Despite the 3-0 start, many questions surround the Colorado Buffaloes football program as they prepare for their Pac-12 opener against Washington. The Ralphie Report managing editor Jon Woods, and contributors Jack Barsch, Jeff Hauser, and Sam Metivier joined me via Slack to discuss this Buffs team and their upcoming Pac-12 Championship game rematch vs. the Huskies.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:00 PM]
Alright fellas. Before the Buffs kick off Pac-12 play Saturday vs. Washington, let's discuss what we've seen thus far. Biggest concerns you have?
Jack Barsch [8:01 PM]
Well, the number one concern is that Washington is really good.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:02 PM]
We'll get to the Washington game soon, but what concerns do you have regarding this Buffs team?
Jack Barsch [8:03 PM]
I'm not gonna go on a rant, but this team has yet to show that they can consistently GO on offense. Like, really go. The defense has been plugging holes, but this team's season will be run by the O, which has yet to gel.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:06 PM]
Could agree more Jack. It's almost as if they were holding back, experimenting in their first three games. I'm particularly concerned about all the offensive line tinkering. @Jack Barsch What do you think about Steven Montez's play thus far?
Jack Barsch [8:08 PM]
Montez is gonna Montez. He makes a lot of plays that make you wonder how he did it, then he makes a few that make you wonder why he did it. Actually, Brian Howell [Buffzone.com writer] had a cool tweet about this:
Jeff Hauser [8:14 PM]
2016- OSU, USC and Oregon vs. 2017- CSU, Texas State and UNC. Huge difference.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:15 PM]
Good point Jeff. Welcome to the party.
Jack Barsch [8:15 PM]
ehhh, I don't know if it is that huge of a difference. OSU and Oregon had two AWFUL pass defenses last year. In fact, you could make an argument (a bad one) that CSU and TSU have better pass Ds. Now, USC is leagues ahead, but he also struggled in that game.
Jeff Hauser [8:17 PM]
Montez is going to limit the mistakes. I talked to his HS coach, who talks to him every day, and he anticipates Steven will impress in conference play. Also, what's notable about him is Chiv [Darrin Chiaverini] and Lindgren [Brian Lindgren] haven't use much of his dual-threat designed runs, yet. And that was straight from Montez. Thank you, Anthony!
Jack Barsch [8:18 PM]
I agree completely, and that will be a great twist to pull out in conference play. The few read options he ran against UNC were gashers.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:19 PM]
Does he have any good relationships with the receivers? Favorite targets?
Jack Barsch [8:20 PM]
I'll touch on that before I stop dominating the convo. I think the fact that his 4 TDs last week went to 4 different receivers is a very good sign.
Jeff Hauser [8:20 PM]
I agree 100%
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:20 PM]
Certainly shows Montez has a lot of weapons.
Jeff Hauser [8:21 PM]
I want to see more from Winfree and Ento.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:22 PM]
Any other concerns about the offense before we move on to the defense?
Jeff Hauser [8:23 PM]
Shay Fields. This is his make or break year for NFL scouts. He needs to bring the house!!
Jack Barsch [8:24 PM]
I think he's been doing fine so far. If they can get the deep ball timing down, he'll blow up. He's probably missed out on a few TDs already.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:38 PM]
Alright, train has gotten off the rails a little bit. Let's talk the Buffs defense. What has impressed you? What has concerned you through the first three games?
Jeff Hauser [8:38 PM]
Impressed with the linebackers. [Trey] Udoffia needs time to grow.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:39 PM]
Agree Jeff. Drew Lewis is a beast. How about the secondary?
Jack Barsch [8:40 PM]
Evan Worthington has been an absolute revelation.
Anthony Kazmierczak [8:49 PM]
Good piece by Cydney Tanner on CUBuffs.com about Worthington and his family. Alright, let's move on to the Washington game. The Buffs are 10-point underdogs against the Huskies. What must they do to pull off the upset?
Jack Barsch [9:03 PM]
They have to shut down the run. Number one goal.
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:05 PM]
Huskies ground attack hasn't exactly been firing on all cylinders. 389 total rush yards against Rutgers, Montana and Fresno State.
Jon Woods [9:06 PM]
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:06 PM]
Finally! Thoughts on CU vs Washington @Jon Woods?
Jon Woods [9:09 PM]
I think it’s a classic momentum game. I don’t give the Buffaloes a good chance of coming back if they get down by more than a touchdown and the crowd is silenced. But that late at night if the Buffs can get the crowd rocking and make enough big plays to keep them into it then we’ll be in for a close one. The added dimension we could see of Montez not being afraid to take off with the ball could be enormous Saturday night. The offensive line scares the sh*t out of me.
Jack Barsch [9:11 PM]
Don't forget that it will be wet Saturday night.
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:13 PM]
Not sure if that helps or hurts. Jeff Hauser posted a good column on 5 ways the Buffs can beat the Huskies.
Jon Woods [9:14 PM]
Wet and below 60. Not sure who that helps but I love it.
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:14 PM]
I really agree with number two on Jeff's list. If Lindsay and the Buffs can run the ball, and control the clock, the Buffs can win.
Jon Woods [9:15 PM]
Who’s the guy, besides Montez and Lindsay that can pick up a few key carries in this game?
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:18 PM]
I'd say Michael Adkins, but I'm a little concerned after he fumbled on his only carry vs. Northern Colorado. They really need another back to compliment Lindsay.
Jon Woods [9:21 PM]
Totally agree. If he were somehow fresh in the fourth quarter he could ravage a tired defense at altitude.
Jack Barsch [9:21 PM]
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:21 PM]
Jon Woods [9:21 PM]
Not even fresh. Just not exhausted. GIVE ME JAVIER.
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:21 PM]
It's gotta happen at some point. Alright, before we end this group chat, let's get everyone's predictions for Saturday's game?
Jon Woods [9:26 PM]
That’s tough because I think we know so little about these teams. It’s close throughout but UW pulls away at the end and wins 31-24. I very much think that Colorado can win this game though.
Anthony Kazmierczak [9:28 PM]
It's a tough call. Home field advantage/weather may help the Buffs, but I think the Huskies win 27-24.
Sam Metivier [9:29 PM]
BUFFS WIN 69-0.
Jack Barsch [9:32 PM]
Everyone has a good time.