A personal goal this Saturday when No. 25 UCLA visits Folsom Field (noon, Pac-12 Networkds) is "taking care of the football. Point blank, just taking care of the football. If I continue to turn over the ball, I’m just giving away the hopes and dreams of the team and you don’t want to do that, especially as a quarterback."
But Colorado is better than it used to be. Under second-year coach Mike MacIntyre, the Buffaloes hadn’t lost by more than 14 points this season until last week’s 56-28 defeat to USC. After UCLA beat Colorado in 2012, the Buffs went on to lose their next six games by a minimum margin of 25 points.
"It’s the same mentality we try to take every week," CU coach Mike MacIntyre said. "Try to go 1-0 the next week, and Monday is a new day no matter what. Of course it was more disappointing, there’s a different side. If you lose a heart-breaker it’s disappointing one way and disappointing another way (to lose by a significant margin). So we’ll just keep working with them (players) on it."
Junior quarterback Brett Hundley leads the Bruins, and what he lacks in passing compared to Kessler he makes up for with athleticism and speed. Coming into the season, Hundley was a Heisman hopeful and UCLA was widely considered a national championship contender. While both of those dreams have been dashed due to losses against Utah and Oregon, the Bruins are still dangerous.
MacIntyre said CU is not alone. He said most teams in the league are being flagged at a higher rate this season than they were a year ago with players and coaches still trying to adjust to the way the game is being called this season. There are more hands to the face, roughing the quarterback and pass interference calls than there were in the past.
"You have to be aware of it, but the most important thing is that you have to be sound, schematically, we’re technically sound and do our job," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said on Tuesday. "You don’t change a ton. You might spend a little bit more time putting concentration on a guy and devoting more resources to him. You don’t just make wholesale changes."
The cellar belongs to the only winless team in league play. While it appears Utah is adjusting to its (relatively) new conference, Colorado continues to struggle mightily in Pac-12 play. Saturday's 56-28 shellacking at the hands of USC seemed like a step backwards for the Colorado program. One more win to close the season seems unlikely for the Buffs. Here are their remaining opponents: UCLA, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Utah. Ouch.
During the summer, Houston Texans rookie offensive lineman David Quessenberry was diagnosed with cancer, non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, one of the most common forms of blood cancer. MacIntyre and his assistants, including offensive line coach Gary Bernardi, helped Quessenberry go from a walk-on tight end at San Jose State to a team captain, all-conference player and fourth-round draft pick during their three years with the Spartans.
On the best team in the league after Arizona: "I would probably put Utah and Colorado as the two in that conversation and lean slightly towards Colorado. They've been a pretty regular Tournament team, and returned everyone except Spencer Dinwiddie, who they played the second half of the year without."
Colorado has the talent to win the Pac-12, but do they have the patience and consistency to compete over the whole season? You know Arizona is going to be there at the end. Is Colorado the team to challenge them?
"Jaron has been very aggressive, and he's really good, especially in the open floor," Boyle said. "When he puts his mind to it and he attacks the rim, he's bigger and stronger than he was last year and he can create a lot of things.