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Colorado Daily – USC Week

October 2nd – Game Day

… CU in a few minutes … 

Trojans scouting report – Players to Watch

From the Daily Camera

Head coach: Donte Williams, 1st season (interim, 1-1)

2021 Record: 2-2, 1-2 Pac-12

Last week: Lost at home to Oregon State, 45-27

5 Players to Watch

  • RB Keaontay Ingram, Sr.: Leads the Trojans in rushing with 225 yards and three touchdowns on 46 carries.
  • OLB Drake Jackson, Jr.: One of the best defenders in the Pac-12, he’s recorded 13 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one interception this season.
  • WR Drake London, Jr.: Leads the country in receptions (39) and receiving yards (540) and he’s scored three touchdowns.
  • QB Kedon Slovis, Jr.: Shaky season for him so far, but he’s completed 64.3 percent of his passes (83-of-129) for 842 yards, 4 TD and 4 INT. In 2019, he threw for 406 yards and four TD in a win against the Buffs.
  • DL Tuli Tuipulotu, So.: Leads the Trojans with 21 tackles this season. He has also had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.

USC offense: The Trojans are scoring 32.5 points per game but have been held under 30 in both losses. Quarterback Kedon Slovis, who was first-team All-Pac-12 last year, has been up and down this year, but he does have one of the best receivers in the country in Drake London. The search for a reliable second option is ongoing, however. Keaontay Ingram and Vavae Malepeai are both talented, experienced backs, but the Trojans rank 108th nationally in rushing. “I think they have a really explosive offense,” CU linebacker Jack Lamb said. “They’re gonna pass first, but they’re gonna try to open up that run game with the pass, so just being able to plug everything up and be sound (is important).”

USC defense: Over the last three weeks, the Trojans have struggled, giving up 101 points, including at least 42 in two of the three games. The Trojans rank 86th in pass efficiency defense and 84th against the run. They’ve also generated a Pac-12-worst three sacks. The run defense has been a point of emphasis. “A lot of it comes from alignments,” interim head coach Donte Williams said. “It’s not like guys were getting blown 10 yards off the ball. It was some alignment issues, some gap fit issues and (opponents) did a good job of building gaps. We made sure we addressed those things and made sure we simplified the game plan, so multiple guys can play, multiple guys can play fast and there’s no hesitation.”

USC special teams: Kicker Parker Lewis is 6-for-6 on field goals this season and 15-for-19 in his career. He’s also perfect (35-for-35) on extra points in his career. Punter Ben Griffiths ranks 17th nationally in average (46.3) after posting a 46.4 average a year ago. The Trojans haven’t had a lot of return opportunities, but Gary Bryant Jr. averaged 25.0 yards on kickoff returns and 10.5 yards on punt returns.

USC keys to victory

Start fast, stay fast: Given CU’s struggles, USC can get a mental edge with an early lead and staying focused on the task all afternoon.

Stop the run: The Trojans’ run defense has struggled this season, especially last week when Oregon State put up 322 yards on the ground. CU’s strength on offense is the run, so the Trojans could look to stop that first.

Avoid mistakes: USC is tied for 10th in the Pac-12 with nine turnovers on offense and they rank 10th with 7.3 penalties per game. Playing a relatively clean football game will be important.

Read full story here

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October 1st

… CU in a few minutes … 

Offensive tackle Frank Fillip: “If nothing else we’ll just run the ball every play”

From the Daily Camera … Following a 30-0 loss to Minnesota on Sept. 18, Colorado’s offensive linemen got together for a meeting.

“We said, ‘This is never gonna happen again. It’s not our standard. It’s not what we’re gonna do,’” right tackle Frank Fillip said.

One of the leaders of a veteran offensive line, Fillip said that the group is trying to take more ownership of the struggles on offense as the Buffaloes (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) look to snap a three-game losing streak. CU hosts Southern California (2-2, 1-2) on Saturday at Folsom Field (Noon, TV: Pac-12 Network).

“We decided to put it on our back like, ‘Look if nothing else we’ll just run the ball every play and we’ll take all responsibility for that,’” Fillip said. “That’s kind of our mindset is that we want to take as much responsibility as we can as the offensive line since we’re in charge of blocking and protecting everybody. It’s just kind of how we feel.”

CU’s offense had a dismal performance against Minnesota, producing only 63 total yards and finishing with minus-19 rushing yards. Last week in a 35-13 loss at Arizona State, the Buffs didn’t have great numbers but finished with 250 total yards and 183 on the ground.

“As a unit, yes, I did feel better about it,” Fillip said. “We all came into the Arizona State week and we worked really, really hard, pushed each other. Obviously, it didn’t turn out like we wanted it to, but it was still an improvement and that’s what we’re trying to do is improve every single week.”

