That hasn't stopped CU coach Mike MacIntyre from talking up the Buccaneers. MacIntyre said he believes Charleston Southern is better than Central Arkansas, which is not exactly a comforting thought for CU fans considering UCA led in the fourth quarter before the Buffs rallied to win.
If all eyes Saturday will be on Liufau in his first college start, some eyes – particularly Bernardi’s – also will be trained on what’s happening in front of the freshman. Bernardi has told his guys they must communicate better, ratchet up their productivity and, in turn, help CU’s run game do the same. And, oh yes, let’s protect the young guy throughout his first full college game.
Even as they've been blown out by Oregon State, Oregon and Arizona State the past three weeks, Colorado players and coaches have talked a lot about the improvements they have made. Many of those improvements, they say, are tough to see on the field. That's understandable against Oregon or Arizona State, two of the top teams in the country.
4. Making up is hard to do: Colorado will face Charleston Southern this week as a makeup for the Sept. 14 game against Fresno State that was canceled because of severe rain and flooding in Colorado. Charleston Southern is a perfect 7-0 on the year and is receiving votes in the Sports Network FCS College Football Poll. The Buffs are looking to get to 3-3 for the first time since 2010. And they are making a change at quarterback with Sefo Liufau stepping in after going 18 of 26 for 169 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions in relief against Arizona State.
"He's done a good job," MacIntyre said. "There has been a couple of games of course where you'd like to kick it deep in the end zone every time, but the last few games he's been kicking it real good and he's been placing it good. And he's given us an opportunity on our kickoff team -- he can do a lot of different things -- to have a little bit of an arsenal in that area."
Now, however, we come to the awkward point of actually playing that tiny FCS school smack-dab in the middle of a grueling Pac-12 campaign. I'm sure the Buffs are eagerly anticipating a respite from 40-point in-conference drubbings, but I can't help but feel... underwhelmed by the challenge this week. It's just hard to focus on #2 Oregon one week, only to turn around and see, of all things, the Charleston Southern Buccaneers rolling into town. Hopefully, the team is more focused than I on the task at hand.
The player the Buffs will most want to stop, however, is No. 20, running back Christian Reyes. The sophomore back has 722 rushing yards already this season (Colorado as a team has 540 rushing yards), and has six touchdowns. Reyes needs only 46 yards Saturday to set the team single season rushing mark … in game eight of the campaign.
Charleston Southern at Colorado
Kevin Gemmell: A midseason switch to a true freshman quarterback feels like a move that the Buffs are looking to the future. Maybe. Or maybe he gives them their best option to pick up win No. 3. Full disclosure, I don’t know much about Charleston Southern, other than it is undefeated. But I’m a firm believer that FBS teams from BCS conferences are supposed to beat FCS teams. Colorado 30, CSU 21.
Ted Miller: I suspect Colorado will take out some frustration on the Buccaneers and pick up a third win. The larger question is whether the Buffs will get No. 4. Colorado 41, CSU 17.
I feel comfortable in saying that the Pac-12 has been the better conference to date, and the sentiment is reinforced by looking at the remaining schedules of the teams most likely to reach the BCS title game from each conference.
"I can't say that we won't again, because so many factors are involved and it comes down to who is available," Colorado sports information director Dave Plati said in regard to whether CU will schedule more FCS games in the future. "However, our preference is to schedule FBS schools from here on out."
Having a young, talented leader like Gillam in the middle of the defense to build around in the coming years gives Colorado a great foundation on which to build their turnaround in Boulder. His non-stop motor and ability to make tackles will only get better as he gains experience at the college level which means he’ll continue to dominate as a tackling machine in the Pac 12 for years to come. The question becomes whether CU can get some like-minded defensive playmakers around him in the near future.
"I had a great head coach that called me the other day," said Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre. "I mean, he's phenomenal and he goes, 'No way in the world, if anybody asked me to be a defensive coordinator, would I be a defensive coordinator today. No way.' "
The 2014 recruit posted on his Twitter page last night that he received an offer from the Buffs. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Goree is listed as a two-star recruit by Rivals and a three-star by Scout. While he's unranked by Rivals, Scout has the east Texas target at No. 136 for 2014 receivers. His highlight video above has a 4.4 40, but the recruiting networks don't list a time for Goree.
21. Spencer Dinwiddie Colorado Vitals: 6-6 | Jr. | G Comment: Colorado's been pumping out NBA talent in recent years, and Dinwiddie should be the next pro. He has a great first step he can use for penetration or for setting up the defender to pop a jumper. -- MN
"He always could shoot the ball and always was a big guard and used his size to get around people," Arizona junior Nick Johnson said on Thursday at Pac-12 media day. "He's worked his way to being a really good player -- always one of my toughest match-ups."
Stanford's Dwight Powell said, "He's a great player; strong head on his shoulders. I like his game. For a lot of teams in the Pac-12, his size and athleticism is a hard match-up. He's tall and he can shoot, which is a dangerous combination for the guard spot."
Colorado (93 votes): Colorado lost double-double machine forward Andre Roberson to the NBA, but he's the only starter gone from a team that figures to have a deep roster once again and boasts one of the best backcourts in the Pac 12 in Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker. While there's ample experience and depth figures to be a strength of the team, coach Tad Boyle has been maintaining more of a "cautious" optimism for the Buffs because of his team's youth — 10 scholarship players are underclassmen — that presents serious challenges heading into a gauntlet conference schedule and a Pac-12 slate featuring six to seven NCAA tournament-caliber teams.
Arizona junior Nick Johnson couldn't hide his smile when asked if he and the Wildcats consider Colorado a rival in men's basketball. "Definitely," he said. "You're always going to have the in-state rivalry, but it's really about the rivalries you gain throughout the years. I'd like to think UCLA and us have a little bit of one and we're in the works right now with Colorado."
MBB Tix Delivery - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado - Some Buffs basketball ticket holders got a special delivery this week.
"We don't view Arizona as the top, the cream," Dinwiddie said during Pac-12 media day on Thursday at the Pac-12 Studios. "We view ourselves as the cream and everybody else can fight for the rest of the spots. That's how we're going to approach the season and we're going to try to win all of our games."
But the impact of coaching cannot be overlooked, especially when evaluating three teams: Colorado, Cal and Oregon. Tad Boyle, Mike Montgomery and Dana Altman (not necessarily in that order) are the best in the league at getting the most out of their personnel.
"I think the league is going to be probably as good as it's been in the five years that I've been here," Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said. "And it's going to be exciting for everyone. I don't think you're going to have a night off this year."
24. Spencer Dinwiddie, JR, G, Colorado Colorado has crashed the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1963, and the play of their point guard has been one of the biggest reasons why. As a sophomore in 2012-13, Dinwiddie led the Buffs in in both points (15.3 ppg) and assists (3.0 apg) on his way to first team All-Pac 12 accolades. He spent his summer playing for Team USA in the World University Games, where he led the entire tournament in assists. He also boasts one of college basketball's best mustaches.
"You just watch her play and she's different, in a good way," CU head coach Linda Lappe said. "As of right now, she's the most improved player from last year." Sborov has played a key role for the Buffaloes since she arrived two years ago. A 6-foot guard form Round Rock, Texas, Sborov has played in 62 of CU's 67 games, making 19 starts.