Colorado Daily – Arizona

December 5th – GameDay!

Sam Noyer: Team chemistry  and leadership the difference for the 2020 Buffs

From the Daily Camera … Four years ago, the Colorado football team came out of nowhere.

Annual residents of the Pac-12 South basement to that point, the Buffaloes were expected to once again finish at the bottom.

A determined and cohesive group of veterans helped CU build some early season confidence, however, and they stunned everyone by winning the South.

Sam Noyer is one of the few players remaining from that team. Now a fifth-year senior quarterback, Noyer is leading the Buffs (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12) to yet another surprising season and he sees similarities to 2016.

“The one similarity I see that really stands out to me – I mean, there’s a lot of them – but there’s one that really stands out to me and that’s just the chemistry with these guys,” Noyer said. “Everybody, from the freshmen up to the fifth-year guys like myself … we’re creating a family culture here and I think that’s really important. That’s something that we had in 2016.

“Another thing that stands out to me is the leadership of our group. We haven’t really had that type of leadership since 2016. I think that’s really important but there’s a lot of similarities in this team (and 2016) and I want to continue to keep that going throughout the next couple of games.”

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Scouting Report: CU at Arizona

From the Daily Camera

Arizona offense: Colorado is certainly glad to see Khalil Tate no longer here. The former Wildcats’ dual-threat QB beat the Buffs the last three years with a combined 1,273 yards of total offense and accounting for 13 touchdowns. Arizona might be without Tate’s replacement, too, as Grant Gunnell was injured early in last week’s game. True freshman Will Plummer might get the start. He made some plays with his feet last week but wasn’t in sync with his receivers at times. Starting and a week of prep could make a difference, though. Around the QB, the Wildcats have talented running backs (led by Gary Brightwell) and receivers. Stanley Berryhill III has emerged as a top weapon, and Jamarye Joined led the Wildcats in receiving last year. Regardless of who plays QB, the Wildcats need improved play up front.

Arizona defense: The Wildcats have been bottom three in the Pac-12 in scoring defense the past three years, including last in 2019. After several key players transferred or opted out, they’ve continued to struggle this year. Arizona ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (35.0 points per game) and 10th in total defense (460.0 yards per game). Opponents are putting 229 rushing yards per game on the ’Cats and quarterbacks and finding time to operate, as well. Arizona has just one quarterback sack and hasn’t forced a turnover yet. Despite that, Arizona has one of the Pac-12’s best corners (Lorenzo Burns) and linebacker Rourke Freeburg has made some plays in the backfield.

Arizona special teams: Lucas Havrisik is one of the most reliable kickers in the conference, and he’s off to a good start, hitting 4-of-5 field goals, including a 51-yarder. He’s 14-for-22 the last two seasons. Havrisik has also put 13 of 15 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. Punter Tyler Loop has averaged 40.1 yards per kick. Jamarye Joiner (punt) and Tayvian Cunningham (kickoff) have handled returns, but neither one has busted loose for big plays.

CU keys to beating Arizona

Get after the QB: That’s often a key, but perhaps more so this week, as Arizona true freshman Will Plummer could be making his first career start. CU has been able to generate good pressure so far this year, and Arizona has allowed 11 sacks.

Bounce back on offense: Credit San Diego State’s defense and a short amount of time to prep, but last week the Buffs took a step back on offense, with just 272 yards and 20 points. They averaged 41.5 points and 483.5 yards the first two weeks and would like to get closer to those numbers.

Bury them early: Arizona has lost 10 games in a row, so jumping on the ’Cats early could be big mentally. The Buffs have held big early leads in both Pac-12 games so far, but let the opponent back in it. Get a lead here and the Buffs need to keep the foot on the gas.

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December 4th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk’s Five Keys to the Arizona game

From CUBuffs.com … While the exterior landscape might be changing for Karl Dorrell‘s Colorado Buffaloes, the interior view is still the same.

The 3-0 Buffs (2-0 Pac-12) are focused on taking care of the business directly ahead and tuning out the rest.

That means all eyes and attention on Saturday’s 5 p.m. game at 0-3 Arizona (FS1), while leaving the chatter about polls and bowls and other outside noise to those who have time to worry about such things.

“I like where we’re heading,” Dorrell said earlier this week. “These next few games are really important. All of them are important as we know, but we’re sitting in a pretty good position in the conference. We have to start taking care of our own business and part of that business is taking care of what’s in front of us right now. It’s an important game and our players understand that. We’re just trying to keep our winning ways going in our favor.”

