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Can Karl Dorrell’s team stun the world and win some more games this year after a 4-8 finish last year?
Only time will tell. The consensus from a few outlets is the Colorado Buffaloes are going to win around four games. Others have insisted that the difficult schedule isn’t going to help the Buffs at all.
Nonetheless, you need to play the games and see what happens. Maybe they will shock everybody and finish with more than four victories this year.
Pete Fiutak of College Football News examined the 2022 campaign for the Buffs and gave five keys to this upcoming season.
KEY TO OFFENSE: GET THE CHAINS MOVING
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Get the chains moving. Here’s what Fiutak said:
The running game didn’t go anywhere, the passing attack couldn’t convert on third downs, and the steady production wasn’t there. On the plus side, the offense didn’t turn the ball over enough to matter, but it’ll have to take a few more chances and risks to open it all up a bit more.
Converting on third down will change everything.
KEY TO DEFENSE: THE PASS RUSH
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffs need to find a way to get after the quarterback, and it starts up front.
Again – from earlier in this – the pass rush has been addressed this offseason as a main focus in spring ball, and it should be better. At least that’s the hope.
Colorado came up with three sacks in the opener against Northern Colorado, and it came up with three late in the year against Washington. It also came up with two against a hapless Arizona offensive line. It only generated five in the other nine games.
If they can disrupt the QB, the Buffs’ defense, in general, should be a lot stronger in 2022.
KEY PLAYER: JT SHROUT
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
JT Shrout has easily been the biggest talking point so far. Will the Tennessee transfer finally take over the starting job? That’s definitely a possibility.
Is the former Tennessee transfer’s knee okay? He was able to start working back into the mix this spring, and if he’s right, the downfield passing game should start to kick in.
If it’s not Shrout, Brendon Lewis isn’t a bad option. He’s got experience, he’s a careful-good decision maker, and he can run. However, he’s not going to throw and push the passing game – Colorado had the worst passing offense in the Pac-12 – like a healthy Shrout can.
KEY TRANSFER: RJ SNEED II
(Photo by Adrian Garcia/Getty Images)
Karl Dorrell and the Buffs landed Baylor WR RJ Sneed II, easily their biggest get of the offseason. Can he help propel a depleted wide receivers room that lost a lot of players? Hopefully.
Colorado didn’t get much of anything out of its wide receivers last year, and yet the best of the bunch took off for other schools. The O needs a dangerous No. 1 target and deep threat to keep defensive coordinators up at night, and that’s Sneed.
No, he didn’t crank up the yards per catch at Baylor – averaging 12 yards per grab – with 133 catches for 1,565 yards and eight scores.
KEY GAME: SEPTEMBER 2 VS. TCU
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The key game, according to Futiak, is the opener against TCU. Can the Buffs stun the Horned Frogs?
The Horned Frogs are undergoing an overhaul with a new head coach, a bigger passing offense, and a new energy as they’ll be looking at the season opener as a way to jumpstart the program. But it’s a home game for Colorado, and it’s a big one.
Lose this, and with road games at Air Force and Minnesota to follow, this might be a rocky start to the season before diving into Pac-12 play against UCLA. Beating TCU doesn’t mean Colorado will win the tough games coming up, but lose, and the pressure will be ramped up to a whole other level