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Buffaloes look to rebound against UCLA: Week Four Preview

Will the Buffaloes finally turn things around?

NCAA Football: Colorado at UCLA Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado (0-3, Pac-12) is off to one of the worst starts in school history. The defense plays undisciplined and the offense isn’t much better. It feels like the Buffaloes have hit a low point, but do we know if this is rock bottom? Karl Dorrell and his contract have been a topic of conversation amongst college football pundits and fans but it doesn’t mean that he’s going anywhere soon. In order to find some ray of light in an awful start this Buffaloes team needs to start showing some signs of life and it might start with a new starter at quarterback.

Colorado’s offense had less than 100 yards in the first 3 quarters at Minnesota on Saturday. It was the final bullet to an all-time low in non-conference play, a loss in the the first 3 games by 25+ points. Dorrell and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford have decided to try and stop the bleeding by inserting a new starter at quarterback, true freshman Owen McCown. Brenden Lewis and J.T. Shrout haven’t been the only problem on offense for the Buffaloes. Far from it. But they certainly haven't helped and the hope is that McCown can help Colorado find the spark they have been looking for.

UCLA (3-0, Pac-12) remains perfect on the season, but it doesn’t mean that they have been overly impressive. South Alabama took the Bruins to the wire and kept things interesting late. Also, Bowling Green wasn’t a cake walk to open the season.

Chip Kelly has spent the majority of his tenure with QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the two have grown to trust each other throughout the years. DTR came to UCLA as a run-first dual threat athlete, but his outlook has changed a bit. He relies on his arm for more accurate throws, and if he’s able to keep things moving on third down, that’s when the game could get out of hand.

Former Colorado offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini was added to Kelly’s staff this off-season and is very familiar with the Buffaloes having been a part of the Buffs program since 2016.

“I told my wife, ‘I’ve never been in the opposing locker room (at Folsom Field),’” the former Colorado assistant Chiaverini told the Denver Post this week.

“I’ve never been on the (opposing) sidelines. So that’ll be … interesting.” He went on to say there were, “So many memories, just as a player and as a coach. So many good memories of just blood, sweat and tears on that field.”

Chiaverini’s homecoming will be awkward for some at CU. Especially knowing how bad the Buffs have been to start the season. But Chiaverini isn’t the only one facing a team he once coached. Dorrell led UCLA with five consecutive bowl appearances from 2003-07 and posted a 35-27 record during that time.

From the desk of Dave Plati:

Stat of the week: “Redshirt freshman TB Charlie Offerdahl had the proverbial breakout game in CU’s loss at Minnesota; he carried eight times for 55 yards, the third-most yards gained by a walk-on in CU history. In fact, his 70 yards on the season is already the fourth-most in a single season by a walk-on. The 5-11, 185-pounder from Littleton’s Dakota Ridge High School has been turning heads in practice and scrimmages since joining the team as a preferred walk-on in 2021 and was CU’s special teams scout player of the year for that season.”

Game info

Colorado returns home to start Pac-12 play with UCLA on Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon MT. The game will feature an On-Campus Salute” for soon-to-be CFB Hall of Famer Rashaan Salaam.

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: 850 KOA (Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett)

Weather forecast: 74° Sunny

Odds: -21.5 UCLA