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Colorado Daily

August 24th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Three quarterbacks coaches in three seasons a “blessing in disguise” for Steven Montez

From the Daily Camera … On the first day of preseason camp more than three weeks ago, Jay Johnson was hurrying through a quick post-practice lunch in his office at the Champions Center when he was asked to ponder a curious situation regarding the most important player on his Colorado Buffaloes’ offense.

Quarterback Steven Montez has been a fixture in the Buffs’ attack going back as far as 2016, when he kept the ship afloat on several occasions in relief of starter Sefo Liufau during CU’s run to the Pac-12 South Division title. Since then, though, there has been a revolving cast of voices bending Montez’s ear with advice. Johnson is Montez’s third quarterbacks coach and third offensive coordinator of his CU career. Including the soon-to-unfold 2019 campaign, those roles have altered each of the past three seasons.

It is a situation that easily could have turned into a source of frustration for Montez. Yet with Montez’s senior season finally set to kick off Friday night against Colorado State, both the pupil and his latest mentor believe the turnover of coaching personnel has been a blessing in disguise for CU’s signal-caller.

“He is more of a veteran type of player, but I think with all the quarterbacks we try to have a very transparent and a very open relationship that we can kind of work off each other a little bit,” Johnson said. “I’m sure I approach things differently than the previous guys in certain capacities, and in a lot of capacities it might be the same.”

Continue reading story here

New CU President Mark Kennedy: “I think Mel has shown to be a great face (of the university)” 

From the Daily Camera … Mark Kennedy hasn’t been on the job very long, but the new president of the University of Colorado is already impressed with the Buffaloes’ first year head football coach, Mel Tucker.

“I think Mel has shown to be a great face (of the university),” Kennedy said Friday after the 31st annual Boulder Chamber kickoff luncheon at Balch Fieldhouse. “He’s committed to establishing a program that wins, not just a season, but consistently. I’ve been familiar with that type of attitude.

Kennedy, who started his job with CU in July, was a multi-sport letterman in high school and graduated from St. John’s (Minn.) University, one of the top Division III football program in the country. In fact, St. John’s won a national title during Kennedy’s years at the school.

Kennedy was also a graduate student at Michigan during the Bo Schembechler years and has sent his own children to Michigan and Notre Dame. Prior to CU, Kennedy spent three years as the president of the University of North Dakota, which won a men’s hockey national title shortly after he was hired in 2016.

Kennedy’s history has shown him the importance of athletics to a university.

“I do believe that sports serve as the front door to the university,” he said. “It attracts a lot of (youth) to fall in love with the university and then later on look inside and see the great things we offer from academics and other offerings.”

Continue reading story here

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August 23rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Nate Landman: “I need to be responsible for this defense”

From The Athletic … Nate Landman knows he has a lot on his shoulders entering his third season with the Colorado Buffaloes. With the graduation of a group of veteran players in the spring, Landman is now not only one of the best players on the team but is also the leader of a young, inexperienced group of inside linebackers.

Landman’s up for it.

“It adds a little pressure, but I feed off that pressure,” Landman said. “I love the position I’m in now. I kind of stepped into it after last season and preseason training and spring ball, and I took it upon myself to be that guy … I think it allows me to be a better player and it opens my eyes and allows me to trust my guys, and it’s developing me into a better player.”

His first two years with the Buffs, Landman learned from fellow inside linebacker Rick Gamboa, who started all four years and is one of the all-time leading tacklers at CU.

Last season, Landman broke out, finishing with 107 tackles, four sacks, 13 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Now Landman will have to keep up his strong play while also guiding a group that has almost no game experience. To do so, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior is drawing on leadership styles from those who have impacted his life. One of them is Gamboa.

“I learned a lot from Rick and those guys I played under,” Landman said. “I felt comfortable with him. He would help me if I needed help. Being a young guy, I didn’t know everything and I still don’t, but having him as a backbone and someone to look up to and feed off of allowed me to play better.”

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

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August 22nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

* Video – Mel Tucker speaks at the Front Range Media Huddle *

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation … Mel Tucker was recruited by Air Force (Tucker was a wishbone quarterback in high school) … “I’m really excited about (the Showdown). I’ve heard so much about it. The crowd with both schools, the fans, the atmosphere that’s created in this game. It’s going to be a special night and I’m really looking forward to it … It’s been a very productive camp … You want to find out who your best players are, and how much depth you have … You don’t want to put a square peg in a round hole when you are scheming for a game” … Team captains to be named on Sunday (new captains every week) … “Hopefully we won’t be the Laviska show every play, we want to be able to spread it out … but at the end of the day, we want to get him the ball … On the depth chart release, and how it affects the team: “Once you get into the game planning, and you have your starters and backups – the guys that go to the scout team, you have to make sure you don’t lose those guys … Tucker relayed to the team a story about a freshman defensive lineman at Georgia last year who started out on the scout team, but did so well that by the end of the year, he was starting … “You are always looking to get better, nothing is set in stone”

Arizona Daily Star quotes Mel Tucker as calling the Pac-12 a “flag football” conference

… This doesn’t sound like the Mel Tucker we’ve been quoting for the past nine months. Anyone know when/where this quote came from? (See Below. My thanks to CUfan and GoBuffs16 for posting the article with the full Mel Tucker quote) … 

From Tucson.com … Colorado’s first-year coach Mel Tucker delivered the most bold quote among his Pac-12 peers during the offseason.

Tucker, who was the defensive coordinator at Georgia last season, was not complimentary about Pac-12 football and vows to make the Buffaloes a defense-first, physical team to compare with Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Washington’s Chris Peterson.

“If you want to play in a tennis-shoes league, come out here,” Tucker told Colorado reporters. He compared Pac-12 style of play to “flag football.”

“That ain’t good,” he said.

If Tucker can infuse the Buffaloes with a sense of toughness, it’ll be a rare show of muscle in the league. Since ASU joined the league in 1978, Sun Devil coach Frank Kush, Washington’s Don James and Whittingham have led the league in muscle-first football.

Continue reading story here

HCMT’s comments were taken out of context from an article written in the DP last month.
https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/21/cu-mel-tucker-pac-12-media-day-preview/

Here’s the full quote:

“I don’t think it helps the Pac-12 (that) there are these stigmas, that it’s a ‘finesse’ league, ‘You don’t play defense.’ I don’t think that helps anything,” Tucker, the first-year CU Buffs coach, told The Denver Post recently.

“Whether you’re an offensive head coach or a defensive head coach, I think that’s a bad look on your (league), because (of what it implies). It’s like, ‘If you want to play real ball, play in the SEC. If you want to play in a tennis-shoes league, come on out here, toss it around a little bit and play flag football in the Pac.’ That ain’t good.”

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August 21st 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pac-12: No 10:00 a.m., MT, kickoffs in 2019

From the San Jose Mercury News … Morning kickoffs very well could be a part of the Pac-12’s future, just not in 2019.

The conference has opted against scheduling games this season at 9 a.m. PT/10 a.m. MT as a means of gaining exposure on the new FOX broadcast window.

Andrew Walker, head of communications for the Pac-12, said several schools are interested in playing early, but the conference couldn’t find “good options” over the coming three months.

The plan, Walker added, is to monitor whichever Big 12 and Big Ten games are slotted into the 9 a.m. window, then re-assess for next season.

By delaying any early kickoffs until at least 2020, the Pac-12 will allow time for the schools and fans to plan for the unusual logistics.

As the Hotline noted in June, an early kickoff could be used by the host school as a branding opportunity — the centerpiece for a day-long campus celebration.

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Will Sherman on move to right tackle: “It’s been a pretty good adjustment so far”

From the Daily Camera … Having started the last nine games of the 2018 season at left tackle, Colorado’s Will Sherman had grown rather comfortable on that side of the offensive line.

The sophomore had no problem giving up his spot this summer, however.

With the addition of Arlington Hambright, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, the Buffs now have an experienced veteran on the left side, with Sherman now at right tackle.

“I know with Arlington here, (senior quarterback) Steven Montez is going to feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket, our run game is going to elevate,” Sherman said. “Whatever I have to do to help the team win, I’m going to do. I’m glad Arlington is here and I’m glad he’s here to help us win.”

Considering his continued development, Sherman might have been just fine on the left side, but he’s embracing the move to right tackle, where he played at Allen (Texas) High School.

“At first it was a little bit of an adjustment because I was used to the left, but I just took what I learned from high school and what (offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic) has taught me and ran with it,” Sherman said. “It’s been a pretty good adjustment so far.”

Continue reading story here

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August 20th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video – Sam Noyer explains his move from quarterback to safety*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

Mehki Blackmon on cornerbacks: “We’re going to be good. Coach Tucker knows what he’s doing”

From the Daily Camera … When the ball is in the air and he’s nearby, Colorado cornerback Mekhi Blackmon believes he’s got an obligation to get it.

“That’s mandatory for my position,” he said. “Last year, I saw a lot of people deflecting (the ball), but I don’t have time to sit around and try to slap the ball. I want to get the ball in our hands for the offense, so that’s what I try to do.”

The junior has shown a knack for finding the football, and he’s putting himself in position to be one of the top cornerbacks for a team that’s in desperate need of someone to step up at the position.

During the spring game, Blackmon had two interceptions, including one he took back for a touchdown. On Aug. 3, in the only practice of preseason camp open to the public, he had two more picks.

“With young guys looking up to me as a leader, I have no choice but to set the standard for them,” he said. “If I’m not doing it, who’s going to do it?”

Good question. The Buffs are incredibly thin on experience at cornerback, but the former junior college transfer is rapidly becoming a leader.

Continue reading story here

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August 19th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Backup quarterback Sam Noyer moves to safety

From the Daily Camera … Going into preseason camp, one of the key battles for the Colorado football team was at backup quarterback.

Senior Steven Montez has the starting job locked up for the third year in a row, but the Buffaloes are still trying to figure out who will land at No. 2.

Apparently, it will not be Sam Noyer.

A CU spokesman confirmed to Buffzone.com on Monday afternoon that Noyer has switched to safety. The Denver Post first reported the move.

Noyer, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior from Beaverton, Ore., practiced on defense for the first time on Monday. His size and athleticism could be a boost for the Buffs at safety.

Now in his fourth season at CU, Noyer redshirted in 2016 and has appeared in nine games during his career, completing 21-of-41 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions.

Last season and throughout this offseason, Noyer has competed with redshirt sophomore Tyler Lytle for the top backup position. Noyer’s move to safety means that Lytle and redshirt freshman Blake Stenstrom are the only two scholarship quarterbacks behind Montez.

OLB coach Brian Michalowski on unit: “I have collectively just a great group of players”

From the Daily Camera … Walking through the stretch lines before practice, Colorado outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski will often pass by one of his players and throw out a simple question.

“What are we getting better at today?” he will ask.

Michalowski, in his first season with the Buffaloes and his first season as a full-time assistant at the Division I level, has an intriguing group of outside linebackers. Each one brings different skills to the table and more than two weeks into preseason camp, Michalowski is pleased with the daily progress.

“I challenge my guys that every single day we have to come out with something we improve on,” he said. “I have collectively just a great group of players.”

While Michalowski loves the talent, this is a group that is light on experience.

Continue reading story here

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August 18th

... CU in a few minutes … 

*Video – Interview with JC linebacker Quinn Perry*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

*Video – Interview with JC linebacker Jamar Montgomery*

Pat Rooney: Is there a path to six wins in CU’s schedule?

From the Daily Camera … Can the Colorado Buffaloes flip the script?

Coach Mel Tucker has made it clear he hopes to be at CU for the long haul. First, though, the goal is to set a new foundation for a program that has posted just one winning record over the past 13 seasons. Yet it’s groundwork that won’t be completely devoid of expectations.

The Buffs are a flawed football team, and while an official season prediction from this corner still is pending, the safe bet is that run of sub-.500 seasons will get extended to 14. Still, there are a number of boxes the Buffs check that would be the envy of many teams. A seasoned, big-armed quarterback in Steven Montez. A game-breaking talent with All-American potential in Laviska Shenault. And maybe, just maybe, enough proven playmakers — like Nate Landman and Mustafa Johnson — on a defense thin on depth to get the Buffs a timely stop or two late in games to affect outcomes.

It may be unlikely. But certainly it’s not impossible. There are flawed teams across the Pac-12 Conference, particularly alongside CU in the South Division. So how do the Buffs’ eke out enough wins to get to 6-6 and go bowling in Tucker’s first season? Let us count the ways.

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August 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Scrimmage may settle depth chart – Tucker: “We need to know who is going to give us the best chance as starters”

From the Daily Camera … Preseason football camp passed the halfway point in terms of total practices earlier this week, but the closed scrimmage the Colorado Buffaloes will go through Saturday morning offers a different sort of preseason turning point.

Once the Buffs reconvene after Saturday’s scrimmage and Sunday’s planned day off from the field, only 11 days and two work weeks will remain before the Aug. 30 season opener against Colorado State. And with preseason events like moving into the dorms, the Buff Club Kickoff Luncheon, and, finally, the start of classes, around the corner, the preseason soon will morph from a repetitive grind to the urgent preparations of game week.

First-year CU coach Mel Tucker said Saturday’s scrimmage likely will feature different controlled situations than what the Buffs faced in last week’s scrimmage.

“We’re going to add a couple more scenarios,” Tucker said. “We do situations every day so our guys are prepared for all the things that could come up in a game. We have some situations that we need to get live on tape. See how guys react to those. And then, with scrimmage No. 2, we’ve been at camp for a while. We’ve had quite a few practices. So guys, if they can do it, we should know now. We should know where our squad is after (Saturday).”

Continue reading story here

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August 16th

… CU a few minutes … 

Red-shirt freshman wide receiver Dylan Thomas moves to cornerback

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado Buffaloes have added a bit more depth to their cornerback room.

For the second week in a row, the Buffs have shifted a young receiver to defense. Redshirt freshman Dylan Thomas has made the switch and practiced at corner for the first time on Thursday.

A week ago, true freshman Tarik Luckett made the move from receiver to corner and has been praised by head coach Mel Tucker for making plays on defense in practice.

CU had four cornerbacks transfer out of the program after spring practices and came into preseason camp on Aug. 1 with only five corners on scholarship. With the latest moves, they now have seven corners on scholarship.

Thomas, who is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, redshirted last season.

Dylan Thomas talks about his move to cornerback. From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

2019: The Year Tight Ends again become relevant at CU

From CUBuffs.com … When the Colorado Buffaloes kick off their season Aug. 30 in Denver against Colorado State, one of the more noticeable changes of the Mel Tucker era should quickly become evident.

Welcome back to the offense, tight end. A position that was once a staple of Buffs football only to become a virtual afterthought in recent years will once again be an integral part of the CU attack.

Since the day he took the CU job, Tucker has made it clear he wants to use a tight end — or two — on a regular basis.

The good news is that even though the Buffs had used the tight end sparingly over the last couple of years, there were some quality players already on the roster. Tucker then added to the position in recruiting by bringing grad transfer Jalen Harris to CU from Auburn and moving former running back Beau Bisharat to the spot in spring ball.

Now, it is a position that boasts plenty of talent, experience and depth — and one that will utilize that talent.

“I would definitely say that the group has taken a step,” Tucker said earlier this week. “We’re going to use our tight ends and you see them in practice. First and foremost they have to do a great job blocking for us. In the passing game we target all of our tight ends. … We’re going to have three or four guys that we can use in the run game and in the pass game. I’m happy with that position.”

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August 15th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk: Six Takeaways From Tucker’s First Buffs Fall Camp

From CUBuffs.com … With the Colorado Buffaloes having wrapped up their 12th practice of camp Wednesday, leaving 13 remaining until the Aug. 30 season opener with Colorado State in Denver, here are some midpoint takeaways on head coach Mel Tucker‘s first fall camp:

1. The Buffs will be a tougher team. Tucker has stressed a physical approach since the day he arrived. CU’s head coach believes that physical and mental toughness go hand in hand, and he has made it a point of emphasis on a daily basis.

The change has been palpable in practice. The Buffs hit, they don’t shy from contact anywhere on the field, and they have learned to play “to the echo of the whistle.”

It is a cornerstone of Tucker’s fourth quarter philosophy, and one that will pay dividends at some point in the season. As former CU head coach Gary Barnett, a regular at CU’s fall camp workouts, said earlier this week: “If you’re playing this team, you better bring your ‘A’ game, and you’d better not let up because this team will keep coming after you.”

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In the minority: CU to face five ranked teams in 2019

From FBSchedules.com … The release of the Coaches Poll preseason Top 25 gives us a window into which programs will be ranked going into their first games. After that, it’s back to things being decided by the greatest form of reality TV – live sports with zero scripts.

The first official Top 25 also affords an opportunity to gauge schedule strength based on a new parameter – how many ranked opponents a team will play during its upcoming campaign. Even though so much is destined to change between now and December, the programs listed here have an exceptional number of hurdles to face before making good on any postseason visions of grandeur.

Of the 64 Power conference members, only 18 (or 28%) have five-plus preseason ranked opponents on their 2019 schedule. Of these, a whopping nine – or half – hail from the Big Ten, five are Pac-12 members and four come from the SEC. The ACC and Big 12 are not represented at all.

This breakdown makes a lot of sense based on how the Power leagues are represented in the Coaches Poll – seven Big Ten members (four from the East division and three from the West), six SEC schools (four from the West and two from the East), five from the Pac-12 (four from the North and one from the South), three Big 12 teams, two from the ACC (both from the Atlantic division), and one apiece from the Independents and the American Athletic.

Even though each of the teams listed here share a similar challenge, it’s far from an apples-to-apples comparison. This is because each individual member of the list is set to play a unique combination of opponents with a unique combination of rankings. In other words, playing No. 20 Michigan State can’t be treated as equal with playing No. 5 Ohio State.

COLORADO (16.8): (12) Washington, at (13) Oregon, at (15) Utah, at (21) Washington State, (23) Stanford

OREGON STATE (16.8): (12) Washington, at (13) Oregon, (15) Utah, at (21) Washington State, (23) Stanford

CALIFORNIA (16.4): at (12) Washington, at (13) Oregon, at (15) Utah, (21) Washington State, at (23) Stanford

USC (14.4): at (9) Notre Dame, at (12) Washington, (13) Oregon, (15) Utah, (23) Stanford

Power Teams with Six Ranked Opponents (listed in order of average rank of opponents)

STANFORD (16.2): (9) Notre Dame, (12) Washington, (13) Oregon, at (17) UCF, at (21) Washington State, (25) Northwestern

Read full list here

Offensive lineman Va’atofu Sauvao moves to defensive line

From the Daily Camera … Offensive lineman Va’atofu Sauvao, who came to CU in January to compete on the offensive line, has moved to the defensive line.

“We needed help on the defensive line, he wanted to play defensive line, so it was a good fit,” Tucker said.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Sauvao came to CU from Modesto (Calif.) Junior College and has two seasons to play. He and former MJC teammate Mustafa Johnson are the only upper classmen in the defensive line group.

“He’s strong, he’s stout, he’s built low to the ground and he loves football,” Tucker said of Sauvao. “I don’t know if we have anyone who loves football more than him. He loves to compete, he loves to be physical. He’s a blood and guts guy and that’s what you need on the D-line.”

Read full article here

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August 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pac-12 Networks’ Yogi Roth Training Camp Tour: “Relentless” Colorado

From YouTubeYogi Roth, who works for the Pac-12 Networks, both at games and in the studio, travels to Boulder to interview head coach Mel Tucker, assistant head coach Darrin Chiaverini, quarterback Steven Montez, linebacker Nate Landman, and wide receivers Laviska Shenault and K.D. Nixon … 

Mel Tucker … “We preach ball security to the running backs. Ball security is job security for the coaches” … On Laviska Shenault: “He looks like an outside linebacker, but he may be the fastest player on the team … He works as hard as anyone out here” …

Jaren Mangham: “I feel like pass pro, that’s what separates the running backs. I really want to put a lot of time into that, a lot of time and effort”

From the Daily Camera … While at Cass Tech High School in Detroit, Jaren Mangham drew the attention of numerous college football recruiters.

Some loved his potential at running back, others at linebacker. He even had offers to play defensive back and wide receiver. In all, he had 49 scholarship offers, according to 247Sports.com, before deciding to play running back at Colorado.

“I just felt like (recruiters) knew I was an athlete and that I could play multiple positions,” the 6-foot-2, 215-pound true freshman said this week. “Running back is really where my heart was at.”

The Buffaloes couldn’t be more pleased with his choice.

During preseason camp, the competition for playing time at running back is one of the most intriguing battles at CU. There have been four running backs – Mangham, sophomore Alex Fontenot and redshirt freshman Jarek Broussard and Deion Smith – routinely highlighted by coaches, and there’s a good chance the Buffs will use all four.

Mangham, however, has shown ability that could ultimately push up to the top of the list.

Continue reading story here

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August 13th

… CU in a few minutes …

The Athletic: “What the Buffs lack in experience at running back they gain with potential”

From The Athletic … For the past two years, Alex Fontenot has patiently waited for his time to shine, watching as Phillip Lindsay and Travon McMillian led the way for the Colorado running backs.

Now Lindsay and McMillian are both in the NFL and it is Fontenot’s turn to show what he can do. He’s the veteran, even though he is only a redshirt sophomore and has just 11 career rushing attempts. The only other back who has played in a game is walk-on Chase Sanders, who has four career attempts.

“If you look at is as you’re coaching guys that are inexperienced, you’re going to do a bad job at coaching,” running backs coach Darian Hagan said earlier in fall camp. “If you look at it as a group of guys who are talented and guys that make mistakes and you coach them to try and get them to minimize their mistakes, then you have potential.”

Hagan sees a lot of promise in his young group, which also features redshirt freshmen Jarek Broussard and Deion Smith, and true freshmen Joe Davis and Jaren Mangham.

After a redshirt season, Broussard, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, is coming off a solid spring season, although he missed some time with an injury.

While attending Second Baptist High School in Houston, Smith recorded the second-fastest 200-meter dash at the Texas state meet his junior year. He was ranked as the No. 24 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com and had 3-star ratings from247sports.com and ESPN. In the spring, he had 26 carries for 103 yards and three touchdowns, including two TDs in the first scrimmage.

Davis was ranked as the top running back in Colorado (No. 9 overall) by 247Sports. In high school, the 5-foot-11 tailback was on three state championship teams at Valor Christian. In his senior year, he played just three games while battling injuries, but made the most of it carrying the ball 52 times for 252 yards and five touchdowns.

Mangham was the MVP of the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl this winter. A four-star prospect by major recruiting services, Mangham received 47 offers during his recruitment before committing to the Buffs. He lived up to the hype in the spring, rushing 12 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns, including one 65-yard run.

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

College Football News: Rocky Mountain Showdown prediction

From College Football News … There was a time when this was annually one of the most entertaining and close battles, but it’s been all Colorado over the last four seasons. Now that it’s the start of the Mel Tucker era in Boulder, the winning streak can’t stop now.

The Buffs not only need the rivalry win, they can’t whiff on any chance to battle up to six wins and bowl eligibility after going 5-7 in each of the last two years. After this, Nebraska comes to town, and the Pac-12 season starts up at Arizona State a few weeks later.

Colorado State needs to bounce back from a horrible 3-9 season, but it gets Western Illinois at home next week before going to Arkansas. Winning this showdown again for the first time since the 31-17 opener in 2014 would be a massive deal for head man Mike Bobo.

Why Colorado Will Win

Colorado State doesn’t have the lines, and it has a particular problem on the offensive front.

The Ram line did a decent job in pass protection, but it couldn’t do a thing for the running game. It’s not going to be a massive weakness, but against Tucker’s defense, it’ll have to adjust fast and deal with a dangerous pass rush.

The bigger problem, though, will be a Ram defense that got destroyed last season and doesn’t return enough veterans to expect a huge early change.

It got lost in the collapse of last year, but Colorado has a fantastic group of skill players that can hang with just about anyone as long as WR Laviska Shenault is healthy. He went off for 211 yards in last year’s 45-13 win.

Why Colorado State Will Win

The Rams have to get the pass rush going right away. Give QB Steven Montez time to work with his high end receiving corps, and this will be over fast.

The Buffs didn’t do enough to keep Montez from being hit, and ended the year allowing a ridiculous 104 tackles for loss. Tucker is looking for a more physical style from his offense, but Colorado State needs to be able to turn it loose and hope the combination of Emmanuel Jones on the outside and Ellison Hubbard in the interior can be effective enough to provide steady pressure.

What’s Going To Happen

There are a whole lot of issues on both sides of the ball.

Colorado State needs to take back the rivalry, but Colorado is coming off of seven straight losses after starting last season 5-0. The Buff offense will look like it did early on, but it’ll be the defense that starts to look the part under the new coaching staff.

The Rams will be plucky and should hit enough home runs with the passing game to keep this from getting ugly, but Colorado will end up with its fifth series victory in a row.

Fearless Prediction & Line

Colorado 38, Colorado State 24
Line: Colorado -12.5, o/u: 65
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

CU makes a deal Avery Brewing Company

From CUBuffs.com … Avery Brewing Company, a pioneering craft brewery in Boulder for over 25 years, announces Stampede, a Colorado Gold Lager created in collaboration with University of Colorado Athletics.

The University of Colorado felt like a natural partner for Avery Brewing Company. Both long-standing institutions value innovation, quality, and their Boulder home. By teaming up, Avery and CU saw an opportunity to create a locally inspired craft beer that would promote and celebrate the trailblazing spirit of Boulder within and beyond the city. Close neighbors and longtime friends, Avery employs many CU graduates and students, including Travis Rupp, Avery’s Beer Archeologist and full time Classics Professor at CU Boulder. Rupp fostered the introductions that began this collaborative project. With so many close connections to the university, the Avery team was excited to work on this new beer.

“Boulder is my home, and I’ve been rooting for the Buffs since becoming a Coloradoan 35 years ago,” says Adam Avery, founder of Avery Brewing Company. “It’s a dream come true to partner with such a great university. I’m surrounded by CU grads here at the brewery who are just as psyched as I am about this beer! Let’s Go Buffs!”

To envision a brand icon worthy of Boulder, Avery engaged artist Neil Shigley, nationally acclaimed artist and creator of Avery’s current can art. Inspired by one of the most recognizable mascots in college sports, Shigley captured the dynamic, charging image of Ralphie, the American Bison. Ralphie famously leads CU’s football team onto the field at every home game, before kickoff and the start of the second half, a tradition that started in 1967. She was a perfect mascot for Boulder’s new hometown beer.

“We’re excited to partner with the Avery Brewing Company on this unique endeavor,” said Rick George, CU’s athletic director. “The artwork of Ralphie on the cans is spectacular and really adds to making this a true homegrown, Boulder product.”

Continue reading story here

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*Video – Interview with wide receiver Daniel Arias*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

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August 12th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mustafa Johnson: “We definitely have the coaching staff to lead us to where we want to go. It’s now on us”

From Yahoo.Sports … There’s a large picture on the wall on the third floor of the Champions Center, the University of Colorado’s football facility, that displays a snapshot of one of the top highlights of the Buffaloes’ 2018 season.

On one side of the action shot is high-energy defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson defeating a Nebraska tackle’s block. On the other is linebacker Nate Landman knifing into the backfield to make a fourth-down tackle for loss in the fourth quarter of a 33-28 Colorado victory.

“I love looking at it because it reminds me of how we felt when we made that big play,” Johnson told Yahoo Sports recently. “It was a sweet play. It was a big-time stop.”

It also would be the final road victory of the season for the Buffaloes. A season that started out with so much promise during a 5-0 run but ended with seven straight losses — many of them close late. Head coach Mike MacIntyre was let go at season’s end.

Despite the Buffaloes returning standouts on both sides of the ball, including Johnson and Landman on defense, and wideout Laviska Shenault Jr. and QB Steven Montez, they are being picked last in the Pac-12 South division under new head coach Mel Tucker.

“I don’t pay much attention to it,” Johnson said of his team’s projections after a recent practice. “I definitely have high hopes. We definitely have the coaching staff to lead us to where we want to go. It’s now on us to go out there and get it done.”

Continue reading story here

Transfer safety Mikial Onu: “I don’t want anything given to me”

From the Daily Camera … At some point, Mikial Onu is going to pay close attention to where he ranks on the Colorado depth chart.

The first couple of weeks of preseason camp is not the time, though.

A graduate transfer from SMU, Onu has enough on his plate just trying to get acclimated to CU and the defense.

“I don’t want anything given to me,” the senior safety said. “If I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m not going to start. My focus is not ones, twos, threes – there is no depth chart. Everyone is just competing. My focus is on just simply getting into the playbook, getting reps.”

A late addition to the roster this summer, Onu was brought in by head coach Mel Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers to provide experience, depth and leadership at a position that was lacking in all departments.

Continue reading story

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August 11th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pat Rooney: “Tucker already is leaps and bounds ahead of his predecessor in terms of composure and mental toughness”

From the Daily Camera … Mel Tucker exudes a demeanor of calm confidence easy to respect.

Through the first week-plus of his first preseason camp as the leader of the Colorado football program, Tucker has diligently met the media after each practice session. He answers questions in the cool, direct voice of a man not only fully in control, but like a leader who has tackled these tangential duties with professional diligence throughout his career.

His impressive coaching pedigree aside, that’s not exactly the case with Tucker. Appearances, even confident ones, are one thing. The fact remains Tucker, a veteran assistant at the highest levels of college football in addition to the NFL, is just now beginning his first season as the lead man of any program, excluding a five-game cameo as the interim coach with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.

Tucker, in a way, is navigating uncharted waters. Certainly you wouldn’t know it after any conversation with CU’s first-year head coach, yet following his Buffs’ live scrimmage Saturday morning Tucker admitted there have been a few unexpected hiccups as his first training champ has unfolded. Call them minor blips rather than major headaches.

Every now and then there’s something that pops up that I didn’t anticipate, but we’ll handle it,” Tucker said. “I have a really good staff around me. I don’t have to do it by myself. Our staff is a group of unselfish people. Our coaches, our support staff, our recruiting department — everyone is unselfish. Great communicators. As problems or hurdles arise, we’re able to do what’s best for the team moving forward.”

Continue reading story here

*Video – Interview with wide receiver Vontae Shenault*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

*Video – Interview with defensive back K.J. Trujillo*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

 

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August 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Darrin Chiaverini on Tony Brown: “He’s going to be a guy that’s heavily counted-on this year” 

From the Daily Camera … Tony Brown isn’t going to complain to quarterback Steven Montez about needing more balls thrown his way, or bemoan his role in the offense to receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini. That same mindset is why Colorado fans also won’t hear Brown tooting his own horn on the occasions he steps up and makes big plays for the Buffaloes.

In good times and bad, the soft-spoken Brown prefers to let his game do his talking.

Still, as Brown tackles his final preseason in Boulder with his usual businesslike approach, he also does so as the only senior among a wide receiver corps with tantalizing big-play potential. Laviska Shenault is the CU receiver most likely to make big plays on Sundays in the near future, yet Brown isn’t letting his quiet nature get in the way of his expanded leadership role for the Buffs’ receivers.

“I pretty much show by example, especially with me being the oldest out there,” Brown said. “I’m getting to teach the younger guys what to do and what not to do. I’m not really verbal a lot, but this year I felt like I needed to step up a lot, big time. I’m communicating a lot more and really just showing by example.”

Continue reading story here

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August 9th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mel Tucker posts first-ever podcast – a chat with Rick George

… “Family atmosphere important – this is not the NFL … The No. 1 question I get: ‘Why did you want to come to CU?’ Rick George was the No. 1 reason … ” … Coach Tucker and Rick George talk about George’s time as the Recruiting Coordinator at CU … Rick: “He recruits every day; I fund-raise everyday” … “One thing I love about Rick is that he is a great listener … He makes sure we have everything we need to compete” … Rick: “No doubt in my mind that we have the right guy” … For 2023-24, when TV deals come up, CU needs to be better positioned …

Mel Tucker’s Inside Zone podcast can be found hereIn the very first episode of the weekly Mel Tucker’s Inside Zone podcast, the Head Coach of the Colorado Buffaloes football program chats with CU Athletic Director, Rick George, about his hiring, their relationship, where the Buffaloes are headed, and the fact that he and Rick have to occasionally “hug-it-out” after meetings!

Seventeen Buffs on NFL Fall Camp Rosters 

List courtesy of CU at the Gamer Ron Ward:

Isaiah Oliver – CB – Falcons
Jimmy Smith – CB – Baltimore
Josh Tupou – DT – Bengles
Chidobe Awuzie – CB – Cowboys
Phillip Lindsay – RB – Broncos
Juwann Winfree – WR – Broncos
David Bakhtiari – OT – Packers
Mason Crosby – K – Packers
Kabion Ento – CB – Packers
Javi Edwards – NT – Texans
Daniel Munyer – C – Colts
Ken Crawley – CB – Saints
Nate Solder – OT- Giants
Travon McMillian – RB – Steelers
Ahkello Witherspoon – CB – 49ers
Tedric Thompson – FS – Seahawks
Paul Richardson Jr. – WR – Washington

*Video – Interview with defensive back Mikial Onu*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

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August 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Nose tackle Jalen Sami: “It gives me a sense of pride that I can’t be moved”

From the Daily Camera … Among a defensive line group that features four true freshmen, Colorado coordinator Tyson Summers said he often thinks of nose tackle Jalen Sami as an older player.

Summers then has to remind himself that Sami has yet to play a single snap of college football.

It’s been a long time since Sami has played in a game, but the redshirt freshman is being counted on as a leader in an important position group.

“I feel like I definitely am a leader because of my work ethic and being here two years,” Sami said. “I feel like I can help these new guys come in and just play, because we know the system from spring and we’re still working on it and we want them to have the same expectations as us.”

Sami, from Vista Ridge High School in Colorado Springs, hasn’t played a game since the finale of his senior season, on Nov. 12, 2016. A late bloomer on the recruiting trail, he signed with CU as part of the 2017 class, but didn’t arrive until January of 2018 as a grayshirt. Last year, he suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss the entire season.

Finally, the 6-foot-6, 320-pounder has a chance to not only play, but to be a major contributor.

Continue reading story here

*Video – Interview with defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

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August 7th

... CU in a few minutes …

Butkus Award candidate Davion Taylor adjusting to new “Star” linebacker position

From the Daily Camera … Just a year ago, Davion Taylor was a newcomer to the Colorado football team – and a relative newcomer to the sport – who was fighting to prove he belonged in Division I.

Given his path, Taylor was more than a bit surprised last month when his name appeared on the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.

“I thought they made a mistake or something,” he said.

Taylor earned his spot on that list by his performance a year ago. Playing the “Buff back” in former coach Mike MacIntyre’s defense, Taylor flourished, with 75 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 11 QB pressures and two fumble recoveries – one of which he returned for a touchdown.

To keep his name in the running for postseason awards, Taylor needs to adjust to a new position this year.

Under first-year head coach Mel Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers, Taylor will be in the “Star” position, which is similar to the Buff in that it’s an outside linebacker/safety hybrid. It’s much different, however, in that he’ll be tasked with pass coverage much more than last year – and the coverage will be different.

Continue reading story here

DB coach Traveres Tillman: “We can play zone, but pressing is probably the biggest thing they didn’t do last year that we’ll be doing this year”

From The Athletic … New Colorado coach Mel Tucker has spent the first week of fall practice instilling the expectations and physical style of play he expects from his players.

While the job description of a head coach requires him to be involved in every aspect of the game, there’s one group of players he can’t seem to keep himself from: the defense.

“I can’t help it,” Tucker said. “Somehow, I end up drifting over to them and trying to help those guys out.”

“He definitely drifts himself,” defensive backs coach Travares Tillman said. “He comes and butts in on my time with them, but I don’t mind it at all. I’m learning from him, so it’s not a big deal. And it’s good for those players to be around him because he has a wealth of knowledge he can give those guys to make them better players.”

It makes sense. Tucker is a defensive-minded guy. After playing as a defensive back for Wisconsin, Tucker served as the defensive backs coach or defensive coordinator in eight of his previous nine stops in college or the NFL.

Now he’s inheriting a Colorado defense, particularly a secondary, that struggled last season. In what could be the most telling stat from last season, the defense had just eight interceptions. Linebacker Nate Landman led CU with two. Linebackers had half of the picks, while cornerbacks had only one. That corner, Dante Wigley, is no longer with the team after graduating in May.

The secondary, particularly at safety, is a big question mark again this season.

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

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August 6th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video – Interview with freshman running back Jaren Mangham*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffsTV:

Alex Fontenot: “You have to love everything you do and be that complete running back”

From the Daily Camera … Carrying the football is what usually leads to running backs getting attention.

It’s the little things that often get them on the field, however.

Entering his third year with the Colorado Buffaloes, sophomore Alex Fontenot is one of a handful of running backs fighting for playing time in a wide-open competition. He hasn’t forgotten what he learned two years ago from CU great Phillip Lindsay.

“With him, you can’t hate one thing and do everything else,” Fontenot said. “You have to love everything you do and be that complete running back.”

Lindsay, now in his second year with the Denver Broncos, was the ultimate all-around back who embraced – and excelled – in pass blocking, catching the ball and running.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Fontenot is starting to embrace all of those things, as well.

“Pass blocking to me is like second nature,” he said. “I actually like doing it. Catching the ball out of the backfield is pretty fun, too. Usually nobody guards the back when they come out of the backfield, so that’s the most fun part.”

Continue reading story here

With a child on the way, there is perspective for kicker James Stefanou

From the Daily Camera … The past couple of years have been filled with dramatic changes for James Stefanou.

After trading his soccer career for a pursuit of football, Stefanou moved from his native Australia to Boulder, got married and enrolled in college classes for the first time at the age of 30.

None of those changes were as eye opening as learning recently that his wife, Laura, is pregnant. The couple’s first child is due Feb. 7.

“It’s fantastic for us and that’s given me a lot of perspective,” said Stefanou, Colorado’s junior kicker. “You’re always motivated … but, it’s humbling. Everything is in perspective. I still care so much about football, but it starts to feel it’s just a game. Enjoy it, have fun and do what you started.”

With some added life perspective, Stefanou has come into preseason camp eager to put together his best season with the Buffs.

Continue reading story here

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August 5th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Can “one of the best offensive line coaches in the nation” work his magic at CU?

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic‘s style and philosophy fit perfectly with the fourth-quarter emphasis of Buffs head coach Mel Tucker.

While technique, timing and cohesiveness are no doubt integral parts of his overall approach to teaching the game, he makes sure the mental approach needed to play the position is stressed every day.

That means effort, attitude and playing with an edge — and doing it until it wears down a defense.

“The only way we’re going to be great is if we can play hard every snap,” Kapilovic said. “We have to try to break people’s wills. That’s really what the focus is there. Know your assignment, get in shape, cohesiveness and find some guys to get after it.”

Kapilovic believes he has a solid foundation from which to build. The Buffs return three players who started at least nine games last season, and added a graduate transfer who started early in the year in 2018 for Oklahoma State.

But after that, the experience level drops dramatically, meaning depth will also be an issue.

Colorado struggled to find consistency up front last season. The Buffs gave up 34 sacks in 2018 (tied for 106th in the nation) and rushed for just 143 yards per game (99th in the nation), averaging less than 4 yards per carry.

Tucker, though, has faith in Kapilovic, whom he has called “one of the best offensive line coaches in the nation.”

Continue reading story here

CB Chris Miller: “It feels pretty good” to be back on the field

Related … “CU Hall of Famer Cliff Branch Passes Away” … from CUBuffs.com

From the Daily Camera … Through the first three days of preseason football camp, Colorado’s Chris Miller has had to knock off a bit of rust.

After the year he’s had, however, he’ll take it.

“It’s good to be on the field for the first time in basically almost a year,” the CU sophomore said last week. “It feels pretty good.”

Miller, from Denton, Tex., is arguably CU’s most talented cornerback and, if healthy, could give the Buffaloes a huge boost in the secondary.

Yet, in the past 12 months, Miller has dealt with a hamstring injury, a fractured thumb and a dislocated shoulder. The first two injuries led to him missing six games of the 2018 season. The shoulder injury forced him to sit out of spring practices this year.

Finally, he’s healthy.

“Way healthier than I have been in the past,” Miller said last week. “It’s a lot to overcome, but I’m just looking forward to playing football and getting better with my team.”

Continue reading story here

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August 4th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Steven Montez: “We want to win a lot of games. I’ll do whatever it takes to do that”

From CUBuffs.com … Steven Montez just wants to win.

It’s a simple equation, but a formula the Colorado quarterback hasn’t quite solved often enough in his college career.

Now, the fifth-year senior has just one more shot to put it all together in college ball.

Montez has no doubt had his share of big moments with the Buffs. He led Colorado to a memorable win at Oregon in 2016 in his first start ever, the springboard to a Pac-12 South title and Alamo Bowl berth. He is 2-0 against in-state rival Colorado State, he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Laviska Shenault Jr. in a dramatic win at Nebraska last season, and he is already among CU’s all-time leaders in passing yards (fourth in Colorado history) and total offense (third).

Meanwhile, he is on a number of preseason watch lists, including the Maxwell, Earl Campbell and Davey O’Brien awards.

But …

In two full years with him as the starter, the Buffs have managed to go just 10-14. Throw in his 2-1 record as a starter as a freshman, and it’s still a sub-.500 mark.

Continue reading story here

Former Buff star Cliff Branch passes away at age 71

From the Daily Camera … Former Colorado wide receiver Cliff Branch, who went on to a brilliant career in the National Football League with the Oakland Raiders, has died at the age of 71 according to multiple reports.

ESPN on Saturday night reported that the Oakland Raiders issued a statement on their former star’s passing, having said, “Cliff Branch touched the lives of generations of Raiders fans. His loss leaves an eternal void for the Raiders Family, but his kindness and loving nature will be fondly remembered forever. Cliff’s on-field accomplishments are well documented and undeniably Hall of Fame worthy, but his friendship and smile are what the Raider Nation will always cherish.”

Branch was a fourth-round pick out of Colorado, where he also ran track for the Buffaloes, in 1972. He went on to play through the 1985 season and his career included 501 receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns. As a career Raider, he is just one of six players to have played on all three Super Bowl-winning teams for the organization.

For the Buffs, Branch played two seasons of football and totaled eight touchdowns (five rushing, three receiving) to go along with 1,019 scrimmage yards.

