Colorado Daily – Utah Week

December 12th – GameDay!

… CU in a few minutes … 

Quarterback Tyler Lytle announces his intention to transfer

From the Daily Camera … Colorado backup quarterback Tyler Lytle is entering the NCAA transfer portal.

On Saturday evening, a few hours after the Buffaloes’ 38-21 loss to Utah at Folsom Field, Lytle announced his decision on social media.

“Thank you to my teammates and coaches over the years at Colorado,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m appreciative for the relationships I’ve built the past few years and my time at this university. After much thought, I have decided to enter the transfer portal as a grad transfer with 2 years left to play and immediate eligibility. I am excited for what’s next.”

… With Lytle going into the transfer portal, true freshman Brendon Lewis could be elevated to the top backup spot. Lewis has not appeared in a game.

Lytle, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound redshirt junior from Redondo Beach, Calif., came to CU in January of 2017 after a stellar career at Servite High School. In terms of scholarship offers, Lytle is the most highly recruited quarterback to sign with CU since Fairview’s Craig Ochs in 2000.

Lytle spent his first three years at CU serving as a backup to Steven Montez. This year, he competed for the starting job, but coaches gave the nod to Sam Noyer, who has started all five games this season and played nearly every snap.

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Karl Dorrell: “It’s all for naught if we don’t take care of business this weekend”

From the Daily Camera … Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell and the rest of his staff can spend all the time they want trying to keep the players from reading headlines or scrolling through social media, but he knows that’s not realistic.

“They’re looking through all the scenarios and stuff,” Dorrell said, “but for me, it’s all for naught if we don’t take care of business this weekend.”

To this point, the 21st-ranked Buffaloes (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) have taken care of business, but in a year that’s been anything but usual, this week in particular is new territory for CU.

With the Pac-12 championship game scheduled for next weekend, the Buffs have a chance to win the South division for the second time in five years. To do so, they need to beat Utah (1-2, 1-2) at Folsom Field, but also hope that UCLA (3-2, 3-2) knocks off No. 16 Southern California (4-0, 4-0) on Saturday  night.

… For next week, it’s unclear if Washington could even play. If it can’t, would the Pac-12 send Oregon to the title game or let CU and USC battle for the crown?

Through it all, CU has quietly – until this week – put together an unexpected undefeated season. Now, there is a spotlight on the Buffs, in part because of the uncertainty surrounding the Pac-12 championship game.

Attention is good, but Dorrell doesn’t want it to cause his players to lose their focus.

“We’re still trying to prove to each other the type of program we are,” Dorrell said. “We’re getting some notice from that, just with our play.

“It does still come down to this week … and not really looking forward to anything beyond this week. We can control how well we play, we can control whether we’re prepared, and whether we’re playing with the right mindset. Those are the things that I’m continually preaching day in and day out.”

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December 11th

Offensive line working through injuries: “You’ve got to fight through it”

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs have lost some key players on offense and defense due to injuries, but few spots have been harder than the interior of the offensive line.

Despite that, the Buffs are getting good production from the line, and that helped lead to 407 rushing yards against Arizona – CU’s best single-game total since Oct. 12, 2002, at Kansas (427).

At center, the Buffs lost one of their top backups, Austin Johnson, to an injury before the Nov. 7 season opener against UCLA. Against UCLA, starter Colby Pursell went down with an injury and he hasn’t played since. He was replaced by Josh Jynes, who then got injured in practice the next week.

Kary Kutsch, the starter at left guard, then started two games at center, with Chance Lytle sliding into the starting spot at left guard. Then, Kutsch missed the Arizona game after testing positive for COVID-19 (he’s out this week, too), and Lytle suffered a season-ending injury against the Wildcats.

Tackles Will Sherman and Frank Fillip have avoided injury, but are “banged up,” offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue said on CU’s “Buffalo Stampede” show on Thursday.

On the positive side, Jynes was back for Arizona and Pursell could return, as well.

“You’ve got to fight through it,” Rodrigue said. “There’s a difference between an injury and there’s a difference between pain and right now everybody is dealing with a little pain. We’ve got a little Band-Aid, got a little Super Glue. We’re going to put them all back together. They have a lot of heart. They do everything I ask of them and I’m really proud of them.”

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Neill Woelk’s Five Keys to CU v. Utah

From CUBuffs.com … Don’t be fooled by Utah’s 1-2 record.

That’s the message Karl Dorrell has been imparting to his 4-0 Colorado Buffaloes on a daily basis this week as they prepare for Saturday’s 10 a.m. showdown with the Utes at Folsom Field (Fox).

But it is unlikely the 21st-ranked Buffs will take the Utes lightly. They have too much at stake — a potential Pac-12 South title and championship game berth are on the line — and anyone who has been on the Buffs’ roster at any point the last three years knows Kyle Whittingham’s team will arrive in Boulder ready to play.

From Dorrell’s point of view, the Utes are just now rounding into form after a delayed start to their season.

Utah’s first two games were canceled because of coronavirus issues, and they struggled in their opener, a 33-17 loss to USC. But they then dropped a narrow 24-21 decision at Washington before finally picking up a 30-24 win over Oregon State last week.

“I can tell the difference from watching the first game and where they are right now,” Dorrell said. “They’re completely a different looking team, a little more efficient team. Their record is no indication of their capability.”

