The moment that Buffs Nation has been eagerly awaiting is now less than a week away. The Buffaloes will take the field behind Coach Prime in Fort Worth on September 2 to face off against the TCU Horned Frogs, and a brand new era of CU football will be ushered in.
The 17th ranked Frogs will prove to be difficult first challenge for the Buffs to overcome. TCU may have lost some of their stars like Quinten Johnson and Max Duggan to the NFL Draft, but the second best team in the nation last season is still poised to be a major threat this year. However, playing TCU right out of the gate is a great opportunity to see just how much of a leap this team has taken since the disastrous 2022 season.
The Buffs opened their season against TCU last season and got walloped by a score of 38-13. The Colorado defense got bulldozed at the line by TCU’s rushing attack and the offense couldn’t keep up. The Buffaloes can reassure fans that the times truly have changed if they can manage to put on a better showing than last season’s monstrosity of a game, even only by a little bit. Some good news is that the difference between the team that faced TCU in Week 1 last year and the 2023 team is night and day. Nearly every starter has been replaced by the new recruits brought in by Coach Prime.
These new Buffs will have their work cut out for them against a pretty scary and well coached Horned Frogs team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. TCU retained a lot of their talent from last season’s run, including former Buff Mark Perry. This means that new Buffs QB Shedeur Sanders and offensive coordinator Sean Lewis will have the difficult task of trying to scheme against what is one of the most efficient defenses in the Big XII.
A particularly huge spotlight will be shined on the new Buffs QB and Coach Prime’s son, as his decision making skills will be front and center all game. TCU has a lethal combination of a relentless pass rush and tight coverage down the field. This means that Sanders will have little to no room for error. This high pressure game provides Sanders the opportunity to show the world that he is the real deal, maybe even worthy the growing Heisman hype he has garnered in camp.
Another thing to keep an eye on will be the role that Travis Hunter plays. The former five star recruit and two-way player will be lining up at receiver for the Buffs during games, but the question is how often will this happen? Splitting snaps on both offense and defense can take a big toll on a player, and Hunter may need extra time to recoup so he doesn’t overexert himself.
The Buffs’ wide receivers room is loaded with new talent, like Jimmy Horn Jr. and Xavier Weaver. They don’t necessarily need Hunter on the field for every snap, but it looks like he will be playing a large role in Sean Lewis’ new offense. Hunter said his biggest focus was learning the offense and its playbook earlier in camp. Buffs fans will finally get the answer to this mystery when the offense finally takes the field against the Horned Frogs, which is something to keep a keen eye on.
TCU head coach Sonny Dykes had earned a reputation as a good pass game schemer, so the Colorado defensive backs room and new defensive coordinator Charles Kelly have an opportunity to show the college football world how dominant the group actually is. Coach Prime’s reputation at defensive back has helped tremendously with recruiting for that position specifically. The NFL Hall of Famer has brought in big names at DB like Travis Hunter and Cormani McClain, who will make their Buffs debut on Saturday.
This has earned CU the nickname of “DB University” by a select few on the internet. This new talent pool at defensive back has a really tough test this week in Fort Worth. They finally have the chance to show that they aren’t all talk and CU really is the top destination in the country for defensive backs to come play. Shutting down the dangerous TCU passing attack would do wonders to keep that narrative alive and well.
For the last few seasons, many CU fans have dreaded the start of football season. They knew the Buffs would underperform on the field under a terrible coaching staff, so expectations were tapered so low that it was nearly impossible to actually get excited for Colorado football. Watching the Buffs felt more like a chore than an actual hobby. But that’s not the case anymore.
The fanbase can finally rejoice knowing that some of the most exciting and important moments in the history of the program are only days away. Buffs fans can tune in to see just how much the program has turned around when the team takes the field on September 2nd at 10 am MST.