Colorado Daily – Oregon Week

October 11th – Game Day!

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU would like to emulate Oregon’s physicality

From the Daily Camera … “I really like watching Mario coach,” Tucker said. “He’s very, very intense. He’s a physically imposing guy, he has a passion for the game. Obviously he’s a very accomplished offensive line coach, and anyone will tell you that, but he’s got great leadership ability. His guys always play hard for him and then you can see that on the tape now.”

Like Cristobal, Tucker, 47, has been around physical football most of his career. He played at Wisconsin, has worked for Saban at three different places, won a national title at Ohio State in 2002 and at Alabama in 2015. He spent a decade coaching defense in the NFL and the previous three years as the defensive coordinator at Georgia – yet another program built on running the ball and playing defense.

While Cristobal is further along in his process at Oregon, he can see the foundation being laid by Tucker at CU.

“When you watch his team play, you see his personality,” Cristobal said during a press conference with Ducks media this week. “He’s an extremely smart guy that has always had his units play with a lot of toughness and physicality.

“There’s absolutely no flinching by that team. You see his image, his DNA in the way his team is playing.”

When Tucker takes his Buffs into Eugene on Friday night, he’ll see an up close example of what he’d like CU to become.

“That’s what I like, yep,” he said. “Be able to run the ball and, you know, big, strong physical offensive line and skill guys, and, obviously, the quarterback’s got to make it go. Defensively our goal is to be able to stop the run and take the ball away and be hard to score on, and that’s how they play.”

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Mel Tucker: “We have to make the plays, have the discipline, the execution, in order to be successful”

From … Since the beginning of the season, Colorado coach Mel Tucker has been pleased with his team’s effort. From his point of view, the 3-2 Buffs (1-1 Pac-12) have played hard every week.

But for Tucker, playing hard is the minimum required — and he knows the Buffs will need more than the minimum Friday in Autzen Stadium when they face off with 13th-ranked Oregon (4-1, 2-0) in an 8 p.m. nationally televised game (FS1).

“It takes a lot to be able to finish the game and actually be successful and become victorious,” Tucker said earlier this week. “The effort part is the standard, and that’s got to be there, no matter what we have to do.”

The second part of the equation — the factor that separates good teams from the pack — is the next step.

 “We have to make the plays, have the discipline, the execution, in order to be successful,” Tucker said. “I’m not happy with those guys just giving effort. That’s just standard operating procedure. You can’t play if you don’t play hard and give effort. I mean, why even show up?”

Friday’s game will be Colorado’s third against a ranked opponent this year, with CU already owning wins over No. 25 Nebraska at home and No. 24 Arizona State on the road. The win over the Huskers ended an eight-game overall losing streak to ranked teams; the win at ASU ended a 29-game losing streak to ranked teams on the road.

But a win over Mario Cristobal’s Ducks would be a significant feather in the Buffs’ helmets.

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October 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Tony Brown expecting more double coverage if Laviska can’t go

From the Daily Camera … Tony Brown knows it’s coming. Maybe this week, maybe not. But certainly soon.

So far, Colorado’s senior wide receiver has made the most of the space afforded to him by opposing defenses. Sometimes, like the highlight-reel catches he made in the end zone against Nebraska and Arizona State, that space has been almost nil.

Yet as Brown continues to pile up numbers more applicable to a unanimous No. 1 receiver than a guy perceived during the preseason as the Buffs’ third option, at best, in the passing game, he expects defenses to start clamping down on him a little more intensely. After amassing 19 receptions for 291 yards over the past two games, that added scrutiny could arrive as soon as Friday night when the Buffs tackle what likely will be their toughest challenge of the season at No. 13 Oregon (8:05 p.m. MT, FS1).

“So far, no. But I expect it,” Brown said about the potential of facing double coverage. “The way I’ve been performing, I really expect people to have double coverage and stuff like that. But it’s all going to work out because we still have KD Nixon and Laviska (Shenault). You can’t double-coverage all of us. So we’re all weapons, and we use that to our advantage.”

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Cornerback Mehki Blackmon lost for the season

From the Daily Camera … Depth at cornerback was a concern for the Colorado Buffaloes going into the season, and that was with everyone healthy.

Now, the Buffaloes have lost two of their most experienced corners for the season.

On Wednesday, CU confirmed to that junior Mekhi Blackmon will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery on Tuesday. On Saturday, the Buffs announced sophomore Chris Miller will miss the rest of the year with a torn ACL in his knee.

