BOULDER, CO - Sept. 18, 2021: ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s head coach, Karl Dorrell, during the Colorado Minnesota NCAA football game on September 18, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Colorado fans, Karl Dorrell knows you’re frustrated. Guess what? He is, too. And, so are the Buffaloes players.

Yet, while fans call for firings or demotions or a new quarterback, Dorrell doesn’t believe the struggling offense needs an overhaul. At least not yet.

On Monday, the Buffaloes’ head coach said there will be no staff changes or altering of duties after Saturday’s embarrassing 30-0 loss to Minnesota at Folsom Field. And for now, it appears freshman Brendon Lewis will remain in the starting role at quarterback.

As the Buffs (1-2) prepare to visit Arizona State on Saturday (8:30 p.m., TV: ESPNU), however, Dorrell said he will become a bit more involved in preparing the offense and the Buffs will spend more time getting back up quarterback Drew Carter ready to play.

“I get what the fans are and I’m disappointed in our performance, as well,” Dorrell said. “It’s not a good look for us; I understand that completely.”

It was actually one of the most dismal performances in program history, as the Buffs managed 63 yards of total offense, including minus-19 rushing yards. It was the first shutout loss at home in nine years.

Rather than fire or demote offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, or bench Lewis, Dorrell said the focus is working together as a staff and team to get better.

“We’re going to kind of work through all the dynamics of everything we’re doing,” Dorrell said. “I’m going to show my face in the offensive room a little bit more now. I’m going to try to help the process and, again, I’m just trying to be a helping hand to how that whole situation works. But we think that we’re off to a good start (this week).”

A longtime offensive coach, Dorrell will do what he can to help fix an offense that hasn’t scored a single point in the last seven quarters.

“I’ve grown and been in a number of systems, and in my career, I’ve seen a lot of football,” he said. “I have a feel of what I think our team can be better at and so I do interject from time to time with our offensive coaches about where I think we might be able to spend a little bit more resource into.

“I’m just overseeing it, making sure it makes sense. Make sure it’s sound, making sure we’re doing a systematic approach. And then the coaches will still operate like they normally would do on game day.”

Based on the social media reaction of fans on Monday, Dorrell’s approach didn’t go over well with Buff Nation, but he said that after one terrible performance, “You can’t overreact.”

Instead, he aims to band together and tackle the issues as a staff and team.

“The very first thing I think about is, ‘Well, we’re not doing something effectively enough for these guys to perform,’” Dorrell said. “That’s the way you have to look at it. It really comes down to we have to get our players ready to perform the way that it should be in practice and should be translated in correlation with how it should look on Saturdays. That’s just going back to the drawing board about what is the best way? Are they retaining it?”

Dorrell put the onus on the coaches. He said he challenged the staff to evaluate how they’re teaching and to make sure they are tailoring their teaching methods for each player.

“(The coaches) are going to work to do whatever it takes for our guys to play better,” he said.

“We just have to coach harder, coach better. Find different ways of getting the information digested, getting the information where it’s part of their mental process. I think coaching is always challenging. It really is because all the guys that I’ve coached in my career, they’re all different. They all learn differently.”

As the Buffs aim to turn the page from the disappointment of Saturday, Dorrell said the team has responded well.

“Up until last week, this team has made a lot of progress,” he said. “They will continue to do so. Unfortunately, that was not a great performance and we all know that. The best thing about it is that our guys took it dead in the eye about understanding what our issues were and we got everything addressed and talked about. It showed today with our first practice of the week with our preparation for ASU.

“We’re moving on forward to ASU and it was a really good energy today with what we’re doing. Obviously, we’re trying to get the bad taste out of our mouth and it starts with having a great preparation week so we can play well this Saturday.”

CU opponent glance

Opponent: Arizona State Sun Devils

Game time: Saturday, 8:30 p.m., at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.


Coach: Herm Edwards, 4th season (19-14)

Record: 2-1

Last week: Lost at BYU, 27-17

Notable: The Sun Devils were ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 before last week’s loss to BYU. …  ASU had 16 penalties and four turnovers in the loss to the Cougars. … ASU has been the most penalized team in the country this season, with 12.0 per game for an average of 106.3 yards. … Defensive lineman Travez Moore, who transferred from LSU, suffered a season-ending knee injury Saturday. ASU was already without all-conference caliber defensive tackle Jermayne Lole, who is out for the year with a triceps injury. … The Sun Devils are 12-4 at home under Edwards. … ASU leads the all-time series, 8-3, but the Buffs have won three of the last four meetings, including 2019 in Tempe. … Running backs Rachaad White (75.0 yards per game) and Daniyel Ngata (61.0) both rank in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in rushing, while quarterback Jayden Daniels (57.7) is 11th. … Daniels leads the Pac-12 in completion percentage (72.9) so far this season). He is tied for ninth nationally in that category.