The Buffs are indeed in good position in the Pac-12, sitting a half-game behind USC (3-0 Pac-12) in the South standings. If Colorado can indeed continue its winning ways, it will be in the hunt for a conference title game berth.

The next step is getting a win over the Wildcats, a program that has given the Buffs fits in recent years. UA has won three straight over Colorado, averaging more than 40 points per game in that stretch. Last year’s win (35-30 in Boulder) is the last time Arizona tasted victory, with UA having since lost 10 in a row.

 But while the Wildcats are struggling with everything from injuries to defections to just plain bad luck, the Buffs aren’t taking anything for granted. They know an Arizona team that had a lead over USC with under two minutes to play this year has the potential to have a breakout game at any time, and Colorado wants to make sure that doesn’t happen this weekend at Arizona Stadium.

So what must the Buffs do to make their next step in this 2020 season a successful one?

1. Stop Arizona’s run game.

2. Get plenty of pressure on the quarterback.

3. Continue to control the tempo with a strong run game.

4. Get QB Sam Noyer back on track.

5. Win third down and turnover battles. 

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December 3rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pac-12 picks – Buffs better on both sides of the ball

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12’s collective performance doesn’t track perfectly with the play of its quarterbacks, but there’s a strong correlation.

This season, QB play has been uneven, uninspiring and un-Pac12.

Seven teams began the season with first-year starters; three are already hurt.

Meanwhile, the five returnees haven’t, for various reasons, reminded anyone of Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Trask, Mac Jones or Zach Wilson.

For elite quarterback play, look elsewhere.

… Without consistent high-level play at that position, the ceiling is low for the collective.

To the picks …

Oregon State (plus-11) at Utah: OSU quarterback Tristan Gebbia has been ruled out, leaving the offense in the hands of sophomore Chance Nolan. We like Nolan on one-yard sneaks to win the game, but that’s about it. The Beavers need 200+ yards from tailback Jermar Jefferson. The Utes merely need zero turnovers from quarterback Jake Bentley. Pick: Utah.

Colorado (minus-7) at Arizona: Prior to the season, this looked like Arizona’s best chance for a victory. Now, it looks like Arizona’s best chance was the opener against USC. The Buffaloes aren’t elite on either side of the ball, but they’re better than the Wildcats on both — especially if injured starting quarterback Grant Gunnell cannot play. It sure seems like Arizona’s issues are less about COVID’s havoc than they are about Murphy’s Law. Pick: Colorado

UCLA (plus-3) at Arizona State: The number of days between games for ASU — 27 — is equivalent to an entire training camp. Exactly how much quality practice time each starting position group has received during the break, we cannot say. But some level of rust is inevitable. Meanwhile, the Bruins have played weekly and won two of their last three, and they should have starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson back from COVID quarantine. Pick: UCLA.

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Good News! Pac-12 adds a bowl (Armed Forces Bowl v. SEC)

… The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, played in Ft. Worth on New Year’s Eve Day (10:00 MT, ESPN), was originally slated for a Big 12 team (No. 7 selection) v. a Group of Five team. Projections earlier this week had Baylor v. Tulsa, Texas Tech v. SMU or Tulsa v. Marshall … 

Press Release from the Pac-12 … The Pac-12 today, Dec. 3, issued the following statement regarding the 2020 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

“The Pac-12 is excited to partner with the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, ESPN Events and the SEC for the 2020 edition of this prestigious bowl game.  In this challenging pandemic environment, we remain committed to finding opportunities for our football student-athletes to compete on national stages against great competition, and we are very pleased to have been able to arrange this matchup with the SEC for this year.”

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LB Carson Wells “quietly” having an outstanding season

From CUBuffs.com … Rather quietly, Colorado outside linebacker Carson Wells is having an outstanding season.

“Quietly” because his inside counterpart (and good friend) Nate Landman is having an eye-popping year, the kind that has made him a Butkus Award semifinalist, as well as earning him Walter Camp and Nagurski national player of the week honors.

But Wells, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior, is having an equally big impact on Colorado’s defense. Through three games, he is third on the team in tackles with 15 (13 solo), and is the team leader in tackles for loss with seven (including two sacks).  He also has four passes broken up, three pressures and two third downs stops to go with an interception.

He is, quite simply, making plays in every phase of the defensive scheme — and his production isn’t going unnoticed by those who matter most. That would be CU’s coaches, who hope to see more of Wells’ impact Saturday when the 3-0 Buffs travel to 0-3 Arizona for a 5 p.m. matchup with the Wildcats (FS1).

“He’s not in the limelight, he’s kind of in the shadows,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said Wednesday morning. “(But) he’s a guy right now who is playing as good as anybody on our defense. He’s got good production. Obviously Nate is on fire right now. But Carson has done a tremendous job in these first few games. He’s been rock solid on getting guys ready and helping in the process of communication. He’s playing really well and we’re hoping he continues to do the things he’s doing, because he’s making a name for himself as well.”

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December 2nd 

... CU in a few minutes … 

**Video – Karl Dorrell Press Conference (Plus: WR K.D. Nixon; CB Christian Gonzalez)**

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation

Head coach Karl Dorrell … 

Wide receiver K.D. Nixon … 

Cornerback Christian Gonzalez … 

 

Running back quandary: Lean on Broussard or divide carries?

From the Daily Camera … Colorado has a deep pool of talent at running back, but to this point, it’s mainly been a one-man show.

Sophomore Jarek Broussard has been exceptional, with 432 yards and three touchdowns and he ranks fourth nationally in yards per game (144.0).

Broussard can become the first player in CU history to open a season with four straight 100-yard games when the Buffs (3-0, 2-0 Pac12) visit Arizona (0-3, 0-3) on Saturday in Tucson (5 p.m., TV: FS-1).

It’s easy to see why the Buffs have relied on him.

“You want to keep the hot guy going,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “Jarek has been tremendous these first three games, so he’s definitely a big part of our success and in terms of how we’re able to run the football.”

Could the Buffs be relying too much on Broussard, however?

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Broussard is averaging 30.0 carries per game, second nationally to Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim (31.0).

This is, obviously, a truncated season, but Broussard is on pace for 360 carries in a normal, 12-game season. The CU record is 301, by Phillip Lindsay in 2017.

Given his success, it’s tough to take Broussard off the field, but it would help the Buffs to get a second or third running back going.

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Buff coaches say they are not looking past Arizona 

From the Daily Camera … It’s been a rough year for the Arizona football team, but the Colorado Buffaloes aren’t taking the Wildcats lightly.

On Saturday, the Buffs (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12) are slated to visit Arizona (0-3, 0-3) in Tucson, Ariz., (5 p.m., TV: FS-1) and they expect a fight.

Arizona is riding a school-record 10-game losing streak, head coach Kevin Sumlin is on the hot seat and several players have opted out of the season in the past few days. CU head coach Karl Dorrell knows, however, that wounded animals are sometimes the most dangerous.

“Absolutely,” he said. “They’re trying to get themselves right. I think they’re a very, very good football team, just like they’ve been in past few years. They just had a little bit of a rough start and they had a quarterback issue last game against UCLA.

“They’re at a point where they might try doing different things that they haven’t shown yet, so we have to be aware of those things. We have an understanding that they’re trying to get things in a fashion that’s going to allow for them to be successful.”

Despite Arizona’ s struggles, CU defensive coordinator Tyson Summers said he has respect for Wildcats head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.

“I know no matter who’s back there (at quarterback), they’re going to have a good plan,” Summers said.

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December 1st 

… CU in a few minutes … 

With latest defections, Arizona down to 65 scholarship players (only six defensive backs)

From azdesertswarm.com … Liked what you saw from Drew Dixon on Saturday night? Too bad, because it’s the last you’ll see of him in 2020.

Dixon, a redshirt junior wide receiver, is the latest Arizona Wildcats player to opt out of the season.

He posted on his private Twitter account that he “made a decision that will benefit me in my career. Ya’ll don’t know me or live with me day-to-day so you’re not gonna get it anyways. Thanks (to those) who do support me and my decisions.”

The opt out comes three days after he had three catches for 46 yards in Arizona’s 27-10 loss at UCLA, his first production of the season. The Tucson native did not play in the opener against USC for an undisclosed reason, then did not have a catch in the loss at Washington on Nov. 21.

Asked about that performance on Monday, UA coach Kevin Sumlin said Dixon “played 70-some plays the week before and nobody knew he was on the field.”