Continue reading story here

Neill Woelk’s Keys to the Game

From CUBuffs.com … One team is giving up 27 points and 391 yards per game; the other is averaging just 13.8 points and 239 yards per game.

One team yielded 45 points last week; the other scored 13.

Something’s gotta give … right?

The Colorado Buffaloes (1-3 overall, 0-1 Pac-12) hope so, and they would love to see the “giving” go in their direction Saturday when they play host to USC (2-2, 1-2) in a noon game at Folsom Field.

The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks with KOA carrying the radio broadcast.

Colorado, of course, is the team that has been hounded by offensive struggles this season. CU has scored more than one touchdown in a game just once, an opening 35-7 win over Northern Colorado, and while the run game has been relatively consistent (154 yards per game), the passing attack has surpassed the 100-yard mark only once (102 yards vs. UNC).

But the Trojans are experiencing their own set of woes, just on the other side of the ball. USC gave up 42 points in Week 2 in a loss to Stanford, then watched Oregon State smack its defense around to the tune of 45 points in another loss last weekend.

On the flip side, CU’s defense has been respectable, keeping the Buffs within striking range for the majority of every game.

But the Trojans’ offense has been productive (albeit a little careless with the ball). USC has scored at least 27 points in every contest, with a passing game that is averaging more than 300 yards per game.

So what do the Buffaloes need to do this weekend to get the scales to tilt in their favor?

Our weekly Fast Five:

1. Force some turnovers. One way to provide a jump-start for Colorado’s offense would be to give them possession deep in the opponent’s territory. Those kinds of momentum switches can provide an immediate boost.

But that’s one thing the Buffs’ defense hasn’t been able to do recently. While the overall effort has been respectable, the defense hasn’t produced a takeaway in the last two weeks.

That has to change, and the Trojans have the potential to offer the perfect opportunity. While QB Kedon Slovis has thrown for 842 yards and four touchdowns in basically three games (he missed most of one game with an injury), he’s also thrown four interceptions — including three last week against the Beavers. USC has also fumbled the ball nine times and lost three.

That means the Buffs will likely have their opportunities. They just have to take advantage when opportunity knocks.

Continue reading story here

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September 30th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Carson Wells hoping to regain 2020 form: “I’ve still got to make those plays”

From the Daily Camera … Carson Wells was somewhat of a revelation during the shortened 2020 season

Wells already had established himself as a key cog on the Colorado defense, but Wells’ sudden jump to stardom last year mirrored the sudden rise of a Buffaloes team that finished 4-2. By the end of the season, Wells had posted 14 tackles for loss, averaging an FBS-best 2.7 per game. Wells was in a class by himself — no other player at the FBS level even averaged two per game.

However, like the Buffs themselves, it has been a different story for Wells so far this season. While Wells has put together solid efforts through CU’s 1-3 start, those big plays behind the line of scrimmage have been more difficult to find, as he takes a total of just two tackles for loss into Saturday’s home date against USC (noon, Pac-12 Networks).

Asked if opposing defenses are more cognizant of staying away from him, or if he’s getting increased attention from opposing blockers, or if big plays simply are harder to come by for a defense that at times has labored through heavy minutes on the field, Wells indicated it was none of the above.

“Just play better,” Wells said. “Even if they do make those adjustments, I’ve still got to make those plays. It can be frustrating at times, knowing I should make those plays but I haven’t been able to. I’ve just got to stay focused and know my time will come.

“Like (defensive coordinator Chris) Wilson has said, we’ll play like 90 percent of the plays well, then we’ll bust on some dumb stuff,” Wells said.

Continue reading story here

NLRB: Athletes at private institutions (including USC and Stanford) are employees who can unionize

… The last one who still believes that collegiate athletics can still be conducted on a level playing field: Please turn off the light on your way out … 

From CBS Sports … College athletes at private institutions should be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act, opening the door for athletes to unionize with protections from the National Labor Relations Board, the organization’s general counsel said Wednesday in a memo.

The position taken by top NLRB attorney Jennifer Abruzzo could dramatically change the relationship between college athletes at private institutions and their universities as athletes will be subject to labor protections even if they do not form a collective bargaining unit.

“In short, GC 17-01 concludes, and this memo reiterates, that the scholarship football players at issue in Northwestern University clearly satisfy the broad Section 2(3) definition of employee and the common-law test. Therefore, those football players, and other similarly situated Players at Academic Institutions, should be protected by Section 7 when they act concertedly to speak out about their terms and conditions of employment, or to self-organize, regardless of whether the Board ultimately certifies a bargaining unit.”

The NLRB guidance replaces a decision handed down in 2015 when a group of Northwestern football players attempted to unionize. At that time, the board decided not to rule on whether players at large were allowed to organize, choosing not to offer guidance on whether athletes should be classified as “employees”.

“As explained in GC 17-01, although the Board in Northwestern University declined to exercise jurisdiction over scholarship football players at that university, nothing in that decision precludes the finding that scholarship football players at private colleges and universities, or other similarly situated Players at Academic Institutions, are employees under the Act. […] The definition of “employee” in Section 2(3) of the NLRA is broadly defined to include “any employee,” subject to only a few, enumerated exceptions. Those exceptions do not include university employees, football players.”

Not only will such athletes be considered employees, Abruzzo says the NLRB will consider pursuing “misclassification violations” when universities attempt to cast them in another light, such as by using the term “student-athlete” to not provide proper protections.

Mason Crosby game-winning field goal leads Buff NFL highlights

From CUBuffs.com … Week three saw two big performances from former Colorado Buffaloes in the NFL, highlighted by Mason Crosby being the final player to touch a football for the week with his 51-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to give the Green Bay Packers a thrilling 30-28 win over San Francisco on Monday Night Football.

Crosby was 3-of-3 on field goals and 3-of-3 on PATs and has now made 22 consecutive field goals dating back to the 2019 season.

The other big performance was Isaiah Oliver, who had a standout performance in the Atlanta Falcon’s 17-14 win over the New York Giants.  Along with two tackles, two pass breakups and a quarterback hit, his biggest play was when he stripped Evan Engram, picking up a forced fumble and fumble recovery and returned the ball to the Giants 36-yard line.

Here is what happened with all other former CU Buffs across the NFL in week three.

Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Cincinnati Bengals:
Awuzie recorded one solo tackle in the Bengals stunning 24-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. Has nine tackles on the year with three pass deflections.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Houston Texans:
Lindsay had seven carries for five yards in the Texans 24-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Lindsay has 32 rushing yards and 22 receiving yards in the first three weeks of the season. In those three games he has scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.

Laviska Shenault Jr. WR, Jacksonville Jaguars:
Shenault had four catches for 48 yards in the Jaguars 31-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He returned after leaving last week’s game with a shoulder injury. He has 13 catches for 95 yards on the season.

Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore Ravens:
Smith returned from an ankle injury for season debut in the Ravens 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions where had one solo tackle and a pass breakup.

Nate Solder, OT, New York Giants:
Solder played 100% of offensive snaps in back to back weeks for the Giants in their 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Josh Tupou, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Tupou recorded one tackle and played in 29% of the Bengals defensive snaps in their 24-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Davion Taylor did not play for the Eagles and Ahkello Witherspoon was not active for the week.  David Bahtairi (Packers, PUP list), Ken Crawley (Saints, IR), and Daniel Munyer (Titans, IR) are all nursing injuries early in the season while Kabion Ento (Packers), Arlington Hambright (Bears), Steven Montez (Lions), Will Sherman (Patriots) and Juwann Winfree (Packers) remain on their respective teams practice squad.

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September 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

**Video: OC Darrin Chiaverini speaks to the struggles of the CU offense**

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation

 

Buffs hoping to not have to rely on penalties to stop long punt returns

From the Daily Camera … So far this season, Colorado’s Josh Watts has been one of the best punters in the country.

The Buffaloes’ punt coverage unit, however, needs some work.

Watts ranks ninth nationally with 48.54 yards per punt, and 10 of his 24 kicks have traveled at least 50 yards. Last year, he averaged 41.34 yards, with five of 35 punts going at least 50 yards.

While Watts has improved, there are only five teams in the country that have given up more punt return yards than the Buffs (135). CU ranks 88th in opponent punt return average, at 9.64 yards per return.

“We have to get better at getting off of our assignments with these guys that try to hold us up and get downfield,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said.

… Last weekend, Arizona State’s D.J. Taylor had 41 yards on four punt returns but also had two long returns – of about 28 and 30 yards – negated because of holding penalties.

CU hasn’t allowed an opponent to break a big return, but the Buffs have given up six of at least 12 yards.

Read full story here

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September 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU on Brendon Lewis: Accentuate the Positive

From the Daily Camera … The progress might be slower than hoped, but Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell is focusing on the signs of growth with freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis.

Lewis has struggled as a passer, completing 52.1% of his passes (38-of-73) for 313 yards and one touchdown for the Buffs this season. Although Lewis threw for just 67 yards in Saturday’s 35-13 loss at Arizona State, Dorrell saw some growth.

“Brendon a couple times in the pocket stayed in there against some heavy pressure on third down, and hit a couple of third down conversions, which is something that he’s improved on,” Dorrell said Monday during his weekly press conference. “We’re scrutinizing every single detail as you can imagine of developing his progression week after week, so we’re not letting any bad habits enter into the equation. We’re trying to eliminate the bad and to build on the things that require for him to be successful.”

In the first quarter, Lewis delivered a 10-yard pass to Dimitri Stanley on a third-and-8 play. On another play, Lewis stayed in the pocket and threw the ball while drawing a roughing the passer penalty that moved the sticks. He had another third down throw in the third quarter that was on target but dropped.

“He took it on the chin and sometimes learning as a quarterback to deliver an accurate pass knowing that you’re going to get hit on the chin, that’s part of the job so to speak,” Dorrell said.

Continue reading story here

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September 27th

… CU in a few minutes …

**Video – Karl Dorrell Press Conference / Mustafa Johnson **

Mustafa Johnson grateful for a chance: “It felt really good, really nice to be in the pads, so I’m excited”

From the Daily Camera … When Mustafa Johnson’s gamble to enter his name in the NFL draft pool in January didn’t pan out, he wasn’t sure what to do next.

Then, this summer, he got a call from Colorado defensive coordinator Chris Wilson.

“They saw I was struggling, and they were like, ‘We need to help our fellow Buff,’” Johnson said. “Coach reached out to me and was like, ‘Would you be interested in coming back?’”

After a lengthy waiver process and biding his time to become eligible again, Johnson is back. Granted an NCAA waiver late last month, the 6-foot-2, 290-pound senior defensive lineman is set to make his season debut with the Buffs (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) on Saturday against Southern California (2-2, 1-2) at Folsom Field.

“It’s been really good and exciting,” he said of getting back to CU. “It was weird staying out, not doing actual football, contact, stuff like that. So, getting back into that groove, it felt really good, really nice to be in the pads, so I’m excited.”

Johnson was named second-team All-Pac-12 by coaches and media in 2020. He recorded 21 tackles, two sacks and six tackles for loss during the five-game regular season for the Buffs while adding three tackles and a sack against Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

“He gives us a veteran presence in the defensive front,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “He’s excited to play. Obviously, he feels like it was a blessing on his part to get another opportunity to play. I think he’ll make the most of it. But he’ll be a good veteran piece for us defensively that I think will really help us solidify what we need to do.”

Continue reading story here

Buffs try to remain optimistic: “We’re not going to just lay down. We’re gonna keep fighting”

From the Daily Camera … Since a 4-0 start, Karl Dorrell and the Buffs are 1-5. Broussard has just 188 rushing yards in four games this season and hasn’t hit the 100-yard mark since the last FBS win in Tucson (in fact, he has 94 yards in the last three games combined). And, Sam Noyer, whom the Buffs could desperately use right now, is riding the bench at Oregon State.

Despite the rough road they’ve traveled so far this season, the Buffs are trying to remain positive as the calendar flips to October this week.

“Losing is always tough, but especially being the competitors that we are,” safety Mark Perry said. “That’s what drives us being competitors. We’re not just gonna lay down. We’re gonna keep fighting. We’re gonna keep scratching and clawing to get out of this. The only people that we can look at is the people in that building, and we’re the ones that have to fix it and we’ve got to deal with it.”

Running back Alex Fontenot, who rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown against ASU, said the Buffs have no choice but the keep working through the disappointment.

“We’ve just got to get back to work next week and on to the next weekend and just don’t dwell on this,” he said. “It’s never hard to stay positive because there’s always a new opponent, new people and stuff (to work on). So it’s really just going into next week with a clear mindset and just going and doing our thing.”

The Buffs at least came away from Tempe feeling a bit better about their offense. After 24 consecutive possessions and eight consecutive quarters without a point, CU scored three times against the Sun Devils and moved the ball better than they had since the opener against Northern Colorado.

Dorrell, while maybe not as defiant as he was after the A&M game, still has a measure of optimism.

“I think we’re pretty close,” he said. “I don’t think we’re that far away. I just told them that in the locker room. We just have to play smarter. We’ve got to make sure we’re locked in on what we need to do. I told those guys we’ve made some mistakes, they’ve got to own up to their mistakes and get better so those things don’t happen again.

“We’re all kind of going through what I call trial by fire right now and we’ll come out of it OK. If we keep our head and our attitude the way it should be we’ll come out of this OK.”

Read full story here

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September 26th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk’s Takeaways – Dorrell: “We have to be big men and grow up and get some things fixed in a hurry”

From CUBuffs.com … Nobody has to remind Colorado coach Karl Dorrell that a sense of urgency is required within the Buffaloes’ program.

