SportsFootball Chat replay: CU Buffs beat writer Brian Howell (Sept. 16, 2019) Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Chat replay: CU Buffs beat writer Brian Howell (Sept. 16, 2019) By Brian Howell | email@example.com | Boulder Daily CameraPUBLISHED: September 16, 2019 at 1:40 pm | UPDATED: September 16, 2019 at 3:06 pmBuffzone.com beat writer Brian Howell takes your questions and leads discussion about the Buffs today at 2 p.m. MT. That will do it for this week everybody! Thanks for the comments and questions. We'll see how the Buffs do in the desert and I'll be back next Monday to do this again! Have a great week!not a bad idea!Maybe CU needs to send the team to boot camp in the summer to see what discipline is all aboutIt ranks near the bottom, which is why CU has finished there most years. There are talented players on the CU roster, no question, but as far as top-to-bottom talent, Oregon, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, USC and Utah are all, for sure, above CU. UCLA has more "talent," too, and I'd argue ASU does, as well. that leaves CU, Cal, Arizona and Oregon State as the bottom 4.Going back to your earlier comment about the Buffs having quite a bit of “transition type” talent (which I personally very much agree with)...how do you think the talent level of this team ranks overall in the conference?You would think CU had an edge there, but AFA played great defense. There often wasn't anyone open, and AFA was in Montez's face quickly a lot of times.It seems OC Johnson is TOO rigid in wanting a balanced attack. I get the run game opens up the passing, but CU had the advantage with receivers over AF. I believe they should have pushed the edge more, especially with Montez having an off day for the long ball.CU doesn't keep snap counts for offensive skill players, but their stats on their site show snap counts for defense and OL. OL could change this week in part because I'm not sure if Pursell is healthy. Lang ... I think he's OK. He came back in the game the other day. At WR, it's basically been Shenault, Nixon, Brown, Stanley, with Bell and Jackson getting in there a bit, as well.Good Afternoon Brian: I have not read any of the comments so please excuse me if I am redundant and feel free to ignore the question if you have already addressed it. Is there any place to see the snap counts for the game to tally who played and how much? Do you think the offensive line configuration will change after the AFA game? Is Terrance Lang Ok? Finally what has been the wide receiver rotation?Georgia Tech did for many years until this year. They had success, but they weren't necessarily unstoppable. They were 12-12 their last two years doing that offense.Yes. Why does no major school run triple option? Seems impossible to defendArmy. They have had AFA's number the past few years. But, the game in the Springs will be entertaining!Who is your pick to win the Commander in Chief's trophy this year?Because it's not the trendy offense, or the most attractive offense to watch. It can also leave QBs vulnerable. I actually enjoyed watching the AFA offense the other day, but not sure many share that opinion. it's interesting to see football go in cycles, though.The AF offense looked unstoppable. Why don’t more teams use this offense? Is it because pro’s don’t use it?No, that wasn't the case at all. They actually passed the ball on first down more often than ran it. They ran a sweep with Stanley on one first down.Was it just me did you notice that for much of the AF it seems like the Buffs got into very predictable play calling: run up the middle on first down, run up the middle on second down then try to have Viska bail us out on 3rd and long. It seemed like this was the formula for 70+% of the offensive series in the first 3 quarters. Did you get that same impression)No. I think he's going with the theory that a good run game will take pressure off that pass game - and I don't disagree. If CU went all-out passing game, I don't know that they'd have success. They need the run game to perform.Given the immense depth and talent at WR do you think Mel is making the Buffs try to fit a square peg in a round hole? I understand the importance of running, but to win now why not utilize the talent we have?yes, Allen did get moved to OLB. Van Diest is a bit banged up, and if he's still hurting, I give the nod to Jones. I thought Jones played well the other day.Who do you think deserves the start at ILB on Saturday...Van Diest or Jones? Also, did Allen get moved to OLB?Right ... CU basically had no great film on this AFA teamAF also had a warm up game threw one pass and then had two weeks to prepare for the Buffs . These 60 + yard plays are a killer brings back hawk memoriesIt's a fun offense to watch. I agree, I often wonder why more teams don't do it. So many teams have tried to go with the trend of spreading the ball, but option football is a great equalizer. That's why McCartney went to the option in the first place in 1985, because he felt it was the best way CU could win. If AFA was in the Pac-12, yeah, I think they could be good this year. In the South especially, I think they'd be a bowl team.Air Force runs that ball on their terms. Reminds me of the Buffs under McCartney in the 90s when every run/option play went 8-10 yards or more. And our defense looked like Kansas State trying to stop it. The run set up the passes perfectly. Make me wonder why option shouldn't make a comeback. If Air Force was in the Pac 12 do you think they would have success this year?CU got bowled over up the middle and the kick didn't have much of a chance.What happened with that blocked PAT? Convert on that, and the Buffs are likely sitting pretty at 3-0!Thanks! Those rankings are not based on how I think the teams will finish - just how I view them at this point in the season. There are teams I have above CU that are very beatable (USC, ASU, Arizona, for example). I think last week hurt CU's bowl chances, but if they bounce back and win this week, the perspective changes again.Really enjoying your “Monday Rewinds”! I noticed that you had the Buffs ranked 9th in the Pac-12...only above two remaining opponents in Stanford and UCLA (along with OSU who the Buffs don’t play this year). That would only put the Buffs at 4 wins, without at least a couple of upsets. Are you starting to feel like it’s more likely than not that the Buffs miss going to a Bowl game?They've run it a few times, but not quite like they did in the past. i'm not sure why it's not a big part of this offense.Brian why have the Buffs abandoned the WR screen game? Seems like each team is trying to stop our WRs from beating them deep. Bubble and Tunnel screens look like free yards to me but we continue to try and push the ball down field.yes, but different situations. Buffs were almost desperate vs. Nebraska at the time of the flea-flicker. Against Air Force, there wasn't as much pressure to go for a gutsy call.Going for 2 instead of a PAT for OT would have been a gutsy call. Almost as gutsy as calling a flea-flicker from your own end zone. I don't see why he wouldn't have at least considered it.Maybe, but those same coaches have also been able to adjust and get the defense to play much better in the second half. One thing about the three opponents: CU has zero film on CSU; 1 game on Nebraska and 1 game (vs. an FCS opponent) on Air Force. Not much to go on there. Starting this week, the Buffs will have 3-plus games of film on everyone. That could make a difference.For 3 games now, weekly preparation for a given opponent has been ineffective, especially on defense. Seems like whatever strategy planned against an opponent’s offense left gashing holes and weaknesses against the run. Against AF, this was so ineffective against the run, they gashed us with huge pass plays we weren’t prepared for or expecting. Might this be a weakness in scouting and coaching?It's not so much that it costs money to run it; but it doesn't produce revenue that people were hoping for. The future of the network is certainly a big topic and it's unknown because of the changing media landscape. The Pac-12 is banking on owning their own rights paying off down the road.What have you heard any plans for PAC-12 network, its awesome that I watch here in NYC but unlike the big ten network which makes money hand over fist, the pac- 12 seems to still costs money for the schools run itI'm surprised by it, too, honestly. I thought going into the year that we were a year away from him being a focal point, but I still thought he'd get 15-20 catches and be on the field a bit. I think he's played less than 5 offensive snaps this year and I don't think he's been targeted. that's surprising to me.While I clearly understand the talent we have at WR, I’m surprised we haven’t seen Arias out there...especially with his height and speed. Do you think we will eventually see more of him lining up at WR this year...or are we a year away?I think Rick loves it in Boulder and loves CU. But, I also think a lot of people want a new challenge after a while. He's been here 6 years now. As he approaches 8-10 years, would he want a new challenge? Maybe so. And, yeah, there are qualified people out there to fill his shoes. who? I have no idea. That's not on my radar right now. But, I don't think Rick is the only person who could have success as AD here.I get worried when I hear Rick George's name tossed around for jobs. He's done more for CU athletics that anyone. He's raised funds and improved facilities in ways thought to be impossible. Just in terms of dollars raised it's worth paying him whatever he wants to keep him here. He seems pretty happy with Boulder. Do you think he'd leave and if so, can he be adequately replaced?it's going to be a big test for this team going forward. There are 4 more winnable games out there. But, will they rise up and win them? We'll see.Brian we all know that AF game was a big one in terms of getting to bowl eligibility. The loss hurts but there’s a chance it could help this team wise up. We all know they’re playing hard and don’t give up and I give Tucker and his staff great credit for that part of the culture changing. But what I will be looking for is if the Buffs learn their lesson about not playing sharp and executing for almost the entire first half. You obviously can’t rely on only playing well in the 4th qtr. Will this team play hard AND sharp for a much longer duration going forward? That is what I’ll be paying attention to, starting with the O line. The false starts and bad snaps put us behind the chain regularly last Saturday.Maybe so, but I also think the Buffs took Air Force lightly. They may not admit it, but I think they did. Especially after going up 10-0. But, let's not take too much credit away from Air Force. That's a good team.I think the two rival games the first two weeks took it's toll on the Buffs. They didn't look good in all three phases of the game. That blocked extra point was killerBisharat has not played a single snap on offense. Noyer played 6 snaps late vs. CSU.How many snaps are Noyer and Bisharat getting at their new positions, Safety and Tight End?A little of both. I think last week was partly because of who they were playing. But, they don't have great pass rushers on this team. Wells can get a few sacks and Tchangam might get a few, but they don't have great rushers here.I love the adjustments that the defense has made each game so far and hopefully we can start adjusting sooner in the game. Do you think the lack of pressure we get is due to the players or the scheme? It would be nice to see more plays for losses when Wells comes back or by bringing Taylor off the edge.First one was Chris Miller. Second was Onu.Who got beat on those two long TD throws by AFI don't think it's a blanket "right or wrong" choice. I think you have to take it for that moment. It was the right call for the Broncos because their offense had been awful and that was probably their best chance to win. For CU, I understand Tucker's reasoning. They were clicking on offense and had stopped AFA most of the second half. Get it to OT and he liked his team's chances. Often the team carrying momentum into OT wins.Brian, similar to CU the broncos correctly went for 2 yesterday. This situation is actually “solved” statistically. 538 did an article and it basically concluded that if you have a chance to 2 pt and win you always take it- ie you have control over whether you win or not vs OTThe reality Buff fans have to realize is that this program is still dealing, mostly, with guys who were not elite recruits. This is still a program loaded with "rebuilding" type of recruits - guys you hope pan out. Montez was not a high level recruit and has been much, much better than anyone ever projected for him coming out of high school. Yes he has bad habits, yes he has shortcomings, but he's a gamer and a guy who will keep CU in games. I feel like it's the same stuff we said about Sefo (although Montez is more talented), but if had solid protection game in and game out, he'd look a lot better to a lot of fans.To Wyobuff, there is no hate on my end from Montez, I just think we all were hoping for a bit more from him. Any kid who has led us to 2-0 against Nebraska deserves to be in the Buff Hall of Fame. With that being said, with the tools this guy has it just felt like he had the potential to be elite and he is not. Brian, your thoughts on the postgame chat from Tucker? I liked his approach when compared to the previous regimeIt was actually a Mountain West crew at Folsom last Saturday ... But, yes, unfortunately the Pac-12 blew that call in the MSU-ASU game. ... If/when Scott goes, I would not be surprised if George was a top candidateGA Brian- didn't see any RED in the stadium on Saturday and thought it was a good crowd. Enjoyed have BIG 12 officiating crew with 70 yards or so of accepted penalties. PAC 12 officiating continues to be an embarrassment- MSU- ASU- thought the conference handled it well but....Hopefully Larry Scott is on borrowed time- on problem with Scott gone, would be his possible successor- RG?for the Buffs to be successful, they need to be able to run the ball on their own terms. Last two games, it's been a struggle. the CSU defense was awful and CU racked up a lot of yards, but they're now at 194 yards on 69 carries the past two games, which isn't good. That has to improve. That all said, I thought the Buffs ran the ball better in the fourth quarter.What’s your take on the Buffs “being able to run the ball on their own terms”? Seems a bit concerning that they struggled on Saturday. Granted, AFA has some talented players. And, I think the remainder of the schedule the Buffs will face even more talent on the other side of the ball.There's nothing set in stone yet, especially with the rule that guys can play in four games. Perry is healthy and practicing, they just haven't used him yet. We might see him this week with maddox out; but not sure.Along the lines of my last question with Freshman CB's, is the picture getting clearer on which freshman are planned for a redshirt year? Haven't seen Mark Perry- i'm guessing that is an injury and not a redshirt plan?I don't know if that's correct that Oats played, and if he did, it was on special teams. I also don't known if Blackmon is hurt. I was told he was moved to second team, and I saw him in uniform on Saturday.Now a question. I noticed DJ Oats name on the game participation report last weekend? Is he playing? Is he our "next man up" as CB? I'm guessing that behind Abrams and Miller we need a #3 to play, assuming Blackmon is still injured. Any news on Blackmon or ideas on Freshman CB's that may get some playing time?Agreed. CU fans are going to miss Montez when he's gone. He's the most talented QB the Buffs have had in a long time and he's just simply not the main issue on this team. Those who want to see Lytle or Stenstrom are nuts to think that will all of a sudden change things. And, that's not a knock on Lytle or Stenstrom. But they're inexperienced and not at Steven's level. A lot of fans want to compare Montez to a Tua, or Lawrence or Hurts, etc.; problem with that is that those guys have NFL linemen and elite players all around them. They're good, but it's easier to look good when you are surrounded by talent. Steven's never been surrounded with great talent.First off, a comment:I don't get all of the Montez hate. I also think this season will be an up and down road, but we are improving. Buffs fans need to relax a bitBecause he's not an elite QB. There aren't many elite QBs. He's a good QB and he'll make a lot of big plays, but he's inconsistent. I'm not sure there were many open guys last week, but he did miss Shenault on at least one long pass. First two weeks, however, Montez was one of the best deep route passers in the country. I just think he had a bad day.Hows is it after 5 years Montez still can't find open wr in his line of sight and continues to over throw wide open wr on go routesNo, not yet. Lynott was just fine up until Saturday and he mostly fine that day. He just had a couple of bad snaps. That's too many, but I think he'll be fine. Pursell, from what we hear, was unable to return to the game. I thought he was benched, but I guess he hurt or ill.Lynott seemed to struggle a bit on Saturday snapping the ball with one over Steven’s head and at least a couple at his feet. I also noticed Pursell getting pulled at Guard...although I’m not sure if he was injured, or if that was a result of poor play at Guard? Pursell was also pulled during the CSU game. In order to get the best 5 out there, do you think it’s time to consider putting Pursell back at Center, where he may be a bit more comfortable and moving Lynott back to RG?I don't think they SHOULD have, but I was curious if Tucker had considered it. He said no. I'm surprised by that. CU had momentum and had AFA on its heels, so I might have gone for the 2 to win the game. But, I don't think kicking the PAT was a bad choice.I heard you ask about going for a two point conversion. Do you think they should have? IMO they should have. I just did not feel they would be able to win it in OTThanks for the info. I'm guessing that's why it'll take 4-5 weeks.Hi Brian. About Maddox. If the laceration is very deep it is technically a wound. So they will have to watch and treat it to prevent possible infection after they close it. Also the wound/laceration has to heal from the inside out which is why it takes longerPersonally, I think Montez is very low on CU's list of worries. I didn't think he had a good game on Saturday and you expect more of him. But, he's going to play well more often than not. I like that he did rally the Buffs to two late TDs to tie the game. But, you want to see him do more of that earlier in the game. The OL didn't play well and that didn't help. CU couldn't run the ball and AFA made CU one-dimensional. They had a great game plan. Yes, I think he's good enough to get CU to a bowl game. But he has to be better than he was on Saturday.Regarding Montez, Adam had mentioned on the postgame that he expects more from a 5th year senior, whereas you seemed to give him more of a break while mentioning the part he played in the epic comeback against NU. I personally would like to see Montez be that player that can be a stopper when things are going south and can stop the bleeding with some great drives earlier in the game. Are we putting too much on him (i.e. offensive line woes) and overall do you think he is a good enough to can get us to a bowl game this year?