Blackmon, who started the first two games, missed the Air Force game on Sept. 14 because of the injury and was limited to 10 snaps at nickel back in Saturday’s 35-30 loss to Arizona. Blackmon has played in only four games and can use this as a redshirt year and have two more seasons to play.

With injuries depleting an already thin group of cornerbacks, true freshman KJ Trujillo has gone from a possible redshirt candidate to a starter in short order.

Trujillo is slated to get his second start when the Buffs (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) visit No. 13 Oregon (4-1, 2-0) on Friday (8:05 p.m.; TV: FS-1).

After not even playing the first three games, Trujillo is suddenly second only to senior Delrick Abrams Jr. in college experience at the position.

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October 9th

… CU in a few minutes …

With Colby Pursell out indefinitely, Casey Roddick ready for career start No. 2

From … After getting his first career start last week against Arizona, Colorado guard Casey Roddick believes he can improve on that effort Friday when the Buffaloes (3-2 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) square with No. 13 Oregon (4-1, 2-0) in an 8 p.m. game at Autzen Stadium (FS1).

“I thought I did all right, but there were definitely some things I need to clean up,” said Roddick, who started in place of regular Colby Pursell (out with a gall bladder issue). “I’ve spent the entire week working on those things and getting into the film room with Coach Kap (O-line coach Chris Kapilovic). I’m definitely more prepared this week, there’s no doubt about it.”

Roddick played a career-high 65 snaps at right guard against Arizona, a game in which the Buffs did not give up a sack and rushed for 159 yards, their second-highest total of the season.

But Friday they will see a defense that is a step above the Wildcats. Oregon has held its last four opponents to single-digit scoring and has allowed just one touchdown in its opponents’ last 51 possessions. The Ducks lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense, yielding 9.8 points per game, and they are also first in the conference and tied for ninth in the nation in quarterback sacks, with 19 already this season. Oregon has managed to apply pressure on the quarterback without bringing extra help, with the majority of the 19 sacks coming from defensive linemen.

It will be the biggest test yet for a CU offensive line that has given up only five sacks all year.

“They’re a very physical front,” Roddick said. “They do a lot of great things up front and their front seven is phenomenal. We’re going to have to have our best game. We have to be able to step back and protect (quarterback Steven) Montez in the pass game. If we give him time, he’s going to complete the pass.”

One factor in Roddick’s favor is that he plays between a pair of veterans, center Tim Lynott and tackle William Sherman.

“Those guys have had a lot of starts, a lot of snaps,” Roddick said. “They help me out a lot with technique, calls, things like that. Watching film with them has been beneficial as well.”

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Captains for Oregon game … Senior quarterback Steven Montez, senior cornerback Delrick Abrams, Jr., and senior punter Alex Kinney. 


Rick George named to National Football Foundation “Team of Excellence”

Press release from … With college football celebrating its 150th season in 2019, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced this week its “Team of Excellence,” highlighting those NFF board members who played football and have gone on to success in life.

University of Colorado athletic director Rick George was one of 30 people named to the unique and prestigious team.

A four-year cornerback for the Illinois Fighting Illini, George played in 44 straight games at Illinois.  Serving as athletics director at the CU since August 2013, his successful career in athletics has included stints in football operations at Illinois, Colorado and Vanderbilt; president and CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation; and executive positions with the PGA Tour, the Senior (now Champions) Tour; and the Texas Rangers.

George was listed second on the defensive back “depth chart” behind multiple Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott.

“It is truly and honor and most humbling to be mentioned among the group of people that the National Football Foundation named on that team,” George said. “I’m proud to represent my alma mater, the University of Illinois, as a player, and the University of Colorado as an administrator.”

“From College Football Hall of Fame inductees to successful business leaders and athletics directors to broadcasters, the National Football Foundation’s board of directors includes some of the most powerful people in the country,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell, a 1970 graduate of the University of Colorado. “By highlighting the members of our board who played football and have gone on to great success in their chosen fields, we hope to showcase the impact the game has had over 150 years in shaping some of our nation’s greatest leaders.

“The Team of Excellence featuring our board members creates an impressive depth chart of talent that could go the distance against any football team out there. When your top three quarterbacks are Archie ManningRoger Staubach and Troy Aikman, you know you have a loaded roster, and it just continues on from there.”