Now toting a three-game losing streak with another critical Pac-12 South matchup directly ahead, the Buffs (1-3 overall, 0-1 Pac-12) must find a way to ramp up their progress and production in time for Saturday’s noon matchup with Southern California (1-2, 2-2) at Folsom Field (Pac-12 Networks).

The fact that the Buffs have an all-time 0-14 record against the Trojans only increases the importance of producing rapid improvement.

“We have to be big men and grow up and get some things fixed in a hurry,” Dorrell said after Saturday night’s 35-13 loss at Arizona State. “I think we’re close. I don’t think we’re that far away.”

The Buffs did display week-to-week improvement against the Sun Devils, even if the end result was another loss. In the wake of a dreadful offensive performance in a 30-0 loss to Minnesota, Colorado’s offensive numbers took a step forward at ASU, most notably with a 183-yard effort on the ground.

But it clearly wasn’t enough, especially when matched against a high-powered ASU offense. If CU is indeed going to still insert itself into the conversation as a division contender — or even a bowl game contender — the Buffs have to correct a number of issues quickly.

Our takeaways after Week 4:

1. Complementary football is critical. This means every phase of the game working together to produce more opportunities for success.

Complementary football is field position, possession time, big plays on both sides of the ball, quick defensive stops and long offensive drives with the run game setting the table for the pass game. Complementary football also requires excellent special teams play — kicking, punting and coverage teams.

Perfect example: Saturday night, ASU gained 33 yards on its first drive before punting from its own 47. The Sun Devils then held CU to minus-7 yards on its first possession to force a punt, and Arizona State took possession at the CU 45. That was essentially a gain of 8 yards for the offense from its previous possession, plus a fresh set of downs.

Six plays and one critical penalty later, ASU scored. Defense and special teams created good field position and the offense took advantage.

Colorado, meanwhile, had exactly one drive start past its own 25-yard line all night long. Arizona State had five series begin past its own 25, and scored a touchdown on every one of those possessions.

Colorado has played well in every phase at different junctures of the season. But the Buffs haven’t been able to mesh those moments together for consistent stretches, something that needs to change.

Continue reading story here

Pat Rooney: Baby steps weren’t nearly enough

From the Daily Camera … After sputtering on offense for the better part of two games, any observer of Colorado football still retaining any tether to reality probably wasn’t expecting a win Saturday night at Arizona State.

The Buffaloes and their fans were desperate to see progress, or at least some sort of sign of life from the offense, in the Pac-12 Conference opener. And by that rather paltry standard, the trip to Tempe was a success. Yet the 35-13 loss at ASU also revealed a jarring reality for the remainder of the season: the Buffs almost played as well as could be expected, and still watched the opposition brush them away down the stretch like a mild annoyance.

I’ll give the Buffs’ brass credit for this. A much better job was done to put embattled rookie starting quarterback Brendon Lewis in positions to succeed. There were quick throws and the dusting off of the jet sweep, which netted a 26-yard gain by Eaglecrest’s Ty Robinson. Lewis made plays with his legs and the run game experienced a brief but encouraging revival.

Yet the baby steps weren’t nearly enough. I’m not at all criticizing the jet sweep call, as it’s a great way to get athletes in space and give a jolt of confidence to a struggling quarterback. But take that out of Lewis’ final stat line, and the Buffs’ downfield passing attack posted a line of just 6-for-16 for 41 yards.

… Continue reading story here

Not fixed: Penalties costly to Buffs against Sun Devils: “We have to execute better, pretty much”

From the Daily Camera … One was legitimate, one was questionable, but both counted and both hurt the Colorado Buffaloes.

A pair of first-half personal foul penalties on defensive lineman Terrance Lang proved costly to CU in a 35-13 loss to Arizona State on Saturday night.

In the first quarter, Lang sacked ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels on third-and-7 from the CU 42-yard line. However, he grabbed the facemask of Daniels in the process, drawing a 15-yard penalty. That gave ASU a first down, and four plays later the Sun Devils scored their first touchdown.

Early in the second quarter, Lang and outside linebacker Guy Thomas put pressure on Daniels and he was forced to scramble on a third-and-8 play from the CU 21-yard line. Lang hit Daniels as he threw the ball, which sailed high and hit the goalpost for an incomplete pass. Lang was flagged for roughing the passer.

Instead of settling for a field goal, ASU got a first-down and scored its second touchdown on the next play.

“I felt we did some really positive things in the first half (on defense), but those things were negated with the personal foul penalties that extended drives,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “They ended up getting points, but those guys played hard and did some really good things in that first half.”

Overall, CU was penalized eight times for 84 yards, including four flags for 55 yards on defense.

