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2021 Colorado Buffaloes: Can They Leave the Middle of the Pack?
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sportsffd

2021 Colorado Buffaloes: Can They Leave the Middle of the Pack?

The Buffs were able to win 4 out of the 6 games they played last season but lost the last two. They have 17 starters back in 2021 as they seek an upper division finish. They will have a punishing rushing attack and if they can find a QB who can complement the run by being able to complete big passes when needed they could be a handful

Offense: Colorado returns two great running backs to build the offense around. Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Jarek Broussard is back after gaining 895 yards and scoring five touchdowns. He will be joined by the leading ball carrier in 2019, Alex Fontenot who missed last year with hip injury. QB Sam Noyer is back after an adequate season in 2020. He missed spring practice due to shoulder surgery and Tennessee transfer J.T. Shrout got most of the reps. Three of the top receivers are back and that position is deep. The veteran offensive line doesn’t have a star but they don’t make mistakes and play well together.

Defense: The defense has to play better against the run and it begins upfront with Jalen Sami. Leading tackler Nate Landman is back at linebacker and will be joined Carson Wells. Robert Barnes transferred to Boulder fromwhere he played linebacker and safety. He is expected to step in and help. Three starters return from the secondary and they are experienced. They have got to be better in 2020.

Non-Conference Schedule:

9/3 Northern Colorado

9/11 Texas A&M at Denver

9//18 Minnesota

The non-con schedule is a challenge with 2 tough games against Texas A&M which is essentially a home game since it is played in nearby Denver and Minnesota won’t be a walk in the park at Boulder. They must beat Northern Colorado and they could easily go 1-2 to start the season.

Conference Schedule:

9/25 at Arizona State

10;/2 USC

10/16 Arizona

10/23 at California

10/30 at Oregon

11/6 Oregon State

11/13 at UCLA

11/20 Washington

11/26 at Utah

The conference schedule is very difficult. There are two must wins at home against Arizona and Oregon State. They also have tough home games against USC and Washington and if they can win one of those it would be an upset. The road schedule includes games at Arizona State, Oregon, and Utah all highly rated in the Pac-12. They will have a chance at California and UCLA.

Summary: Colorado has some good players and could surprise some people including me. But they have a difficult schedule to overcome and they are going to have to pull off an upset or two just to get bowl eligible. I don’t like their chances.

Predicted Finish: 4th Place in the Pac-12 South

Overall Record: 5-7

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