Colorado Buffaloes 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 104
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 57

The Colorado Buffaloes may have been on a stampede last year, but it certainly wasn’t for the end zone. The team averaged only 22.3 points per game and had the second worst rushing attack in the Big 12 conference. Quarterback battles, a weak offensive line and a porous defense left Colorado with much room for improvement.

The starting quarterback spot is still up in the air between Tyler Hansen and Tony Hawkins, the head coach’s son. Neither has played particularly well, so it’s likely the two will once again share the duties as they did in 2009.

Colorado Buffaloes College Football Cheerleader

Lucky for them, top receiver Scotty McKnight returns after catching 76 passes for 893 yards. Number two receiver Markques Simas transferred, but incoming transfers Toney Clemons (Michigan) and Travon Patterson (USC) should be able to replace him.

Outside of leading rusher Rodney Stewart, there was little production on the ground. Stewart ran for 804 yards behind a shaky offensive line. If Stewart goes down, the depth is paper thin behind him and the Buffaloes will be in some trouble.

Colorado is the only Big 12 team to return every starter on the offensive line, but that may not be a good thing. The team has some solid performers, but for some reason has underperformed. They were fourth worst in the nation in sacks allowed. A lot more is expected of them as left tackle Nate Solder and right guard Ryan Miller were both selected to the preseason All-Big 12 first team.

The defense was the second worst in the conference, giving up 29.3 points per game. The only senior in the defensive front is end Marquez Herrod, the team sack leader with 6. Former top recruit Nick Kasa is returning from injury, so the Buffaloes might have a decent pair of ends.

The linebackers are also relatively young. The focus is on Jon Major, one of the country’s top recruits two years ago who has been slowed by injuries and hasn’t lived up to potential.

The strength of the defense is in the secondary. It is never a good sign when five of the top six tacklers on your team are defensive backs, but that is exactly what happened for Colorado last year. Senior cornerbacks Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith are solid, along with safety Anthony Perkins.

On paper, Colorado seems to have what it takes to at least be an average team. Continued failures and injuries however, have kept this team from excelling. With the uncertainty and underperformance at key positions, 2010 won’t be the year of the Buffalo.

Colorado’s odds to win the Big 12: + 5000

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