Some fans want to see coaches fired or demoted. Others want a change at quarterback. Or a new scheme.
Fixing the Colorado offense – or at least improving the results – however, could simply come down to players buying in.
Running back Jarek Broussard said the Buffaloes (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) are busy working on their offense this week, but added, “We’ve just got to get everybody to believe in it. It’s kind of hard if everybody’s not on board.
“We’ve just got to bring it together as a team. We need all 11.”
With a bye last week, the Buffs have been working on coming together as a team, but Broussard said that’s been an ongoing process.
“Week in and week out,” he said. “That’s all you can do when you’re losing.”
Throughout CU’s current four-game losing streak – during which the Buffs have scored just 34 points (8.5 per game) – the task of getting everyone to buy in has become more difficult, especially on offense.
“Yeah, because I feel like when you lose more a lot of guys kind of, you know, it kind of fades,” Broussard said. “But, we’re just trying to keep it all together.”
Last week’s bye may have been the best thing for the Buffs, however. The players got several days off late last week and many went home before coming back to Boulder to prepare for Saturday’s game against Arizona (0-5, 0-2) at Folsom Field (1:30 p.m., TV: Pac-12 Network).
“We got the chance as a team to take a break, recoup, kind of figure some things out on our own, come back and piece it all together as a team,” Broussard said. “Honestly as an offense, we’re feeling pretty confident.
“I feel like some guys kind of got some time away, got to relax, see the family and they came back with their head on straight.”
CU’s offense has not only struggled to put points on the board but in moving the ball in general. Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis has had a difficult time finding success as a passer and that has led to opponents focusing on the run game and stopping the Buffs on the ground, as well.
Broussard said the offense has gained some confidence this week, however.
“We have a really good defense and just having a chance to kind of make plays on them (in practice) here in and here out, it gives us a boost and it shows guys like we can actually do this; like let’s piece it together, let’s make it work,” he said. “That’s how I kind of go about it.”
Defensive tackle Jalen Sami said he’s seen progress from the offense this week, as well.
“I feel like they’re starting to get a groove,” Sami said. “They still need to fix and tune those little details. It’s just, if we don’t do it right then we won’t be OOK. That’s just one thing that I’ve seen. They’re definitely getting more confident, especially B-Lew. I feel like B-Lew is trusting himself and he’s putting more effort and time into studying ball.”
Asked if the offense has the ability to turn things around, Broussard didn’t hesitate in saying, “Yes. A hundred percent.”
Individually, Broussard is trying his best to help the offense improve, but this has been a remarkably different season for him than a year ago.
In 2020, Broussard rushed for 813 yards and three touchdowns during the five-game regular season and was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He averaged 6.3 yards on his 129 rushing attempts. This year, he has rushed for 256 yards on 60 carries (4.27 per attempt).
Reducing Broussard’s 2020 workload was a point of emphasis for coaches, but the change has been dramatic, as he’s gone from 27.2 touches per game during the 2020 regular to 12.8 this year.
“I would love to get the ball more and get the ball in space, but, it’s an up top thing,” he said, referring to coaches making decisions on playing time. “I’m good (physically). I’m a hundred percent. I’m ready to do what I do, it’s just … it’s up top.”
Broussard said he isn’t one to compare what he did last season to this season, but said he continues to give it his all in trying to help the offense.
“I just live in the moment, week in and week out, just give it my best and if it pops, it pops,” he said.