#78 Colorado Football 2012 Preview

Colorado Buffaloes

2012 Overall Rank: #78
#10 Pac-12
Colorado College Football 2012 Team Preview
Colorado Team Page


Colorado had an abysmal season last year.  They were in transition as Jon Embree took over the head coaching duties from Dan Hawkins.  It was also Colorado’s first season as a member of the Pac-12.  It is a top-heavy conference, and Colorado never really had a shot to compete for a title in the South.  The coaching staff has finally had a full year to get their own recruits in.  The Buffaloes have a lot of catching up to do in terms of getting talent into the program.  In the early 2000s, Colorado was a regular football powerhouse.  They have a lot of work to do to return to those glory years.

2011 Record: (3-10)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Jon Embree (3-10)
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Bieniemy
Defensive Coordinator: Greg Brown

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Tony Jones, RB, 297 yards
Passing: Nick Hirschman, QB, 192 yards
Receiving: Paul Richardson, WR, 555 yards
Tackles: Ray Polk, DB, 69
Sacks: Chidera Uzo-Diribe, DL, 5.5
Interceptions: Three tied at 1

Other Key Returnees: LB Jon Major, RB Josh Ford, DB Greg Henderson

Key Losses: RB Rodney Stewart, DB Travis Sandersfeld, DB Jason Espinoza, LB Josh Hartigan

Colorado was not good at much of anything last season, and this season they are still searching for elite playmakers.  None of their stars return to lead the way.  One bright spot is that Colorado was good at sacking the opposing quarterback.  They were right in the middle of the conference last year at over two per game.  Chidera Uzo-Diribe returns as the sack leader.  Offenses will concentrate on him so that other defenders might be freed up to attack.  One thing working in Colorado’s favor is that their schedule in 2012 sets them up for success heading into conference play.  They have very winnable games in the first four weeks.  Entering the game with UCLA at 4-0 would do wonders for their ability to reach the postseason.

The Buffaloes never got anything going on the ground even with their best running back Rodney Stewart leading the charge.  He was only able to gain 854 yards on the season, and as a team they only had 1,413 yards over the course of the whole season.  It made it difficult for the Buffaloes to score.  The inefficiency on the ground and inconsistency at quarterback amounted to under 20 points per game, which was one of the worst averages in the country.  Conversely, Colorado could not stop opposing offenses from scoring.  Going against the likes of Oregon and USC, it is a tough task to hold those teams to low totals.  In those two games, the Buffaloes gave up 87 points.  They will need to clamp down on defense in order to keep themselves afloat in each game.  

The Bottom Line:
This will be an interesting year for Jon Embree.  He inherited a project when he took over his alma mater in 2011.  No one is expecting Colorado to rise up and contend.  But a bit of progress will have to be made in order for the Colorado faithful to feel like they made the right hire.  They should have patience.  Embree is a good coach who has experience at both the college and pro level.  He has to answer a lot of questions this year.  Which players will emerge as the best option to start in the skill positions?  Though they have players with experience, the competition in camp should be fierce.  No player on this roster is too valuable to replace.  The Buffaloes will do their best to try and win four or five games.  That would be quite the success for this team in 2012.

Projected Bowl: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 108.69 (106th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 237.62 (57, 9)
Total Offense: 346.31 (92, 11)
Scoring Offense: 19.77 (109, 12)
Rushing Defense: 183.92 (89, 10)
Pass Defense: 255.38 (97, 8)
Total Defense: 439.31 (102, 10)
Scoring Defense: 36.54 (109, 12)
Turnover Margin: -.31 (84, 8)
Sacks: 2.23 (36, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.38 (87, 9)

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#61 Yuri Wright