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Keeler: CU Buffs more lucky than good vs. Washington Huskies. Enjoy the win, Karl Dorrell. Then fix this offense. Please.

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Keeler: CU Buffs more lucky than good vs. Washington Huskies. Enjoy the win, Karl Dorrell. Then fix this offense. Please.

BOULDER — It was classy and terrible in the same breath, like watching an opera sung by feral cats. If the Buffs and Huskies played 10 times, it would be nine times too many.

Still, given a choice between winning ugly on Senior Day and losing pretty, there isn’t one. You take the former. Take it and run to Durango.

“A very stressful game,” was how CU football coach Karl Dorrell described Buffs 20, Washington 17. And he was being kind.

Savor the good stuff from Saturday. Cherish it. Quarterback Brendon Lewis diving over the right pylon for the game-clinching score. The gorgeous interceptions by Nikko Reed and Robert Barnes.

Linebacker Jack Lamb scooping up a bizarre Huskies fumble in front of the CU end zone, then outrunning everybody to the other end zone. Injured Buffs senior Nate Landman putting on his uniform one last time at Folsom Field, making a cameo as the deep back in the victory formation.

“I told him he should’ve taken the snap,” Buffs ‘backer Carson Wells cracked when asked about his longtime running mate’s home-field farewell.

Just don’t forget the rest of it, either. The potholes. The pockmarks. Because here’s the problem, the reality that’ll sink in Sunday, or whenever the euphoria fades a bit.

The plus-4 turnover ratio?

Not sustainable.

The 17 points off the strangest of Washington giveaways?

Not sustainable.

A win in which you managed just 183 yards of total offense?

Not sustainable.

The way the Buffs won?

Not sustainable.

“If we were better (Saturday) on offense,” interim UW coach Bob Gregory said, “we would’ve had a chance to win the game.”

The Huskies (4-7, 3-5 Pac-12) piled up 426 yards to CU’s 183 and lost, largely because they give the ball back to the Buffs three times within the CU 30 while missing a 49-yard field goal along the way. Which is what 4-7 teams do.

And yet the Huskies still had a chance at the end, because CU is a 4-7 team, too, with all those 4-7 flaws. Especially on offense.

The Buffs converted on just two of their 13 third-down tries on the day. CU went three-downs-and-punt so often that BuffZone beat writer Brian Howell wrote “#cubuffs go 3 and out” on Twitter in the second quarter, hit send, and immediately got an error message back from the social media platform that read:

“Whoops! You already said that.”

Twitter thought he was accidentally resending the same tweet. Those bots don’t watch the Buffs much, do they?

“We definitely have a lot of work to do,” Dorrell said, being kind again.

After UW had zipped up the field for a 55-yard touchdown to cut the Buffs lead to three with 2:30, CU got the rock back with a chance to run out the clock. Run for no gain. Seven-yard pass. Incompletion. Punt. The Buffs had the ball for all of 30 seconds.

Whenever Lewis had time in the pocket, CU’s receivers struggled to run routes past the sticks. It was as if everybody wanted to try being Noah Fant for a day.

Washington came into the afternoon with the Pac-12’s No. 2 third-down defense (37.3% conversion rate before Saturday) and No. 1 scoring defense (21.2 points allowed). But they also were giving up five yards per play to their opponents.

CU only managed 3.5 per play. The Huskies ran 84 plays to the Buffs’ 52.

That’s not sustainable, either. Certainly not against the Utes in Salt Lake City, the Buffs’ next port of call.

Firing an offensive line coach patched a hole. It didn’t fix the ship. As the calendar turns, CU needs to look at its offense from the top down as well as the bottom up.

Offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini is, and has been, a great servant to his alma mater. He’s also in charge of a unit that went into the weekend ranked No. 121 nationally in third-down conversion rate (32.8%) and No. 120 by FootballOutsiders.com in offensive efficiency (1.43 points per non-garbage drive).

And we’ve been over all the caveats already. Young quarterback? Absolutely. Beat up offensive line? No question. Yet the Buffs have ranked 75th or lower nationally in offensive efficiency in each of the past two seasons.

“The bottom line, is, we’ve got to fix those things,” Dorrell continued. “We found a way to overcome it and get a victory.”

They did, and sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. But it doesn’t change the fact that “good” in Boulder feels farther away than it did at this time a year ago. It won’t help those cats sing in tune, either.

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Space heater believed to be source of deadly Ferguson fire

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Space heater believed to be source of deadly Ferguson fire

FERGUSON, Mo. – The Ferguson Fire Department believes a space heater is to blame for a deadly fire on Ruggles Road on Saturday afternoon. An elderly man was rescued but his son did not survive.

Neighbors said the family used a space heater underneath a back deck to keep their dog warm.

“We believe the source of this fire was, in fact, a space heater,” Ferguson Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Corcoran said.

Corcoran said the home was also lacking working smoke detectors.

Firefighters were able to help both men exit the home but the son died later from some inhalation. Neighbors said the elderly father was caring for his son, who had been receiving hospice care.

The rescue comes the same week St. Louis firefighter Benjamin Polson died. He was killed entering a vacant house fire while making sure no one was trapped inside.

