Klayton Adams likes progress but expects more from CU Buffs O-line

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado co-offensive coordinator Klayton Adams felt the offensive play well against Colorado State but the unit still has things to improve.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado offensive lineman Tim Lynott and the Buffs offensive line will have a tough task against Nebraska on Saturday.



Klayton Adams pretty much liked everything he saw last Friday night in Broncos Stadium — from the performance of his offensive line to his Colorado debut in the role of co-offensive coordinator.

For at least a week, the Buffaloes were able to quiet preseason concerns about the team’s offensive line with a solid showing in the opening-week rout of Colorado State, keeping life stress-free for quarterback Steven Montez while clearing lanes for a running game that amassed 6.4 yards per attempt. Adams, now in his third season as the Buffs’ offensive line coach and his sixth on the staff, nonetheless found plenty of coaching points upon his review of the game film. He knows his charges will have to be even better for the Buffs to return to Boulder with a victory in Saturday’s rivalry renewal at Nebraska (1:30 p.m., ABC).

“I thought they played hard and confident. But I think there’s several areas, probably double-digit areas, that we need to make a lot of improvement in if we want to be a good team,” Adams said. “The challenge is to get them to play with better technique without taking the aggression out of it. That’s kind of where we’re headed.

“I think we have a pretty good understanding of what we’re doing schematically. And you make little, tiny tweaks here or there. But I think most of it is technique and angle points and fitting the hands in the right spot and playing with the right pass-protection demeanor. I think we trust the scheme. I think they’re on the right track as far as playing hard. But the technique part, trusting the technique, is the biggest thing right now.”

The quick-passing game employed by the Buffs against CSU helped alleviate pressure on the line to protect Montez. However, Adams noted that approach also was aided by the Buffs’ success in keeping ahead of the chains. The team’s average 4-for-9 finish on third-down conversations didn’t tell the entire story, as CU didn’t even face a third-down situation until the second quarter. The Buffs also were 4-for-5 at one point before missing their final four third-down attempts (including a late kneel-down) when the win already was securely in hand.

It’s unlikely the Buffs will be able to churn out yardage so easily at Nebraska.

“When you get yourself into more third-down situations — third-and-five plus, third-and-10 plus — you’re going to be placed in more challenging situations,” Adams said. “Those situations are going to come up and we have to be ready for them. But the best way to be good on third down is to not have so many of them. That’s probably what any football coach would tell you, but that’s how I feel.”

As expected, the starting unit shouldered the bulk of the load against Colorado State, with tackles Josh Kaiser and Aaron Haigler, guards Brett Tonz and Tim Lynott, and redshirt freshman center Colby Pursell all logging between 52 and 61 snaps. The unit also didn’t falter amid the breakneck pace the Buffs’ offense brought to the field, an approach that might prove even more critical this week against a Nebraska defense that has yet to play a game.

“If you get going in a drive, the D-line kind of gets tired. It’s harder for them to explode off the rush,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “That’s a big part of it, too. We’re in excellent condition. The way we practice helps those guys get in that type of condition.”

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07