Colorado Buffaloes Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Colorado season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Colorado Buffaloes Preview
Head Coach: Karl Dorrell, 3rd year at Colorado, 8-10
8th year overall, 43-37, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 4-8, Conference: 3-6
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Colorado Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis
Colorado Buffaloes Preview 2022
Is this going to be one of those years when everyone blows off Colorado and then something big happens?
2020 was weird in every way for the Pac-12, but the Buffaloes still managed to push through for a 4-2 season with a bowl appearance.
The 2016 team wasn’t expected to do anything coming off a four-win season, and then came the 10-win run on the way to a Pac-12 Championship appearance.
That might be a little extreme, and it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing with the 2022 Buffaloes. Just being good enough to go bowling would be enough.
There might be a ton of key losses through the transfer portal, and this isn’t going to be one of the spotlight teams in the Pac-12 South, but there are more than enough good parts and improvements among the starting 22 to be better than most will likely expect.
It’ll take a big change, though. It wasn’t just that Colorado went 4-8, it’s that it wasn’t all that close in most of the losses and struggled WAY too much on …
Colorado Buffaloes Preview 2022: Offense
The O couldn’t keep things moving. The Buffs had the second-worst offense in college football averaging just 257 yards per game, the 18.8 points per game doesn’t tell the whole story with the consistency, and there wasn’t any semblance of a decent passing attack to get back in games when things weren’t working.
So yes, there are some personnel losses and changes from last year, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It starts with …
The offensive line has to give everyone more time to work. There’s some shuffling, getting tackle Tommy Brown from Alabama should help, and the starting five might quietly grow into a positive with a little bit of time. Now the pass protection and ground attack have to follow.
Leading rusher Jarek Broussard is off to Michigan State, but the rest of the backs return and Sam Houston State transfer Ramon Jefferson – almost 2,000 yards in two years – should quickly become the main man. Now …
Who’s taking over at quarterback? It was a huge setback for the offense when Tennessee transfer JT Shrout was hurt last offseason with a major knee injury and couldn’t go. Brendon Lewis was fine, but the downfield passing game wasn’t there. Lewis can run, he’s experienced, and he’s careful with the ball, but Shrout is the better pure passer.
It wasn’t necessarily a plus that TE Brady Russell led the team in receiving – he made just 25 catches and didn’t score. He’s back, and there are wholesale changes with top WR Brenden Rice going to USC and Dimitri Stanley off to Iowa State, but landing Baylor transfer RJ Sneed might be an upgrade – he’ll stretch the field – around several young parts with the upside to do a lot more.
Colorado Buffaloes Preview 2022: Defense
The defense didn’t get any help from the offense, but it also didn’t do enough to help the cause. The run D struggled, there weren’t enough takeaways, and the pass rush was lacking. That last part was addressed this offseason, and if that starts to kick in, the D that finished last in the Pac-12 in sacks and next-to-last in total defense should rise up fast. That starts with …
The pass rush – it has to show up. Terrance Lang is a big end who fits more in a 3-4 system, but he has to get behind the line more. The tackles are 300+ pounders in.a rotation that should be fine, the outside linebackers have to help with more pressure.
Leading playmaker behind the line Carson Wells is gone from his hybrid role, but the focus on being more disruptive should turn the the returning linebackers loose around top returning tackling LB Quinn Perry. But …
It’s not necessarily a positive that the defense backs made so many plays last year, but they can hit. Leading tackler Isaiah Lewis is back at one safety spot, but big hitter Mark Perry is off to TCU, good corner Mekhi Blackmon is at USC, and fellow corner Christian Gonzalez bolted for Oregon. It’s going to be a young secondary, but as long as the pass rush improves, this group should be okay with a little time.