The 6-foot-3, 198-pound Dixon, who played quarterback and receiver at nearby Sabino High School, has appeared in 21 games in three-plus seasons with the UA. He made four starts in 2019, catching 14 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Dixon is the first offensive player to opt out since the 2020 season began, though redshirt sophomore running back Bam Smith did so during the preseason. In just the past week Arizona has seen a slew of defensive backs opt out, including juniors McKenzie Barnes and Christian Young, redshirt junior Malik Hausman and sophomore Bobby Wolfe. Additionally, true freshman DBs Khary Crump and Edric Whitley have left the program without ever playing in a game.

Sumlin refuted the opt-out numbers on Monday, saying in some cases the players in question are injured. He added that “there’s been a lot of reactionary stuff” and that “we’ve had guys that have gone on social media and said that, and then you’ve seen them play the next Saturday.”

To that end, Young—who cited an ankle injury for opting out after appearing in just the USC game—tweeted Tuesday that “I just wanna play football.”

While Dixon’s absence shouldn’t have much impact on the offense, considering six other receivers have caught at least three passes, the same can’t be said for the DB departures. The UA only has six scholarship players left for four secondary positions, forcing starters like redshirt senior cornerback Lorenzo Burns to play nearly every snap.

Sumlin said Burns has been “phenomenal,” while sophomore Christian Roland-Wallace has looked great since a rough first game against USC.

Burns said Tuesday that he respects the decisions of those choosing to opt out, though it has made his job harder. “On an individual note, in my mind I just have to be resilient. Football is a hard game. It’s going to test whether you’re playing a lot of snaps or not. It’s physical. So during practice I’m running, I’m talking to myself, making sure I’m staying in the game, catching my breath, taking advantage of those TV timeouts.”

Redshirt senior center Josh McCauley wasn’t as diplomatic.

“Those guys are getting out of the building and the guys that want to win are staying here, and I think that’s really good for us,” said McCauley, a former walk-on who has started 25 games.

All told, Arizona is down to roughly 65 available scholarship players for its final two scheduled games. As part of its COVID-19 protocols, the Pac-12 requires at least 53 scholarship athletes in order to compete in a game this season.

Another Landman Award: Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week

Press Release from the Football Writers Association of America …  Linebacker Nate Landman had 10 solos among his 11 total tackles and had four tackles for losses as Colorado handled San Diego State 20-10 in a hastily-scheduled non-conference game. Landman helped contain the Aztecs to 100 yards below their average total offense output to earn the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games in the weekend of Nov. 28, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

This is the second time for Landman to earn this weekly honor in his career and Colorado’s first since he won it following a 13-tackle game at Nebraska in 2018 in which he also had an interception. This is the third time overall for a Colorado player to earn the honor since it began in 2001; Terrence Wheatley, a cornerback, won it in 2007.

Landman, a 6-3, 235-pound senior from Danville, Calif., is Colorado’s leading tackler the past two seasons and its current leader with 37, and keyed the Buffs’ defense with six overall tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage along with one pass break-up. San Diego State gained only 155 total yards, didn’t enter Colorado’s red zone and scored only a field goal. Landman was credited with a touchdown save and his three sacks and the pass break-up all came on third down that stopped Aztec drives. The Aztecs ran 18 plays in CU territory and gained just 22 yards.

Landman is the third Colorado player in the last 10 years to have three sacks in a game, joining teammate Mustafa Johnson (last year against Nebraska) and DT Leo Jackson (vs. Texas State in 2017). One game prior against Stanford, Landman became the 17th player to record 300 career tackles at Colorado. His total is now 314 and in 14th place all-time at the school; he needs 24 more tackles to enter the program’s top 10. Also, he moved into the top 20 for tackles for loss, becoming the 19th Colorado player to record 30 career tackles for loss, and his 41 career third-down stops puts him tied for sixth place in CU history.

Both of CU’s next opponents are in CBS Bottom 25 (along with Nebraska and CSU)

From CBS Sports … One aspect of The Bottom 25 that’s been difficult to adjust to this season has been the preponderance of winless teams. I’ve long maintained in this column, on radio and generally just on street corners yelling at passersby that it’s more difficult to go winless than it is undefeated.

We see it every season. There are typically three or four teams entering the final month of the regular season without a loss, while that number dwindles a lot quicker on the other end of the spectrum. And the reason for that has always been simple: nonconference cupcake games. Everybody wants to schedule at least one team they can beat!