“We have to execute better, pretty much,” safety Mark Perry said. “I felt like a lot of the drives we’d come out good and then, like (Dorrell) said, penalties extended the drives which later ended up scoring. We showed a lot of flashes of getting off the field, but we just have to clean up penalties, clean up our eyes. There was a couple trick plays that they ran that popped for big yardage and we’ve just got to keep going back to practice and improve.”

Drew Carter was supposed to play, but Buffs couldn’t get late stop

From the Daily Camera … With starting quarterback Brendon Lewis struggling so far this season, Dorrell hinted last week that he might get backup Drew Carter an opportunity to play against the Sun Devils.

“We’re going to get him ready to possibly be in there and get a chance to play and we need to bring both these guys along, we really do,” Dorrell said last week. “I think Drew, when he came in (against Minnesota on Sept. 18), he showed a little bit of a spark and we’re going to continue to bring that process forward.”

Dorrell didn’t take the opportunity to get Carter, a true freshman, into the game on Saturday, though. Even when ASU put the game out of reach, 35-10, with a touchdown at the 8:30 mark of the fourth quarter, Dorrell kept Carter on the bench.

“It crossed my mind (to get Carter in the game) and actually you saw me call timeout late,” he said, referring to a timeout CU called with 2:54 to play after a second-down play by the ASU offense. “I was hoping that we’d get a stop there to get the ball back so that we could get another drive, just to get more work and unfortunately we let them get the first down and that whole plan went out the window.”

Read full story here

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24 Replies to “Colorado Daily – USC”

  1. Probably 1 and 4 after this week.
    7 left. Sheesh

    The next two weeks are the most important weeks in a long long while for the Buffs.

    Bye week to get the offense changed across all fronts.

    Its a new 7 game season to get to a bowl game.

    Make the changes win the games

    Buffs

  2. “If nothing else we’ll just run the ball every play”, does not exude confidence in your QBs ability to pass the ball.

  3. ASU ran directly at Wells (and away from Lang) all game. Most of those long QB zone reads in critical situations were targeting Wells directly, who either engaged a TE coming in motion to block him or just got beaten by the handoff.

    Granted, wells didn’t exactly have much help (one guy trying to tackle two guys through a block), but he had an awful game to my eyes.

  4. I dont have the time to search for the old tapes and review them…and even if I did would anyone who counts…like chev… would listen?…… but if you are going to stick with Lewis it seems to me the Cobb running offenses of yore might fit his abilities pretty well. I remember a lot of trap blocking and other diverse blocking schemes that seemed to open a lot of holes for the backs. It wasn’t really a full blown triple option but it seemed they had enough options through fakes and other misdirection that helped a lot as well. Crouch getting the Heisman was a joke but that sort of thing might be ok for Blew.
    On the other hand if earache was old enough he might remind you they usually had one of the best O lines in the country as well.
    still getting the Buff O line to move around a little more rather than doing all straight man on man blocking right off the snap might help somewhat.
    Harass me for invoking huskers if you will and going on some kind of irrelevant babble but I’m just a Buff fan that cant come to grips with O’s inability to come to grips.
    If by some infinitesimal chance, like a meteor hitting me on the head while I am typing this, The O was going to do some different things, which might be considered crazyazz compared to the whats happened so far, the USC game would be the place to do it.
    Haysoos….even some more play action and roll out for the pathetic few passing plays we run now….ANYTHING PLEASE!!
    And for all you guys who recoil at the mere mention trick plays I have seen a few in other games that have gone for TDs. Even a flea flicker might get Lewis to see an open receiver.
    In the immortal words of Ronnie Reagan “please tear down this wall” that used to be Nebraska but is now USC. Subdue the condom arrogance first then beat the coaching at Utah. Those should be red McCartney like calendar items for the Buffs these days. Do what it takes Buffs.

  5. So, I think that Chev was trying not to throw Lewis under the bus….. that said being this bad is not “making progress”. There is no progress and young team and a young qb doesn’t matter when it is this bad……. You cannot just continue to make progress. This is obviously not Chev’s decision though. Chev said Dorrell is calling who starts. Chev is not standing on the table demanding Carter get a shot but man, you got to do more than just continue to improve. This is obviously Dorrell’s philosophy, I have to say I am really disappointed. Utterly so. Maybe when we have a better qb this philosophy will work, but right now at this time, it is time to burn the friggin house down, scrape it and try something new. This season is lost….. crap……. I had hopes, maybe Carter will get in the game at some point this season. Maybe a miracle will happen and Lewis “figures it out”. But frankly we are going to beat Arizona and that is all I can predict right now as every other team can score points and we just seem to accept that we are young and just need to keep working on it. I worry that If this goes on for too much longer they are going to lose this team…..
    Still going to go. Still going to hope USC implodes worse than us. Still going to hope I see Carter for at least a quarter….. not counting on it though….

  6. Chev demonstrating lack of ownership, assigning blame, and making excuses. These are not the traits of a leader. Also, losing with grace and dignity are traits of a strong leader. That was not evident when passed up for the head coaching job. Defensiveness is also not an endearing quality. It’s hard to imagine that this press conference motivates young men to do better. It’s easy, on the other hand, to see the opposite occurring. The offensive buck stops with Chev. Own it and change. Don’t throw those you lead under the bus.

    1. You said it better than I could. Chev’s attitude was so wrong on so many levels and if it spills over onto the players thats a huge step in he wrong direction of his planned very incremental “progress.”
      He whines about the freshmen but he is not one. How many years is he going to get to do things better.? This presser makes me believe we are still going to run uphill, against the wind in the mud with his same ol meager plans that havent produced in the past.

      1. In Chev’s defense, his offense hasn’t looked this anemic any other time. It clearly hasn’t been lights out on fire, either. But, it is – like most offenses – heavily dependent upon a QB reading, reacting and getting the ball out on time to the right spots. Arguably more-so in Karl’s more west coast style offense. And, Brendon clearly isn’t the guy who can do that. Yet, at least.

        Now, we can debate – and have – how in the heck did they not see this coming after having worked w/ the kid for 18+ months? And, if they had seen this, why didn’t they try to tailor their offensive strategy a bit to what he’s more capable of doing?

        Ok, so if JT was going to be the guy – which seems increasingly obvious he was – and when he went down in camp, was it really too late to change or modify the scheme to help Brendon? I don’t know. Hopefully Karl and Chev and Danny do, or we’re really in trouble.

        And again, it’s also true it’s not all on Brendon. The O-line has been sieve-like at times. And the margin for error continues to be minute, so if/when Brendon does get the ball to the right spot at the right time, and dudes drop it – which happens – they’re not close to consistent enough to pick up that slack by turning around and making a big play.

        Sadly, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of this season. But? That’s why they play the damn games. Maybe things will start to click for our young QB (or the other young QB)? Maybe the offensive game plan will tilt a bit further towards what he can actually execute more consistently (which I don’t believe includes the long ball)? Maybe Mustafa’s presence bolsters the D further? Maybe the offense can actually get, you know, more than a yard a minute?

        I’ll be watching, hoping some of those maybes and many more turn into yes’s, this Saturday and for the rest of the season. As painful as it may end up being.

        Go Buffs. Fix it.

          1. Call me. We’ll discuss it. It’ll be fun.

            And I will post my story, why I hate bill McCartney and love the Berliner at some point. It will be riveting. As you know. Since you keep asking about it.

            Go Buffs

  7. Brendon is progressing? 45 yards on forward passes is progress? Maybe by the end of the year he will get up close to 100. But that would still be last in all of college football…..
    Seems like Drew Carter doesn’t have the yips like Brendon and deserves a chance. Just can’t get worse.

    1. I agree. On the better drives the buffs had a mostly success in the run game. I really didn’t think there was much improvement in the passing game that was somehow a difference maker for the offense.
      And why are we just now seeing jet/fly sweeps in game 4?! There is raw athletic talent at WR so find ways to get the ball in their hands. And more pre-snap motion please? Anything to mix it up a little.

  8. I am excited for the return of Mustafa. Hopefully his leadership will have a positive impact for not only the defense, but the offense as well. Mustafa is a vocal leader which I don’t think this team has many others that fit that bill. With Mustafa back, I really like the potential physicality of our front 5….Thomas, Johnson, Sami, Lang and Wells. Those young men should be able to do some damage when it all said and done. Here’s to a lot of three and outs for the USC offense.

  9. Ditto to everything BuffTime said…
    Chev is clearly feeling pressure, fast talking and saying everything he can, to shirk focused responsibility.
    He’s now throwing other coaches and young players into the equation, so that nothing points directly, or sticks to him.
    While I agree, that there should be improvement in performance naturally, as a result of younger players getting game reps; there should also be clear improvement in play calling and adjustments on the fly.
    I’ll be the first to cheer, if the sky parts and there’s sudden fantastic offensive improvement.
    I’m relatively confident however, (barring sudden improvement) HCKD will relieve him from his pressure, at season’s end.
    Hopefully, he’ll bow out gracefully when that time comes and not cause dissention in his wake.
    Go Buffs

  10. Whoooweee! For anyone that has loved coach speak for the last 20+ years, that was 8 minutes of it, right there.

    It sure would be nice to have a QB. I guess I agree w/ Chev on this part. I do think Brendon can get there. Or at least I hope he can. And I hope Drew gets a shot at some meaningful game reps, if Brendon’s progress is otherwise stunted Saturday.