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October 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Injury Report

— The CU injury report …

  • Out for the season … running back Jarek Brousard – knee surgery September 6th; cornerback Chris Miller – torn ACL, season-ending surgery on October 4th; cornerback Mekhi Blackmon – shoulder surgery
  • Out … defensive back Dustin Johnson – back surgery on August 6th;
  • Out indefinitely … offensive guard Colby Pursell – gall bladder surgery pending;
  • Out 2/3 weeks … safety Aaron Maddox – severe leg laceration (suffered during Air Force game, 9/14);
  • Day-to-Day … defensive end Mustafa Johnson – ankle sprain; wide receiver Laviska Shenault – core muscle strain (has undergone an MRI, being evaluated by experts nationally):
  • And … junior safety Trey Udoffia, who has been out since Fall Camp what are described as personal reasons, remains out.

Steven Montez has fond memories of his last trip to Eugene

From … Colorado fans still have fond memories of the Buffaloes’ last trip to Oregon, a wild 41-38 victory over the Ducks in 2016 that marked the starting debut of quarterback Steven Montez.

It was clearly a landmark moment. Starting in place of injured Sefo Liufau, Montez threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 135 more and another touchdown, shocking the Autzen Stadium crowd and setting the stage for a Pac-12 South title run for Colorado.

But fact is, fans may remember the game more clearly than Montez. As the Buffs prepare for their first trip back to Autzen since that 2016 game, Montez — now a fifth-year senior — admits the details of the game are a bit blurry.

“I don’t really remember a lot of the second half,” said Montez, who was named a top 20 finalist Tuesday for the Unitas Golden Arm Award.  “The two plays that I do remember pretty clearly were Bryce Bobo’s one-handed catch, which was a great catch, and Ahkello Witherspoon’s interception to seal the game. I think those two plays will stay with me for a while. They were two really good plays made by two really talented players.”

Those were indeed memorable moments. Bobo made a one-handed snare of a Montez pass in the end zone that was initially ruled incomplete, but then changed to a touchdown after a replay review (the second of two touchdowns for CU awarded by replay). That score gave Colorado a 41-38 lead with 8:43 still to play in a game the Buffs led 23-7 early before an Oregon rally.

CU’s defense then came up with three straight stops, including an Ahkello Witherspoon interception in the end zone in the final minute to seal the win.

Continue reading story here

*Video – Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers talks Oregon offense*

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation:

Oregonian: CU threat level a 2 (out of five)

From the Oregonian … Threat level (1 lowest to 5 highest): 2

Even attributing Colorado’s success entirely as a byproduct of its schedule, that doesn’t take away from the changes clearly evident under Mel Tucker. If the Buffaloes get to 6 wins, he’s Pac-12 coach of the year.

But before all that, there is the reality check that is sure to come on Friday night.

Yes, Steven Montez led a Colorado upset of Oregon in 2016. But this is not that Oregon team, nor is it that Colorado team.

The Buffs are down multiple difference-makers and if Shenault can’t go then Oregon’s defense could be in for a big night.

No matter what, there’s simply no way to take a pass defense doing this badly as a serious threat to a team with Justin Herbert at quarterback.

Early prediction

Oregon 35 Colorado 14

Read full preview story here


October 7th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mel Tucker: “We know that we’re close” 

From … One major focus for the Buffaloes this week will be eliminating what Tucker called the “self-inflicted wounds” that made the difference in CU’s 35-30 loss to Arizona on Saturday. In that game, the Buffs played well at times, but also committed key mistakes on both sides of the ball, from penalties to dropped passes to miscommunications that led to big plays for the Wildcats.

“The explosive passes, whether it was at the intermediate level or the deep ball, is what really got us,” Tucker said. “Both sides of the ball we feel like we’re really, really close, but we have to make adjustments. We have to make changes to get the result that we want as a staff.”

Explosive plays by opposing offenses — generally defined as gains of 15 yards or more — have been an issue for CU’s young defense for much of the season. Saturday, Arizona hit eight pass completions for 265 yards, including touchdowns of 75 and 33 yards.

The Wildcats’ other 33 pass attempts, which included 23 completions, produced just 139 yards.

“That’s where we know that we’re close — but we weren’t able to ever really stop them,” Tucker said. “There were times we were stopping the run (CU held the Wildcats to a season-low 83 yards on the ground), but then you have an explosive. If we can eliminate the explosives then we can play more consistently on defense and we can hold people to lower numbers.”

