Entering its third game of the season, the Colorado football team is still trying to figure out its best group to play on the offensive line.
Of course, the task of settling on a top five has been made difficult by senior left tackle Jeromy Irwin sitting out the first two games with a suspension.
Irwin is back this week, but for the Buffs (2-0), who host Northern Colorado (1-0) on Saturday, the solution up front may not be as simple as just throwing him back into the lineup at left tackle.
During Saturday's 37-3 win against Texas State, the Buffs gave sophomore Isaac Miller his first chance at playing time, and the former Silver Creek High School star answered the call.
Miller replaced an ineffective Josh Kaiser — who started the first two games — after just two series and played the rest of the game. Miller was one of CU's highest-graded linemen in the game against the Bobcats.
"We found another guy that can play tackle today in Isaac Miller," head coach Mike MacIntyre said after the game. "He played really well."
MacIntyre has said in the past that Miller can be a "special" player. With him in the fold and Irwin back, MacIntyre said there could be some rotation up front this week.
"We'll mix them around," he said. "It gives us more options on our offensive and then we're able to have some more depth to keep us fresh at different times. It gives us moving pieces."
A sixth-year senior, Irwin has been at left tackle most of his career, but spent much of the spring playing left guard. He has not played guard in a game since his true freshman year of 2012, but that could be an option now.
"We have multiple things we can do there," MacIntyre said.
During the win against Texas State, the Buffs also moved right guard Tim Lynott Jr. to center for the final 17 snaps of the game after senior Jonathan Huckins went down with an injury.
While line rotation is generally not ideal, MacIntyre said, "If they've played a lot and they have a lot of snaps under your belt, you can do that. We have the flexibility to be able to do that and I think it creates a lot of competition, too."
MacIntyre said the Buffs have seven or eight linemen they feel good about playing, but added, "I don't know if we've completely settled on who the best five are. They have to do it a little bit more in the games. I think we're closer to that now that Isaac got to start playing."