    Go Buffs

    1. “We’re working on it and we gotta get better!”

      Oof. Anyone that hasn’t watched that interview with Chev : don’t.

  11. I was a huge fan of Chev when he was a player. I was a huge fan when he first was brought on the coaching staff initially from Texas Tech. I was a huge fan when he was bringing in legit WRs and they were playing well.

    I am NOT a fan of him being the OC or the play caller. The WRs are suffering with him not being a full time position coach and he is in over his head (as much as he’d love to be a great play caller, he isn’t).

    I can’t help but cringe when listening to him give excuses and sound bite answers to simple direct questions that he ultimately avoids. He is scared. He is worried about losing his play calling role during the season and he is worried about losing his job all together on the staff.
    I remember back to when he threw a twitter fit when he wasn’t initially chosen to be the next HC when Tucker bolted. Was a huge maturity red flag to me. I gave him the benefit of the doubt (passion and wanting to help his alma mater), but there is more than enough evidence that he is in over his head.

  12. Trying to stay positive but having some flashbacks to the Hawkins era where we heard “close” so many times, the word got worn down to nothing. Which is what happened. Let’s not talk about “close” and “details” , just play loose, creative, with a nothing to lose mentality this weekend and leave it all out on the field. Maybe have some fun? Probably too much to ask for given the body of evidence to date but hope springs eternal.

  13. Dang, I was worried that the UT and TX games last year were more indicative of where our Buffs actually stood, than what we saw in those first four games. They gotta find a QB. That’s a certainty. Maybe Owen will be legit? Maybe JT? Maybe Brendon and Drew step up? Without a QB, we’re toast.

    Brendon is playing better, but not by much. And the lack of inserting Carter at about that 8 or 9 minute mark in the fourth quarter begs some questions, like what’s more valuable? Trying to get the young starter more reps – so hopefully his reading and reacting accurately continues to improve? Or, getting the backup ANY reps, so he can hopefully accelerate his learning curve, as well as just see more of what he can do? And most troubling, is that backup just so far from ready, that putting him in for anything longer than the last drive of a blowout will do more damage than good?

    I don’t have those answers. I’m sure hoping Karl and Co do.

    I’m still going to clobber my Saturday watching USC come to town. It’s going to be a game of who wants it more. IF USC comes in sloppy and apathetic, I’m saying there’s a chance CU can finally steal one from them. And, at this point, it will be stealing one from them. But I’ll take it anyway they can get it.

    Go Buffs

  14. Drew Carter must really suck in practice if HCKD won’t even try to get him into the game until there’s three minutes left in the fourth quarter… When the game has been out of reach for like twenty minutes (at least) by then

  15. Ok so I re-watched the CU offense series from the second half of the ASU game. Yeah I’ve got a problem. On the 2 second-half drives where CU scored the TD and FG, ASU played mostly a regular 4-3 defense. In these scenarios the CU O-0line was able to establish themselves, and the running game was successful. But, all ASU had to do was put 5 guys on the line, with the 2 inside LB lined up tight (7 stacked in the box), and CU could not do much at all. On a lot of these plays, CU would naturally opt for the pass, but as we all know that didn’t work out so well. ASU stacked 7 in the box like this mostly on all the other CU posessions (Minnesota pretty much did the entire game last week). I will say the ASU DBs engaged in a lot of physical contact with the WRs, but if BLew doesn’t throw there it won’t get called. The WR routes looked pretty terrible though.
    I don’t like to pick on the players personally, but I think the only realistic option for success right now is to play Carter, because I think he will be more of a passing threat and make defenses respect the passing game, and if the Buffs can force a defense back into a standard 4-3 I think the CU offense can do some damage.
    I was really disappointed Carter didn’t get any play time vs. ASU. Has me (all of us) seriously concerned. What do they have to lose at this point?

    1. The thing that’s starting to bother me about Chev is that the WRs are also doing a terrible job at… Basically everything. Getting open, running direct routes, blocking, coming back to the ball on scrambles…

      My buddy that played TE at a MWC school two decades ago texts me at least three times a game “why can’t receivers check back to the ball”. It’s so strange.

      And he’s the WR coach AND the OC? I would feel better if he was doing a good job with at least one of his roles but it’s kinda clear to me that he’s spread too thin and bad at both jobs.

      Meanwhile, I’m basically resolved to Rice transferring after this year, and I wouldn’t blame him at all. This isn’t what he signed up for.

      1. I do think they have some WR physical talent, but agree it’s not being well coached or something. I did really like the Rice fly sweep end around they ran with him. Not a ton of yards, but he ran tough, reminded me a little of Viska. And then I thought why the heck are we just seeing this now in game 4?!

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