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CU Buffs football notes: JT Shrout to start at QB vs. Arizona State

Colorado quarterback JT Shrout scrambles against Texas Christian University on Sept. 2 in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Colorado quarterback JT Shrout scrambles against Texas Christian University on Sept. 2 in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

JT Shrout will get another opportunity to start at quarterback for the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.

Interim head coach Mike Sanford announced during his weekly radio show with host Mark Johnson that Shrout will get the start when the Buffs (1-6, 1-3 Pac-12) host Arizona State (2-5, 1-3) at Folsom Field on Saturday (5:35 p.m., ESPNU).

Freshman Owen McCown is still recovering from a core injury sustained in the Buffs’ 20-13 overtime win against California on Oct. 15.

Shrout has made three starts this season, including last Saturday in a 42-9 loss at Oregon State. This will be Shrout’s first start at Folsom Field.

This season, Shrout has completed 43-of-96 passes (44.8%) for 507 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He threw for a career-high 206 yards at Oregon State, but was also intercepted twice.

In his three starts, Shrout is 22-for-61 (36.1%) for 281 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. In two relief appearances – also his only two games at Folsom Field – he is 21-for-35 (60.0%) for 226 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

McCown, who has made three starts and four appearances this year, is 57-for-100 (57%) for 600 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, along with two rushing touchdowns.

BOULDER, CO-April 9, 2022: Cornerbacks, Jason ...
Cornerbacks, Jason Oliver, left, and Kaylin Moore, during the University of Colorado Boulder football scrimmage on April 9, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

Oliver settling in

In January, Jason Oliver didn’t have much time to change his plans and get to Boulder.

Nine months later, however, the true freshman cornerback has settled in and is enjoying his role with the Buffs.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Oliver said of playing college football. “Coming here in January I got a semester under my belt, so I’m just loving the atmosphere and the season. I’m getting through it.”

In early January, Oliver was preparing for his final semester at Liberty (Calif.) High School and didn’t even have a scholarship offer from CU. Then, starting corner Mekhi Blackmon put his name into the NCAA transfer portal (eventually landing at USC). A few days later, CU called Oliver with a scholarship offer and asked if he could enroll right away.

Oliver committed to the Buffs on a Thursday and was on plane to Colorado on Monday.

“It was a really fast process for me and my family,” Oliver said. “But I’m glad that I made the decision and glad that I came out here early when I did.”

CU’s cornerback room is loaded with underclassmen and Oliver has worked his way into the rotation. He’s listed second on the depth chart to true sophomore Nikko Reed. He’s averaging about 22 snaps per game in Pac-12 play.

“It’s a tough thing to get adjusted to at the start, but after a couple of weeks, you kind of get used to it,” Oliver said. “Really once you get your footing out there, it’s just playing ball and getting better every day.”

Oliver said he still needs to work on “everything” in his game, but he has grown comfortable with playing and enjoys playing behind Reed and sophomore Kaylin Moore.

“They’ve been really helpful,” he said.


As of Thursday afternoon, CU had sold just under 38,000 tickets for Saturday’s game, and there is hope the Buffs will top 39,000 by kickoff. … ASU is looking to avoid its first 1-4 start to conference play since 2008. The Buffs are hoping to avoid a second consecutive 1-4 start.