Well, with the pandemic affecting scheduling this year and causing so many teams to play conference-only schedules, we’re left with an abundance of winless teams. Entering the final few weeks of the regular season, we’ve got 15 winless teams remaining. It’s incredible. There will be multiple teams that don’t win a game and don’t qualify for The Bottom 25 Playoff.

But, on the other side of that coin, it just means there are a lot more teams to root for in the final weeks. It’s important to remember that, although I have fun with them in this column, I’m genuinely rooting for every single one of these teams to win games. Especially this year, with all the crap teams have to go through just to play, not getting to experience a win is heartbreaking.

No. 25 … Colorado State … The Rams had to cancel their second game in as many weeks and third of the season due to a COVID-19 outbreak. This week, they’re tentatively scheduled to play San Diego State. (Last Week: Not Ranked)

No. 24 … Nebraska … Before the season, Nebraska fans wanted you to know that they saved Big Ten football. Now when you thank them for saving Big Ten football, they get mad at you. Life is crazy! Anyway, Nebraska is scheduled to face Purdue this week. (25)

No. 16 … Utah … Utah took a 21-0 lead on Washington Saturday only to lose 24-21. The Utes are a better team than their 0-2 record suggests, but they’re quickly running out of chances to get a win. This week, they get an Oregon State team that just upset Oregon. (9)

No. 12 … Cal … Listen, considering they’re supposed to be schools for smart kids, you’d think they’d be smart enough to call it The Big Game instead of just Big Game. Anyway, around these parts, we called it The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week, and Cal lost it to Stanford 24-23. This week the Bears get an Oregon team coming off a loss to its rival as well. (7)

No. 9 … Arizona … Whenever I’ve seen Arizona this season, it’s continuously alternating between “hey, this team isn’t so bad” to “oh my god this might be the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Last week, there was far too much of the latter in a 27-10 loss to UCLA. This week, the Wildcats get one of the surprise teams of the season in Colorado. (18)

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Karl Dorrell: “We don’t make excuses – Everything is geared on maximizing our potential”

From CUBuffs.com … While the Buffs no doubt would have rather played Arizona State two weeks ago then have the game canceled, the “bye” week still had its benefits.

For starters, the extra time helped the Buffs work on some defensive deficiencies that had shown up in their first two wins. Those areas looked much better against the Aztecs, as they held SDSU’s offense to only a field goal and 155 yards total offense.

“We worked on a lot of issues to try to fix some things,” Dorrell said. “I think it was evident that a lot of those things were shored up. We played much better with a great coverage scheme. We felt like our front is continuing to get better and our depth is getting better up front. We feel like the process on the defensive side is really doing some very positive things for us as we work through this season. We hope to continue that trend.”

NO ALIBIS: While Dorrell’s team has faced a long list of obstacles since he took the job late last February, he has refused to offer excuses — and that attitude has spread throughout his team.

“From day one, the thought process in mind was this team felt like they were capable of winning and having success right now,” Dorrell said. “When I had my first team meeting, we came out knowing we had to work hard, trust ourselves and what we are doing, have great preparations and not use any of the outside elements as a deterrent to our success. We don’t make excuses … Everything is geared on maximizing our potential with what we have here in this building. That is the mindset the whole team understands.”

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November 30th

… CU in a few minutes … 

**Video – Karl Dorrell Monday Press Conference**

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation

 

Nate Landman named Butkus Award semi-finalist (plus: second Pac-12 Defensive POTW Award)

From CUBuffs.com … It was a good weekend for University of Colorado senior inside linebacker Nate Landman, beginning with a monster effort in CU’s 20-10 win over San Diego State.

Against the Aztecs, he recorded 11 tackles (10 solo), which included six stops at or behind the line of scrimmage: three quarterback sacks, a tackle for loss, and two tackles for zero gains.  He had four third down stops, as all three of his sacks were on third downs, and added a pass broken up (also on third down) and a touchdown save.  He was in for all 59 snaps on defense, and on special teams duty, he added a forced fair catch on punt coverage.

On Sunday (Nov. 29), Landman was selected as the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s National Defensive Player of the Week, the first defensive Buffalo to earn the honor since CB Terrence Wheatley for his three interception game at Texas Tech in 2007.  Otherwise, you have to go back to 1996 for the player previously honored, FS Steve Rosga against Oklahoma State.

