•  Register
3

2017 Fierce 40 Previews: #21 Colorado

by DJ Boyer on Aug. 3, 2017

#21 Colorado Buffaloes

 

2016 Recap:
The Buffaloes came out of nowhere to claim the Pac-12 South and post 10 wins, going to their first bowl game in nearly 10 years. Colorado was 10-2 before losing to Washington in the Pac-12 title game and Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl but the season far exceeded all expectations.


Coaching:
Mike McIntyre was on the peverbial coaching hot seat at the start of the season. By the end of the 2016 campaign he was The Walter Camp Coach of the Year. Darrin Chiaverini leads the offense while D.J. Eliot leads a defense that was ranked in the top 20 overall a season ago.

 

Offense

Steven Montez takes over at quarterback and the sophomore showed some moxy a season ago throwing for over 1,000 yards with an impressive 9-5 TD/INT ratio as an injury replacement and mop up duty. It won;t matter who is the quarterback, Colorado just needs to protect the ball and win the turnover battles like they did most of the time in 2016. Phillip Lindsay is all this team needs running the football as the Buffaloes bring back four starters along an improved offensive line. Colorado doesn't have big names catching the football but they have a steady and deep core who show awareness for first down markers and dependable hands. Colorado will run four receiver sets in a spread offense primarily and all four receivers return from a season ago when they were starters.
 

Best Draft Prospects: Tim Lynott OG 4th Round 2020.

                                      Phillip Lindsay RB 4th/5th Round 2018.


Defense

The defense ranked 19th overall and 20th in scoring defense, marks that were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Pac-12. Colorado had four games were they held opponents under 10 points with the most impressive being a 10-5 win on the road against Stanford. the defense loses a lot of playmakers but many of the players stepping into starting roles saw significant time a season ago. The biggest question remains up front where getting after the quarterback has to be a concern. The linebackers led by Ricky Gamboa are solid and the secondary remains the overall strength of the unit.

Best Draft Prospects: Isaiah Oliver CB 5th Round 2019.                

                                       Afolabi Laguda S 6th Round 2018.


Special Teams:

If there is one area that let Colorado down a season ago it was Special Teams. Field goal accuracy and punting stats had Colorado in the bottom third of the Pac-12 in both key categories. James Stefanou, a 30-year old Australian, looks to right the ship for the kicking woes the Buffs experienced.


Schedule:

Colorado has a fairly easy opening to the schedule with rival Colorado State to open at a neutral site looking like the toughest game on the docket. The Pac-12 opener copmes at home against Washington, the team that defeated Colorado to claim the Pac-12 a season ago. USC and Utah close the schedule so Colorado cannot take it easy down the stretch.


Draft and Overall Outlook:

The outlook is still very bright for Colorado although most agree they played a little above their heads a season ago. Colorado is still expected by many to play .500 ball in the Pac-12 despite last years success. Colorado needs another big year to start winning some more recruiting wars within the conference for long term stability.

 

DJ Boyer