Tim Lynott Jr. has been around long enough to know that how the big guys up front play can often determine how successful the Colorado Buffaloes are on offense.
Good offensive line play is a key for most football teams, really. Coming off their best performance of the season, in a 34-31 upset of then-No. 24 Arizona State on Sept. 21, CU’s offensive line is hoping more days like that are in store, beginning with Saturday’s matchup against Arizona at Folsom Field.
“When we play well, the offense plays well,” said Lynott, the Buffs’ senior center. “So I think that when offensive line is firing off on all cylinders, everyone is going.”
Lynott and his line mates – tackles Arlington Hambright and William Sherman and guards Kary Kutsch and Colby Pursell – played all 70 snaps together at ASU. They allowed zero sacks, and quarterback Steven Montez was hardly ever under pressure.
“It makes a world difference when they play like that,” Montez said. “Zero sacks, that’s hard to do, especially at the level that we play at. So I mean, all the credit to them; they played their butts off.”
The group also paved the way for 138 rushing yards, including several pivotal runs late in the game.
“(Offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic) has always talked about being physical,” Lynott said. “And I think that’s something that we’re trying to incorporate, as well, just keep trying to play physical, every single play, as well as in every practice. He makes sure we finish through whistle and I think that’s showing on the field a little bit.”
Montez said last week’s bye “could not have come at a better time” for the Buffs, who returned to practice this week refreshed and ready to go.
“It was just a good time for everybody to kind of get their minds right, get a little bit more time to spend focusing on U of A,” he said. “And just help your body heal and recover.”
Linebacker Carson Wells said that while it was good week to get players healthy, “we didn’t want to see it as a week off. We just want to keep getting better.”
Brown getting his due
While Laviska Shenault and KD Nixon came into this year as the top weapons in the passing game, and younger receivers, such as Daniel Arias, Maurice Bell and Dimitri Stanley, turned head in practice nearly every day, senior Tony Brown kept quietly progressing.
“I think the time where it kind of really just opened my eyes and I was kind of like, ‘Wow, he’s gonna do real big things for us this year’ is this most recent fall camp,” Montez said. “Me and Tony hit a deep ball for a touchdown … if not every day then every other day. And it was pretty consistent. He was very consistent in fall camp and he was just working hard just grinding, grinding.
“Nobody was really talking about him coming into the season. There wasn’t really too much chatter about Tony Brown, but I mean now there should be.”
Brown leads the Buffs in catches (19), receiving yards (31) and touchdowns (four).
“He’s kind of one of those guys that just does everything right,” Montez said.
While receiver Laviska Shenault’s injury, which knocked him out of the ASU game in the first quarter, remains undisclosed, CU did confirm that the junior did not get a concussion. Shenault remain a game-time decision for this week. … Defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson (ankle sprain) and cornerback Chris Miller (knee sprain) are listed as day-to-day. … CU has had the same starting offensive line in all four games this year. It’s the first time since a five-game stretch in the middle of 2016 that CU has had the same five start at least four games in a row.