"He has that never-say-die attitude," MacIntyre said. "He'll do anything. (He has a) phenomenal attitude all the time. He gives unbelievable effort. He's extremely tough. He has quickness. He has a contagious, bubbly attitude. He's just one of those guys.
Opposing head coach's take: "Very athletic. Strong player. He's got a great future. We have to see what he does without that big No. 6 there as a security blanket (receiver Paul Richardson). If they can put some pieces around him, he could be a strong leader for that program. But he's still young. He's got a lot of developing to do."
Unlike Goff, Liufau was eased into the job last season. He sat for the first four games and came off the bench against Arizona State in the fifth before taking the reins against Charleston Southern and keeping them the rest of the year. He completed 149 of 251 passes (59.4 percent) for 1,779 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
CB Kenneth Crawley - During the past two years, I've often wondered if Crawley would ever live up to his potential. We'll see how he plays in the games, but I thought he was great during camp and looked like he's ready to become a legitimate Pac-12 cornerback. If I had a vote for the MVP of training camp, it would probably go to Crawley. He was that impressive, in my opinion.
"I'm not afraid to play him," CU defensive coordinator Kent Baer said. "I think he's learning a lot and he's getting better every day. He can really run; that's the thing he does best. For a guy that's not real big, he plays pretty physical. He's just got to continue to learn."
More big, able bodies also deepens the talent pool from which O-line coach Gary Bernardi will identify his top 8, 9 or 10 players to open the 2014 season. "The whole bunch is stronger," he said. "When you play more physical, you feel better about yourself . . . there are a lot of good things that come with that."
"It might be a fading art," Frazier said. "When you look at the teams in the Pac-12, there is not that much fullback actually ran in the Pac-12. You see it here and there, but our coaching staff, they like to have a little bit of everything. They want to have a fullback. They want to be able to spread out. They want to do everything and right now I feel like we're on the right path towards being able to do everything."
"(With the news of the schedule change) I noticed more of a bounce in their step today," MacIntyre said. "This is kind of a hard week in the fact that two-a-days are now over but you still have another week before game week. But I thought there was a good bounce in their step. We gave them yesterday off so that was good."
Utah Utes. They have been sputtering since arriving in the conference and don't be surprised if the bottom drops out in 2014. The rest of the league has elevated from when Utah planned the move to the Pac-12, and with CU improving, the hunch here is that Utah will end up in the South division cellar.
"Definitely, no question," Lindgren said. "We've done some things to incorporate him a little bit more in the run game, and he's done some stuff with the strength staff in the offseason to kind of make himself a little more flexible and a little quicker to where he can be a little bit more of a running threat."
MacIntyre and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren each said they were satisfied with the tempo of the offense. MacIntyre said they will modify the tempo the Buffs play at this season depending on opponents and game situations, but the base approach is to be an up-tempo team.
Bell was expected to be the starter at free safety with Tedric Thompson likely to start at strong safety. But now players like Mosley, senior Terrel Smith, junior Richard Yates and redshirt freshman Ryan Moeller find themselves fighting for a starting job.
But there are uncommon elements: Sefo Liufau, the team's quarterback, returns from a solid freshman season. The Buffs believe he's the quarterback of the future, and are trying to build the offense around him. Ground game will be important, with depth that includes two 500-yard rushers last year. Liufau has gained weight and some power to his arm, but he'll have a new stable of receivers to throw to.
Pac-12 football preview: All-conference projections for the 2014 season – College Hotline - LB Addison Gillam makes the list
While the growth at Colorado should be far more incremental, the Buffaloes will continue to improve under the current coaching staff. The team returns 16 starters, including quarterback Sefo Liufau, and has a manageable non-conference schedule. There are at least five games the Buffaloes could be considered the favorites to win. It will be up to the coaching staff and players to steal one or two more wins from Pac-12 opponents.
Colorado — For your for-what-it’s-worth file, Colorado returns 57 lettermen, more than any school in the Pac-12 (remember when returning lettermen was a prerequisite in team outlooks?). They’ve got a wealth of defenders back, but it’s also a defense that had horrible red-zone problems in 2013, when CU was 4-8 and 1-8. Players are talking bowl game, but this looks to me to be a case of simply too many clubs ahead of them with superior personnel. So, yeah, a slight regression is possible (Paul Richardson isn’t there anymore), simply because of the power of the league.
Colorado - Michael Adkins II So. RB Adkins shouldn't be a secret weapon as he ran for more than 500 yards and scored 7 touchdowns in 2013, but because he plays for Colorado I feel like much of the Pac-12 is unaware of who could actually be the conference's best sophomore running back. While backfield mate Christian Powell softens up defenses with his size and strength, he is adept at regularly busting out lengthy runs and getting out into the open field.
Ranking the Top 15 Players in the Pac-12 for 2014 (Experts Poll) | AthlonSports.com - Henderson and Gillam come in at No. 35 & 36. Yeesh.
CSU director of media relations Paul Kirk said the Rams have sold approximately 15,000 tickets as of the Tuesday morning. He said the program is hoping for a surge in student ticket sales in coming days as students return to school. Colorado reported last week it had sold 21,800 tickets. It expects to be north of 30,000 in ticket sales by game day because student ticket sales are not yet factored into its report. CU generally sells 8,000 or more tickets to students for the game, sports information director Dave Plati said.
Tim Lynott is going to be a fantastic addition to Colorado if they can keep him at home and committed. Lynott, the 4 star guard, is the number 2 recruit from the state of Colorado and also had offers from Oregon, UCLA, and Miami among others. He really excels in run-blocking, and if he can prove to be effective in pass protection he projects to be a very productive player at the college level and a prospect for Buffs fans to be excited about.
2. Colorado Buffaloes (Monday, December 22nd; Honolulu, Hawaii) - DePaul kicks off their first game of the Diamond Head Classic with a meeting against one of the Pac 12 Conference's top performers from last season, Colorado. Tad Boyle has catapulted the Buffaloes back to national prominence and he looks to build on his successes next season. While he may have lost a contributor in Spencer Dinwiddie, he retained his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best scorers from last season, Josh Scott, Askia Booker, and Xavier Johnson, respectively. That talent will also be bolstered by a four-star guard named Dominique Collier, who signed with the Buffs. The game will be held on a neutral court, but Colorado will have certainly gotten a feel for their team by the time this game rolls around and they may even be in the Top 25 by then.