This offseason, the Colorado offense has been adjusting to Darrin Chiaverini as the new play-caller and Kurt Roper as the quarterbacks coach.
Meanwhile, Oregon State is adjusting to CU’s former play caller and quarterbacks coach, Brian Lindgren. CU’s offensive coordinator/QB coach the past five years, Lindgren is in his first year in that role with the Beavers, who are led by first-year head coach Jonathan Smith.
“I’ve liked him for a long time,” Smith, who was the OC/QB coach at Washington the previous four years, said during Pac-12 media day. “We’ve known each other for a long time. Always respected his ability to game plan. In this league, coaches steal ideas all the time. He was one of the guys that we would be a go-to of watching his tape on what they’re doing.”
Lindgren has spent the past nine years as a coordinator – at CU, San Jose State and Northern Arizona – and the past decade working with quarterbacks.
“I thought he always did a good job with the quarterback in regards to working to their strengths,” Smith said. “So I felt fortunate to have him come aboard. I thought it was important, too, with his experience in this league calling plays. So, really fired up to have him.”
Among the players, some early reviews are positive.
Lineman Blake Brandel, recruited by Lindgren out of high school, said he’s enjoyed working with Lindgren this offseason. Brandel added that a lot of the concepts used at CU have been introduced at Oregon State.
“We watch a lot of Colorado film obviously,” Brandel said. “They do some really cool stuff. He brings some different stuff to the table, but at the same time we’re running things that everyone else is running: some inside zone, outside zone and trick plays. I think we’re a well-rounded, multiple type of offense. We can speed it up or slow it down if we want to.”
Oregon State has not named a starting quarterback, but Smith said this summer he feels that position “is in good hands” with Lindgren.
“It was important to start them at a foundational level of learning: new scheme, new terminology, new fundamentals on drops, and how you’re carrying it,” Smith said. “So I thought he brought a ton to that quarterback room to start. I think he’s been awesome in the summer of having a plan for them on what they’re learning, what they’re studying.”
USC QBs battling
Southern California has yet to name a starting quarterback and after a scrimmage on Saturday, head coach Clay Helton told reporters, “My gut tells me it’s going to take one more week.”
True freshman J.T. Daniels, the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2017, continues to play well, though. According to the L.A. Times, Daniels has completed 17 of 21 passes in the Trojans’ two scrimmages this month.
During the first scrimmage, on Aug. 11, Daniels went 10-for-12 with four touchdowns – three of them to true freshman Amon-ra St. Brown, who was Daniels’ teammate at Mater Dei (Calif.) High School. Daniels completed seven of nine throws in a run-heavy scrimmage on Saturday.
Sophomore Matt Fink and redshirt freshman Jack Sears are competing, as well.
UCLA loses linebacker
UCLA head coach Chip Kelly told Bruins’ reporters on Sunday that senior linebacker Josh Woods will miss the 2018 season with a knee injury. A projected starter at inside backer, Woods was injured during practice on Thursday.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, UCLA has just two healthy seniors on defense, and the Bruins were already thin at inside linebacker. During weekend practices, the Bruins worked a few outside linebackers on the inside.
Woods missed the last six games of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury.
The Spokesman-Review reported Sunday that Washington State nose tackle Jonathan “Pono” Lolohea has left the team for “unspecified reasons.” A junior college transfer who was also recruited by Colorado, Lolohea was competing for the Cougars’ starting job at nose tackle. … Washington left tackle Trey Adams, a preseason All-American by some publications, is on track to play in the Huskies’ opener against Auburn on Sept. 1. Adams had major knee surgery last October and has been easing back into the lineup this month, according to the Seattle Times. … ASU senior Jay Jay Wilson, a potential starter at outside linebacker, has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, according to The Arizona Republic. … The Arizona Republic also reported that first-year walk-on Kurt Walding is pushing Dillon Sterling-Cole for the backup QB job at ASU. Walding threw for 624 yards and six touchdowns as the top backup at Iowa Western Community College last season.