Colorado Buffaloes scouting report
Head coach: Karl Dorrell, 3rd season (8-14; 43-41 career)
This season: 0-4, 0-1 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at home to UCLA, 45-17
5 Players to Watch
• TE Caleb Fauria: With senior Brady Russell potentially out with an ankle injury, Fauria is next in line. He’s got great potential and could be a key target for Owen McCown.
• RB Charlie Offerdahl: The walk-on started last week and the staff likes what he brings to the table in the run game. He has averaged a solid 4.7 yards per carry (113 yards on 24 carries).
• LB Quinn Perry: Coaches have taken him off the field more in recent weeks, but when he’s on the field, he’s got his nose around the ball. He leads the team with 38 tackles, including nine in 35 snaps last week.
• CB Nikko Reed: He and his fellow defensive backs have to find a way to contain Arizona’s talented receivers. Reed has just one pass breakup this season and needs to come through with some big plays.
• WR Jordyn Tyson: Already making an impact as a true freshman, he’s got just five catches for 71 yards, but he has hauled in two of the Buffs’ three touchdown passes.
It says a lot about how this season is going when players and staff were encouraged by putting up 17 points and 309 yards last week against UCLA. It took a cosmetic 85-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to get to those numbers, though. Although freshman quarterback Owen McCown provided a bit of a spark last week, the Buffs are nowhere near a dangerous offense, as they struggle to run the ball consistently and haven’t been explosive in the passing game. McCown, however, gives them the ability to finally have some sustained drives and get the ball moving.
So far this season, CU has given up more yards each week than it did in the previous game. UCLA put up 515 yards last week, gashing the Buffs with the run (249 yards) and pass (266). The Buffs haven’t shown the ability to consistently stop teams in either area. They rank last in the country against the run, allowing 323.2 yards per game and they are 109th in pass efficiency defense (151.1 QB rating). There is a large number of veterans playing on defense and they’ve played better in the past, so the Buffs are banking on them making some improvements in a hurry.
Colorado special teams
Without question, this has been CU’s strength so far this season. Kicker Cole Becker is 4-for-5 on field goals and has been perfect on extra points (5-for-5) and has put 12 of his 13 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. The Buffs may have found an answer at punter, too. True freshman Ashton Logan struggled during the first few weeks, but missed last week with an illness (and will miss this week, too). In his place, walk-on freshman Trent Carrizosa had a nice performance, averaging 46.2 yards against UCLA. Nikko Reed has averaged 33.3 yards on his three kickoff returns.
How Colorado can win
Every week, the Buffs are hoping this will be the week the offense clicks. To beat Arizona (or anyone), they need this to be the week that the offense breaks through. The Buffs don’t need to be unbelievable and put 50 points on the board, but if they can have sustained drives that end in points – even field goals – they can stay in this game and have a shot to win. Defensively, they need to contain Arizona’s run game and create turnovers.
• CU is currently riding a seven-game road losing streak. The Buffs’ last win in a true road game was 24-13 against Arizona, on Dec. 5, 2020.
• Running back Charlie Offerdahl has rushed for 113 yards this season, the third-best single-season total for a walk-on in CU history. Offerdahl could break the record, as he’s just 15 yards behind the current mark of 128 by Josh Ford in 2011.
• This is the first season since 2012 in which CU has had three different starting quarterbacks. Since World War II, the Buffs have had as many as three starters just eight times: 1947, 1969, 1980, 1987, 1992, 2000, 2012 and 2022.
• Inside linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo has recorded two tackles for loss in each of the last two games. He currently leads the Buffs in sacks (two) and TFLs (five). The rest of the defense has combined for one sack and eight TFLs.
• Head coach Karl Dorrell is 5-2 in his career against Arizona, including 2-0 while at CU. He was 3-2 against the Wildcats when he coached at UCLA from 2003-07.