"I think we’re more mature," Liufau said. "We have a lot of players that have played a lot of snaps. There’s great leadership on this team from the seniors and some juniors, and so I think overall there’s more cohesion, as well.What do you think?
"I feel like I should be a senior right now, it’s funny thinking about how I’m a sophomore, but it’s awesome," he said. "It’s a really good opportunity for me, I have two… three more years to play including this one."
"Really good practice today," head coach Mike MacIntyre said following the Buffs’ afternoon workout. "I was excited about our practice today. We came out and had a really energetic practice. We went through a lot of different situations and made ‘em think and put a little pressure on them."
"For a tight end, this is the type of offense you’d want to play in," Buffs running backs/tight ends coach Klayton Adams said. "You get to do a little bit of everything. You get to shift in motion some, you get to go some no-huddle, you get to line up on the ball, you get to split … it’s a great offense for tight ends because we’re so multiple."
Hagan’s pitch to J.J. Flanagan on Nov. 4, 1989, at Folsom Field is a play you’ll never forget if you were a Buffs fan at that time. The wild play in the first quarter keyed CU’s 27-21 win over the Cornhuskers.
After those two, there is far less certainty. Arizona (Anu Solomon), Colorado (Sefo Liufau), Stanford (Kevin Hogan) and Utah (Travis Wilson) welcome back established starters but each has been inconsistent. It's easy to project forward strong improvement for any and all of this foursome, but there also are varying degrees of uncertainty. It wouldn't be shocking if one of the four earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors or, on the other side of the ledger, lost his job.
CU Buffs Video: Creekin’ it with Jim Leavitt - BSN Denver - Leavitt is amazing.
You will get no gentle head pat. I think Colorado has a chance to win six games, but with a 13-game slate, that won't automatically make it bowl-eligible. And six wins requires a 4-0 nonconference record.
Christian Powell, while not flashy, has been a constant, solid contributor for the Buffs all three of his seasons on campus, he ranks 23rd all-time on the schools rushing list, he finished spring atop the depth chart at RB, and he is the projected starter for the 2015 season right now.
Gilbert and fellow former defensive end Derek McCartney will still be lining up on the line of scrimmage much of the time. But when one or both of them are on the field, it will be up to the offense to figure out whether they’ll actually be rushing the passer or dropping into coverage.
Nearly two dozen teams will play at least 10 straight games, including Colorado and Hawaii, which each have 13-game runs without a break. Of the 128 FBS teams, 110 will have one fewer week off this season and overall byes are down to 139 from 261 a year ago, according to fbschedules.com.
"My first impression is that our staff is really well educated in what they’re doing and have done a great job of looking at their targets and establishing a plan to achieve their targets," George said. "I think our success rate in reaching our targets for year one will be good."
Importance: In the Pac-12 South, Colorado faces possibly the most difficult rebuilding situation in the country. The margin for error is just too small to see incremental improvements translate to wins. A year ago, the offense -- particularly the passing game -- did its part to keep the Buffs in some games, but their defense just didn't hold up. They weren't big enough up front, not strong enough, not enough depth. That won't be fixed overnight, but through the recruitment of junior-college defensive linemen Jordan Carrell, Leo Jackson and Blake Robbins, it was clear the staff prioritized the need for players who could help right away.
Though recruits flipping out of your recruiting class is never fun to experience, it does mean that you are recruiting at a high enough level that other programs are battling for your pledges. Though that wasn’t often the case several years ago for Colorado, it is slowly changing under McIntyre, who had commitments from tailback Jomon Dotson and offensive lineman Elijah Rodriguez in the 2014 class. Though neither likely would be serving as pivotal pieces this fall, they would have added depth at two offensive positions.