“It’s on all of our minds,” Corcoran said.

He said Saturday’s call is a reminder of why firefighters do what they do.

“We will continue to do what we do and serve the people that count on us to protect them,” Corcoran said. “That’s what firefighters do on a day-in, day-out basis.”

He credited Captain Aaron Brockhorst and firefighter Chad Mezzera for saving the elderly man’s life.

“They made quick and decisive actions to find and retrieve both of those gentlemen and get them out of the house,” Corcoran said.

He hopes the public will follow the manufacturer’s instructions if using a space heater. He said to make sure nothing is near them that could catch fire. Avoid using space heaters in areas where a child or pet could knock them over and avoid using extension cords that could overheat.

The family dog survived. The pet was revived by using a specially-designed oxygen mask. The Ferguson Fire Department has been equipped with those masks for approximately 10 years.

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Family of Amazon worker killed in Edwardsville tornado expected to file lawsuit Monday

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Family of Amazon worker killed in Edwardsville tornado expected to file lawsuit Monday

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Lawyers will file a lawsuit Monday against online retailer Amazon on behalf of the family of delivery driver Austin McEwen, who was killed Dec. 10, 2021, when a tornado struck the facility where he was working.

The tornado, with top winds estimated at 155 miles per hour, ripped the roof off the Amazon facility just after 8:30 p.m. and caused the building to collapse on itself.

McEwen was one of six people killed when the Amazon distribution center collapsed.

The other fives victims are 28-year-old Deandre S. Morrow of St. Louis; 62-year-old Kevin D. Dickey of Carlyle, Illinois; 29-year-old Clayton Lynn Cope of Alton, Illinois; 34-year-old Etheria S. Hebb of St. Louis; and46-year-old Larry E. Virden of Collinsville, Illinois.

Forty-five Amazon workers were able to get out of the warehouse safely, with one airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

The lawsuit accuses Amazon of forcing McEwen and others to work when management knew conditions were unsafe after tornado warnings had been issued. McEwen was also told to continue working instead of evacuating when the possibility of a serious tornado was apparent, the suit alleges.

In the aftermath of the tornado, Amazon officials said there was a designated shelter in the warehouse where workers could take cover. Kelly Nantel, director of media relations for Amazon, said generally it is an interior spot where there are no windows. She said 39 people gathered in that area on the north side of the building. However, seven people, including McEwen gathered in a bathroom on the south side of the facility.

Attorneys for the McEwen family claim the facility had no basement shelter and no safety plan or adequate emergency plan as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA launched an investigation into the building collapse and workplace safety within days of the tragedy.

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Jazz snap Nuggets’ two-game winning streak, spoil Nikola Jokic’s 9th triple-double

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Jazz snap Nuggets’ two-game winning streak, spoil Nikola Jokic’s 9th triple-double

Rested and ready, the Jazz showed out.

Having not played a game since Wednesday, Utah had the finishing fourth-quarter kick to seize Sunday’s contest, 125-102. The Nuggets, playing their third game in four nights, didn’t have the legs to keep up.

While Donovan Mitchell rained in four 3-pointers and sliced through Denver’s defense, his supporting cast of Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic more than held their own. Mitchell paced Utah with 31 points, and Gobert added 18 points and 19 rebounds.

The Jazz outscored the Nuggets, 34-14, in the fourth quarter to render Nikola Jokic’s ninth triple-double of the season meaningless. With 25 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists, Jokic exited the game tied with Russell Westbrook for the NBA lead in triple-doubles. Not that it mattered to the reigning MVP, whose displeasure and frustration was obvious throughout the night.

Aaron Gordon helped combat waves of Utah’s production with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Bones Hyland offered 13 points off the bench, but on just 5-of-14 shooting.

Utah’s bench outscored Denver’s 36-24, exposing the depth and the difference between both teams at the halfway mark of the season.

The Nuggets fell to 22-20 on the season and snapped a two-game win streak. They’ll be back at it on Wednesday against the Clippers.

The Jazz cruised to a 73-60 lead to open the third quarter, threatening to bust the game wide open. But the Nuggets responded with a 20-7 run of their own, fueled by an aggressive, attacking mindset and a connected defense. Will Barton and Gordon were at the center of the charge.

If it wasn’t Barton playing downhill, finishing inside and getting to the line, then it was Gordon cleaning up on the glass. Jokic, who secured his second triple-double in as many games late in the third quarter, did his part in facilitating the comeback. The 30-23 quarter sawed away Utah’s double-digit lead, and the Nuggets entered the fourth down just 91-88.

Entering Sunday’s contest, the Nuggets had logged back-to-back games of 20+ 3-pointers for the first time in franchise history.

“It’s not just the threes that we’re making, but what kind of shots are we generating?” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, praising their ability to find corner 3-pointers.

““I think the other important part of that is how we’re getting those,” Malone said. “I think the ball movement, 35 assists in back-to-back games, is an incredible number.”

One of the primary reasons for their long-range assault has been Hyland. Following a recent rut, Malone chatted with his precocious rookie and encouraged him to be himself. But he also wanted him to find a balance between blowing kisses to the crowd and going silent when the game turned sideways for him.

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