BOULDER - Paul Richardson topped 200 yards receiving for the second time in six days, and his second touchdown grab helped Colorado outlast FCS power Central Arkansas 38-24 Saturday.
Overcoming four turnovers, Connor Wood found Richardson all alone for a 30-yard touchdown that broke a 24-all tie with 9:16 left. It followed freshman Chidobe Awuzie's takeaway.
Richardson also had a 55-yard TD catch to start the scoring. He finished with 209 yards on 11 catches, which followed his 10-catch, 208-yard performance in Colorado's win over Colorado State in its opener, which earned him Pac-12 player of the week honors.
In winning coach Mike MacIntyre's home debut, the Buffaloes (2-0) snapped a six-game losing streak at Folsom Field and moved to 2-2 against lower-tier schools.
In their first game against a Big-12 school, the Bears (1-1) of the Southland Conference were in line for their second win over a FCS opponent to go with their victory against Western Kentucky in 2009 when things fell apart in the final 11 minutes.
They were leading 24-17 and driving deep into Buffs territory when Wynrick Smothers' pass went through his receiver's hands and into those of Jered Bell. He returned it 79 yards, diving over the goal line just as Smothers was bringing him down, tying the game at 24.
Then, Awuzie ripped the ball from Jatavious Wilson's arms at the Bears 30. Two plays later Wood found Richardson alone over the middle for the go-ahead TD.
Nelson Spruce capped the comeback when he turned Wood's short screen pass into a 39-yard TD that made it 38-24 with less than five minutes remaining.
Kenneth Crawley sealed it with an interception in the end zone at the two-minute mark. The Buffs took back his other two pickoffs for touchdowns on their way to their first 2-0 start since 2008.
Smothers completed 33 of 55 passes for 280 yards and two TDs.
Wood finished 23 of 36 for 341 yards and three TDs. He threw two interceptions and fumbled twice on sack-strips by Markeith Gaines, both of which led to touchdowns by Central Arkansas.
Gaines' first sack-strip was recovered by Derek Floyd and Smothers capitalized with a 22-yard TD toss to Dezmin Lewis (nine catches for 89 yards) to get the Bears on the board.
Gaines' second sack-strip came at the Colorado 16 and Smothers' sneak on fourth-and-1 put the Bears on top 24-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Colorado cornerback Greg Henderson, who returned a fumble for a score a week earlier, stepped in front of Courtney Whitehead to intercept Smothers' pass and then raced 46 yards for the TD that put Colorado on top 14-0.
It was the Buffs' first interception since Sept. 22, 2012, ending a streak of 267 pass attempts by opponents without a pick-off.
Smother's 11-yard strike to Chase Dixon followed Bobby Watkins' interception at the Bears 24 and sent the teams into halftime tied at 14.
Dillion Winfrey returned the second-half kickoff 88 yards but the Bears settled for substitute kicker Jace Denker's 28-yard field goal that gave Central Arkansas its first lead, and Will Oliver's 31-yarder tied it back up at 17.
The Bears also lost defender Aum'Arie Wallace to a dislocated left ankle in the second half
Notes: Before the game, there was a moment of silence observed in the press box for former Boulder Daily Camera sports editor Dan Creedon, who died at age 75 in July, and for Lynn DeBruin, AP Sports Writer in Salt Lake City and former Rocky Mountain News sports reporter, who died Saturday at 51.
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