The Colorado Buffaloes enter their Pac-12 conference schedule with obvious issues needing to be addressed. If we learned anything from a less-than-satisfactory non-conference portion of the schedule, the Buffs will have their work cut out for them facing a tough five-game stretch ending at No. 3 Oregon in Oct. 30. Here are three things that Karl Dorrell and Co. need to adjust before Saturday’s matchup with Arizona State.
Brendon Lewis needs time
The Buffs’ QB has shown flashes of being a game manager, but at the end of the day, he needs more time. Either that comes with tuning up the game plan to fully-cater to his dual-threat ability, or take him out until he can get up to speed with exactly what play caller & offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini is throwing into the mix.
Lewis is a talented passer and can light opposing defenses up with his feet. However, his development is not going to be an overnight process. No matter how many ways you try to stack the situation, these are “growing pains” that will have to be worked through.
But that doesn’t explain how the Buffs only generated 63 total yards of offense at six first downs in sixty minutes vs. Minnesota on Saturday. Believe it or not, three yards per every minute of possession is not getting the job done. That’s something Chiaverini and Dorrell will have to have an answer for against ASU. Whether it’s a Texas A&M hangover or not, CU’s offense can’t struggle with near all-time lows for a second straight week and not expect major changes on the horizon.
Mistake-free is the way to be
Besides not being able to move the ball on Saturday, Colorado did one thing right— they controlled their pace and played with very few mistakes. After racking up 12 penalties for 118 yards against Northern Colorado to open the season it has been smooth sailing ever since. A total of 5-for-47 yards in the past two games is a vast improvement. If CU continues to adjust and play without a massive amount of penalties, they’ll be able to focus on what needs the most attention.
The ‘D’ can’t do it all
Colorado’s defense has held up their end of the bargain for the greater part of eight straight quarters. We know what kind of junkyard dogs Chris Wilson’s unit has transformed into, but they can’t continue to be out on the field to avoid the Buffs from getting blowout. The offense needs a boost from Lewis and the usually stable rushing attack of Jarek Broussard, Alex Fontenot, and Ashaad Clayton to wear down ASU’s defense. Even if CU can’t control the time of possession and beat the Sun Devils that way, run the ball right down their throats and throw them into a battle with fatigue early.