Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up now!
The Colorado Buffaloes wrapped up practice on Wednesday in anticipation of their game at the Rose Bowl against UCLA on Saturday night.
One of biggest challenges and tests for the Buffs defense thus far will come on Saturday when they’re pitted up against one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Josh Rosen.
Rosen leads all of college football in passing yards, touchdowns, and total offense thus far this season. He also has made headlines for his big play potential, comeback ability, and poise in the pocket. It is no secret that Rosen has the “It” factor and has the potential to be the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft. Needless to say, the Buffs will have their hands full Saturday in attempting to stop him.
After practice, head coach Mike MacIntyre praised Rosen’s ability as a quarterback, complementing his wide range of abilities as a player.
“He’s an excellent player,” MacIntyre said. “He can make all the throws, he’s got good size, he really understands what they’re doing with their offense, he’s getting rid of the ball quick. He’s throwing the ball where it’s catchable all the time, he’s making good reads, and his offensive line is giving him a ton of time, so he kind of sits back there and pats the ball some. He’s extremely, extremely, talented.”
Last week against the Washington Huskies, the Buffs' run defense got lit up, giving up close to 300 yards on the ground. Being that the Bruins have a quarterback of Rosen’s caliber lining up under center, the Buffs' run defense will have to step up and neutralize UCLA’s ground game if they want any chance of stopping their powerful offensive attack.
With running back Sosa Jamabo having his first 100 yard game of the season last week against a talented Cardinals defense, the Buffs find themselves pitted up against another shifty, talented running back.
MacIntyre stressed the importance of good tackling and bringing a guy down the first time to avoid the big play potential which burned them last week.
“[Jamabo] is a good player,” MacIntyre said. “He can really run it, he’s big, he’s powerful, he’s powerful and he’s fast. We just have to be able to tackle him in space.”
One thing playing in the Buffs favor for their matchup Saturday is the fact that they have one of the best cornerbacks in the nation with Isaiah Oliver. Oliver has looked like the elite lockdown cornerback the Buffs expected him to be thus far. He most recently held talented Washington wideout Dante Pettis to 3 catches for 54 yards - 25 of which came on one play during the Huskies first drive.
Although Oliver has been excellent, the rest of the Buffs secondary has had a much more rollercoaster-esque performance thus far. In particular, redshirt freshman Trey Udoffia has had moments where he’s looked great, but others where he’s looked shaken, and been consistently picked on by opposing quarterbacks.
Despite Udoffia’s early rough patches, MacIntyre feels confident about his ability to eliminate the small mistakes, and get better on a week-to-week basis. He also talked about how UCLA would be a good benchmark on his progress thus far.
“He’s gotten better and better - playing corner is tough out there,” MacIntyre said. “He’ll get attacked at different times, but he keeps improving, and keeps progressing, and he’ll play some really good receivers this week.”
Being that Udoffia is playing arguably the toughest position on the field - and one where a perceived mismatch is exploited snap-after-snap, there’s no reason to believe he won’t get better.
-MacIntyre said their is no update on the decision to redshirt Kabion Ento.
-Terrance Lang has gained 22 pounds since arriving at Colorado. He’s now up to 262 pounds, and the team is hoping to get him up to 290. Right now, he isn’t in physical shape to play.
-Tyriek Roberts has been practicing on and off, and has the potential to get more in-game action going forward.
-MacIntyre said he wants to keep different guys ready for punt returns. He’ll make a decision regarding who to put back for a punt based on the situation, and how his returners are feeling. With Jay MacIntyre, who has a week-to-week ankle injury, out for this weekend, Isaiah Oliver and Ronnie Blackmon are set to handle the return workload.
- MacIntyre talked about the importance of video walkthroughs, stating it allows players the opportunity to recognize and react to certain situations on their own.