After suffering their first shut out in nearly five years, a 28-0 loss at Washington State, the Colorado Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) are back in Boulder and looking to right the ship against the California Golden Bears (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12). California is coming off a tough 45-44 double-overtime loss to Arizona. Ralphie Report contributors Sam Metivier and Jeff Hauser joined me via Slack to breakdown Saturday’s matchup.
Anthony Kazmierczak [10:47 PM]
Alright fellas, the Buffs are back in Boulder and in need of a win if they expect to be playing in December. Let's start with the question on everyone's mind, who should start under center for the Buffs?
Sam Metivier [10:48 PM]
Anthony Kazmierczak [10:49 PM]
Sam Metivier [10:51 PM]
OK, OK, I'll go with Steven Montez. Last week he was atrocious, but he's been mostly decent this year — he was even good against UCLA and Arizona. With Noyer, we have no evidence that he's an upgrade over Montez because we've never seen him play outside of garbage time, and that includes last week when we saw him against Washington State last week when he looked just as bad as Montez.
Jeff Hauser [10:53 PM]
I have always thought it's Steven Montez. At this point sending in Sam Noyer sends the clear message to the team it's time to pack it up and start over. The same game plan with Montez as a dual threat works. The question is what happens going forward? I've heard from a couple team sources that both quarterbacks looked good all week and it's not clear who will start on Saturday. Mike MacIntyre has a tough decision to make.
Anthony Kazmierczak [10:57 PM]
I agree. Yes, Montez struggled against the Cougars, but I just haven't seen enough of Noyer to warrant a start. Two weeks from now, if for some reason the Buffs are 4-6, then give Noyer a shot.
Sam Metivier [10:57 PM]
Do you really want Noyer starting against USC in his first start? With a bowl on the line?
Anthony Kazmierczak [10:57 PM]
It really depends on the situation and what happens the next two weeks. Would rather have Noyer start a home game vs. a road game.
Sam Metivier [10:58 PM]
I would be OK with Noyer getting the nod later on if Montez plays as poorly as he did against Wazzu, but I wouldn't count on that.
Jeff Hauser [10:59 PM]
That's a good question. No. Montez is a young quarterback in his first season as the full-time starter. He's going to make mistakes and struggle.
Sam Metivier [11:00 PM]
Yeah! Right there! This was always going to be a transition year and we (should have) expected Montez to go through struggles and learn from them. It's way too early to give up on such a talented quarterback.
Jeff Hauser [11:05 PM]
Here's a question, what's your thoughts on MacIntyre's meltdown last week?
Anthony Kazmierczak [11:05 PM]
Honestly, loved Mac's meltdown.
Sam Metivier [11:05 PM]
I'm fine with Mac's meltdown. He was clearly upset with his team and to me that was more of an effort to inspire something in his team.
Jeff Hauser [11:06 PM]
I agree with both of you. I think he's feeling the pressure to win.
Anthony Kazmierczak [11:07 PM]
Sometimes a coach needs to do that to light a fire. Plus, it shows he's passionate about this team. Let's switch gears and talk keys to this game against California.
Sam Metivier [11:11 PM]
Whoever starts, they need to be competent. Cal's defense is pretty decent, so Phillip Lindsay won't be able to carry the team all by himself like he has in recent weeks. It would also be nice to see the defense that showed up against Washington State last week. The secondary was great last week and the front seven was fine. Decent offense and solid defense should be able to beat Cal. That's not much to ask for but you never know with this team.
Anthony Kazmierczak [11:12 PM]
I'd love to see a huge game from 'Big Play' Shay Fields. Haven't heard his name too much since Pac-12 play started.
Sam Metivier [11:15 PM]
His attitude has been lacking. He's let the QB and line struggles get to him. He seems to be upset every time he isn't targeted. Sure, a great game from him would be awesome, but he has to consistently run his routes hard even without guarantee of a target.
Jeff Hauser [11:17 PM]
Get to the quarterback. The Buffs have 3 sacks against Pac-12 opponents and need to force more pressure. It would be nice for the defense to show improvement. The offense needs to finish drive with points on the board and keep the defense off the field. Whoever starts will need to work the ball around the field and get the offense firing on all cylinders. Shay has been absent for most of the year. I've been waiting for him to have a breakout game and I fear that ship might have sailed.
Sam Metivier [11:19 PM]
It's a shame these receivers have been wasted by this offense. Thank the heavens for Phillip Lindsay.
Anthony Kazmierczak [11:20 PM]
Alright, those are the keys. How about predictions before we wrap this chat up.
Sam Metivier [11:20 PM]
I want to believe in this team... Colorado 30, Cal 24.
Jeff Hauser [11:21 PM]
Colorado answers the call and wins 38-26.
Anthony Kazmierczak [11:23 PM]
Buffs finally get a complete game from both sides of the ball. CU wins 37-3 (same score Cal beat Washington State by)
Sam Metivier [11:23 PM]