It's been an eventful spring for Colorado Football. Since signing day, recruiting has ramped up for the next class, the Buffs have installed a partially new offense, and the Champions Center has been dedicated and delivered. It all caps off this Saturday with the Spring... game? Practice? Event? Who knows anymore. There's only an hour of actual game time, but at least it's the starting offense versus starting defense. In that hour, which will have Ralphie Report's very own Jeff Hauser reporting, there are a few things to watch for.
What's This Steven Montez Guy All About?
Steven Montez, the man with the rocket arm and the legs that have more horsepower than Tesla's new Model 3. The redshirt freshman has had zero public showings of what he can do outside of practice, so the scrimmage should be a treat for CU fans wondering what the future of the QB position may look like. While Davis Webb is flying into Boulder in the summer and likely taking the starting job, Montez can show what he will do for the rest of his career. The new offense should fit his skill set to a tee and I for one am excited to see what he can do with all the talent around him.
Hurry-Up Offense... At Altitude
Well, isn't this just exciting news for Buff fans? Darrian Chiaverini, the newly minted co-offensive coordinator, just arrived from Texas Tech. And it seems as if he's brought the gunslinger mentality with him. CU is making a well-documented move from a no-huddle offense (70% of the time) to a faster no-huddle offense. I know, doesn't seem to shock the system, but boy howdy should it help the Buffs score points. Not many other schools have as big of a home-field advantage that CU does, with sea-level opponents gasping for every breath as they step off the plane. It seems like it doesn't take a rocket scientist to pair that with another tiring attribute- running a play every ten seconds. But here we are, it's 2016 and for the first time ever, the Buffs are going full-throttle. The fans get to watch this for the first time on Saturday, and I hope we get winded from the stands. A lot of teams practice at no-huddle speeds, but not a lot of teams do that when the mountain air gets sucked out of your lungs. Hopefully that pays dividends.
Also, we need a name for this new offense. Is "Stampede" too stereotypical? "Thundering Herd" is already taken (thanks, Marshall), and nothing else seems to fit. I'm sure the coaches are taking any and all suggestions
Here's the Kicker...
Last year was not a banner year for the special teams unit. They celebrated their success (or rather, their lack of it) by changing up the special teams staff. And I know it's boring to watch the kicking game, but it has such a direct impact on the game that it may be worth looking out for. Diego Gonzales and Chris Graham have some competition in legs this spring and summer, as two walk on kickers have made it on the roster. Look for Alex Kinney's continued improvement, too. He will be a great punter soon, and that soon better start in the fall. Kinney deserves more responsibility just so we can see more of those golden locks. I don't know if they're doing kickoff returns on Saturday (I guess no), but that would be interesting to watch as well. While some of the speedy freshmen will probably take that duty, Phillip Lindsay is always fun to watch, especially on plays like that.