Five Things to know about Colorado, from a Colorado reporter

Before every game, GopherHole will ask a reporter who covers their opponent to give us a view from the opponent’s perspective. 

I asked Jake Schwanitz of DNVR Sports five questions about the Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado takes on Minnesota on September 17th in Minneapolis. 

Huge thanks to Jake for contributing! 

Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeDNVR

1. A lot has happened since Colorado finished 4-8 last year. Since then, 22 players transferred out of the program, including six starters, and head coach Karl Dorrell replaced six of 10 full-time coaches. What were the expectations heading into this season and what’s the mood like in Boulder right now with Colorado sitting at 0-2? 

Sitting at 0-2 is disappointing but not surprising. The amount of faces who have gone in and out of this program over the last three to four years has led to a lot of instability. Coming into the year, it was widely thought that five to six wins would be a great year for this team with the general expectation that they could win two to four games. It’s difficult to circle a game on the Buffs’ schedule now and say, “this should be a win.”

2. Last December, Colorado hired former Minnesota offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. to run the Buffs’ offense. Sanford Jr. was let go last November by P.J. Fleck after two years with Minnesota. Under Sanford Jr., how has the offense looked so far two games into the season? 

The offense has really struggled the first two weeks of this season mainly due to instability and bad play at quarterback. Before the season, the team was buzzing with words like “multiple”, “versatile” and “fast” and we’ve seen that in flashes but nowhere near consistent enough to match those promises.

3. Colorado Head Coach Karl Dorrell hasn’t announced a starter at quarterback against Minnesota. He mentioned it was an open competition between J.T. Shrout and Brendon Lewis. You wrote about true-freshman Owen McCown getting a look. Who do you see taking the lead under center this weekend and what’s your take on the quarterback competition? 

The QB competition is wide open. J.T. Shrout just had his first collegiate start last week and really struggled against a veteran air force defense in the rain. Coach Dorrell wants to see exactly what Shrout offers before thinking about playing the freshman. He has also said that he and coach Sanford have talked about getting the freshman QBs involved but they are focused on Shrout and Lewis for the meantime.

4. Can you give us a few impact players on offense and defense that Minnesota fans should know about? 

 On offense, keep an eye out for Daniel Arias, Deion Smith and Brady Russell. Arias has CU’s best combination of size and speed at receiver. Smith has been splitting carries with Alex Fontenot but Smith was the better back last week vs Air Force. Russell is a team captain and veteran presence at tight end.

5. Minnesota and Colorado met for the first time last year since 1992, as Minnesota won in Boulder 30-0. Colorado now travels to Minneapolis as 27-point underdogs. What is your prediction for the game this Saturday?

I think this game could be very rough for Colorado if they continue to have bad quarterback play. I want to say that the offense will be better than last week but wouldn’t be shocked if this game ends up similar to last year. I think we’ll see Minnesota winning big and covering the spread against Colorado.

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