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Desperately seeking a Win - CU vs Arizona

Desperately seeking a Win - CU vs Arizona
By TrevMon • Issue #9 • View online
This week, CU desperately needs a victory party to stem the negative tide and to celebrate parents weekend. Arizona will try to end their 17 game losing streak, the longest in college football.

CU Bus tailgate North of Folsom
CU Bus tailgate North of Folsom
The Pain Points
If CU can address the major pain points in the passing game (TTT, PBLK), then there will be positive spillovers to running game and defense.
  1. Passing has two major issues: One, freshman QB Brendan Lewis takes to much time throwing the football. His average time to throw (TTT) is 3.25, the average sack takes 2.8 seconds. Two, the pass blocking is poor, CU’s starting tackles have an average pass protection (PBLK) ratings of 22.6, 33.7, 49.7. It’s evident that poor pass protection for a QB who holds the ball is a problem.
  2. With weak pass protection, defenses get consistent pressure without blitzing. Opponents can keep more players in coverage, and can better contain QB scrambles (relative to blitz)
  3. Weak downfield passing attack = stacked box, opponents are putting 7-8 players in the box to clog running lanes and stymy underneath passing
  4. Offense unable to consistently sustain drives and control time of possession thus wearing down our defense and not tiring out opposing defenses
  5. Confronting the reality of youngest QB room in CFB - The QB room would have been saltier if Sam Noyer or Tyler Lytle had not transferred, or if JT Shrout had not been injured. I don’t have a problem being all in on Lewis, his back-ups are also green. He is making progress, that should be more evident in the next few games.
Arizona CU Match-up
  • AZ is only the second team we face this year with lower power rating (74) CU (76)
  • Both teams have struggled at QB, AZ has used three QBs this year. Back to Gunner Cruz; AZ had an open try out in Sept. Will Plummer was once a CU prospect
  • AZ is 5th in the nation in terms of passing yards allowed (although they have the least amount of attempts against them at 107). Like CU, they have good cover corners, most teams pick on S/LB matchups
  • Pandy is having a good year at LB, he had a few picks last year against the Buffs
  • Stanley Berryhill (WR) is a receiving threat
  • Drake Anderson and Michael Wiley are decent running backs
The Fixes
  1. Accelerate the QB Development Process - tailor the system to play to their strengths
  2. A softer patch in the schedule should do wonders - Buffs had the 9th toughest schedule this year
  3. Step-up pass protection - develop chemistry upfront, heal up and get into midseason form. Max Wray is back and may be ready, Frank Fillip had solid pass protection ratings last year and should get his groove back.
  4. Scale what works - the good new is that Buff have had some success on a few drives where they got skill players in space. For instance, the 6 play, 48 yard drive against USC for the first TD that featured tempo with QB lining up in shot gun and under center. Drive started with quick strike (shotgun) to the slot (6 yds), under center run off left tackle (19 yds), (under center) play action off tackle fake naked bootleg pass to TE (15 yds); Inside, bounce outside run (TD)…For instance, the drive against ASU to open second half, the drive featured shot gun RPO, (under center) Brousard up the middle (10yrd), cut-back sweep (8yrds); (shot-gun) jet sweep to WR (25yds), (shotgun) run Fontenot up the middle (12 yds); shotgun, RPO off tackle (8yds), 3 plays from inside the 5 to punch it in.
  5. Sustain drives with tempo and physicality. if Buffs can play with tempo and physicality, then they will leverage their edge in conditioning and altitude for home games
Development takes time
In my view, Rick George made a courageous, smart hire in Karl Dorrell. While none of us were prepared for the offensive woes, I think we have the leadership to get through this patch and make the team better for it. Rick hired Karl because of his character, integrity, and passion for developing all aspects of the student athletes. This is not the time for disruptive change, it’s time to keep working on player development. Time to make smart moves that will set bigger things in motion. I believe this staff has the attention to the detail, the discipline and work ethic to get the Buff back to the top in due course. Until then, I hope the Buffs can get on a roll sooner than later.
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By TrevMon

Notes on the University of Colorado Football Program

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