The Buffs are in the midst of what is looking like, perhaps, the worst season in history for a CU defense after a 50-6 loss to No. 11 USC on Saturday. It was the third time this season an opponent has scored at least 50 against the Buffs and the sixth time CU has allowed more than 30 points.
"We go over the game plan all week long," junior safety Parker Orms said. "We get in the book and if guys aren't getting in the book enough, that's going to show. Some guys don't. We've just got to be better as a team, completely. It's not one guy. It's all of us who keep messing up. We've got to fix that somehow, some way."
Orms said there are repercussions for players who don't prepare properly. He said captains call those players out when needed. Every CU player in the two-deep depth chart has an iPad that enables them to watch film no matter where they are. Orms said the iPads show how much film each player watches.
"That's definitely a big thing and guys have to start taking it more seriously if we're going to compete in this conference," Orms said.
Coach Jon Embree wasn't asked specifically about his players' comments, but he said that while there are many issues in the program that need to be fixed or improved, he is happy with the level of effort he sees on game days.
The Buffs have to go on the road again next week against No. 2 Oregon.
"At some point you've got to get to where it's not about who you're playing, it's about the opportunity to play," Embree said. "The one thing you cannot say about this team, you can't say they don't compete. I felt like they fought the whole game, they fought last week and they will continue to fight."
Senior safety Ray Polk returned to action Saturday for the first time since the season opener. A severe high ankle sprain had kept him out of action.
Polk took responsibility for being out of position or a step slow early in the game as USC built a 19-3 lead. He said he was rusty and wasn't quite ready for the speed of the game.
When asked about Orms' comments, Polk said he agreed that some Buffs could be doing more in terms of preparation. Neither player named names.
"I think we've got to put the heat on a little bit, have guys watching film more," Polk said. "Have guys understanding what the game plan is and why we're planning around that. The bottom line is we've got to execute and we didn't do that at all."
Linebacker Doug Rippy along with Orms and Polk said the Buffs' biggest problem against the Trojans was missed assignments. But why are the Buffs still having so many issues with missed assignments in the seventh game of the season?
The veteran Buffs said there are some players on the field who don't know where they're supposed to be all the time.
Orms said he tries to encourage his younger teammates to take preparation as serious as possible. He said he warns them their careers will go by quickly and they don't want to be in his shoes as juniors or seniors relying on freshman.
"Older guys are messing up their assignments too," Orms said. "We've got to hold the whole team responsible."
Follow Kyle on Twitter: