Colorado Daily – Arizona State

September 21st

… CU in a few minutes … 

OT William Sherman: “It was definitely a lesson that we’re not as good as we thought we were”

From the Daily Camera … Perhaps lost in the excitement of Colorado’s fast start to the Mel Tucker era was the fact the Buffaloes are a work in progress with a long road ahead.

A 21-point win against rival Colorado State kick-started the season. A come-from-behind, overtime thriller that knocked out long-time nemesis Nebraska – ranked No. 25 in the country at the time – then created the idea for some that this CU team could be on the verge of something special.

Then came last week.

Former in-state rival Air Force, which hadn’t been to Boulder in 46 years, zipped into Folsom Field and pushed the Buffaloes around their own yard before leaving town with a 30-23 overtime win that has forced even the biggest CU fans to pump the brakes a bit.

“It was definitely a lesson that we’re not as good as we thought we were,” right tackle William Sherman said this week. “I’m glad we had our wakeup call before Pac-12 play.”

Continue reading story here

Colorado at Arizona State a battle of contrasts 

From CUBuffs.com … Mel Tucker’s Colorado Buffaloes have the opportunity to end a couple of skids Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium when 2-1 CU squares off with 3-0, 24th-ranked  Arizona State (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

For starters, the Buffs can end an 0-5 slide against the Sun Devils on ASU’s home field, a record that includes four losses in Pac-12 play. Colorado can also end a losing streak against ranked teams on the road that currently sits at 29. CU’s last win over a ranked team on the road came in 2002, when Gary Barnett’s Buffs knocked off No. 20 UCLA.

But fact is, Colorado’s first-year head coach has had nothing to do with those streaks. The only thing that matters to Tucker — and the rest of the Buffs — is opening Pac-12 play with a victory.

“We want to play our best football going into conference,” Tucker said earlier this week.

The game will pit a potent if inconsistent Colorado offense — the Buffs are averaging more than 36 points per game — against an ASU defense that is second in the nation in points allowed, yielding just seven points per game thus far.

On the flip side, a Colorado defense that has given up at least 30 points in all three games this year should have a chance to improve that number. Arizona State is averaging less than 20 points per game and has leaned on its defense to make the difference.

Continue reading story here

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September 20th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pat Rooney: Pac-12 opener a chance for Buffs to try and rewrite history 

From the Daily Camera … It’s puzzling, isn’t it?

In the long, rich history of Colorado football the Buffaloes have traveled to Arizona State five times. Four since the programs became league-mates in the Pac-12 Conference. At the end of all five of those road trips the Buffs returned home with a fresh loss on the ledger.

As the Buffs once again travel to ASU, this time to face a 24th-ranked Sun Devils squad late Saturday night, they do so as a team attempting to rewrite history.

It’s a bit perplexing. ASU always has been a solid but not spectacular foe on the annual Pac-12 slate. Sun Devil Stadium rarely packs in a standing room crowd, and there is no evidence the home wins against CU have done anything to jump-start ASU’s fortunes in those particular seasons. More often than not, ASU trends the other direction after being hostile hosts to the Buffs. CU simply has never played well in Tempe and it’s a shortcoming quarterback Steven Montez, an otherwise articulate young man who has been part of the roster for two defeats at ASU, is at a loss to explain.

Continue reading story here

Offensive lineman Casey Roddick sees first action since 2016

From the Daily Camera … The layoff was significant for Casey Roddick.

It basically had been three full years since he last stepped on a football field for an official game, a drought that ended when Roddick was summoned off the bench to reinforce a struggling Colorado Buffaloes offensive line during last week’s 30-23 overtime loss against Air Force.

Three years removed from a competitive setting is more than enough to coat any player with a few layers of rust, and it was no different for Roddick last week when offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic finally called his number against the Falcons.

“Obviously it was a blessing to get out there. It’s my first action since high school,” said Roddick, a redshirt freshman from Ventura, Calif. “It’s been a long process. Overall, we didn’t get the W, so I don’t feel like I did my job correctly. Game speed, totally different. It’s what you do off the field that’s going to impact your play on the field. So that’s in the playbook, in your studies and everything. Knowing your opponent and knowing what they’re going to do on each and every play, knowing the coverages and everything.”

