Tony’s Take: How CU’s offense will operate with Mike Sanford and Brendon Lewis

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Last week, we highlighted head coach Karl Dorrell placing Brendon Lewis in the “driver’s seat” of the quarterback competition. If Lewis is able to hold on to the starting job, we could be seeing the beginnings of adapted philosophy from Colorado’s offensive coaches.

We know that offensive coordinator Mike Sanford likes to run the ball. Our friends at CU at the Game broke down the numbers from Sanford’s past coaching stops:

Sanford likes to run the ball. He likes to run it a lot and we should expect that. The only exception is when he has a program changing QB (Jordan Love in this case) and in that case he only makes it about 50/50.
Boise State 2014: 57%
Utah State 2019: 47.4% (Jordan Love)
Minn 2020: 61.8%
Minn 2021: 69%

No one who has watched Colorado in the past will be upset about an offense that relies on the run, as the most dominant teams in the program’s history have pounded the rock as the first, second and sometimes even third option. But how does Lewis fit into this? With that, we will have to look to the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

During that season, CU’s offense went with about a 60/40 split favoring the run over the passing game. Jarek Broussard led the team with 165 carries on the season but if you look right behind him, Sam Noyer was second on the team with 52 carries in six games for 208 yards. Lewis also carried the ball nine times for 78 yards in his only action against Texas in the Alamo Bowl. That is all impressive yardage and an indicator of what could help jumpstart the offense this year.

Due to the injuries and depth concerns last year, the Buffaloes couldn’t risk putting the ball in Lewis’ hands too many times. But with JT Shrout coming back to health and newcomers Maddox Kopp and Owen McCown joining the group, an offensive attack built around the power running game and the QB-option could be successful.

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Game-by-game predictions for Colorado's 2022 schedule per ESPN's FPI

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire