The defense played well yet again, but even their strong effort could not overcome three interceptions (including two pick-sixes in the first two minutes) and two muffed punt fumbles. The 5 turnover implosion in the first half directly led to 24 points for California.
Some fans had hoped that the incredibly predictable play calling and overly conservative tendencies on offense might be left behind once MacIntyre was let go and Chiaverini was able to call plays on his own. Alas, twas not to be.
The phrase " Nothing to Lose" apparently meant nothing to the offensive coaches. If they were trying to audition to remain with the Buffaloes for the new head coach, someone should tell them it is time to polish up their resumes for jobs at a lower level.
Kurt Roper (QB coach and interim HC):
QB coach and interim head coach Kurt Roper was hailed as a savior when the Buffs started 5-0. But as the competition got better Steven Montez became less and less effective.
During the first six games of the losing streak, Roper could rightly say he wasn't responsible for the predictable play calling. During the last week, however, as interim head coach Roper could have had play caller Darrin Chiaverini change things up a bit and get less predictable. It didn't happen.
Also, Montez ended the season with almost identical stats from his "up and down" sophomore year. Looking back at both seasons, what exactly did Roper provide regarding production that wasn't there the year before? Nothing.
Darrin Chiaverini (Wide Receiver and co-OC):
Darrin Chiaverini came to Colorado as a returned Buffs hero from Texas Tech three years ago as recruiting coordinator and then co-offensive coordinator.
He wasn't ready. Any thoughts that he had carried that Texas Tech gun-slinging swagger back to Colorado, but was sublimated to MacIntyre and Brian Lindgren before this year, was put to rest during the last half of the season. And then lowered into the ground in the last game.
He's a good recruiter of skill position guys but it's the Hogs up front that make a great team.
Klayton Adams (O-Line and Co-OC):
Klayton Adams has had four years to put together a decent (or at least cohesive) offensive line. It never materialized.
This guy is in way over his head at the Power Five level. He fiddled and fiddled all season, and meanwhile the program burned.
Gary Bernardi (Tight Ends and H-Backs):
Gary Bernardi should have been gone years ago. But we all know MacIntyre held loyalty to his buddies above and beyond any fealty to his team or the University of Colorado.
Darian Hagan (Running Backs):
Darian Hagan is the only guy on the offensive side of the ball who seems to know what he is doing. In his second stint as Running Backs coach, Hagan continued to provide Colorado with a 1000 yard runner. His 1K charges have included Phillip Lindsay, Hugh Charles, Rodney Stewart and Travon McMillian this year.
Imagine what these guys could have done with a dominant offensive line in front of them. Add in some imaginative play calling and WOW!
Recommendations: The Buffs new head coach pretty much needs to clean house with a couple exceptions on the offensive side of the ball.
Roper, Adams, and Bernardi (the MacIntyre Posse) need to head on down the road with Mickey Mac. MacIntyre and his buddies need to head back to the Group of Five because they are WAY out of their league at the Power Five level.
Chiaverini needs to spend more time learning from a good offensive coordinator before taking on that role again. It's definitely a learning curve. Look at Eric Bieniemy. He was a mess as an OC while at Colorado, but now he is one of the hottest coordinators in the NFL after spending time learning from the great Andy Reid.
Hagan produces good running backs year after year. He does have an annoying tendency to find little guys like himself. One of the old head coaches he worked for once said that he'd like Darian to find a running back that he has to look up to. That's good advice.