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2011 Colorado Buffaloes Football Season Preview - A New Era Begins

Buffaloes fans hope for many celebrations in 2011
Buffaloes fans hope for many celebrations in 2011

The Colorado Buffaloes are a program that enters the 2011 football season facing a vast amount of change. Start with the loss of some familiar faces and the influx of new ones that every team faces at the beginning of the new year, add in an almost entirely new coaching staff that plans on implementing entirely new offensive and defensive schemes and top it all off with the move to the Pac-12 conference and you have a set of circumstances that haven't been faced by another program in a very long time (if ever). 

With change, comes hope. So many unknowns surround this Colorado team that one can't help but think that maybe, with a few lucky bounces, they could surprise. Maybe all the Buffs needed was a change at the top. Maybe all the Buffs needed was a year without a quarterback controversy. Maybe all the the Buffs need was a (literal) change of scenery. 

On offense, at least in the starting spots, the pieces are in place to potentially form one of the best units that the Buffaloes have had in years. Tyler Hansen has a firm grasp on the starting quarterback position and won't have to look over his shoulder for the first time in Boulder. Rodney Stewart returns and would have been the second leading rusher in the Pac-12, only yards out of first. Paul Richardson gives CU a true field stretching playmaker at the wide receiver position that they have lacked recently. The Buffaloes offensive line, even after losing first round draft pick Nate Solder, returns the most experience in the conference and has another highly regarded potential NFL draft pick in Ryan Miller. 

On defense, Colorado has to replace two NFL draft picks at the cornerback position but there is enough talent up front to help ease the newcomers in the secondary into their roles. Conrad Obi and Curtis Cunningham will rotate with Will Pericak and Nate Bonsu at the defensive tackle position and Josh Hartigan, Nick Kasa and Chidera Uzo-Diribe at defensive end to give the Buffs a d-line that could cause all sorts of problems for opponents up front. Linebacker Jon Major is back and ready to leave a linebacker core that has plenty of talent, even if it is lacking a bit of experience. 


Looking ahead at the upcoming season, Colorado will face many challenges, including a very difficult schedule ranked by many as one of the hardest in college football. With a challenging Pac-12 Conference schedule as well as non-conference games against Hawaii, California, Ohio State and Colorado State, the Buffs will have their work cut out for them. But right now this team is 0-0, same as everyone else in the country and the pieces are in place for the Jon Embree era to get off to a great start.

Top Returning Buffaloes

1 - Rodney Stewart
2 - Ryan Miller
3 - Paul Richardson
4 - Jon Major
5 - Josh Hartigan
6 - Tyler Hansen
7 - Will Pericak
8 - Anthony Perkins 
9 - Ryan Deehan
10 - Curtis Cunningham
11 - Toney Clemons
12 - David Bakhtiari
13 - Ray Polk
14 - Douglas Rippy
15 - Conrad Obi


Buffaloes Opponent Previews

@ Hawaii - 9/3/11
California - 9/10/11
Colorado State - 9/17/11 (@ Invesco Field, Denver, CO)
@ Ohio State - 9/24/11
Washington State - 10/1/11
@ Stanford - 10/8/11 
Washington - 10/15/11
Oregon - 10/22/11
@ Arizona State - 10/29/11
Southern California - 11/4/11
Arizona - 11/12/11
@ UCLA - 11/19/11
@ Utah - 11/25/11

Buffaloes Positional Previews

Running Backs
Wide Receivers 
Tight Ends
Offensive Line
Defensive Line
Defensive Backs
Special Teams - Coming Soon