Why CU Fans May Be Giving up on Mac and the Buffs A Bit Too Early… | The Air Up Here - Fantastic article from Ziskin on just how big this rebuild is and why you shouldn't give up just yet.
"We've wanted to hit the tight ends, and have had opportunities at different times," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "They've made some big plays for us. We'll keep utilizing them when opportunities present themselves."
The Buffs have come close — painfully close — to breaking through and ending their Pac-12 skid. They were tied with Oregon 17-17 at the half and within a touchdown, 31-24, with 10 minutes left in the game against the Ducks. Last week, they carried a 24-17 lead over Arizona into the fourth quarter before yielding 21 unanswered points.
Andersen has talked to both MacIntyre and Dykes — who had turned Cal into a top-25 team before consecutive losses to Utah and UCLA the past two weeks — about navigating the Pac-12 as a new coach. But Andersen's prime example has been close friend and former boss Kyle Whittingham, who ushered Utah into the conference five years ago and now has the Utes undefeated and contending for a College Football Playoff spot at this season's midway point.
Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins has piled up some eye-popping numbers as a run-first quarterback this season, something that has concerned the Colorado Buffs as they prepared for Saturday night’s game in Corvallis, but it’s sounding as if they could face two quarterbacks in the game.
Oregon State runs a similar offense as Oregon, whom the Buffaloes played earlier in the season, and no doubt the Beaver coaching staff will take a close look at that game film. What they’ll see is Oregon tailbacks Royce Freeman and Taj Griffin running over, around and through would-be Colorado tacklers. The Ducks racked up 361 rushing yards on that night and the Beavers will try to somewhat duplicate that kind of production.
The Colorado State game was a prime example of the players just getting it done. Coach Mac and company had very little to do with big plays, like quarterback Sefo Liufau’s long touchdown pass to Shay Fields, or Kenneth Olugbode’s pick six. We’re not seeing those big plays as consistently in this losing streak.
"He wasn't going to be in the rotation. Last spring he was about third team," Leavitt said. "Where do you start with that young man? Nothing fazes him. He's very, very smart. He understands concepts, schemes. He's getting better as he goes.
Irwin and his teammates hope lessons were learned from the Buffs’ most recent inefficient Saturday. It came last weekend against Arizona, when the Buffs couldn’t extend a 24-17 third-quarter lead after being forced to punt on three consecutive possessions. They broke a 17-17 halftime tie with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive to open the second half.
3. Because the joy and relief that one of these teams will feel will be unlike anything else you see in the Pac-12 this season. Colorado hasn’t won a conference game since Nov. 16, 2013, (that’s a 14-game losing streak) and Oregon State has only won two Pac-12 games during that stretch. There’s going to be a huge sense of urgency for both teams on the field, and for the team that manages to come out on top, it’ll be a celebration you probably don’t want to miss.
3. Colorado, looking as if it had taken a step forward with a 3-1 start, has reverted to its old struggles. The Buffaloes are 0-3 in the Pac-12, extending their Pac-12 losing streak to 14 games. As they head up to Oregon State on Saturday, looking for their first conference road win in since 2012, the Buffs need relief from injuries. Thirteen players have missed at least one full game. Put another way, only nine positions have had the same starter in every game. Head coach Mike MacIntyre has suffered through the growing pains of playing young players. But the payoff won't come until the Buffs get healthy.
Pac-12 Week 8 game picks: Pivotal showdowns in Los Angeles - College Football Nation Blog - ESPN - Every single writer picked the Buffaloes.. In fact, there's a lot of road teams picked to win.
Years of losing continues to breed more losing; these Buffaloes aren’t as bad as last year’s 2-10 team, and that 2-10 team (which played six top-25 teams and a much improved CSU program) wasn’t as bad as the 4-8 team before them. The issue is that the Buffaloes have developed a culture of losing, and until they’re shocked from that reality, I don’t see it changing.
We've seen teams go winless in conference play before. Colorado did it last season. California was blanked in 2013. It happens. And Cal, by the way, should serve as a lesson in patience for folks in Boulder and Corvallis. As fate (and scheduling) would have it, Colorado and Oregon State, both still winless in conference play, meet this week. Someone has to win -- meaning the other will have to look elsewhere for a league victory in 2015.
Offensively, quarterback Seth Collins graded out for his second-worst adjusted QBR of the season while the run game -- outside of Collins -- failed to produce a back who put up more than 35 rushing yards. And according to Gina Mizell, the Beavers are doing a bit of mid-season hiring to try and give some life to this offense.
"He’s a terrific young man, a hard worker, a great teammate, and he’s very humble," Boyle said of White. "He’ll be a pro. There’s no question that he’ll be a professional basketball player when he leaves here. Now what level? That’s yet to be determined, but he’s a terrific player."
The Buffs’ biggest challenge in 2015-16: Stay healthy. After an injury-filled 2014-15 season, Colorado suffered another loss in the off-season when swingman Xavier Johnson tore his Achilles. Now the Buffs return just one double-digit scorer. Senior forward Josh Scott, who averaged 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds, will have to carry the team.