Rust and first-game jitters certainly played a role in Colorado's lackluster 17-3 win against Colorado State on Friday in the season opener.
Yet, when CU offensive line coach Klayton Adams watched film of his group, he wasn't interested in those excuses.
"To me, it's just us not playing good enough," Adams said. "That's the way we look at it.
"I'm happy that we won, but I never want to play that way, and I don't think the guys do either. They better buckle up this week, because we have to get a heck of a lot better."
The shaky play of the offensive line was one of many things CU coaches took away from analyzing the film of Friday's win.
It was a victory, but it wasn't the greatest performance by the Buffs (1-0), who will host Texas State (1-0) on Saturday at Folsom Field in the home opener.
"There's so many little things we can improve on from the game that could have been big things for us," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "And there's things that we did in the game that if we don't correct now, the next team will exploit."
"That's why you improve so much as a team from the first week to the second week, because you can show them all those things in real, live bullets. They listen in practice, but they really listen when they see it in a game."
Adams is certainly hoping that's the case for the offensive line, which came into the season hyped up as the best line CU's had in years.
The line certainly had its great moments, including on running back Phillip Lindsay's 45-yard touchdown run. Left tackle Josh Kaiser pulled and made a great block and Lindsay was nearly untouched en route to the end zone.
There were also plenty of runs that didn't go anywhere, and plenty of times when CSU defenders got in the face of quarterback Steven Montez to disrupt plays.
"There were flashes of really good things, but those are the things that happen in the scrimmage, where there's flashes," Adams said. "In a game, it's got to be all the time and it wasn't, so it's going to have to be or we're going to have to change some things."
It didn't help the Buffs that senior left tackle Jeromy Irwin — who would have started over Kaiser — missed the game with a suspension. Even without Irwin, however, Adams said the group wasn't sharp.
"We're not reacting quickly enough with our base rules to things that are a little bit new to us," he said. "One of the things we talk about as a group is our base rules handle everything. It doesn't matter if it's something that we hadn't practiced against or not; our base rules pick it up. We have to react quickly to those things.
"No. 1 we have to play with better fundamentals, but No. 2 we have to react to the intent of our call and our base rules faster than we did."
The struggles of the offensive line were only part of the reason why CU's potentially explosive offense failed to score in the last 43 minutes. It was really a collection of miscues, MacIntyre said.
Quarterback Steven Montez showed his youth at times, as well. The sophomore completed 21 of 29 passes, but didn't always make the right reads or decisions with the ball.
"There was a few things where a couple times he got out of the pocket and made some great plays, and a couple times he should have stayed in the pocket and he's just got to learn that and feel that and understand where we are on the field," MacIntyre said. "Those are things you have to learn."
Defensively, the Buffs allowed just three points to a Rams team that had averaged 53.2 points in its previous five games. CU wasn't flawless on that side of the ball, though.
MacIntyre mentioned the Buffs played too loose on bubble screens and allowed a couple of big plays in the run game by not making the right plays.
"There's a lot of things we can do to get better (on defense)," he said.
In all, MacIntyre felt the Rams were "not as rough around the edges as we were," which he attributes to CSU playing a game the week before.
Now, that the Buffs have a game in hand, he hopes their edges aren't as rough going forward and that they'll see the game more clearly.
"It's kind of like a horse running with blinders (the first game)," he said. "(After that), it kind of opens up every game."
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.