2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Colorado Offense
Use the NFL talent to get the downfield passing game going. QB Steven Montez will be drafted. WR Laviska Shenault should get to walk across the stage and give Roger Goodell a first round hug in Las Vegas next April. KD Nixon has gamebreaking ability, too.
Now it’s up to all that talent to average well over 11 yards per completion – among the worst in the Pac-12 last year – and explode for way, way more than seven yards per pass attempt. The running game is going to take a bit to get going – Montez has to open things up.
Biggest Key To The Colorado Defense
Come up with takeaways. With a defensive-minded head man in Mel Tucker, and with a good defensive coordinator in Tyson Summers, the Buff defense should be far more active and far more productive. That starts with figuring out how to start taking the ball away.
The 2016 team that got to the Pac-12 title game generated 26 takeaways. The following year, the turnovers stopped with just 14, and none in the last three games. Last season, the defense once again failed to come up with a takeaway over the final three games – the Buffs went -11 in turnover margin during the stretch. The D recovered just three fumbles over the last nine games, and only generated multiple interceptions once all year.
Key Player To A Successful Season
RB Jaren Mangham, Fr.
Leading rusher Travon McMillian is gone. Second-leading running back Kyle Evans is done, and third-leading rusher – not counting QB Steven Montez – Beau Bisharat is now a tight end. The leading returning running back – sophomore Alex Fontenot – ran for just 43 yards and a touchdown.
The hope is for 6-2, 215-pound star recruit Jaren Mangham to take over the ground game right away, and he looked the part in the spring game with 149 yards and three scores.
Key Game To The Colorado Season
at Arizona State, Sept. 21
If Colorado is going to have a good season, the opener against Colorado State has to be a given, and the date with Air Force has to be a layup. To have a really good year, the Buffs have to show they’re the real deal by taking care of Nebraska for the second straight season. But with what’s coming in Pac-12 play, starting out with a win at Arizona State – it was the final Buff win of last year before the slide – would mean the world.
There’s a week off before facing Arizona, but the back half of the slate is an absolute bear – there’s no Oregon State on the schedule this time around. Lose to ASU, and it might be a scramble to go bowling.
– Colorado Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Colorado Fun Stats
– 4th Quarter Scoring: Opponents 73 – Colorado 39
– Tackles For Loss: Opponents 106 for 381 yards – Colorado 79 for 303 yards
– Fumbles: Colorado 23 (lost 7) – Opponents 16 (lost 7)