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August 3rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

** Video: Rick George’s CU Media Day Press Conference **

Related … “Buffs AD George Talks Facilities Upgrades, Early Games, Schedule” … from CUBuffs.com

… Notes … “Ticket sales going well. We’re going to have big crowds this season” … “Upgrading wi-fi in the stadium” … On hiring Mel Tucker (“Mel Tucker checked all the boxes – I wanted an accountability and a discipline to this program which I felt we needed going forward … His energy level is almost as good as mine”) … On other upgrades to Folsom (“We want to improve the sound system, but that’s obviously a function of money … We need to fix the west side of the stadium, and I’d like to do that in the next two-to-three years”) … On morning – 10:00 a.m., MT – games (“Competitively, I’m not worried about it. Hosting a game here? It would be a real challenge. We have a number of fans from Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction, and it would be hard for them to attend … I can almost guarantee you won’t see a 10:00 a.m., kickoff at home this year”) … On Nebraska (“We’ve done everything we can to ‘keep the red out’ “) … On the Pac-12 and Larry Scott (“Certainly last year wasn’t a good year, but it wasn’t all Larry Scott. I’m really bullish on the Pac-12. I think the best days are ahead of us”) … On Rocky Mountain Showdown (“I’ve been local about bringing it back to campus … but there are other ‘significant’ games which could be played in Denver”) … On rumors of a big endowment (“If there’s one out there, I don’t know who it is – it’s not accurate. Generally, I would know about those things. I don’t anticipate adding any sports in the next three-to-five years”) …

CU a “Pac-12 underdog” – “Seven or eight wins would be an impressive turnaround”

From Sports Pac-12While many in the college football landscape are predicting a three-horse race between Utah, Washington, and Oregon for the Pac-12 title this season, the Conference remains loaded with quality challengers. Among the teams hoping to break through in the South, three underdogs—UCLA, Arizona, and Colorado—appear to have a decent shot.

Colorado Buffaloes

—Overview—

Two years after Colorado’s 2016 team seemed to announce the program’s return to greatness, the Buffs are still trying to find their footing. This year could change that, with the arrival of new head coach Mel Tucker. A former defensive coordinator at Georgia and Alabama, Tucker is sure to instill a toughness that has been lacking the past couple of seasons.

The Buffs won’t lack for talent, either. Laviska Shenault Jr., a legitimate Heisman candidate, could be the best receiver in the nation. Colorado also returns a dependable quarterback in senior Steven Montez, who seems poised for a breakout season. With quality players returning on offense, and Tucker’s tough-minded defense, CU could make some noise in the South.

—Colorado Offense—

Tucker is looking to implement a pro-style power offense, which should prove better suited to Boulder’s brutal winters. While the Buffs don’t necessarily have all the players needed to run the scheme, it should still be difficult to stop, if executed correctly. Montez may be the ideal quarterback to implement it, given his experience and versatility.

Shenault gives Montez an extremely dangerous target. He has the ability to stretch the field, drawing an extra defender wherever he lines up, and is virtually unstoppable in the open field. K.D. Nixon and Tony Brown are threats as well. If Colorado can find another plug-and-play 1,000-yard rusher to replace Travon McMillian, the passing attack should enable Tucker’s system to flourish.

—Colorado Defense—

Colorado’s defense is going to be a bit of an experiment. The Buffs have a standout at every level, but lack depth beyond each. Nate Landman will lead the defense as one of the best linebackers in the Pac-12. Up-front, Mustafa Johnson is a solid pass rusher, but it is pretty bare around him. Davion Taylor leads the shallow secondary.

A look at Colorado’s defensive roster may not generate much fear, but Tucker is an elite defensive coach whose experience and leadership can’t be discounted. His defense should be solid for that reason alone. And if the Buffs can find one or two more players at each level, then they may have a surprisingly good year.

—Colorado Prediction—

Tucker has been a coach for three different teams that played in or won national championships: A pedigree unmatched by most FBS coaches. This is his first chance to run his own show, and he may have stepped into the perfect situation in Boulder, with a hungry fan base, and cold winters that can serve as an extra defender.

The Buffs begin the season with three home games, giving them a chance to start hot. While it’s unlikely the Buffs will compete for the South title this year, don’t be surprised if they finish bowl eligible. Tucker may eventually turn Colorado into a powerhouse, but seven or eight wins would be an impressive turnaround in 2019.

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August 2nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

K.D. Nixon: “We just have to get through this fall camp … keep pushing each other and we’re going to have a great season”

From the Daily Camera … As a freshman with the Colorado football team in 2017, receiver KD Nixon reasoned that the harder he worked on the field, the better he would get.

During some of those extra sessions on the Buffaloes’ indoor practice field, Nixon would see running back Phillip Lindsay in the trainer’s room.

“Phil used to laugh and be like, ‘Bro, why are you working so hard?’ I was like, ‘I’m trying to be just like you and go to the NFL,’” Nixon said of his former teammate and current Denver Broncos star. “Crazy thing is, I see why he was in the training room more than the indoor (field).”

Lindsay was well known for his relentless effort in taking care of body, through stretching, yoga and hours of recovery. He worked hard, but knew the value of keeping his body healthy.

Nixon is beginning to understand that, as well.

Continue reading story here

Graduate transfer Arlington Hambright: Key to success for the offensive line

From the Daily Camera … Arlington Hambright has been at this college football thing for a while now, but the veteran tackle has some adjusting to do in his new surroundings.

“We got in some good work,” Hambright said after Colorado’s first practice of preseason camp on Thursday. “I’m just a little tired, me personally, from the altitude. Knowing the plays and stuff, I feel like I jumped straight in pretty good, but the physical part, I didn’t do spring ball last year, so I’m a little tired and knocking the rust off, but it’s getting there for sure.”

A graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, Hambright could be a key to the Buffaloes’ offensive line this season. He started the first five games of the 2018 season at left tackle at OSU before an injury sidelined him until the Cowboys’ bowl game.

Last winter, he elected to transfer and eventually selected CU, where he could be a starter immediately at left tackle.

“Experience, athleticism and helping the offensive line out all together – I think I bring that to the team,” said Hambright, who has opened camp practicing at left tackle.

Continue reading story here

August 1st

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU’s new coordinators open Fall Camp with something to prove

From the Daily Camera … None of them are new to coaching, and the working relationships the entire Colorado football staff believes will lead to resounding success have been fermenting for the better part of eight months.

Still, the first day of practice remains the first day of practice, even for the veteran coaching staff assembled by first-year Buffaloes coach Mel Tucker. And for new coordinators Tyson Summers (defense) and Jay Johnson (offense), Thursday’s first day of practice for the 2019 season offered a balance of first-day excitement mixed with a sense of purpose.

Now the clock is ticking. Only four full weeks remain to get their respective units ready for the season opener against Colorado State on Aug. 30.

“At least for me, I’m a lot like the players. A little bit of anxiety trying to make sure everything goes right and is organized the way it’s supposed to be,” Summers said. “But at the end of the day, we all work for this time of year. All our offseason, our summers, it all goes into how we compete here for the next four or five months. I’m really excited about the defense that we’ve got, and I’m very excited about the position group I’ve got with the safeties. We’ve had a good summer.”

Continue reading story here

CU roster breakdown – 43 freshmen on 110-man roster

Related … Opening Day roster has 110 players, including four on the inactive listCan be found here

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Mel Tucker officially welcomed his first CU team to campus Wednesday as the Buffaloes wrapped up final preparations for Thursday’s fall camp practice opener.

The Buffaloes took care of administrative details Wednesday, and also heard from CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Athletic Director Rick George in a morning team meeting. They will hit the field Thursday morning with a 110-player roster that includes 83 scholarship players. By class, it includes three graduate transfers, 15 seniors (eight fifth-year seniors), 20 juniors, 29 sophomores and 43 freshmen (15 redshirt freshmen, three second-year freshmen and 25 true freshmen).

