There are a lot of things needed for the Colorado Buffaloes to turn their season around on offense.
Head coach Karl Dorrell addressed one of those areas on Sunday when he fired offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue. On Monday, he agreed with freshman receiver Brenden Rice, who said after Saturday’s 26-3 loss at California that “the people that are leading the offense, their voices aren’t heard enough or loud enough.”
The loss to Cal dropped the Buffs to 2-5 (1-3 Pac-12) and the offense now ranks among the worst in the country in major statistical categories. CU plays at No. 7 Oregon (6-1, 3-1) on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. (1:30 p.m. MT, TV: Fox).
“Yeah, we do need more player leaders, for sure,” Dorrell said during his weekly press conference. “Most of our playing experience — veterans — are on the defensive side. Kary (Kutsch), our starting left guard, is really our oldest player, and he’s been playing really the most consistent of anybody up front on the offensive line, but Kary doesn’t say much. He lets his leadership work by example, with how hard he plays and how proficient he is, but we do have some good young leaders.”
Dorrell said he’s trying to encourage all players, regardless of their age, to step up and take some leadership.
“There’s no age standard to become a leader,” Dorrell said. “Let’s not wait to be a senior to lead. Leadership takes guys doing the right things and keeping guys accountable to doing the right things. We need more guys to step up and do those things.”
Dorrell said there are some natural leaders on defense, but “it’s been more of a challenge” on offense. In addition to Kutsch, Dorrell mentioned tight end Brady Russell and quarterback Brendon Lewis stepping up as leaders at times.”
Landman on the mend
Linebacker Nate Landman left Saturday’s game late in the fourth quarter with an injury and did not practice Monday.
“Nate was a little sore, so he might be down for a little bit,” Dorrell said. “He’s got some soft tissue injuries that he’s dealing with right now, so we’re hoping that he’s feeling better a little bit later in the week.”
Running back Jarek Broussard limped off the field Saturday, as well, but did practice a bit on Monday.
Dorrell said Landman and Broussard are both “a little sore” following the game against the Bears.
On Monday, the Pac-12 announced that CU’s game against Oregon State, on Nov. 6 at Folsom Field, will kick off at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. … Receiver La’Vontae Shenault, who has been suspended for the last six games for a violation of team rules, has been reinstated and is expected to play against Oregon on Saturday. Shenault has been working with the scout team recently but returned to practice with the offense on Monday. … Backup quarterback Drew Carter is “really starting to season up his game and has a better understanding (of the offense),” Dorrell said.