On Monday (Nov. 30), the selection committee for the 36th annual Butkus Award announced 16 semifinalists, which included Landman.  The Buffaloes have two previous winners, Alfred Williams (1990) and Matt Russell (1996); two runner-ups, Ted Johnson (1994) and Jordon Dizon (2007), and one other semifinalist, Greg Biekert (1992).  Russell also finished fourth for the honor in 1995.

Later Monday (Nov. 30), he was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and for the second straight game.  He joins Tedric Thompson (2016) as the only two players to earn Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors twice in the same season and he’s the seventh player overall to accomplish the feat.  The others are Bill Brundige (1969), Bill Roe (1979), Darris Schubeck (1986), Art Walker (1989) and Steve Rosga (1996).  Landman joins Roe as the only two players to win conference defensive player of the week honors for consecutive games, Roe doing so for the final two games of that season, at Kansas (Nov. 17) and vs. Kansas State (Nov. 24).

Landman leads the team in tackles with 37, and also has team-bests of eight third down stops (which include two on fourth down), and four tackles for zero which also gives him a team-high of nine stops at or behind the line of scrimmage when including his five tackles for losses.  For his career, he is now 14th in total tackles (314), ninth in unassisted stops (213), 19th in tackles for loss (30), 44th in quarterback sacks (9, but that’s the fifth-most by an inside linebacker), sixth in third down stops (41) and first in fourth down stops (8).

The Butkus Award semifinalists:  Christian Harris, Alabama; Grant Morgan, Arkansas; Nate Landman, Colorado; Nakobe Dean, Georgia; Monty Rice, Georgia; Jabril Cox, LSU; Nick Bolton, Missouri; Chazz Surratt, North Carolina; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame; Pete Werner, Ohio State; Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers; Ernest Jones, South Carolina; Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M; Zaven Collins, Tulsa; Devin Lloyd, Utah; and Charles Snowden, Virginia.

Finalists for the award will be announced next Monday, Dec. 7, with the winner to be selected on Dec. 22.

CU debuts in CBS Power Rankings: “It’s time to account for the Buffaloes”

From CBS Sports … With three weeks left in the regular season and an unknown number of games remaining amid consistent COVID-19 postponements and cancellations, the College Football Playoff picture is beginning to come into focus as 2020 draws to a close. It is clear that the SEC and ACC are in great standing as we enter the home stretch, but that is not necessarily the case for the rest of the Power Five conferences.

Here are some conclusions we can draw to this point …

The Pac-12 is probably all but out of the playoff race. Its best team, Oregon, lost a Black Friday rivalry game to Oregon State. USC, Washington and Colorado are still undefeated but are ranked so far back that it will be tough to see them make a dent simply by the eye test.

From the Pac-12 … 

No. 15 – Oregon … The Pac-12 may have seen its diminished playoff chances go pfft late Friday. The Ducks just couldn’t stop Jermar Jefferson, who set a series record with 227 yards rushing in a 41-38 win. It has to be a concern that Tyler Shough has four interceptions in four games. (Down from No. 8);

No. 20 – USC … Idle. Biggest beneficiary in the Pac-12 shuffling might be the Trojans. They didn’t play, remain undefeated and watched Oregon lose. They have two games left (Washington State and UCLA) to sew up the Pac-12 South. (Up from No. 21)

No. 23 – Colorado … It’s time to account for the Buffaloes. They’re undefeated and have a path to the Pac-12 Championship Game after a 20-10 win over San Diego State. The Aztecs scored only three points offensively. (The other was a pick six.) They ran 59 plays. Colorado limited SDSU to zero or negative yards on 30 of those plays. (Previously unranked)

No. 24 – Washington … The Huskies announced themselves as a Pac-12 after coming from behind to beat Utah, 24-21. Dylan Morris hit Cade Otton with the game-winning touchdown pass with 36 seconds left. The Huskies scored 24 unanswered points after trailing by three touchdowns at halftime. The game was an arranged marriage after Washington had the Apple Cup canceled against Washington State and Utah was unable to play Arizona State. (Previously unranked)

See full list here

Buff defense makes a statement: “We want to create that identity for ourselves that we can go out there and shut teams out”

From the Daily Camera … Nate Landman felt pretty good after the Colorado Buffaloes gave up just 10 points in a win on Saturday night, but he was quick to point out a technicality.

“We actually only gave up three points,” the senior linebacker said.