CU will have 25 practices in 29 days to prepare for the Aug. 30 season opener under the lights in Denver against in-state rival Colorado State (8 p.m., ESPN).

One of those practices, Saturday’s workout at Folsom Field, will be open to the public. Gates at Folsom will open at 8 a.m. (admission is free) with practice starting at approximately 8:50 a.m. and lasting for about two-and-a-half hours. A post-practice autograph/meet-the-team session will take place as well.

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22 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

  1. Stu
    please allow me to message AZBuff through the forum. He lives in Tucson and might give us some insight to the author of this article. With the way the author spun Mel’s words and the many wrongs that he uses to try to make The mildcat’s lack of a championship a right he has to be a retired politician or one in training.

    1. I also live in Tucson. The columnist is Greg Hanson who couldn’t write his way out of a wet paper bag even though he has been doing it for over 30 years. His analysis is jaded by grudges against people that he perceives to have slighted him in the past.

      I read the paper on the internet every day and did not see it and in fact had to go search for it after seeing comments on this site. Everyone knows I am a Buffs fan and no one mentioned it to me so I have to think few people have seen it.

    2. I lived in Tucson in the late 80s and remember Greg Hansen then. I still have family there, and always surprised he still has a job when I visit and look at the newspaper. The Tucson version of Kizsla. But this is stooping pretty low.

    3. ep and all Buff fans, I usually read everything that Greg Hansen writes and I also did not see the article regarding the so called Mel Tucker quote. Hansen is a long time homer writer for the local paper. He was very negative about CU and Utah joining the PAC 10 nee 12. For most of the years that CU has been a member of the conference he has been very negative regarding the Buffs.

      Didn’t have much to even say positive when the Buffs won the BB tournament a few years ago. I guess the only thing that has sort of cut down on his every so often innuendos of negativity was that UofA has had their own problems lately with their athletic programs.

      As a matter of fact the only thing I can remember him saying anything positive about CU is when he first saw the new CU facilities he begrudgingly said they were outstanding.

      I talk to my friends here about CU and UofA and none of them had ever mentioned the article. Actually as far as I’m concerned if it was truly an accurate quote, huzzahs to Mel, as I hope that between he and Cristobal and Wittingham they become a lot more physical and crack some heads in this conference in the future.

  2. Stu,

    HCMT’s comments were taken out of context from an article written in the DP last month.
    https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/21/cu-mel-tucker-pac-12-media-day-preview/

    Here’s the full quote:

    “I don’t think it helps the Pac-12 (that) there are these stigmas, that it’s a ‘finesse’ league, ‘You don’t play defense.’ I don’t think that helps anything,” Tucker, the first-year CU Buffs coach, told The Denver Post recently.

    “Whether you’re an offensive head coach or a defensive head coach, I think that’s a bad look on your (league), because (of what it implies). It’s like, ‘If you want to play real ball, play in the SEC. If you want to play in a tennis-shoes league, come on out here, toss it around a little bit and play flag football in the Pac.’ That ain’t good.”

    Just another day at the Daily Star trying to drum up more clicks.

  3. I certainly didn’t see the Noyer move from QB to safety coming. Can’t wait to hear the reasoning behind the move. Maybe Sam had to slipped to 4th in QB pecking order…maybe a glaring lack of depth at safety facilitated the move…maybe all, some, or none of the above. Happy for Lytle who reportedly possesses a rocket arm and Stenstrom who no doubt has a bloodline pedigree at the position. And I’m happy for Noyer if he’s happy too.

  4. If Rooney had written a column like that in Linkin he would need a phalanx of bodyguards to leave the house.
    Of course most of the gloom and doom spouted happened in the past and Rooney doesnt give any credit to the culture change that is supposed to be happening under Mel. Almost any culture change would be better than what were left with under MM’s homesick for the south surrender. If the kids are getting mentally prepared winning on the road will become a bit easier.
    My take is if the pass D, both coverage and rushing the qb, can hold up the Buffs go bowling. Heck with an O coordinator who is watching and analyzing what the opposing D is doing the Buff’s O might be able to outscore the opponent a game or 2. (apologies to Chev who had to be overruled a few times)

    1. Yur always defending Chev. But that’s okay. Some still can give you an earache by defending Mickey. Still honked at the garden man for not even standing up and thanking ” the burned to the ground” football program for giving him a chance and even though he failed miserably made him rich.

      All that movement from offense to defense. Very interesting. Noyer to safety. (Remember that tackle he made on the interception???? Hard arse hitter. Big………….Fast? Very interesting.

      Oline and receivers and qbs oh my……………………headed to the defense.

      What does that really tell ya…………

      Buffs.

      1. I forgot about that play, VK. Because that tackle (and the subsequent penalty for headhunting that was waved off) was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen at a football game live. And due to the size of the crowd during the snow game, we were very close to the field to hear it.

  5. Obviously not super relevant for pure football news, but I’m actually really excited about the Avery Brewing + CU thing for “Stampede Colorado Gold Lager”.

    Avery Brewing has always been the best brewery in the region, and it doesn’t even matter what style of beer you’re talking about. Very excited. Will buy many six-packs of this.

    Down with Buff Gold. Up with Stampede!

  6. It’s early…………………I’m late…………….

    The hype machine blasts………………… from the Buff zone , CuBuffs.com , all buffs and others is frigging overwhelming………………..Some hype so bad…………….last place etc blah blah…………….new coach………….blah

    Some so good you would think the team was full of five stars………………..

    I am just gonna say…………………vibe is different……………….even the “normal workers” are feeling it. (it is not like the same ol m&m crap………………..) There is a low buzz in the facility…………but it is constant……………..continuous……………………..it’s a good buzz……………….

    Kind of like …………….Its over Frosty…………….

    Buffs

    1. “We definitely have the coaching staff to lead us to where we want to go. It’s now on us” (Mustafa) That is a leader talking. Leadership by the coach breeds leadership on the field. Another sign that it aint ” the same ol…..”

  7. I knew him, John Tarver and Cliff roomed together in Williams Village. Big parties up there! Be fair, for the start of his career he dropped a lot of balls in practice so we wasn’t the best receiver target. But got better his Sr year. Knew a girl he got pregnant and didn’t do anything about her or
    the baby, and that isn’t right.
    Best quote ever was Joe Paterno when Penn State came to Boulder and lost. To start the 2nd half they kicked off and Branch took it in the endzone weaved across the field and ran it all the way back for a TD. At the post game interview Joe said something (tongue in cheek) like, “That Branch kid ain’t that fast, it took him 12 seconds to run those 100 yards!”

  8. Every other single player on both sides of the ball looked like they were in slow motion when Cliff had the ball. I’m not embarrassed to say I was a Raider fan while he was there. He got his opportunity to shine there whereas in college they just didnt throw enough or the QB didnt have the arm to get it down field where Cliff would be 10 yards ahead of the D. Jeremy Bloom was another speed guy who didnt get enough targets. Go Viska….and the Buffs

  9. “which should prove better suited to Boulder’s brutal winters. ”

    Haha, writer probably has never been to Boulder… not for any length of time in the winter. But he’s right about the Buffs chances of being better then most think they will be, so ok.

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