Thursday, November 7, 2019

It's Been a Tough Stretch for CU Football, but Help is on the Way

It's been a roller coaster of a week for Mel Tucker and his Colorado Buffaloes. Lots of ups and downs.

Last Saturday, CU traveled to Pasadena to play UCLA. The Bruins started the season 1-5. Their only victory in the first six games was when Washington State collapsed and gave up a 49-17 lead late in the 3rd quarter and LOST to the lowly Bruins.

UCLA used the victory as a springboard to losing their next two games to Arizona and Oregon State. But then something unexpected happened. The Bruins started to win.

First it was Stanford. Then it was Arizona State that fell to UCLA. Chip Kelly finally had his team buying into what he was trying to instill in them.

And when Colorado rolled into Pasadena, the Buffaloes offense played like they didn't care one way or another. UCLA jumped out to a 17 point lead before Colorado got their initial first down. 

Bad play calling and lazy quarterback and wide receiver play doomed the Buffs before the end of the first quarter. 

By the 3rd quarter, the offensive line seemed so bothered that their "record setting" QB and some of the star wideouts were so clearly going through the motions that they stopped putting so much effort in themselves.

The defense, after a slow start, played well. But the offense was so incredibly bad that Colorado never had a chance.

Final score was UCLA 31, Colorado 14. It wasn't really that close. 

What really annoyed many of the fans is that Colorado's QB was clearly "off" that night and that Colorado's coaches never gave their other quarterbacks a chance to play.

Being "off" is not something that is surprising for Steven Montez. It's happened A LOT in his career. He has started and almost always finished more than 30 straight games for Colorado. 

The Buffaloes have lost 13 of their last 16 games with Montez at quarterback. He is done at Colorado after three more games. None of his backups has ever played  any real snaps with a game on the line... yet no matter how bad or "off" Montez is on any given day, he stays in the game.

To be fair, football is a team sport. Montez is not solely responsible for all those losses. Most of the blame goes to the coaches of course. But as far as which players had the most to do with those losses, Montez shoulders the load by far.

We have to assume the coaches know that Colorado will be playing football next season. Right?

The Buffaloes already have six losses this year, and after Stanford this weekend they play Washington and Utah. The Utes are #8 in the country and Washington entered the season as a candidate for the National Championship playoffs. 

If the Buffaloes lose to Stanford, they will likely end the season having lost eight straight games. More importantly will be that they will enter 2020 without a quarterback who has ever played a meaningful down at Colorado. 

It doesn't make 2020 look very promising. At least not from the quarterback position.

But maybe Tucker and his coaches already know that none of the backups currently at Colorado will ever be a starter at CU. 

Maybe they plan to go after a graduate transfer for QB. Or maybe they have decided to give the reins to an incoming high school quarterback.

Boise State is 7-1 and ranked with a true freshman quarterback. Hank Bachmeier was a former CU recruit who visited Folsom Field for a game. I spent an hour talking with Hank and his dad, uncle and best friend at that game when they came into our suite. He's a very nice young man and I wish him all the best for the future.

Point being, a true freshman QB can lead a team at the collegiate level. Colorado's current QB recruit is Brendon Lewis. He's a four star recruit out of Texas who could very possibly be the future of the position at Colorado.

There's another recruit who has committed to Colorado making national waves this week. His name is Antonio Alfano. 

He is a five star defensive lineman who committed to Alabama last year. He was considered by many to be a Top 20 recruit, and some services had him rated as the #1 recruit in the country. Due to some family health issues, Alfano left Alabama before the season and has now committed to Mel Tucker and the Colorado Buffaloes.

The game this week against Stanford is Homecoming. It's also one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the year. Colorado will have many of the young men who are high on their Christmas list in attendance. Early signing day is only six weeks away.

Let's hope the Buffaloes can have a big win over Stanford, and convince some great young players to come to Boulder.

Go CU!


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