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Colorado quarterback J.T. Shrout (5) looks to throw against Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Colorado quarterback J.T. Shrout (5) looks to throw against Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

MINNEAPOLIS – Starting and sticking with Brendon Lewis at quarterback through most of the season opener wasn’t the answer.

Starting and playing JT Shrout throughout Week 2 didn’t work, either.

On Saturday at Huntington Bank Stadium, Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell tried a new approach at quarterback. That, too, failed, as the Buffs were routed by Minnesota, 49-7.

Shrout got the start against the Gophers, but he and Lewis traded series throughout the game. Together, they went 6-for-17 for 38 yards and a touchdown.

CU’s only scoring drive was a 10-play, 75-yard march led by Shrout – but that didn’t come until the fourth quarter when the Buffs were down 49-0. Eight of the 10 plays on the drive were runs.

“I felt it was gonna give them a chance to get in rhythm, to be honest with you,” Dorrell said of the plan to rotate. “That’s how practices have been. We gave both of them chances. Both of them did a few good things here and there but nothing really just put it together in a series. And that was the unfortunate thing. Our best series was, as you saw, in the fourth quarter. We get one long series and we score, but that’s too little too late. We need that efficiency in the first quarter.”

That efficiency wasn’t there in the first, second or third quarters.

Shrout lost a fumble on the first play of the game and the Buffs gained less than 20 yards on each of their first seven possessions.

To this point, CU has been unable to figure out its quarterback problem.

This season, Lewis is 15-of-24 for 92 yards, while adding 43 rushing yards (42 of those against TCU in the opener). Shrout is 22-of-55 for 232 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and two lost fumbles.

On the last series of the game, Dorrell gave third-stringer Owen McCown, a true freshman, a chance to play. He finished 4-of-7 for 52 yards and had the Buffs knocking on the door of the end zone before time ran out. His final pass, a 28-yarder to Jaylon Jackson, got CU to the 3-yard line as time expired.

Given the results to this point, McCown could be in the running to start.

“That is something to consider when you’re in a position we’re in right now,” Dorrell said. “We’re 0-3. We have to find something that’s going to give us a spark, so we’re going to turn every corner, turn over every stone to try to figure out as a staff what can give us a spark that we need. Anything and everything is in front of us right now.”

Asked of McCown is ready for that challenge, Dorrell said he’s not sure.

“He only had a handful snaps but he operated OK,” Dorrell said. “He did what he was supposed to do. If he has pressure and you don’t feel anybody’s open, he used his legs. He hit a couple of passes. So he did some really positive things. He engineered a chance to get a score right there; we just ran out of time, but I was encouraged by that.

“We’ll see. We’ll just have to see when we go back in tonight and tomorrow and have this discussion with the staff as to what we need to do moving forward.”

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