIntyre, up close, watching his son Jay take the field at CU for the last time. Rick and Jamie, from a distance, weathering the cold and all 125 of Dixon's receiving yards, wondering if they were seeing MacIntyre walk the Buffs' sideline for the last time.
"No, I do not feel like it's my last game," the coach said. "I've got one more. Hopefully, we can win that and go to a bowl game. Going to a bowl game will be big for this program. Doing it two out of the last three years, when they have not done it around here in a long, long time. And, so, hopefully, get to coach another one. I'd like to, and want to, and (no one's) said anything except, 'Just keep going,' so that's what I plan on doing. "
But the only things circling with more gusto Saturday at Folsom than snowflakes were the buzzards. On late Monday night, Ch. 7 had reported that MacIntyre was a goner at season's end after six seasons and a 30-44 overall record (14-39 in league play). Tuesday morning, the coach's boss, CU athletic director Rick George, denied the report but not the thought process. Tuesday afternoon, MacIntyre sat in front of reporters and held up a picture of a bison.
"It was an emotional week, an emotional time to see my brother and my mom and my sister and my dad," said Jay McIntyre, who logged eight receiving yards on two catches in his Folsom farewell. "I do not think anyone really understands how much we out in, as a family, to this program. Wins and losses are big to us, and I just know how much it means to them, and how much work that my brother has put in with me. It's been a fun ride, and I'm not going to take anything back. I'm not going to regret anything. "
Nor was his father, who at one point was given a sideline warning after arguing a call with officials. Although inclement weather can send any coach, even one fighting for his job, deeper into the turtle shell. The first chorus of boos from the CU popped up with 8:10 left in the first quarter, when the elder MacIntyre, facing a fourth-and-5 at his own 40, elected to punt rather than force the issue. They came out again with 2:54 left in the period after a pair of runs with tailback Travon McMillian brought up third-and-7 at the Utes' 28. And when the Buffs took a knee twice with two timeouts in their pocket, deep in their own territory, to kill the last 49 seconds of the first half.
"Things happen in sports," the coach mused after the contest. "A good friend of mine called me, (he's) on a pro team that's on a long losing streak and last year they were the toast of the town. And we were just talking about that, how things change. "
From five-and-oh to five-and-oh-brother.
"There are always rumors in this business," the elder MacInytre said. "The thing about this business that's tough is that when you do good, everybody's asking, 'Why are you leaving?' So they get mad at you when you're leaving. So I could've left (here for) three good places, and I stayed. "
And the bowl carrot is still out there, dangling. Although it's been hanging there so long that the thing's starting to develop tiny white dots.
"We were doing so well and expectations were so high, that when we took these big hits, it felt almost like a farther fall," Jamie sighed. "Because we were one (win) away from a bowl game from the beginning. And now it's like, 'Well, there goes that.' "
In Section 220, two years ago this month, they were celebrating a 10-win season and a South division title, clinched against these same Utes. As night fell Saturday, along with the snow, it felt a heck of a lot longer.