Regardless, this was an impressive effort by the Buffs’ defense.

CU hadn’t kept an opposing offense out of the end zone since a 37-3 win against Texas State on Sept. 9, 2017. SDSU’s 155 yards were the fewest by a CU opponent since Idaho State (96 yards) on Sept. 10, 2016; and the fewest by an FBS team since Miami-Ohio (139) on Sept. 22, 2007.

“We wanted to set that standard,” safety Derrion Rakestraw said. “We want to create that identity for ourselves that we can go out there and shut teams out. We believe we could do it for the first two weeks, too. It’s just those little adjustments. Once we get those things fixed, we’re a better team.”

San Diego State did bust a couple of big plays, but never got much going. The Aztecs ran 59 plays, with 30 of them going for zero or negative yards.

The Buffs recorded 11 tackles for loss, including four by Carson Wells and 3.5 by Landman. Coming into the game, Landman had six sacks in his career, but he added three against the Aztecs.

“It was fun to see,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “That was a beautiful thing seeing those guys (Landman and Wells) in the backfield half the night. I like that.”

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November 29th 

… CU in a few minutes …

Neill Woelk Takeaways: Buffs turning obstacles into opportunities 

From CUBuffs.com … With barely 48 hours of prep time and one day of actual practice to get ready for San Diego State, the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday accomplished what is quickly becoming a trademark of the Karl Dorrell era:

Turn obstacles into opportunities and then maximize those opportunities.

Fact is, Saturday’s game against the Aztecs had plenty of downsides. A game against an opponent CU had not previously scouted at all, an opponent that had plenty to gain (and little to lose) — and the chance of dropping a game back in the Pac-12 South standings because of a last-minute schedule switch.

Simply, there were pitfalls aplenty awaiting at Folsom Field.

But instead of panicking, Dorrell, his staff and his players greeted the opportunity with an attitude that is rapidly becoming a mantra for the program: make the most of what is on the table and forget about the rest.

That is exactly what the 3-0 Buffs did. They came up with a defensive plan that rendered the Aztecs punchless on offense and an offensive plan that controlled the clock, limited SDSU’s offensive opportunities and dictated the tempo from opening kick to final whistle.

The result was a workmanlike 20-10 win over a Mountain West squad that had made a name for itself against Pac-12 opponents (5-1 in their previous six meetings). After an unplanned week off, the Buffs needed a game to regain their edge, and while Saturday’s affair might not have won many beauty contests, it did get Colorado back in game day mode.

That importance of that opportunity can’t be overstated, particularly with two more Pac-12 games directly ahead — next Saturday at Arizona, followed by a Dec. 11 (Friday night) home game against Utah. While securing a Pac-12 South title is not totally in Colorado’s hands — the Buffs will need a little help from USC’s opponents over the next couple of weeks — they are at least still squarely in the hunt.

So what did we learn from Saturday’s game?

1. Colorado’s defense is making big strides … 

Continue reading story here

Nate Landman named National Defensive Player of the Week

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … Senior ILB Nate Landman was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Foundation, presented by Generation UCAN, it was announced Sunday.

Landman was key in the Buffs defensive effort that allowed San Diego State to record just 155 yards of total offense, less than 100 yards rushing and passing.   Landman finished the game with 11 tackles (10 solo) with three sacks, four total tackles for loss, two more for no gain and one pass breakup.  He was credited with a touchdown save and his three sacks and pass break-up all came on third down, stopping Aztec drives.

He’s the third player in the last 10 years to have three sacks in a game, joining teammate Mustafa Johnson (last year against Nebraska) and DT Leo Jackson (vs. Texas State in 2017).

The Buffs defense kept San Diego State out of the red zone the entire game and yielded just a field goal on defense in the Buffs 20-10 victory.  The Aztec’s ran 18 plays in CU territory and gained just 22 yards.

In the Buffs last game against Stanford, Landman became the 17th player to record 300 career tackles.  He pushes that total to 314, 14th place, and needs 24 more tackles to enter the program’s top 10.  He moved into the top 20 for tackles for loss, becoming the 19th player to record 30 career tackles for loss, and his 41 career third down stops puts him tied for sixth place in CU history.

Landman is the second CU player to win the award, which has been given since 2004, joining Terrence Wheatley, who did so on Oct. 28, 2007.  That day, Wheatley had three interceptions in the Buffs 31-26 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock.