Continue reading story here

* Video – Relentess II: The non-conference games *

Without a doubt, the best 12 minutes you will spend today …

Mel Tucker at halftime of the CSU game (Buffs ahead, 24-21): “Whatever it takes. It don’t got to be pretty, just get the job done”Mel Tucker at halftime of the Nebraska game (Buffs down 17-0):You gotta love it. It’s hard, but we’re built for this. That’s the best they can play, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we can do. Offense, defense, special teams playing together. One play at a time”Mel Tucker to his team after the loss to Air Force: “That’s a tough one, right? Now, how do we respond to a loss? There are going to be evaluations, we’re going to lay it out to you, and we’re going to move on – ‘So what? Now what” – that’s the way it’s going to be … My expectations are for you to take it with class, give those guys credit … All of our goals are right there in front of us still … We’re going to come back. We’re going to fight our ass off … We’re going to find a way to get better” … 

Pac-12 Networks feature on Laviska and La’Vontae Shenault … 

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September 19th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Regent Linda Shoemaker will not run for re-election

From CU.edu … Regent Linda Shoemaker, a Boulder Democrat representing Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, today announced she will not seek reelection to the board in 2020.

Shoemaker also endorsed Callie Rennison for her seat on the Board of Regents. Rennison, a Superior resident, is a professor in the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver.

Shomaker’s statement:

“For the past 25 years, I have volunteered my time to public education. Now, I’m ready to spend more time with my husband and six grandchildren.”

For those who are unfamiliar with Shoemaker … 

From the New York Times … “At Colorado, a Breach in Football’s Wall” … Linda Shoemaker, one of the regents, described her pilgrimage from casual fandom to casting a vote against football.

“I really thought at first that we could play football safely with better rules and better equipment; I drank the Kool-Aid,” she told me. “I can’t go there anymore. I don’t believe it can be played safely anymore. I want these young men to leave C.U. with minds that have been strengthened, not damaged.”

From The Complete Colorado …  So the People’s Republic of Boulder in CD-2 is certainly entitled to be represented by a liberal. Linda Shoemaker fits that mold perfectly as former chair of the oh-so progressive Boulder Valley school board and board chair of the left-wing Bell Policy Center.

She says her “conscience can’t support [CU football] anymore.” Shoemaker explains that she doesn’t hate newly-hired head coach Mel Tucker but was nonetheless one of only two regents who voted against his contract last December. Presumably, she’d have opposed any new coach for the sake of self-indulgent symbolism.

Continue reading story here

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NFL scout on Laviska Shenault: “He Julio Jones – only bigger”

From Bleacher Report … He has never seen anyone like him.

Never. Anyone. It’s a distinct description with zero wiggle room for a no-frills realist like Colorado head coach Mel Tucker.

“That’s just not a statement you’re going to hear from me,” Tucker says.

Until he met Laviska Shenault Jr.

In 23 years as a defensive assistant or coordinator in college football and the NFL, Tucker has been around every size, shape, strength and speed possible at the wide receiver position.

Plaxico Burress and Josh Reed. Michael Jenkins and Santonio Holmes. Alshon Jeffery and Calvin Ridley. Those are but a handful of the players he has coached and doesn’t include those he has coached against.

None has the complete package of Shenault.

“You could go a whole career and not coach a guy like him,” Tucker says, and he can feel the skepticism, so now it gets serious.

He leans in, elbows on his knees with a steely stare that looks a whole lot like the one he gave his team an hour earlier during practice when he barked, “You’d better be comfortable with being uncomfortable, with that sense of urgency to do it right every time, or you can take your ass to the [NCAA transfer] portal right now.”

“Some guys are your speed, go [route] guys,” he continues now. “Some are your slants. Some are your highpoint-and-go-get-the-ball. Some are your guys that can go over the middle. Or size and strength and run-after-the-catch guys.

“This kid is everything rolled into one.”

If that doesn’t do it for you, maybe this will: One NFL scout tells Bleacher Report that Shenault—at 6’2″, 225 pounds with a sub-4.4 40—will go in the first five picks of next year’s draft.

“He’s Julio Jones,” the scout says. “Only bigger.”

Continue reading story here

LB Akil Jones looking to build upon career-high 10 tackles v. AFA

From the Daily Camera … Akil Jones recorded a career-high 10 tackles in 41 snaps played off the bench during Saturday’s 30-23 overtime loss to Air Force. It was a performance that could lead to more playing time for Jones as the Buffs (2-1) prepare for Saturday’s Pac-12 opener at No. 24 Arizona State (3-0).

The 6-foot, 230-pound Jones, from San Jose, Calif., is in his fourth season with the Buffaloes, but up until this year he spent his time behind veterans, while also dealing with injuries. Coming into this year, he had played a total of 40 career snaps on defense, with seven tackles.

Now, for the first time, the Buffs are leaning on him in crucial situations.

During a Sept. 7 win against Nebraska, Jones came off the bench to record four tackles in 13 snaps. He’s also got two tackles for loss and three third-down stops this season.

Despite the lack of overall experience, Jones has displayed no hesitation as he has relieved starter Jonathan Van Diest in the last two games.

“I just got enough reps in practice,” he said. “I feel like practice is honestly harder than the game; that’s just being honest. So when I stepped out there on the field, I was like, ‘Our scouts are giving us a better look than our own opponents.’ It’s really great. We got everybody working together to get better and it’s just become second nature.”

Continue reading story here

Buffs aware of first half issues: “We’re one guy away from having huge hits”

From CUBuffs.com … Given their druthers, the Buffs would much rather not have to continue to rally from early deficits. It is why they would like to improve their consistency and put together some solid starts, beginning with Saturday’s 8 p.m. matchup at No. 24 Arizona State (Pac-12 Network) in the conference opener for both schools.

“It’s always important,” said CU offensive coordinator Jay Johnson after Wednesday’s practice. “We try to do that every game. This game is no different. It’s like Coach Tuck says, it’s how we practice each and every day. Coming back to work, these guys have had a great week so far.”

Johnson also said that CU has just missed on some big plays early in the run game because of one missed assignment or miscommunication. If they can fix those issues, there is no reason to think they can’t open up the run game earlier.

“We’re one guy away from having huge hits,” Johnson said. “The guys see that in both of the last two games. We always talk about it, it’s what we do. I think Coach Kap (O-line coach Chris Kapilovic) and the O-line and everybody has come back and has had great focus. That’s why you practice and that’s why it’s a great team game.”

It is why Tucker and his staff continue to stress details and consistency. The Buffs have proven they have the stamina to play well in the fourth quarter; now it’s a question of making sure they have the discipline and focus to make those same plays earlier in the game.

“Whether it is the first quarter or overtime, if you execute you have success,” Tucker said. “If you don’t execute, and you are playing a good team, you aren’t going to have success. I know we can play four quarters. I know we can play overtime. There is no lack of ability to strain and finish, physically. There is no lack of stamina. We can go as long as we need to go. It is going to be about execution and consistency.”

Continue reading story here

CBS Sports: Both Mustafa Johnson and Laviska Shenault are first-round NFL picks

From CBS Sports … Is this Cam Newton’s last season as the Panthers quarterback? For as inconceivable as that sentence may read, it could happen, especially given the structure of his contract. Carolina lost back-to-back home games to start the season, and Newton hasn’t looked like himself.

Also, you’ve already heard and read quite a bit about the studly 2020 wide receiver draft class, and the praise for that group will continue all the way until Round 1 begins.

Headlined by Jerry Jeudy, it’s a contingent featuring many high-caliber talents with well-rounded games and plenty of speed. In this mock, a whopping six receivers fly off the board within the first 32 selections.

