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Colorado Buffaloes news and notes heading into Texas A&M

Karl Dorrell’s Buffs have both a challenge and an opportunity against Texas A&M.

Colorado State v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Injury notes: Robert Barnes is available, Frank Fillip close to return

During Tuesday’s weekly press conference, Karl Dorrell said that he expects inside linebacker Robert Barnes, who missed week one with a soft tissue injury, to be available. The Oklahoma transfer holds plenty of big game experience and will add to an already stacked linebacker group. On the depth chart, he is listed behind Quinn Perry at the weak inside linebacker position.

Meanwhile, Frank Fillip, who tore his labrum in the spring, is back practicing and is nearing a return. He started all six games at right tackle last season.

“Frank is doing awesome,” Dorrell said. “He’s ahead of schedule. When we were projecting when he would be back, they thought it’d be somewhere around the start of the conference season, but there’s a chance that he may get to play earlier.”

Brendon Lewis has a plan in place to improve

It was no question that Brendon Lewis wasn’t exactly thrilled by last week’s performance. He definitely wasn’t bad (145.8 QBR), but his arm wasn’t a game changer with only 10 completed passes. Lewis said that trusting his reads and getting the ball out quicker will be a focus in week two.

Finding a balance between not forcing anything while still getting his receivers involved is another challenge the young QB is faced with.

“I do try to limit turnovers because turnovers lose you games,” Lewis said. “I try not to throw an interception, but I do need to take more chances and have a little more trust in my guys.”

Regardless of outcome, experience will be gained

With every snap came a little more experience for CU’s 15 freshmen (11 true) making their debut against Northern Colorado. Just a week later, the No. 5 Aggies pose a whole new opportunity. For Nate Landman, building that quality depth is everything when it comes to building a winning program.

“You always see the best teams in the country always have the most depth,” Landman said. “I think that was the biggest part about that (freshman playing) was being able to develop that depth for our program and our team and getting those guys experience. They were excited. They made great plays too when they were out there, so it was exciting for us to see too.”

And we even saw flashes of success from those newer Buffs. Montana Lemonious-Craig caught a TD, Cole Becker hit all five extra points, Chase Penry had a tremendous catch and you can’t teach Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan’s (a.k.a “Tank”) pure size on the O-line.

In addition to the thrill of playing a top-10 opponent, Dorrell believes the test will be a good gauge for where the Buffs stand as a program.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Dorrell said. “It’s a great measuring stick for us to compete with a ranked opponent.”