The Walter Camp Foundation also recognized Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson, who had 409 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in the team’s 70-41 win over Kent State.  This is the 17th year the Foundation has honored one offensive and defensive player of the week during the regular season.  Recipients are selected by a panel of national media members.

Jarek Broussard making history: “I love the game of football”

From the Daily Camera … Jarek Broussard continues making history for the Colorado Buffaloes.

In Saturday’s 20-10 win against San Diego State at Folsom Field, the sophomore running back finished with 124 rushing yards on 32 carries.

Broussard is just the second player in CU history to rush for 100-plus yards in the first three games of his career, joining Charlie Davis in 1971.

“I love the game of football a lot and it’s something I really take very seriously. Every time I step on the field, I just try to make the most of every opportunity.

Broussard has 432 yards so far this season and it didn’t come easy against an Aztecs defense that came in ranking seventh nationally against the run. SDSU was allowing only 90 yards per game on the ground.

“It got kind of tough towards the end, but we just played against a good team,” he said.

Broussard had some big runs, including 19 and 16 yards early, but had minus-11 yards on his last six carries, as the Aztecs keyed on him.

Read full story here

Arizona falls to UCLA; quarterback Grant Gunnell injured on first play from scrimmage 

From Tucson.com … This time, at least, they battled.

The Arizona Wildcats lost their quarterback, fell behind but kept fighting. They had a legitimate chance to make UCLA sweat in the fourth quarter.

In the end, it wasn’t enough. The Cats fell to the Bruins 27-10 Saturday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The loss extended Arizona’s school-record skid to 10 games. The UA has dropped five straight on the road against UCLA.

“Everybody in that locker room is frustrated,” said UA coach Kevin Sumlin, whose team fell to 0-3. “The overall message is, you gotta come back and you gotta go to work. You’ve gotta believe and trust in yourself and trust each other. The only way to climb out of this thing is to get to work and keep working.

“Some people, particularly defensively, at times did some good things. But we gotta find some consistency.”

The game unexpectedly became a contest between backup quarterbacks when Arizona’s Grant Gunnell was injured on the first play from scrimmage. Freshman Will Plummer took over and led the Wildcats to an early lead that they couldn’t maintain.

Plummer, in his college debut, completed 17 of 35 passes for 151 yards with two interceptions. The Gilbert High School graduate also rushed 12 times for 49 yards.

Gunnell completed his lone pass attempt for 2 yards. The injury was to his right shoulder, Sumlin confirmed. Gunnell will be re-evaluated upon returning to Tucson. His status for next week’s game against Colorado is up in the air.

“Right now I couldn’t tell you,” Sumlin said. “We’ll get back and talk with … our medical team. We’ll assess that tomorrow and throughout the week.”

Colorado defeated San Diego State 20-10 earlier Saturday. The Buffaloes are 3-0. UCLA improved to 2-2.

Although he was slowed for long stretches in the second half, UCLA’s Demetric Felton notched career highs with 32 carries for 206 yards before exiting with a leg injury late in the fourth quarter.

Continue reading story here

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7 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

    1. I watched a little of that immolation. …enough to see a MSU defender piledrive a ball carrier 5 yards out of bounds. Smell Mel didnt like the call and I think he got another call for unsportsmanlike conduct.
      A good chunk of that MSU/Mel money may go for therapy on ulcers, colitis and high blood pressure. Dont stroke out Mel. You wanna be able to spend the rest of that money

  1. The full article on Broussard and his workload is worth reading. His 4th qtr stats when trying to run out the clock are not good. He’s 5-9 and 185.
    We “are looking to get our backups game experience”, so why didn’t the big backs go in? Seems like it would be a great opportunity to use Mangham and maybe Stacks

  2. Watching the Dorrell interview.

    Mein Gott, He listens, he waits till the questioner is done and answers in such a level controlled manner.

    I’m just gonna say this. MickeyMac started answering the question before the questioner even finished and the answer was a high pitched whiney squeal.

    So there

    The new is really good.

    Starts at the top

    Go Buffs Beat the zonas

    1. So I have noticed something about Dorrell I really like as well. He seems like the same guy at 3-0 as he was when they were predicting them to be 1-6. He is calm, collected and thoughtful. Mac was always on an emotional roller coaster and Mel was either fired up or sedated. I think Dorrell’s consistency brings something to the table that we haven’t had in a while.

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