The draft order below is based off the current  2020 NFL Draft order. Position rankings are based on pre-season evaluations …

Mustafa Johnson – DE … First round … Overall pick: No. 8 … Denver Broncos

The Broncos have to get stronger on the inside of their defensive line. Johnson is a high-motor penetrator with a super-quick first step

Laviska Shenault – WR … First round … Overall pick: No. 19 … Minnesota Vikings

We all know … the Vikings need that third receiver behind Thielen and Diggs. Shenault is a dream of a West Coast Offense weapon given his yards-after-the-catch ability.

Read full list here (which includes eight first-round picks from the Pac-12) …

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September 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video: OC Jay Johnson discusses Steven Montez in the pocket*

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Mel Tucker: “When you’re competing at a high level, success is measured in inches”

From the Daily Camera … Although the Buffs often say they prepare for every opponent the same, there is a sense of urgency this week as the Buffs begin Pac-12 play. Tucker told his team that Tuesday’s practice “can’t be just another Tuesday. It has to be more than that,” and he felt his team respond.

“You want to tighten your focus a little bit; you want to be more detail oriented and attention to detail,” safety Mikial Onu said. “The biggest thing is always looking for ways to improve.”

CU is aiming to pull off a rare road win against a ranked team, but the Buffs are also looking to win their conference opener for the third time in four years.

“It’s very important,” defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson said. “Even though we lost to Air Force, it doesn’t really affect our season play. All these games right here matter. Not that the other ones didn’t, but they’re in the past now and they’re not going to change anything, so we have to play good (at Arizona State).”

Johnson believes the Buffs didn’t practice well on Monday and Tuesday last week, but the Buffs have felt good about their start to this week. They spent Monday trying to clean up mistakes. That was followed by “bloody Tuesday” and tomorrow’s “bloody Wednesday),” where the Buffs are in full pads.

Continue reading story here

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September 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video – Mel Tucker press conference *

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Arizona State will be keeping an eye on Laviska Shenault

From the Daily Camera … In terms of total defense — yards given up per game — Arizona State has been good but by no means great. The Sun Devils are 35th in the nation in that statistics, yielding 303 yards per game.

But in the statistics that matters most for a defense — points allowed — the Sun Devils have been outstanding. ASU has given up just 7 points per game in all three outings this year, second-best in the nation.

“They are a hard-playing defense,” said CU wide receiver Laviska Shenault. “They’re all ballhawks. They all go hard on every play. We just need to make sure we come in with a good mindset and a good scheme.”

There’s no doubt the Sun Devils will have their eye on Shenault. In last year’s 28-21 Colorado win in Boulder, the CU star scored all four Buffs touchdowns: two 1-yard scoring runs, plus scoring passes covering 3 and 30 yards.

“I definitely expect (ASU’s full attention),” Shenault said. “That’s why it is a team sport and not an ‘I’ sport. We have the guys who can do it. Anybody that comes in can get the job done. Everyone has to execute.”

Shenault has already produced 16 first downs this year (5 rushing and 11 receiving) and he has two receiving touchdowns and one rushing score.

Continue reading story here

Buffs looking to avoid “explosion plays” on defense

From CUBuffs.com … After three games, one of the biggest sources of concern for the Colorado Buffaloes’ defense is a tendency to give up explosive plays.

On the flip side, the Buffs are also one of the nation’s best teams in defensive takeaways.

It is the first item that worries CU head coach Mel Tucker. It is the second that provides at least a small sense of optimism as the Buffs head into their Pac-12 opener Saturday at Arizona State (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

In 12 quarters of play this season, plus two overtime periods, the Buffs have yielded 12 touchdowns — and eight of them have come from 25 yards or farther, an average of 2.67 big scoring plays per game. To put that into perspective, Colorado last year yielded just 12 scoring plays of 25 yards or more in a 12-game season.

“I’m very concerned,” Tucker said Tuesday when asked about opponents’ explosive play production thus far. “We’re giving them yards, we’re giving them points, we’re giving them momentum — and almost every single time it’s something basic, a mental breakdown.”

It has been in many ways a classic case of feast or famine.

When CU’s defense is dialed in — as it has been in the second half for much of the season — the Buffs are solid. CU has given up just three points in the third quarter this season, and just 27 points after halftime. A big part of that has been forcing turnovers at key junctures.

But the Buffs are also yielding big scoring plays at the most inopportune of moments.

“We’re playing Nebraska, we get the (96-yard touchdown) flea-flicker, the momentum swings and we have ’em on the ropes,” Tucker said. “Our defense had stopped them four times in a row. Then they run a simple play they ran three times the first half and we don’t contain the ball. It wasn’t that we couldn’t contain, it was that we made a decision to go inside and the ball runs up the sidelines for a (75-yard) touchdown. Then we’re right back where we started.”

Continue reading story here

*Video – Mustafa Johnson on mood of team; preparations for ASU*

From YouTube, courtesay of CUSportsNation:

CU offensive lineup in flux – “Our interior three, we have to continue to get better there”

Related … “CU Buffs begin preparation for Pac-12 opener at ASU” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Against Nebraska, Colorado’s five starting offensive linemen played all 78 snaps.

But against Air Force, CU substituted at the guard spots, with redshirt freshman right guard Casey Roddick playing 59 of CU’s 75 offensive snaps in relief of starter Colby Pursell, and sophomore left guard Chance Lytle getting in for 22 snaps in relief of starter Kary Kutsch.

Roddick played the entire second half while Lytle got some significant snaps on both of Colorado’s final scoring drives in the fourth quarter. The other three starters — center Tim Lynott, left tackle Arlington Hambright and right tackle William Sherman — each played all 75 offensive snaps.

“Our interior three, we have to continue to get better there,” said O-line coach Chris Kapilovic. “The only way you’re going to get better is if you do get some reps in a game. So we have to do that. We’re trying to rotate those guys in. Some guys really perform well in a game situation. Some it’s too big for them. You’re trying to see who are the guys who can rise up and what’s our best combination inside.”

Saturday provided the first extensive playing time for Roddick and Lytle.

Roddick, Kapilovic said, “Played solid, not great, but it’s his first real reps in his career. If you’re taking it from that perspective, then he did a pretty good job. If you’re taking it from a perspective of what we need to be great, then he still has a little room to grow. I was pleased … he had a good week of practice.”

Lytle, meanwhile, also had his moments on both ends of the spectrum.

“He did some good things and there’s some things we didn’t like, and he knows that,” Kapilovic said.

Continue reading story here

Next man up: Darrion Rakestraw takes over for roommate Aaron Maddox

From CUBuffs.com … With starting strong safety Aaron Maddox out for roughly a month with a severe leg laceration suffered against AFA, the Buffs will be looking for the “next man up” to play alongside free safety Mikial Onu.

The most likely replacement is junior Derrion Rakestraw, who stepped in after Maddox’s injury and played 16 defensive snaps, finishing with two tackles.

“I was preparing all through the week,” said Rakestraw, who saw plenty of time with the No. 1 defense in fall camp. “It’s just the same as practice. Go in there, reading my keys, knowing what to do. You hate seeing one of your teammates go down like that. It’s terrible. But the next man has to step up and go out there and make plays.”

Maddox — who is Rakestraw’s roommate — was back with the team Monday.

“Aaron’s back with us and rehabbing,” Tucker said. “Excellent young man who works really, really hard. Happy to see him right now back on the road to recovery.”

Tucker also said junior Sam Noyer — who made the switch from quarterback to safety in fall camp — could also see some time against the Sun Devils.

“Absolutely,” Tucker said. “Sam has made tremendous progress. I have a lot of respect for Sam and how he’s gone about his business to learn what to do and how to do it and to compete. He’s also a guy that can help us.”

Read full story here

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September 16th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Mon.)

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:  … “Felt good to get back out on the grass and turn the page … A good day’s work … We need more consistency in our performance. We need better execution … I have confidence in our guys to step up and get the job done (replacing injured safety Aaron Maddox – Darrion Rakestraw, freshman Mark Perry and former quarterback Sam Noyer discussed) … Arizona State has great coaches; a great program … They have playmakers on both sides of the ball … You can tell that they are very well coached, and are playing with confidence … You have to assume that they will be at their very best … “. 

Steven Montez on first loss: “I’m not really sure how we’re going to respond to it”

From the Daily Camera … Until Saturday, the Mel Tucker era at Colorado has been sailing along smooth waters.

There had been tough days in workouts or a couple of sluggish practices during the offseason, of course, but Tucker, the Buffaloes’ first-year head coach was undefeated where it mattered most.

Now, the Buffs (2-1) face their toughest test yet under their new coach as they look to bounce back from Saturday’s 30-23 overtime loss to Air Force.

“I’m not really sure how we’re going to respond to it,” quarterback Steven Montez said after the game. “That will be a big test for us on Monday how we’re going to respond to this loss and how our guys come back. It could be a gut check, a little punch in the gut and see what we’re working with. I think the guys will come out strong.”

If the Buffs follow their own rule, they’ll come out strong in preparation for Saturday’s visit to No. 24 Arizona State (3-0).

“This is obviously a tough loss, but 24-hour rule,” Montez said. “After 24 hours, it’s out of our minds, out of our heads and we’re on to ASU. We’re excited to get an opportunity to play football next week.”

Continue reading story here

Neill Woelk’s Ten Takeaways from the Air Force game

From CUBuffs.com … Not long after Colorado’s 30-23 overtime loss to Air Force on Saturday, the 24-hour rule kicked in for the Buffaloes.

Yes, it works both ways. Win or lose, Mel Tucker‘s 2-1 Buffs get some time to absorb the result, then move on to begin preparation for the next opponent.

There will be plenty to digest. The Buffs will learn from the miscues that cost them a victory against the Falcons; then begin preparing for next Saturday’s Pac-12 opener at Arizona State (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

Anyone who took the Sun Devils lightly after their less-than-impressive 19-7 win over Sacramento State in Week 2 is rethinking that position after their 10-7 win Saturday at Michigan State, a victory that rewarded Arizona State with a No. 24 ranking in the latest Associated Press poll. ASU was by no means a well-oiled machine on offense, but the Sun Devils’ defense showed it is the real deal by posting its third straight game of holding an opponent to 7 points — the second-best scoring defense in the nation.

That’s not great news for a CU offense that sputtered for more than half the game in Saturday’s loss. Colorado scored a touchdown on its first possession, then did not reach the end zone again until less than seven minutes remained in regulation.

With that in mind, our weekly takeaways:

1. Offensive consistency is a big missing piece. As Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. said after Saturday’s game, “When we were moving, we were moving. We’re unstoppable. But little things just messed us up.”

Indeed, when the Buffs were able to put the pedal to the metal, the offense was outstanding. CU’s opening drive went 75 yards in 11 plays for a score, and the Buffs added 75-yard and 60-yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter.

But in between, the offense churned in place. After a field goal off a turnover following the first touchdown, CU’s next five possessions ended with four punts and an interception.

Continue reading story here

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September 15th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Aaron Maddox suffers leg laceration, may be back in 4-5 weeks

From the Daily Camera … The sting of Colorado’s first loss of the season was made worse by the ugly injury to safety Aaron Maddox.

On the penultimate play of the third quarter of Air Force’s 30-23 overtime win on Saturday at Folsom Field, Maddox chased a Falcons runner out of bounds. He went down and crashed into a misting machine on the Air Force sideline.

Maddox suffered a nasty laceration to his lower left leg and he was eventually carted off the field. The sight of the blood and the rush of trainers and doctors to his side led some to fear a broken leg, but CU said it hopes to have Maddox back on the field in four or five weeks.

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker offers no excuses in AFA loss: “Death by inches”

From Neill Woelk at CUBuffs.com … No excuses.

Colorado coach Mel Tucker made that perfectly clear after Saturday’s 30-23 overtime loss to Air Force at Folsom Field. The Buffaloes were outplayed on their home turf, made more mistakes than the opponent and paid the price. The Falcons came up with big plays when absolutely necessary — and for the first time in three weeks, the Buffs didn’t have an answer when the game was on the line.

“Death by inches,” Tucker said. “One guy has a lack of execution on any particular play there’s a good chance you won’t have successful play. Our job right now as coaches is we have to find ways and find out why we’re not as consistent as we need to be. We’ll do that.”

Indeed. Had the Buffs not had an extra point blocked in the fourth quarter — ending a streak of 107 successful PAT attempts — they would have trailed 23-17 with 6:09 remaining and their final touchdown would have ostensibly given them a win.

Of course, the Buffs also had plenty of “what-if” moments in their favor. They ended the first half with a Mikial Onu interception off a tipped ball, ending a drive that otherwise would have almost certainly given AFA at least a 23-10 halftime lead. Air Force also had a PAT bounce off the uprights, a missed point that also loomed large as the game headed down the stretch.

But the bottom line is the Buffs didn’t execute consistently when it mattered most. After scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the game, then adding a field goal two minutes later for a 10-0 lead, Colorado didn’t score again until the 6:09 mark of the fourth quarter. Their next five possessions ended with four punts and an interception.

Meanwhile, CU’s defense struggled early to contain the AFA rushing game, then gave up some huge pass plays in crucial moments. The defense played well at times, particularly in the second half, but just like the offense, consistency evaded the Buffs in critical moments.

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker: “We have good enough players at enough positions to get the job done”

From the Daily Camera … “Eventually if you don’t execute, it’s going to catch up to you and that’s what happened today,” Tucker said. “Our guys fought and I knew they would and they played hard and they didn’t quit, but it’s not about that. It’s not about playing hard and giving great effort. It’s about being able to execute for four quarters, 60 minutes in a game, plus being able to finish.

“We have good enough players at enough positions to get the job done and you can see that during games. These three games that we’ve played … you can point and say ‘That’s good football; those guys look good there; that’s the way you play defense; that’s the way you execute on offense.’ There’s times where you say, ‘That’s bad ball.’ Eliminating bad football is what we have to do.”

The Buffs also have to figure out to turn the page on their first loss under Tucker and regroup for the start of Pac-12 play next week at Arizona State.

Continue reading story here

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16 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Arizona State”

  1. Thoughts on Linda Shoemaker not running for Regent again: Good, Great, No Loss To CU. Someone like her is not good for the school regarding the whole experience for a student that attends a major university today, in the past, or in the future. She was a “One Trick Pony.” We don’t need that in our elected leaders of education. They should be smart enough to realize that this country and even our education system is supposed to be founded on the aspect that it serves all the people.

    Her quote: ” I want these young men to leave C.U. with minds that have been strengthened, not damaged.”……….is so shallow and narrow ideologically that she should spend time with her family and grand children, maybe she will learn something from them.

    One last thought about those young men that would not have left CU with their minds strengthened had they played football. They never would have left CU because they would not have decided to attend CU. Very few of those young men go on to play pro ball and the huge majority get an education of life’s lessons and hopefully add to the future of our nation.

  2. Anyone else catch the Tucker quote from the Bleacher Shenault piece? The one barking at the team about getting comfortable being uncomfortable… or take your ass to the transfer portal. Priceless. Thats a coach.

  3. Shoemaker not running for reelection is HUGE! Welcomed news. We still need to make Buff friendly regents win next election regardless.

  4. There ya go again….and again….and again……and……
    Doesn’t matter who the coach is remember Hawkins?)….its always about the details….the execution. To be sure they count a lot but so do other things.
    Who was that Greek with the lantern who was terminally looking for an honest man? I will be waiting for ever for a coach to own up and say “we didn’t prepare our strategy properly for the team we are facing” (which is what I believe had something to do with AF) or “our tactics during the game were inferior to the opposing coach’s” ( ie…crappy anticipation and play calling)
    My only hope is in spite of a lack of ownership the coaches really do know where they may have fallen down and really are trying to fix their part in any failure.

    1. Yo EP,

      I do believe what you say. But if you rewatch the game, those touchdown passes were DB missed assignments by a lot. Kinda like that one CSU touchdown. And the penalties mein got. I do believe the OC helped cause those delay of game penalties and those rushed snaps as the play clock wound down.

      Sloppy play on missed extra point. That was just lazy.

      Some of the play calls were not what I was hoping for.

      The oline was bad.

      Could have all been a scheme problem. Maybe they just believed all their own hype about how difficult it was to play Air Force .

      Anyway, they win this Saturday.

      Buffs

  5. 2 and 1 entering conference play. Certainly wanted 3-0 especially after beating the kornholers. But taking 2-1 and running with it is just doesn’t feel that bad actually.

    Was curious how the reaction would be played after a loss. Welp………………standard coach speak…………..and player speak…………….and reporter speak………………and fan speak. Nothing to see here.

    Pretty sure there was a kornkob hangover by both coaches and players. Problem is they couldn’t see it so……………………………??

    Again, the offense did not look sharp. Doesn’t look like the machine it needs to be.

    It will be a tough game this weekend for the mighty Buffs. Coaches and players.

    Buffs.

    Note: Winning the game in the winter workouts, the spring practices, the summer workouts, and fall camp is neat.

    Note 2: Winning it on the field on game day is better.

    1. Will the Buffs ever have a sharp and exciting offense? Where is it said its impossible for the passing game to open up the running game? The air raid is the offense that suits the talent on the Buff’s offense. Practicing against more passing might just help our inexperienced secondary too.

      1. Sharp and exciting offenses are built on great offensive line play. CU’s offensive line was great in the second half of the CSU and NU games, and erratic in the second half of the AFA game. CU’s offensive line play was terrible in the first half of those games.

  6. I don’t understand why the shuffled up the offensive line. Yes, the second half (after they shuffled it up) the running game got a tiny bit better, and the late TDs were made with the new players…but they also let multiple guys straight through the middle to get hits on Montez and the botched snap was a HUGE negative play.

    Will be interesting to see who plays next week, but I would prefer to see the starters from the Nebraska game over the players that finished the Air Force game.

  7. We lost a game we were clearly outplayed, not surprising and yes, disappointing that we were outplayed. Flip side is that even with all that we were a blocked PAT from winning the game. If AFA does not have a solid season I will be surprised as they looked like their normal well-oiled machine, but with playmakers (their QB is legit), and a physical D.
    LOVE Coach Tuck after the game…give the ‘no excuses’ piece a read if you haven’t. Definitely gave me some perspective and hope…Mike Mac is GONE and I think we bounce back for a good game vs. ASU.

  8. I’m in the Southern Hemisphere for a spell with limited access to the Net. Mainly grabbing what I can through Stu’s site and BuffZone.

    I will chime in on UC-Boulder’s treatment of service members since I was active-duty military when I went there in the 90s. I had no issues in the Aerospace Engineering department. All of us were just grinding through course work/labs/ research projects. Very robust military/academic relationship. Hell, there is an article now on the website about a Navy visit to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences department. On the flip side, to engage other parts of the brain other than STEM, I took a dual poly-sci/econ track. The Liberal Arts side of campus, with its young idealists mentored by professors somewhat left of Leon Trotsky, was clearly antagonistic. Wish I had a nickle for every time I heard the phrase ” Military-Industrial Complex.” Best way to get a “turd-in-the-punchbowl” look was to tell someone you were military. It was, what it was.
    People forget, however, (including the AF athletic director) that CU is not just one campus; the Colorado Springs campus has had a terrific relationship with the military in the Springs for a long time. A lot of Cadets take classes in its excellent Engineering program. Everyone should chill out a bit on this topic.

    Will CU win 6 games and get to a bowl? (Pac-12 will not allow 5-7 teams in a bowl). Have to sweep the Arizona schools and beat UCLA. Stanford looks beatable. Margin for error mighty slim after the Air Force loss.

    5-7 again? Sounds like a familiar record of late.

  9. Funny nobody is talking about going for 2 at the end of the game to win it. We weren’t going to stop AF no matter how many OT periods it went, why not roll the dice?

    1. Also: why aren’t we talking about that terrible decision to punt rather than attempt a 55 (?) yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Stephano can make that kind of kick!

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