What Colorado’s defense must focus on against Oregon’s vaunted offense

Saturday’s game against Oregon could be tough to watch on the defensive end if you’re a Colorado Buffaloes fan.

Colorado has been a bottom-dweller when it comes to the defensive side of the ball this season and it has yet to face an offense as potent as the Ducks. But as I stated in our offensive keys, it’s time to start looking for progression and building blocks.

Colorado does have some intriguing young talent, though, especially in the defensive backfield. The Buffs will continue to take lumps this season, but I want to see them on the field and learning from these experiences. It’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Colorado rose to 10-4 in 2016 after a 1-11 record in 2012. Who from this defensive group will lead the next rise?

It starts against Oregon this weekend, and here is what I want to see:

Get some turnovers

Bo Nix has played some amazing football this year but in the Ducks’ only loss of the year, Nix forced plays and was burned by turnovers. Colorado has definitely gotten its hands on more balls since the coaching change but I want more. Let’s turn up the pressure on the Ducks and get a few interceptions and force a few fumbles.

Focus on the fundamentals

Colorado has been plagued by players not being in the right spot on defense this season. Even when they have been, CU has struggled to bring the ball carrier down with the first defender that greets them. CU needs to keep it simple and play sound football by filling the gaps and bringing down the ball carrier when as soon as possible.

Who is going to help lead the turnaround?

The Buffaloes lost a lot of leadership after last season in Nate Landman and they’ll be losing another captain soon when Quinn Perry plays his final college game. Who is going to step up and start filling a leadership role for the Buffaloes in the coming years? The defense is most likely going to go through a lot of turnover this offseason after a new coach is named and new schemes are developed. The youngsters on defense will do well to start making an impact on the field and in the locker room to help in that transition.

Further reading

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