While the football season didn't go the way the Colorado Buffaloes wanted, several of the seniors believe they are leaving the program in good hands.

CU wrapped up a disappointing 5-7 season with a 34-13 loss to Utah on Saturday, turning the page to the future.

"It's going to be good," running back Phillip Lindsay said of CU's future. "There's a lot of young talent and they're going to put some good stuff together this next year. They understand now what it takes.

"It's about offseason work; it's about how hard you're going to work in the offseason. They know that now. Sometimes it's hard to get young kids going because they don't understand it. You have to come to play every time. They're going to be all right."

Left tackle Jeromy Irwin, who just completed his sixth year at CU, said he felt the Buffs had a good offseason, but the future of the program depends on making this offseason even better.

"The thing they have to know is that it's won in the offseason and if they're not willing to work in the offseason, it doesn't matter how much time you have (at CU)," he said.

Junior cornerback Isaiah Oliver may or may not be a part of next year, as he contemplates a future in the NFL, but feels good about the talent coming back, and how this year can help.

"I feel like we can have a really good next year," Oliver said. "This year felt a lot like 2015 to me personally. I was a freshman that year and it felt like we were in ball games every single week, we just couldn't figure out how to close it. We all know how 2016 went. It could be a repeat of the same thing."


In 2015, the Buffs went 4-9 with five one-score losses and then went 10-4 in 2016. This year's 5-7 record included two one-score losses and another that wasn't lost until the final few minutes.

Oliver believes there could be a jump next year.

"I think there's a lot of great talent on this team coming back and a lot of great coaches, as well," Oliver said.

Moving on

Irwin's long career at CU finally came to a close with the loss to Utah.

Colorado junior cornerback Isaiah Oliver may be headed to the NFL or could be back next season.
Colorado junior cornerback Isaiah Oliver may be headed to the NFL or could be back next season. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Irwin, from Cypress, Tex., arrived in Boulder in 2012 and played that season for former head coach Jon Embree.

Injuries led to him missing all of the 2013 season and most of the 2015 season. When he was healthy, he was arguably CU's best offensive lineman the past two seasons.

"I love the guys I played with and I've really enjoyed being with this coaching staff and especially the players and all the good friendships and bonds that I've made," said Irwin, who played his first five years at CU with his brother, Sean. "That'll never be taken away from us. That just makes the season that much more cherish able. Things didn't end the way we wanted it to, but I still think we left a legacy here at CU."

Irwin, 24, will take some time to heal his body, but will soon get to work on preparing for a shot at the NFL.

"My aspirations have been the NFL for a while; most importantly winning, but now that the season is over, yeah, I'm going to click into the next gear and see where I'm at with that," he said.

One of the best

Lindsay wrapped up his regular reason ranking eighth nationally with 1,474 rushing yards and first in rushing attempts, with a school-record 301.

Lindsay averaged 144.3 yards from scrimmage per game, ranking seventh nationally, and he is the only player in the country with at least 1,400 yards rushing and 200 yards receiving.

Ball security was a strong part of his game, too. Dating back to Game 11 of the 2016 season, Lindsay finished his career with a streak of 408 consecutive touches (370 rushes, 38 catches) without losing a fumble.

Lindsay lost just one fumble in his final 25 games with the Buffs and lost only three in 764 career rushing attempts. (He also lost two on kickoff returns as a freshman).

Final Pac-12 rankings

CU concluded the regular ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring (26.4 points per game) and eighth in total offense (417.6 yards per game).

On defense, the Buffs were sixth in scoring (28.2) and ninth in total defense (450.6).


Washington running back Myles Gaskin, UCLA linebacker Kenny Young and Stanford punter Jake Bailey were named the Pac-12 players of the week on Monday. ... Former CU wide receivers coach Troy Walters, now the offensive coordinator at No. 12 Central Florida (11-0) was named one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach. Walters coached at CU from 2013-15.

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