Can Karl Dorrell’s side stun the world and win even more games this year after a 4-8 win last year?
Only time will tell. The consensus from a few outlets is that the Colorado Buffaloes are going to win about four games. Others insisted the tough schedule wouldn’t help the Buffs at all.
Nevertheless, you have to play the games and see what happens. Maybe they will shock everyone and finish with more than four wins this year.
College Football News’ Pete Fiutak reviewed the 2022 campaign for the Buffs and gave five keys to this upcoming season.
THE KEY TO OFFENSE: MOVE THE CHAINS
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Move the chains. Here is what Fiutak says:
The running game went nowhere, the passing offense couldn’t convert on third downs and the regular production wasn’t there. On the plus side, the offense hasn’t turned the ball over enough to matter, but it will take a few more chances and risks to open things up a bit more.
Converting on the third try will change everything.
Jarek Broussard joined Mel Tucker at Michigan State, but the Buffs have Alex Fontenot and Deion Smith, and the running game should be strong again.
THE KEY TO DEFENSE: THE RUSH PASS
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The Buffs have to find a way to get after the quarterback, and it starts up front.
Again – from the start – the pass rush has been tackled this offseason as a main focus of the spring ball, and it should be better. At least that’s the hope.
Colorado had three sacks in Game 1 against Northern Colorado, and they had three at the end of the year against Washington. He also came with two against an unfortunate Arizona offensive line. He’s only generated five in the other nine games.
If they can disrupt the QB, the Buffs’ defense, in general, should be much 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 the starting job? It is certainly a possibility.
Is the former Tennessee transfer’s knee okay? He was able to start working in the mix again this spring, and if he’s right, the downside passing game should start to kick in.
If not Shrout, Brendon Lewis isn’t a bad option. He has experience, he is a good, careful decision maker and he can race. 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.
KEY TRANSFER: RJ SNEED II
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Karl Dorrell and the Buffs landed Baylor WR RJ Sneed II, easily their biggest win of the offseason. Can he help propel a depleted wide receiver room that has lost a lot of players? With a bit of luck.
Colorado didn’t get much from its wide receivers last year, and yet the best of the pack took off for other schools. The O needs a dangerous #1 target and deep threat to keep the defensive coordinators up at night, and that’s Sneed.
No, he didn’t increase yards per catch at Baylor — averaging 12 yards per catch — with 133 catches for 1,565 yards and eight scores.
KEY MATCH: SEPTEMBER 2 VS. TOS
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The key game, according to Futiak, is the opener against TCU. Can buffs stun Horned Frogs?
The Horned Frogs are undergoing an overhaul with a new head coach, bigger passing offense and new energy as they look to the season opener as a way to get the program going again. But it’s a home game for Colorado, and it’s an important game.
Lose that, and with road games at Air Force and Minnesota to follow, it could be a rocky start to the season before diving into the Pac-12 game against UCLA. Beating TCU doesn’t mean Colorado will win the tough games ahead, but will lose, and the pressure will mount to a whole new level.
The story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire