Jarek Broussard is putting up numbers that haven’t been seen at Colorado ever, and he’s not even at full strength.
“I’m telling you, you haven’t (seen him at 100 percent),” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said Monday. “He’s probably 90-95 percent and he’s been that way all camp.”
After two ACL tears prevented him from playing his first seasons at CU, Broussard continues making up for lost time. On Monday, he was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, following his career-high 301 rushing yards in a 24-13 win at Arizona on Saturday.
Since CU joined the Pac-12 in 2011, Broussard is just the third Buff to earn offensive player of the week honors twice in one season, joining Sefo Liufau (2016) and Laviska Shenault (2018).
Broussard has rushed for 733 yards, the best total through four games in CU history. He ranks second nationally with 183.25 yards per game. And, he’s doing it all while wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee.
“I’ve asked him many times about the brace, whether in serious fashion or joking fashion,” Dorrell said. “He’s quite comfortable wearing it. I’m not going to complain because he’s being very productive. As long as he can continue to do what he’s doing, he can wear two knee braces, I don’t care.”
Broussard said he plans to keep wearing the brace the rest of the season. He added that he and the rest of the running backs are gaining confidence in the run game.
“As a whole group, I feel like we’ve kind of got more and more comfortable with the schemes and the game plan,” he said. “Week by week we just get more comfortable with things and it just makes it a lot easier to dominate the run game.”
The 21st-ranked Buffs (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who host Utah on Friday at Folsom Field, have had at least one conference player of the week after each of their games. In all, they’ve had five conference player of the week honors, only the second time since 2004 they’ve had that many (nine in 2016).
Other Pac-12 players of the week announced Monday: Cal’s Kuony Deng (defense); Utah’s Jadon Redding (special teams) and Ty Jordan (freshman); Stanford’s Drew Dalman (offensive line); and Arizona State’s Tyler Johnson (defensive line).
Dorrell confirmed that left guard Chance Lytle, injured against Arizona, will miss the rest of the season. Dorrell declined to state the specifics of the injury.
“He’s looking forward to next year,” Dorrell said. “I think there’s been enough good tape that he’s done that he should be confident that he can do some really positive things to help this team in the future.”
Lytle wasn’t a starter at the beginning of the year, but moved into the lineup when center Colby Pursell was injured in the opener, prompting left guard Kary Kutsch to move to center.
Last week, Kutsch tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the game against Arizona and it’s unclear if he’ll play against Utah.
“I think he’s right on the cusp of when we play the game, so I’m not sure yet, but we’ll let our medical professionals tell us,” Dorrell said.
Dorrell said there is a chance that Pursell returns to the lineup this week at center. Sophomore Kanan Ray, who replaced Lytle in the lineup last week, could start at one of the guard spots.
L.A. Bowl canceled
On Monday morning, organizers of the inaugural L.A. Bowl announced that this year’s game, scheduled for Dec. 30 in Los Angeles, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented us from having the game this year, we look forward to hosting teams from the Mountain West and Pac-12 conferences at SoFi Stadium next December,” was posted on the bowl’s official Twitter feed.
It is the fifth Pac-12 bowl to be canceled this year because of COVID-19, along with the Las Vegas, Sun, Holiday and Redbox bowls. Last week, the Pac-12 announced a new partnership with the Armed Forces Bowl. At this point, the Pac-12 has four bowl tie-ins for this season:
- New Year’s Six (to be determined)
- Independence Bowl, Dec. 26 at Shreveport, La. (vs. Army)
- Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29 at San Antonio (vs. Big 12)
- Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 31 at Fort Worth, Tex. (vs. SEC)
Dorrell said there is a “chance” that linebacker Akil Jones gets to play this week. Jones, who started the first three games, went to New Jersey last week for the birth of his son and did not play against Arizona. … CU is seeking its first 4-0 start to conference play since 2002.