The Colorado Buffaloes have to get their offense on track, and what better week to do it than against Mike Sanford’s former team? All eyes will be on the Buffs’ new offensive coordinator this weekend as he returns to face the Golden Gophers with his offensive system facing big questions.
Who will be the starting quarterback? What is the Buffaloes’ identity? Can CU break out of its offensive slump? Sanford will need to answer these questions and more as Colorado looks to gain its first win of the season on Saturday at Minnesota.
Read on for our offensive keys to the game for the Buffs:
What do you want to be?
Colorado has struggled to find an identity for many years now. Dan Hawkins brought the pistol and Jon Embree tried to get back to a pro-style rushing attack that relied on the power run. Mike McIntrye brought multiple offenses while Mel Tucker ran a pro-style offense. Now, CU is transitioning again and has had trouble finding its footing in Mike Sanford’s offense. They have playmakers on the outside and an improved line that can get some push in the run game, but the coaches need to identify the style of offense they want to run and employ the players that can make it happen.
This all starts with the…
Stop me if you’ve heard this, who is your QB?
Colorado has two different types of quarterbacks at the top of its depth chart. JT Shrout is more of your pocket passer that has to have his feet set to deliver an accurate ball and Brendon Lewis is at his best on the run and using his feet to make plays. The coaches have tried to blend an offense that can work for both players and have not been able to live in both worlds.
The decision basically comes down to how much you want to rely on the passing game. Lewis was able to move the ball in the first half against TCU by running an option run game that got bogged down when they came out throwing in the second half. Shrout and the passing offense were slowed down by the conditions and a fast Air Force defense that really only got going when the Buffs leaned on the run.
If it was up to me…
Pound the rock
Colorado has had success in the past by running the football. The Buffs used to wear down teams by grinding out the run and controlling the time of possession. But through the first two games, they have been on the wrong side of this equation, and the defense has worn down because of it. Colorado needs to lean on the big boys up front and sprinkle in some option ground game and quick passing options, such as screens and play action, to keep the defense off guard.
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