Top performances 2011: Buffaloes shine

We're looking at the top individual performances in the Pac-12 in 2011.

Up first: The Buff Duo.

Who & against whom? Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen and receiver Paul Richardson vs. California on Sept. 10.

The numbers: Richardson caught 11 passes for a school-record 284 yards and two TDs, and Hansen passed for a school record 474 yards and three scores and no interceptions in a 36-33 overtime loss to California.

A closer look: It takes a lot for a losing performance to earn a top performance nod, but setting a pair of major offensive school records is a lot. Richardson's total was the top receiving performance in the conference this season, and Hansen's passing yardage total ranked third. The pair helped the Buffaloes rally from a 10-point second-half deficit to force overtime. Further, these numbers were compiled by a bad offense against a good defense. The Buffs ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in total offense and 12th in scoring, while the Bears ranked first in total defense, fourth in scoring and No. 1 in pass efficiency defense. Hansen's 474 yards passing was 15 percent of the Buffs' total passing yards in 2011. While it was a so-close-but-yet-so-far ending for Colorado, that doesn't subtract from a scintillating performance.