With the Colorado Buffaloes taking a hit to their depth on the defensive line this week, redshirt freshman Terriek Roberts could have a chance to step up.
On Tuesday, the Buffs announced that sophomore defensive lineman Frank Umu has been dismissed from the team. While Umu had been suspended all season, his dismissal leaves a permanent hole up front. Umu was expected to be one of the key figures in a line rotation this season.
On Wednesday, head coach Mike MacIntyre said that should the Buffs (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) lose anyone in the current rotation, Roberts could get called upon.
“Terriek has been practicing up with the guys on and off and he’ll travel with us and he got in a couple of the games earlier,” MacIntyre said. “Terriek would be a guy that would be moving up in there.
“Terriek is doing a really good job.”
This season, the Buffs have had a primary rotation of six players up front: starters Leo Jackson III, Javier Edwards and Chris Mulumba, as well as Jase Franke, George Frazier and Lyle Tuiloma.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Roberts, who is from Denver South High School, has played 11 snaps on defense this season.
Meanwhile, true freshman Terrance Lang is still likely to redshirt because the Buffs want to see him develop more physically.
The 6-foot-7 Lang reported at the end of the summer at 240 pounds — about 45 pounds lighter than during his official visit in the spring. He has since added 22 pounds of muscle to get to 262, but isn’t quite ready to play.
“He’s physically athletic enough; he’s just not big and strong enough yet, but he’s going to be really good,” MacIntyre said. “He’ll be 290 before we blink.”
Returns by committee
So far this season, the Buffs have used three different punt returners: Ronnie Blackmon, Isaiah Oliver and Jay MacIntyre.
While Oliver remains the “starter” at the position, all three are likely to get chances going forward.
“It just depends on how tired different guys and that type of thing as the game goes along,” coach MacIntyre said.
Oliver is a key player at cornerback, and MacIntyre has tried to limit the hits he takes. Jay MacIntyre’s status for Saturday’s game at UCLA is day to day, as he recovers from a sprained foot.
In the opportunities he’s had, Blackmon, a redshirt freshman, has displayed some electricity. He has three returns for 50 yards, including a 40-yarder against Northern Colorado. That was the third-longest return by a Buff in the last seven seasons.
“Ronnie’s done some good things,” coach MacIntyre said. “He’s bobbled a couple, dropped a couple, but he’s very athletic. He just has to get consistent in catching them.”
MacIntyre said he’s not sure who will start at center this week. Jonathan Huckins started the first two games before getting injured. Tim Lynott Jr. has started the last two. Both are healthy going into this week. … UCLA has elected to wear all-white uniforms for this game. CU will wear all black. … CU is seeking the 699th win in program history. UCLA is seeking the 599th win in its history. … CU running back Phillip Lindsay has 96 career catches, needing just four more to become the 17th player in program history with 100 catches. He would be the fourth on the current roster to do it, joining Shay Fields (168), Devin Ross (115) and Bryce Bobo (111).