Certainly CU players know about the Utes’ abilities. Colorado has lost three in a row to Utah, and none of the contests have been close.

So what must the Buffs do to end that skid and put themselves in position for a shot at the title next week?

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December 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

How to watch the CU/Utah game if you have DISH issues

From CUBuffs.com … Due to a local channel dispute between Nexstar, the owner of FOX 31 in Denver and FOX 21 in Colorado Springs, and DISH Network, the channel is currently unavailable in the normal TV lineup for DISH subscribers along the front range and a few other markets where the FOX station is also owned by Nexstar.

Fortunately, there are several options for Buffs fans in Colorado and other markets where Nexstar owns the local FOX affiliate to still be able to watch the Colorado vs. Utah game, set to kick off Saturday at 10 a.m.

The most reliable way is to access FOX 31, or your local FOX affiliate is with an antenna.  For those fans old enough to remember watching TV before cable or satellite companies, it’s much the same technology.  If you have an HDTV, you have the ability to purchase an antenna and get your local over the air stations, including FOX, plus many other over the air channels.  Aside from purchasing an antenna, this is a free option with no strings attached. Depending on where you live, it could be as simple as setting the antenna behind the TV, or a little more complicated set up of putting the antenna as high as possible (attic, roof, etc) may be necessary.

If you visit the FCC Website and enter your zip code, it will give you more information on channels available over the air and which way to point your antenna to get those channels.

Antennas range from $25-$50 and can be picked up at a variety of stores.  A quick search on Amazon also finds many that could be available for next day delivery if you act on Thursday to purchase one.

Another option for DISH customers is to use the Locast app available on many devices, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Play.  Locast is a free app that lets you stream local over the air channels directly to your device.  If you have an internet-connected Hopper or Wally receiver, the Locast app is built in and you can watch FOX on the same TV you norally would without any additional equipment needed. You do not need a DISH login to use the Locast app, it brings you local over the air channels by using your location.

Additionally, streaming devices that have the FOXNow App, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and more, DISH customers can authenticate through those apps and stream their local FOX station.  We’re told and have tested using this method of authenticating using your DISH login will work to watch FOX 31.

Lastly, local channels are available on several streaming services, including Sling, FuboTV, VidGo, Hulu, AT&T TV, YouTubeTV, and more, and many offer a free trial period from three to seven days.  If you sign up for one of these services, you could also pick one that has Pac-12 Networks (Sling, FuboTV and Vidgo) to ensure you can watch the Buffs when they appear on the Pac-12 Networks.

Karl Dorrell: Utah a “completely different looking team from Game 1”

From the Daily Camera … COVID-19 issues led to Utah (1-2) starting its season later than any other team in the country. Then, the Utes lost their starting quarterback (Cameron Rising) to a season-ending injury early in the opener and lost to two of the Pac-12’s top teams, Southern California and Washington, out of the gate.

Last week, in a 30-24 win against Oregon State, the Utes looked more like the team Dorrell studied in the offseason.

“They’re completely, in my mind, a different looking team (from Game 1), a little more efficient team,” he said. “They look like they’re more ingrained with their systems on offense and defense and special teams.”

In particular, quarterback Jake Bentley has shown improvement. He replaced Rising in the opener against USC and had his most efficient game last week against Oregon State.

“He’s been playing now for three games, so he looks better and more comfortable in their offensive system,” Dorrell said.

While the Utes have sputtered to get going, they rank second in the Pac-12 in total defense and first in rushing defense. On offense, running back Ty Jordan has hit his stride, with 264 yards in the last two games.

“I know that they’re a very good team,” Dorrell said. “Their record has no indication of really the capability of what this team is.”

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December 9th

… CU in a few minutes … 

**Video: Karl Dorrell Press Conference**

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation

Karl Dorrell: “I think this is a blessing in disguise … Our guys are excited to play”

From the Daily Camera … With the Michigan at Ohio State game canceled because of COVID-19 issues at Michigan, Fox Sports selected the Buffs as a replacement for its “Big Noon Kickoff” national broadcast. Former CU quarterback Joel Klatt and his broadcast partners Gus Johnson and Jenny Taft will be in Boulder for the game.

“I like that it’s going to give us more TV exposure on a bigger platform,” Dorrell said. “I’m glad that it gave us an extra day. I think this is a blessing in disguise for us that we were short practices getting ready for San Diego State (on Nov. 28) and now we got an extra practice to get ready for Utah.”

Before the season, the Pac-12 presented the idea of having games start at 10 a.m. MST (9 a.m. PST). While some schools were not thrilled about the idea, Colorado athletic director Rick George made it clear he’d be all for it. Now, the Buffs get the early slot and a prime spot on national TV.

“We were contacted (Tuesday) by the conference about our willingness to move the Utah game to Saturday morning and kickoff at 10 a.m.,” George said. “As we have previously said, we were very interested in playing at that time to get a nationwide audience in Fox’s ‘Big Noon Kickoff’ window. Utah vs. Colorado is always a hard fought game and we are looking forward to hosting both Fox and the Utes at Folsom Field Saturday.”

… “It’s been a challenging week, but an exciting week,” Dorrell said. “Our guys are excited to play.”

… “They’ve taken everything that I’ve expressed to them really with, ‘All right, whatever we’ve got to do coach.’ That has kind of been the attitude, so it helps me to know that they are that way. They’re resilient, they’ve been very adaptive since I’ve been here. I think it’s helped me calm at least my emotions, too.”

Moving this game back a day might be one of the easiest adjustments for the Buffs. It gives the coaches an extra day to prepare and make some adjustments in practice, and it gives the players to heal some bumps and bruises.

“We’re gonna keep the process going,” Dorrell said, “get ourselves ready to play a great game on Saturday morning.”

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**CU/Utah game moved to 10:00 on Saturday – Big Noon Kickoff on Fox**

From CUBuffs.com …  The Pac-12 Conference and FOX Sports announced Wednesday morning that the University of Colorado’s football game against the University of Utah, originally scheduled for this Friday night (Dec. 11), has been moved to Saturday and will occupy the network’s “Big Noon Kickoff” broadcast slot.

The Buffaloes and Utes will now kickoff at 10:05 a.m. MST from Folsom Field, with the game to be nationally televised on FOX.  Gus Johnson, former Buff Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft will be in Boulder to call the game.

The move came about after the Michigan at Ohio State game, previously slotted for the Noon EST broadcast, was cancelled earlier this week due to COVID-19 issues in the Michigan program.

It will be the earliest kickoff in Folsom Field’s 97-year history, as the previous earliest start came in 2007 when CU and Nebraska kicked off at 10:09 a.m. on Nov. 23.  It remains the second latest home game in program history, behind a Dec. 13 contest against Colorado Mines in 1890, CU’s first season of varsity competition.

Jarek Broussard/Nate Landman reel in additional national awards

From CUBuffs.com … The accolades continue to roll in for the Buffs, as well, particularly for ILB Nate Landman and TB Jarek Broussard.  Landman had 17 tackles at Arizona in the Buffs’ 24-13 win on Saturday, adding three tackles for loss including one sack, and two more tackles for no gain.  He added four third-down stops and two quarterback hurries.  Broussard had the fourth 300-yard rushing game in CU history with 25 carries for 301 yards.  He became the first Power 5 running back to rush for 100 yards in his first four career games since Adrian Peterson for Oklahoma in 2004.

Landman was honored with the Chuck Bednarik National Player of the Week honor and the CollegeSportsMadness.com National and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.  He’s the first CU player to receive back-to-back National Player of the Week honors since QB Kordell Stewart did so in the 1992 season.

Broussard earned the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week, given to players from the state of Texas, and was also the media’s and CollegeSportsMadness.com’s selection for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.  He also earned a helmet sticker on ESPN and was named to the Watch List for the College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Year Trophy.

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December 7th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buffs trying to focus on beating Utah; not focusing on “what-if’s”

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado football team might do something no other team in the country has ever done – and that’s unfortunate for the Buffaloes.

On Friday night, the 21st-ranked Buffs (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12) will host Utah (1-2, 1-2) at Folsom Field (7:30 p.m., TV: FS-1). Beat the Utes and the Buffs would be undefeated going into the Dec. 18 Pac-12 championship game – yet may not get a chance to play in the game.

… Colorado could become the first FBS team to go undefeated, be eligible for a conference title game and not get in.

“I’ll worry about those emotions when they get there,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said Monday of that possibility. “I’d be disappointed, for sure, just because it probably didn’t lay out the way that it probably could have been planned out, but I have to go by what have we done with the opportunities that we’ve had.”

So far, the Buffs have won every one of their opportunities, and so has USC. But, it’s the missed opportunities that could haunt the Buffs.

CU had a Nov. 21 date against Arizona State canceled because of COVID-19 issues at ASU. Then, they had a Nov. 28 game against USC canceled because of COVID-19 cases with the Trojans.

USC and ASU were projected as the top two teams in the South this year and it’s impossible to know how the Buffs would have fared in those games. A CU vs. USC matchup would have ended all debate, but that won’t happen.

Going into this week, however, the Buffs know that a Pac-12 title is still on the table. If the Buffs beat Utah and USC loses, CU will not only win the South, but host the Pac-12 title game.

Regardless of the scenarios ahead, Dorrell and the Buffs know their main concern has to be Utah.

“We have to control this thing this week, and not really think about what’s going on a week from now,” Dorrell said. “All that will be for naught if we don’t play well this week. If we win our game, that’s really the best thing that we can do for ourselves.

“I can’t really go with the what-ifs.”

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Jarek Broussard wins Pac-12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week for second time

… For those scoring at home, this makes five POTW honors for the Buffs in four games played … Broussard has won it twice (v. UCLA; v. Arizona), Nate Landman has won it twice (v. Stanford; v. San Diego State) and Sam Noyer has won it once (v. Stanford) … 

From the Daily Camera … Jarek Broussard is putting up numbers that haven’t been seen at Colorado ever, and he’s not even at full strength.

“I’m telling you, you haven’t (seen him at 100 percent),” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said Monday. “He’s probably 90-95 percent and he’s been that way all camp.”

After two ACL tears prevented him from playing his first seasons at CU, Broussard continues making up for lost time. On Monday, he was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, following his career-high 301 rushing yards in a 24-13 win at Arizona on Saturday.

Since CU joined the Pac-12 in 2011, Broussard is just the third Buff to earn offensive player of the week honors twice in one season, joining Sefo Liufau (2016) and Laviska Shenault (2018).

Broussard has rushed for 733 yards, the best total through four games in CU history. He ranks second nationally with 183.25 yards per game. And, he’s doing it all while wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee.

“I’ve asked him many times about the brace, whether in serious fashion or joking fashion,” Dorrell said. “He’s quite comfortable wearing it. I’m not going to complain because he’s being very productive. As long as he can continue to do what he’s doing, he can wear two knee braces, I don’t care.”

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From the Pac-12 press release … OFFENSIVE: Jarek Broussard, So., RB, Colorado

  • In Colorado’s 24-13 win at Arizona, he rushed 25 times for 301 yards (0 TD) and six first downs.
  • The performance was the fourth 300-yard rushing game in Colorado history (last: TB Chris Brown at Kansas, Oct. 12, 2002 (25-309); also the 26th 200-yard game in Colorado history (last: TB Phillip Lindsay vs. Arizona in Boulder on Oct. 7, 2017 (41-281).
  • His 75-yard run tied for the 24th longest run in school history and tied for the longest since Tony Jones had an 84-yard TD run at Washington State on Sept. 21, 2012 (Travon McMillian had two 75-yard runs in 2018 and Phillip Lindsay one in 2016).
  • His 155 yards in the second quarter (on eight carries) is a CU record for rushing yards in a quarter, breaking the old mark of 131 (on nine carries) by HB Eric Bieniemy in the fourth quarter against Oregon State in Boulder on Sept. 24, 1988. It is also a school record for all-purpose yards in a quarter, topping WR Laviska Shenault’s 139 on three receptions against Colorado State in Denver on August 31, 2018.
  • His 184 rushing yards in the first half is the second-most for a half, behind 206 by TB Charlie Davis against Oklahoma State in Boulder on Nov. 13, 1971.
  • He topped the 176 TB Rashaan Salaam had in the first half at Texas on Oct. 1, 1994.
  • Set the school record for most 50+ yard rushes in a game with three (75, 72, 59); several had two.
  • He is the first player to rush for 100-plus yards in his first four CU career games (TB Charlie Davis was the only other one to do it in the first three in 1971).
  • He is the second player to rush for 700 yards in his first four games, the third for 600 or more and the sixth for 500-plus.
  • He is now just the fourth player since 1996 in the FBS to rush for 100-plus yards in his first four career games.

**Transcript – Karl Dorrell’s Monday Press Conference**

From CUBuffs.com …

On Being Ranked In The AP and Coaches Poll
“It is good that we are getting some recognition, but we have a ways to go. We have a great game in front of us right now with Utah. The first day of preparation was put in today. It is a short week. We will get our team ready to play. We know what is in front of us. We have to make sure we are doing the things that are necessary for us to win this Friday night.”

On Chatter Surrounding The Program
“If we win our game, that is the best thing we can do for ourselves. I know there is chatter about other things and about matchups and stuff like that. Right now, we are scheduled to play Utah and it has been on our schedule from the very beginning. We are preparing for that. We have to take care of Utah. We have to take care of this game on Friday night. We will see where things unfold after the weekend. We are in a good position but the only thing we can do is take advantage of the position and put us in position to be in the championship game. That all starts with this Friday night.”

On Utah
“They have gotten better. They had a rough start because they had a slow start with Covid and weren’t playing early. They had a rough start in their first one. I think they opened up with USC and USC had a couple of games under their belt before them. Right now, they are not the same team you saw in week one or week two. What you are seeing is characteristic of the Utah style and type of team, like you saw last week against Oregon State. They are going to be well coached. Coach (Kyle) Whittingham has done a great job in that program for a number of years. I know that team will probably be one of the best teams, if not the best team, that we will face so far this season on Friday night. We have to be ready to play.”

On Chance Lytle
“He has a lower leg injury. He is out for the year. That is really the extent of what I can tell you. He was injured on that goal line drive where we scored. It actually happened on the play we scored. One thing about Chance is I have been very pleased with what he was in the start of training camp. He was the backup for us in the start of the season and ended up starting the last couple of games. He has played really, really well. There are some positive impressions that he made with me in this short season. He is looking forward to next year. It is that kind of situation for him. He is going to have to deal with recovery with his injury and get himself ready to compete next year. I think there has been enough good tape that he has done where he should be confident he can do some really positive things to help this team in the future.”

On Controlling What They Can
“We have to control what we have in front of us. We have done that so far. We have gotten some recognition and a ranking. All of those things are real positive from the work we have put into this season. It is definitely stuff that is deserving for them. We still have so much work to do. We still want to compete for the conference championship. The magnitude of the weeks, we are now in week five of the season for us, are vitally important for us to be in that picture. We are in pretty good shape. We need to take advantage of this opportunity that we are in. That is the goal of this week and the preparation in getting ready to play.”

On The Possibility Of Going Unbeaten And Missing The Pac-12 Championship
“I’ll worry about those emotions when we get there. I wouldn’t be bitterly disappointed but I would be disappointed for sure because it probably didn’t play out the way it could have been planned out. I have to go by what we have done with the opportunities we have had. We have to control this week and not really think about what is going on a week from now. All of that would be for not if we don’t play well this week. We have to take care of this week. We know that is going to be a tough task. Utah is a really good team. We are a really good team. We have to play better. This is going to be a great test for us on Friday night.

On Building A Foundation
“I am pleased with the foundation we have been able to start and establish this year. We have put a lot of work into it in the offseason prior to training camp in the summertime. We had a lot of Zoom meetings and a lot of different things we were teaching at the time in terms of building our culture and program. Our players have done a nice job of making some great positive steps with creating that foundation. It is not completely done yet but it is progressing. We feel that in the first year we have made great progress, but we do know in future years it is going to be really important to make it a sound foundation from every level. We are very pleased with where we are at. We think recruiting has had a lot of interest with people who have watched us play and young student-athletes that have a great deal of interest in us. They like our style and like what we are doing. We need to use that momentum for future recruiting classes. The foundation has been laid in terms of the first couple of layers. There is still so much work to do. Our players know that. They know we can be much better, even the players that we currently have. They do like the process of why we are having this success. It has been correlating to success the way we have built what we have so far.”

On Who Steps In For Lytle
“Kanan Ray is kind of the next one. He played for us a little bit last week. He played some guard when Chance went out and also played some tight end for us. He is the next man up in the interior. He is that player for us. We have a tremendous amount of confidence in him. He has done some really positive things already since he has been playing. We feel really confident that he will play well in taking up the slack there. We feel really good about getting the chance of getting Colby Pursell back this week too. He has been out for a while. That is still in progress. We will see. We do think that Kanan is back healthier than he has been and played with that type of production last week. We hope he continues to build that going into this week.”

On The Status Of Kary Kutsch and Akil Jones
“We are working through both of those things in terms of Covid-19. I am not the medical expert on the timeline there. Akil (who missed the Arizona game to be at the birth of his son) has a chance to play for us this week given his time frame. As with Kary, he was a Covid victim. He actually was positive. He is right on the cusp of when we play the game. I am not sure yet. We will let our medical professionals tell us what the CDC guidelines are. We will know more about that towards the end of the week.”

On Building Depth On The Lines
“That is the one position, on both O-line and D-line, that gets beat up every snap of a game and practice. They have probably a higher degree of probability of getting injured. I think that the depth we built early was really positive on both sides. That depth needs to continue to get better. You see the depth on defense where some guys are playing. Janaz Jordan is now playing and playing well. Also, Na’im Rodman, and those guys offensively we have already talked about, have come in with some injury and have had to play and play well. We are continuing to bring the depth along. The best thing for gaining that expertise for them to do things in a positive way is to get them some game experience. That is what we have been able to do this season with some of the guys that probably weren’t slated to play and now are playing. They are answering the call and doing a good job.”

On Being One Of Three Sports In The Athletic Department Playing
“There are a lot of sports that are chomping at the bit right now and wish they were doing something, particularly the sports that are normally fall sports and were suspended until the spring. We are the three sports (Men’s and Women’s basketball) that are going right now. It does bring some excitement at least in our department with some positive momentum before those sports actually start up this spring. It is a good thing. We are carrying the load, so to speak, to help this team and this program through athletics in general. We are trying to get some positive momentum going in the spring. I know basketball still has a ways to go. We are almost winding down. We are in the month of December. There are a lot of things that are at stake which are really good things. There is definitely a positive impression in the department right now.”

On If We Have Seen The Best Of RB Jarek Broussard
“I am telling you, you haven’t. He is probably 95-percent and he has been that way all of camp. I have asked him many times about the (knee) brace, in serious fashion and in joking fashion. He is quite comfortable wearing it. I am not going to complain because he has been very productive. He is still doing the things that are allowing him to be successful to get the yards. I can’t wait for him to end up leaving that (brace) in the garage or the dorm room or wherever that is and say, “I am ready to go.” He has comfort in wearing that thing. As long as he can continue to do what he is doing, he can put two new braces on. I don’t care. As long as he can continue to do what he is doing I will never complain, as long as he is being productive.

On Coaching A Covid-19 Season
“It is hard to get a read on the season just because Covid is always something I am concerned about first thing in the morning, every day. Literally every, single day. It is just another layer that could hurt preparation given what those testing results come out to be each and every day. Everybody is dealing with that. It is a challenging year. I have been very impressed with our players and how they have handled it. They have done everything we have asked, everything. That is the reason we have been successful from a health standpoint, with Covid, and what we have been preaching as a foundation for the program. It has definitely been challenging. There is no question. I think we will all be remembering this year. It has been a very unique year that has been unprecedented. No one can really recall having to do what we have been doing to play football this year. I have been very impressed with how resilient the team has been. It has been paying off because of their resiliency.”

On USC
“The week, in terms of preparation, was very good. We were ready for that opponent and playing. We had a good week of practice. I guess in my mindset, I can’t really go with the what-ifs and ‘Oh man, this really hurt us”, or anything like that. We are trying to prove to each other what type of program we are. We are getting some notice from that just with our play. We are still on task even though there has been a little bit of a changeup. Our method is still to take advantage of the things that we can control. If it works out with us having success this week, and obviously (USC) has a big matchup with their cross-town rival. Anything can happen. We are going to have to take care of the things that we have. Take care of our own backyards and go through all the dust that settles and the things that come from that. We have to live with whatever happens, whether we get a chance to get in or not. It does still come down to this week and not really looking forward to anything beyond this week. I know you guys will ask our players about whatifs and all of that stuff and I have been telling them that all of that stuff doesn’t matter right now. It really doesn’t. We have no control over that but we can control how well we play and control whether we are playing prepared and with the right mindset. Those are the things that I’m preaching day in and day out.”

On Fixing Issues In The Passing Game
“We are working on those things currently and actually every week. We are trying to eliminate a lot of those issues. I do believe our passing game is a really good passing game. I think it has been a little bit off these last couple of weeks. As you know, Sam (Noyer) had a couple of mistakes in the game last week that he hasn’t made. It is just really refocusing our attention on the things that got us through those first couple of games and really harping on doing great execution in practice and simulating it the best we can like it is a game setting. The passing game is usually about rhythm, timing, being in the right displacement, reading coverages and the conversions that coverages make you do, and all of those things. It is not just the quarterback. It is the receivers, tight ends, and backs. It is protection. It is a lot of things. We are working on those things and working on being able to get to where it was in the first couple weeks of the year. I know that this week, and the players know it, we have to make sure we have really good balance. We started the season that way. We were probably a little bit heavy on the run side of the ball the last two games. The goal is to get the energy back in our passing game.

“Pac-12’s Colorado conundrum”: An undefeated CU could miss title game, but a 4-2 Oregon could qualify

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 is on the verge of a Colorado conundrum.

It would be a good conundrum to have — the result of unexpected success and a competitive division race.

Nor is it guaranteed to unfold. But it could become quite real over the course of 24 hours this weekend.

If Colorado beats Utah on Friday, the Buffaloes would finish with an undefeated conference record in the portion of the regular season that determines the Pac-12 division winners.

But if USC beats UCLA on Saturday, the Buffaloes would have no chance to actually win their division.

They would be unbeaten, boxed out, and victims of circumstances beyond their control.

Colorado would be 4-0 in conference play and tied with the Trojans (5-0) based on the process for determining the division champions.

In that scenario …

— The first tiebreaker, head-to-head result, would not apply because of the canceled Nov. 28 matchup in the Coliseum.

(USC didn’t have enough eligible players at a specific position group.)

— The second tiebreaker is division record.

The Trojans would be 4-0 against teams in the South; the Buffaloes would be 3-0.

The difference:

Colorado had two games canceled — both because of COVID issues with their opponents (USC and ASU) — while the Trojans only had one game wiped out: The head-to-head against Colorado.

USC would be declared the division winner and advance to the conference championship.

The Buffaloes would be left to stew.

(The teams would also tie for the division if both lose this weekend.)

But the unfortunate optics wouldn’t end there for the conference, because the North champion would have at least one loss.

USC’s opponent on Dec. 18 would be either 4-1 Washington or 4-2 Oregon.

Yep, undefeated Colorado could be sitting home while two-loss Oregon plays for the title.

“They need to reconsider that,” said Rick Neuheisel, a former Pac-12 coach (Colorado, UCLA and Washington) who works as an analyst for CBS Sports.

“If Washington’s 4-1, then let them play. It wouldn’t be fair to keep a one-loss team out. But if the team from the North doesn’t have one loss, then to me, they should let Colorado play for it.”

Continue reading story here

Landman/Wells duo putting up impressive numbers

From the Daily Camera … When Arizona’s offense took possession with 4 minutes, 51 seconds to play in the third quarter on Saturday night, Colorado’s Nate Landman wasn’t on the field.

Colorado held an eight-point lead and Arizona was threatening to slice into that deficit. With Landman in the medical tent, Arizona hit plays for 12, 19, 16 and 33 yards to move to the CU 5-yard line.

Suddenly, during a stoppage in play, Landman emerged from the tent, near the South end of the field and sprinted toward the north end zone. He got there just in time for the next play, when Arizona had first-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Arizona handed off to running back Gary Brightwell and he was quickly hit by Landman and Carson Wells for a 1-yard loss.

On the next play, the Buffs’ Nigel Bethel Jr. picked off an Arizona pass to end the threat, and CU went on to win the game, 24-13.

While that stop wasn’t credited only to Landman, his presence made a difference – and it was fitting that on his first play of the drive, he teamed with Wells for a big play.

It would be difficult to find a pair of defenders in the Pac-12 playing better than Landman and Wells.

“He’s my roommate,” Wells said. “We’ve been together for like two years. Obviously when we went home (during the COVID-19 quarantine period in the summer), I worked out with my dad, but once we got back, we would do the workouts with (CU strength and conditioning coach) Drew (Wilson) and we had a field across from our house, so we would go and do extra work out there and I feel that’s really paying off.”

That’s an understatement.

Landman and Wells combined for 27 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss and Arizona. Landman finished with 16 tackles, one sack and 3.5 tackles for loss. Wells had a career-high 11 tackles, along with four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 6th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk’s Takeaways from Arizona game

From CUBuffs.com … Now we know.

Heading into Saturday night’s game at Arizona, the Colorado Buffaloes had yet to answer a rather important question about their mental makeup.

Through no fault of their own, the Buffs had not been forced to come back from any serious deficit while winning their first three games. In fact, they had trailed in those games for a grand total of three minutes and change — and then, only by three points after Stanford scored first in their mid-November matchup.

But while it’s definitely not the way CU head coach Karl Dorrell envisioned the game unfolding, Saturday’s contest gave us a very good idea of how the Buffs will react in the face of adversity.

Answer: With flying colors.

Down 13-0 early in the second quarter to the Wildcats, the Buffs assessed the situation, engaged in some “problem solving” on the sidelines and then proceeded to fairly dominate the Wildcats the rest of the evening en route to a 24-13 victory.

Now, the 21st-ranked Buffs (4-0 overall, 3-0 Pac-12) will spend a short week preparing for Friday night’s home encounter with Utah (7:30 p.m., FS1).

What did we learn from Saturday’s win?

1. Panic isn’t part of the plan. Give Dorrell full credit for this. His calm, measured and laser-focused demeanor has no doubt permeated throughout the team. Even after the Buffs struggled early on both sides of the ball, Dorrell said he never saw that “look” in his players’ eyes that would suggest panic or loss of confidence.

“I didn’t sense that at all,” Dorrell said. “It was more problem solving, trying to find answers and solutions as we’re on the sideline, making adjustments.”

That is exactly what the Buffs did, figuring out what they needed to do to move the ball on offense, as well as making some minor changes to reduce explosive plays against the defense.

The result was the type of confidence-building effort that will pay dividends not only this year, but in years to come. Every player in a Buffs uniform now knows it’s possible to take a big punch early and then come back — and they will be able to draw upon that experience in the future.

Continue reading story here

Colorado opens as a 3.0-point favorite over Utah

From VegasInsider.com

Pac-12 odds … 

Friday

— Arizona State – an 8.0-point favorite on the road over Arizona … 5:00 p.m., MT, ESPN (interesting that the CU line over Arizona on the road last weekend started at 3.5, but rose to 8.0 by kickoff. Vegas seems to like ASU a great deal more than they liked CU)

— Utah – a 3.0-point underdog on the road at No. 21 Colorado … 7:30 p.m., MT, FS1

Saturday 

— Washington – a 7.0-point underdog on the road at Oregon … 2:00 p.m., MT, Fox

— No. 16 USC – a 2.0-point favorite on the road at UCLA … 5:30 p.m., MT, ABC

— California – a 1.0-point favorite on the road at Washington State … 8:30 p.m., MT, either ESPN or FS1

— Stanford – a 4.0-point favorite on the road at Oregon State … 8:30 p.m., MT, either ESPN or FS1

Dorrell on Jarek Broussard: “I don’t think any of us are surprised” 

From CUBuffs.com … Perhaps the only people who aren’t startled at the incredible breakout season of Colorado running back Jarek Broussard are the people who matter most.

That would be the folks who have been watching him practice since the day the Buffaloes opened fall camp.

“I don’t think any of us are surprised,” CU coach Karl Dorrell said after Broussard rushed for 301 yards on 35 carries in CU’s 24-13 win over Arizona on Saturday. “He was doing the same type of thing during training camp.”

But there’s also no doubt Broussard is also causing folks around the nation to do a double take when they see his statistics.

Saturday, the redshirt sophomore became the first running back in CU history to rush for at least 100 yards in his first four games, and became only the fourth CU back in Buffs annals to hit the 300-yard mark. He had runs of 75, 59 and 72 yards, two of which set up touchdowns in the second quarter and the third putting the Buffs in position for the game-clinching field goal late in the fourth.

All this from a back who just a few months ago was not considered more than an afterthought on CU’s depth chart because of knee injuries that allowed him to dress (but not play) in his first two years in Boulder.

Dorrell joked that once Broussard is able to shed the knee brace he still wears, he’ll pick up more yards and a few more touchdowns. Broussard had three scores in CU’s first win of the year over UCLA, but Saturday came up short on all three long runs.

“He’s a dynamite player,” Dorrell said. “I’m just so excited for him. He’s just doing the things that he’s natural at doing. He has great vision, he knows seams, he hits it, he makes the most of his opportunities.”

Continue reading story here

Buff defense posts second consecutive (second half) shut out

From CUBuffs.com … A week ago, Colorado’s defense gave up just a field goal in a 20-10 win over San Diego State, with the Aztecs’ only touchdown coming on an interception return.

Saturday, the defense struggled early, giving up 13 points in the first 17 minutes — but then blanked the Wildcat the rest of the way. Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers‘ crew came up with two huge red zone stops in the fourth quarter, getting an interception in the end zone on one Arizona drive, then stopping the Wildcats on four straight plays after UA had gained a first-and-goal at the CU 7-yard line.

“Our defense did a nice job of getting themselves back in control,” Dorrell said. “(Arizona) had a couple great opportunities to put points on the board and they went for a couple fourth-down situations and the defense came up big. They were inside the 5-yard line and we had a tackle for loss play and we created a huge play on fourth and 5.”

Linebacker Nate Landman had the tackle for loss, stuffing Arizona’s Gary Brightwell 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage on third down. Mekhi Blackmon then had the big pass breakup in the end zone on fourth down.

After allowing 51 points in the second half in the first two games, CU had held opponents scoreless in the second half the last two games.

Continue reading story here

21 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Utah Week”

  1. Is there a particular reason why – with one game left in the regular season and presumably a bowl game thereafter – Tyler Lytle put his name into the transfer portal now as opposed to at the end of the season?

    1. The only reason I can think of was his frustration in being put in for Noyer, and then being taken out again when Noyer returned from the locker room.
      I’m sure he wanted to stay in, and, considering that the drive ended in a fourth down stop (and subsequent 66-yard TD run which put the game out of reach), that Lytle was upset that he wasn’t given the chance to prove himself.
      Just speculation on my part. There is no logistical reason for him to do this now – no eligibility lost this season.
      He’ll probably regret the hasty decision … other potential teams won’t like the look of a player (especially a QB) who quits when he doesn’t get to play.

      1. I get the feeling he has been on the edge of pulling the portal trigger since Noyer was named the starter. I think KD knew this by his redundant statements to the public that Tyler would get his chance to play. When Noyer had early success that probably increased Tyler’s feeling of doom. When Noyer slipped into some sub par play and Tyler was still only given a couple of token plays and no real chance to show his stuff that had to be the last straw. There may have been a number of other things that influenced this decision like the short season which made Tyler feel like even if Noyer struggled he still wouldn’t get much of a chance.
        It probably was a petulant and irrational decision but obviously his morale is shot right now and he certainly wont be much help to the team……unless the coaches can talk him out of it like they did Noyer….which I doubt

  2. Does anyone know which coach makes the decision to yank Lytle or let him continue to play? He finally gets another chance. He is doing well. Then yanked after a couple of plays for Noyer, who was compromised by a minor injury and is starting to look like a 2 game flash in the pan.

  3. Thinking of ‘watershed’…my slightly altered POV.
    I think Utah is the watershed game, just like I thought OK St. in the Alamo was. While we have struggled to be nationally relevant in the past couple of decades(!) the times we have gotten there I feel we haven’t been able to take that next step and seize the oppty.
    When the team is going well, everyone is patting them on the back, when they’ve already accomplished ‘something’…can we refocus and come out and win big/tough games? That 2016 team played it two worst games, in the last two of the year (Pac12Champ/Bowl).
    So a bit concerned from the ‘intangibles’ perspective leading into this game. Also their FR RB scares me a lot.

  4. Lest we forget the Utes were ranked
    22 in the the preseason rankings
    and
    20 in the coaches poll.

    So the Buffs must be afraid eh?

    Out of the top 25 from the Preseason poll
    VT
    Wisconsin
    Utah
    UCF
    Penn State
    Minnesota
    Texas
    LSU
    Oregon
    Auburn
    Michigan

    Nice Buffs

  5. Colorado on the national stage at 10 mt! Joe Klatt calling the game so he will actually know all of the players names. So psyched! Nervous but psyched. If we show well here this could be a nice way to showcase the turn around by the buffs under there new coach of the year. Recruits pay attention! Also might make an argument for a USC / CU match up if both win out.

  6. It being Wednesday if the Utes were going to be in Boulder for a Friday night game I’m guessing flights, maybe a charter can be moved, but the hotel, food & all for that many people took some doing & now they either have to arrive & wait or change travel plans?

    It’s going to be a cold one too, too bad it’s not USC in the cold! The Utes are used to it though.

  7. I’m unfortunately a Dish Network subscriber and they’re feuding with Fox and have dropped it. Anyone know if Locast will carry the game this Saturday?

    1. This was posted on one of the message boards …
      There’s an app called “Locast” that works like a champ AND it’s free AND it’s already on your Dish apps. Gets you all the locals, including Fox. I was on board last week and it worked flawlessly for me.

  8. Off topic but pertinent to a few who post in here is that Herb Kauvar passed away. I probably spent more waking hours in the Sink than I did in class or my room at the boarding house on Pleasant Street. Some how I did manage to get a degree. It was a grimy little hole back then but the atmosphere was such that it seemed to reduce the motivation to put on airs or pretentions and instead promoted camaraderie.

  9. USC plays their game 2 hours before the Buffs, the coaches should make sure the players don’t see the score if USC is winning. Can they take their phones? Not really, many of them are listening to music on the phones during warm ups.

    But if UCLA happens to be leading at the beginning of the Buffs game, wouldn’t that be more motivation for them?

    Simple things like that & trying to keep em focus is what Dorrell is dealing with… among everything else. Keep up the good work/fight KD & team.

    1. Won’t be a problem – our game is on Friday night; USC plays UCLA on Saturday night.
      All of the CU coaches and players will be home Saturday, watching both the Oregon/Washington and USC/UCLA games unfold …

  10. The passing game has definitely faded.
    Ever since KD came back.
    Coincidence?

    The rhythm seems to have disappeared.

    Anyway Go Buffs.

    1. Yo VK,
      You’re right on there. Seems OCDC is hell-bent on getting KD touches instead of letting him “join” what was working. Those forced touches are easier defend because opposing coordinators KNOW they have to keep close tabs on KD whenever he is on the field. Let’s see if OCDC can use that as an advantage and decoy going forward. A couple of pump fakes toward KD, that then turn into long plays to someone else would quickly help get KD out of intensive lock-down coverage, and in the long run give him more and better opportunities.

      Mark / Boulderdevil

  11. I like HCKD’s focus. None of the talk about conference championship means anything if Buffs don’t take care of Utah which has mostly owned CU in the PAC 12. Whittingham is a very good, tough minded coach. Record aside, this could easily be the Buffs toughest game of the year and I see the possibility of an upset. No one should look past the Utes.

  12. The odds makers are giving UCLA a lot credit for their recent play, only 2 points, but the Rosebowl is hardly a road game for USC, about the same as the Buffs playing CSU at Mile High. The way they are playing tonight, USC is looking good.

    UCLA will give USC their all, guys on both teams know each other & it’s a big game for them & the Buffs best chance at USC falling behind them, go UCLA.

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