#97 Colorado Football 2013 Preview

Colorado Buffaloes

Overall Rank: #97
#12 Pac-12

Colorado Team Page#97 Colorado Football 2013 PreviewBuy Colorado Football Tickets

The Jon Embree era came to an end with little fanfare. The Buffaloes finished the 2012 campaign with a dismal 1-11 record. But as bad as the record may have been, the numbers were even worse. The team allowed 46 points per game, good enough for last in the nation. The offense was barely better, averaging less than 18 points per contest. The Buffaloes went out and picked up Coach Mike MacIntyre from San Jose State and the hope is that his youthful enthusiasm will help reignite the program. That is all well and good, but for now Colorado will have no choice but to take baby steps.

2012 Record: (1-11, 1-8)
2012 Bowl: None
Coach: Mike MacIntyre (0-0 at Colorado, 16-21 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Lindgren
Defensive Coordinator: Kent Baer

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Christian Powell, RB, 691 yards
Passing: Jordan Webb, QB, 1,434 yards
Receiving: Nelson Spruce, WR, 447 yards
Tackles: Derrick Webb, LB, 88
Sacks: Chidera Uzo-Diribe, DE, 7.0
Interceptions: Jered Bell, S, 1; Marques Mosley, S, 1

Other Key Returnees: CB Kenneth Crawley, C Gus Handler, OT Jack Harris, CB Greg Henderson, G Alexander Lewis, WR Tyler McCulloch, G Daniel Munyer, OT Stephane Nembot, CB Parker Orms, S Terrel Smith, DT Josh Tupou, CB Yuri Wright

Key Losses: OT David Bakhtiari, QB Nick Hirschman, TE Nick Kasa, LB Jon Major, DT Will Pericak, S Ray Polk

There are nine starters returning on offense and nine more on defense. Although that does include quarterback Jordan Webb who is out for the year with an ACL tear. After the transfer of Nick Hirschman, that leaves Connor Wood atop the CU depth chart. The 6-3 junior completed 21 of 42 passes with one touchdown and four interceptions. The job is his for now but the competition will resume in the fall when Sefo Liufau steps on campus. Nelson Spruce, Tyler McCulloch and Paul Richardson are all capable receivers who should at least give Wood some options. While the passing game attempts to develop any sort of consistency possible, Coach MacIntyre will have to rely on his running backs. Christian Powell rushed for 691 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012. The 240 pound sophomore is a bruiser and is developing into a complete back. Tony Jones, Donta Abron and Josh Ford all saw some playing time last season and are more big play threats. While Powell pounds the ball, Colorado could have a pretty good ground game if any of the other backs can emerge as a consistent threat.

Overall depth and talent on defense will be a bigger problem than the lack of depth on offense. The Buffaloes were simply worn down on defense last season. After the team beat Washington State on September 22nd, Colorado never even kept a game close until the season finale against Utah. The defense gave up easy points and the offense was forced to abandon any semblance of a rushing game. Chidera Uzo-Diribe is a good pass rusher and youngsters like Samson Kafovalu, John Stuart and Derek McCartney could add another threat from the other end. The team averaged about 1.5 sacks per game last season and that number must improve or the rest of the defense will have way too much pressure on their shoulders. Derrick Webb will be the leader of the linebackers. The senior led the team in tackles with 88 and will likely do so again. The secondary will have to rely on some young talent to fill in the gaps, but Parker Orms, Terrel Smith, Jered Bell and Greg Henderson are experienced options, but they have given up quite a few yards during their time at CU.

The Bottom Line:
Winning two or three conference games would be a very good season. Coach MacIntyre did a fine job rebuilding San Jose State, but the competition in the Pac-12 is tougher and it may take a while for any results to show up in the win column. Until Colorado starts increasing the talent and depth on the roster, they are not going to seriously compete in the Pac-12, but the program has the potential to rebuild under the new leadership and that is all that matters at the moment.

Projected Bowl: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 110.25 (109th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 192.50 (96, 11)
Total Offense: 302.75 (116, 12)
Scoring Offense: 17.83 (117, 12)
Rushing Defense: 226.00 (115, 12)
Pass Defense: 262.50 (97, 9)
Total Defense: 488.50 (117, 11)
Scoring Defense: 46.00 (120, 12)
Turnover Margin: -1.58 (118, 12)
Sacks: 1.58 (87, 11)
Sacks Allowed: 4.17 (119, 11)


See All College Sports Madness Top 104 Football Previews