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*Video – Mel Tucker’s post-practice talk with media (Mon.)*

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation “Self-inflicted wounds … penalties … we were moving the ball, but we stopped ourselves … We did a heckuva job against their run game, but the explosive passes were what really got us … special teams were really a wash … When you play good teams, you have to play mistake-free football … Every position on the field, execution is the key … Football is the ultimate team sport, you have to have all 11 doing their job …”

Kickoff time set for Washington State game

Press release from … The Colorado at Washington State football game on Saturday, Oct. 19 will kickoff at 5:00 p.m. MDT (4:00 Pacific) and will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU (that decision will be made this Sunday).

Other conference TV selections for Oct. 19 (all times MDT):

12:30 pm – Oregon State at California, Pac-12 Network

 1:30 pm – Oregon at Washington, ABC

  4:00 pm – Arizona State at Utah, Pac-12 Network

  7:30 pm – Arizona at USC, Pac-12 Network

Neill Woelk’s Ten Takeaways from the Oregon game

From Neill Woelk at … In four of their five games this year, the 3-2 Colorado Buffaloes have gone down to the wire with their opponent.

Take a few plays here or there in each of those four games and the Buffs could be 5-0 or 1-4.

It’s how close the margin of error has been for Mel Tucker‘s team all season, and it is something that will quite likely pop up again before his first year in Boulder comes to an end.

So what did we learn from CU’s latest down-to-the-last-possession performance, Saturday’s 35-30 loss to Arizona?

1. CU fans will be glad to see Khalil Tate’s eligibility come to an end. It would be hard to find another player in Colorado football history who has wreaked more havoc on the Buffaloes than the Arizona quarterback. In his last three games against CU, Tate threw for 908 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 365 yards and four scores, all in UA victories.

Quite simply, the Buffs have had enough of Tate.

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CU injury list continues to grow

From the Daily Camera … CU’s task this week becomes even tougher if it doesn’t get some players back.

Receiver Laviska Shenault (core muscle strain), defensive end Mustafa Johnson (high ankle sprain), safety Aaron Maddox (leg laceration) and cornerback Chris Miller (knee) all missed Saturday’s game.

Tight end Jalen Harris and guard Colby Pursell both dressed but didn’t play. There has been no word on their injuries, but Tucker said after the game, “We haven’t benched anyone,” which indicates both were not physically able to go.

During the game, safety Mikial Onu (torso), nose tackle Jalen Sami (knee) both left the game. Receiver KD Nixon and tight end Brady Russell both left the game, as well, presumably with injuries, although there was no indications from CU about their health status. Onu was the only one of that group that returned, as he hobbled through Arizona’s final offensive series.

Miller is out for the year, but it’s possible Shenault, Johnson and Maddox all return for Friday. The status of the others was unknown as of Sunday.

“Injuries are a part of the game, so I’m not going to sit here and act like that’s going to be an excuse that we’re going to use,” Montez said. “If you play football and you play at a high level, there’s going to be injuries, so no excuses there.”

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October 6th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU opens as a 22-point underdog to No. 13 Oregon 

According to

Other Pac-12 lines …

— No. 18 Arizona State … at 3.0-point favorite at home against Washington State

— Oregon State … a 13.5-point underdog at home against No. 15 Utah

— Arizona … a 9.0-point underdog at home against Washington

— USC … an 11.0-point underdog on the road against No. 9 Notre Dame

Read full list of odds here

Buffs disappointed, but have to move on

From the Daily Camera … While both offenses were piling up stats, mistakes by the Buffs proved costly.

“They made more plays than we made, they executed more often than we did,” Tucker said.

The Buffs missed several opportunities in the first half, alone.

  • On the first possession, they drove to the Arizona 12, but messed up a run play that lost 8 yards and led to them settling for a field goal.
  • On the second possession, two penalties for 25 yards led to a punt.
  • The third possession included two penalties and a dropped touchdown pass and finished with a punt.

“We felt in the first half like we left some plays on the field on both sides of the ball,” Tucker said. “When you play a good football team, you really can’t afford to leave plays on the field, and that’s what happened today.”

CU finished with eight penalties for 85 yards, while Arizona, the most penalized team in the Pac-12 coming in, was flagged just once for 5 yards. The Buffs had a handful of dropped passes, as well.

Despite the injuries, penalties and other miscues, CU had a chance to come away with a win in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t put together one last rally.

“Our performance wasn’t good enough today,” Tucker said. “At some point between now and tomorrow, we’re going to have to get over that, turn the page; we’re going to evaluate the film … and figure out where we need to get better.”

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Washington falls out of the Top 25 in latest poll

… CU, not surprisingly, dropped out of the “others receiving votes” list, while Arizona jumped in .. 

From CBS Sports … Alabama and Clemson were both off in Week 6, and while both teams held their respective positions at No. 1 and No. 2 in the new AP Top 25 there is reason to believe the Crimson Tide and the Tigers have some challengers in the top 10 that are setting their eyes on championship contention.

Ohio State faced its toughest opponent of the year with Michigan State in town and the ease with which the Buckeyes dispatched of Sparty has Ryan Day’s team up one spot in the AP poll, now tied with Georgia at No. 3.

Florida had one of the biggest wins of the week, defending home turf and taking down Auburn in the only top-10 matchup of the weekend. The Swamp was rocking, the Gators defense looked ferocious and now Florida, up three spots to No. 7, sets its sights on another top-10 date with LSU in Week 7. LSU, still at No. 5 in the AP poll, was in action but out of conference on Saturday, cruising to a 42-6 win at home against Utah State.

Auburn fell after the loss in Gainesville, Florida but remained in the rankings at No. 12. Washington, UCF and Oklahoma State did not enjoy the same adjustment, all falling from the top 25 after Week 6 losses. Those defeats opened up spots in the 20s for new arrivals Baylor, Memphis and Cincinnati.

AP Top 25 … 

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State
  4. Georgia
  5. LSU
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Florida
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Penn State
  11. Texas
  12. Auburn
  13. Oregon 
  14. Boise State
  15. Utah
  16. Michigan
  17. Iowa
  18. Arizona State
  19. Wake Forest
  20. Virginia
  21. SMU
  22. Baylor
  23. Memphis
  24. Texas A&M
  25. Cincinnati

Others receiving votes: Minnesota 80, Missouri 64, Appalachian State 61, Washington 54, Tulane 25, California 20, Michigan State 17, Arizona 11, UCF 9, USC 5, Iowa State 5, Pittsburgh 2

USA Today/Coaches poll … 

1. Alabama (42)
2. Clemson (20)
3. Georgia
4. Ohio State (3)
5. Oklahoma
6. LSU
7. Florida
8. Wisconsin
9. Penn State
10. Notre Dame
11. Texas
12. Auburn
13. Oregon
14. Boise State
15. Utah
16. Michigan
17. Wake Forest
18. Iowa
19. Virginia
20. Memphis
21. Texas A&M
22. SMU
23. Baylor
24. Arizona State
25. Minnesota

Others receiving votes: Cincinnati 74, Washington 72, Appalachian State 49, Michigan State 41, Tulane 36, California 17, Hawai’i 13, Arizona 13, UCF 11, Washington State 9, Navy 8, TCU 5, Mississippi State 3, San Diego State 2, Army 1, Temple 1


5 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Oregon”

  1. This

    depth chart
    X jr. so,fr
    Z Jr/sr, so
    H fr/jr, so
    Lt sr, so, jr
    lg jr, sr, fr
    c sr fr so
    rg fr, so
    rt so, fr
    te so, sr, sr, sr, so
    qb sr, fr
    rb so, fr fr, fr, jr

    OutL sr, so, jr
    DE jr, fr, so
    Nose fr, fr
    De so, so
    Il jr, jr, fr
    Il, so, jr
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    Lc sr jr
    FS sr, jr
    SS sr, jr
    Rc fr, fr

    Go Young Buffs.

    1. well VK and all here’s some additional stuff to read about that miserable, and I might add very very disappointing loss:
      A few paragraphs from the local Tucson paper: “After Tate had thrown that interception down near the Buff’s end zone, he came off the field and the OC Mazzone came over to him and said let’s take a walk. They walked alone and the reporter reports that Mazzone told Tate, just calm down take your time as all they have in the secondary are a bunch of Newbies, so we’ll keep attacking them and it will all work out.”

      Mazzone was pretty prophetic, I would say and all I can say is we were warned before the season started that if we had injuries to the secondary we would be in trouble and……..reality check; WE DO NOW HAVE INJURIES IN THE SECONDARY!!!!! YIKES.

      I hope we get Mustafa back and are able to generate some kind of pass rush as the old cliche of it is what it is applies here and maybe if we get real desperate we totally change up what we are doing and blitz the heck out of the opponents and blitz them every time they snap the ball, blitz them even when we have the ball (I got a little carried away there). We already got burned by big plays so throw caution to the wind. When things are darkest put you best face forward or something or other like that.

  2. Wow…UA line a real surprise no respect for their win in Boulder.

    Love our line vs. Oregon, think it’s huge motivation for everyone in Black/Gold. Not saying we win, but think this will be a good litmus test for Tuck/Staff and I have faith we will be ready to play.

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