Isaiah Oliver is doing all he can to get back on the field for the Colorado football team.

The junior cornerback had his comeback from a leg injury cut short last week, when he had to sit out the second half of CU's 38-24 loss to Southern California.

Oliver is now hoping that an extra week will help him get on the field when the Buffs (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) visit Utah (5-5, 2-5) for the regular season finale on Nov. 25.

"It's definitely very important (to win that game)," Oliver said. "We want to go to Utah and we want to win so we can get bowl eligible. That's the No. 1 goal and that's on everyone's mind. I know me playing is going to help the team be able to do that; but me playing 100 percent healthy. We're just working every day to get better, to get the leg to feel better."

CU's top corner, Oliver went down with a leg injury in the second quarter of the Buffs' 28-0 loss to Washington State on Oct. 21. He missed the next two games, but played 39 snaps against USC on Saturday.

"That was something I felt like I could be ready for," he said. "Going into it that week in practice, I felt good. Warm-ups before the game felt good. I tried to go in there and it just got worse with every play through that first half. We felt like it was the best decision I didn't play in the second half."

Oliver said he and the trainers felt he had enough time off to heal, but "I guess it's just different when you're out there trying to go game speed."

To get ready for the Utah game, Oliver said he's trying to practice at full speed.


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"That's something we're changing up this week, starting to go a lot faster in practice this week," he said. "Next week, try to emulate game speed so when we go out to Utah I already know what it feels like."

Taking advantage

While Oliver has missed most of the last four games, Trey Udoffia and Dante Wigley have played most of the snaps at corner.

"I help them as much as I can, whether it's in practice seeing things, explaining things, or even in a game, seeing what receivers are doing, seeing how they're trying to beat them," Oliver said. "I feel they've both gotten a lot better through these last couple of weeks, Dante especially. I feel like he's honed in on his confidence and really been able to make a lot of plays, so that's good for the team."

Wigley was rated as the Pac-12's second-best corner by PFF College Football last week.

Playmaker

Freshman receiver Laviska Shenault has made the most of his opportunities this year, but hasn't had a lot of opportunities.

Shenault has six catches for 159 yards, with his 26.5-yard average leading the team.

"He's a good player," MacIntyre said. "He's done a good job. He's helping us with special teams and he's making some plays on offense. He's going to be a really good player. He's gaining the offense as we go and doing a really good job there. Hopefully we can keep trying to get him the ball some more."

Notable

True freshman linebacker Jonathan Van Diest, who is redshirting this year, suffered a torn ACL earlier this week and will have surgery on Friday, according to MacIntyre. "He'll be ready to go when we start fall camp full speed." ... The Buffs are hopeful receiver Shay Fields (concussion) and safety Ryan Moeller (leg) can play against Utah. "We'll know more next week, but they are improving," MacIntyre said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33