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Bye week comes at good time for CU Buffs

Buffs will host Arizona on Oct. 16

BOULDER, CO - Oct. 2, 2021: ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Toren Pittman goes after USC’s Gary Bryant Jr. during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on October 2, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

In the moments after another blowout loss, the Colorado Buffaloes expressed some relief that a break was coming.

CU’s 37-14 loss to Southern California on Saturday at Folsom Field was the fourth consecutive defeat for the Buffaloes (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12), but now comes a much-needed bye week.

The Buffs’ next game will be against Arizona (0-4, 0-1) on Oct. 16 at Folsom Field.

“I think that bye week timing is crucial right now because we’re not where we want to be,” safety Isaiah Lewis said. “Our headspace isn’t where it needs to be, so we understand how important this bye week is gonna be. We’re gonna take the rest but also, like, we’ve got to hammer the details in.”

It’s been a difficult three-week stretch for the Buffs, who have been outscored 102-27.

The optimism that came from a 10-7 loss to then-No. 5 Texas A&M (which is now unranked) has faded, but tight end Brady Russell said the Buffs haven’t lost hope.

“I’d say the vibe in the locker room, it’s still good,” Russell said. “It’s kind of the older guys are trying to bring the young guys along with them because we’ve been through some of these kinds of things. Isaiah, me, Nate (Landman), Mekhi (Blackmon), Carson (Wells), those kinds of guys. They’re just trying to keep people’s heads up because we’ve still got a lot of great players and we’ve still got a lot of capability. We just need people to understand that they are a lot more capable than they think they are right now.”

With losing piling up and a lack of production on offense, frustration is building for many players.

“That’s the natural human condition is to start to point fingers or to start to fray,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “I think this team understands I’ve been truthful to them every step of the way. I haven’t sugarcoated anything about whether we’re good or bad; it’s always the truth and they’ll tell you that. They know we’ve got work to do. .. We don’t sugarcoat but we know that we’re not going to tear people down for them to lose confidence.”

While the Buffs don’t have a game this week, Dorrell expects it to be a busy week.

“There’s so many things that we need to fix right now, on both sides of the ball,” he said. “We’re going to work at it without a game this week. So, we get a chance to really work on some things in practice.”

CU has seven games remaining on the schedule and players talked of trying to push their frustration aside to focus on the work ahead.

“It sucks to lose a game but I mean it’s not really much you could do but just go back to the drawing board and just try to execute,” running back Jarek Broussard said. “The only way you can turn this stuff around is just with work.

“We just need guys that just want it. Like, we just need the want-it factor more.”

QB change?

Although starting quarterback Brendon Lewis threw for a career-high 162 yards on Saturday, it was still a performance with mixed results. Dorrell hinted after the game that backup Drew Carter could possibly play a bigger role in future games.

“We’re going to do that this week since we have some time this week,” Dorrell said of reassessing the quarterback situation. “We’ll assess that for sure about maybe this is a 1-2 machine now, give both these guys a chance to develop and go. But, that’s something we will definitely discuss this week now that we don’t have a game at the end of next week. We have some more time to really think through this.”

Notes

Through five weeks, CU ranks last (130th) in the country in scoring, at 13.8 points per game. The Buffs are 129th in total offense (239.6 yards per game), ahead of Louisiana-Monroe. … Punter Josh Watts ranked sixth in the country in yards per punt, at 48.77.

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