Skip to content

Colorado football notes: Buffs’ offensive line coming together in second half of season

BOULDER-CO-October 15:University of Colorado Boulder's Anthony ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Anthony Hankerson looks for a hole against the Cal Bears on October 15, 2022, as guard Tommy Brown, left, blocks for him. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Although he had never been a regular starter in college football, Tommy Brown came to Colorado as a veteran player with a winning pedigree.

He also knew quite well what good offensive line play looks like, having spent the previous four seasons at Alabama.

As the Buffaloes (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) prepare for their finale against No. 14 Utah (8-3, 6-2) on Saturday at Folsom Field (2:10 p.m., Pac-12 Network), Brown has been impressed with the growth of the offensive line.

CU isn’t dominant up front, but has come a long way since Brown arrived in January.

“As an offensive line, we took a lot of pride coming in and doing our job and just trying to improve no matter what was going on around,” said Brown, who has started every game at right guard. “To see what we’ve been able to do throughout the season, it’s been insane. It’s incredible to see the growth of some of the guys and I think it’s a true testament to (offensive line coach Kyle) DeVan and all the other coaches. When it comes down to it, it’s good coaching and guys buying in.”

CU went through several lineup changes early in the season, but eventually settled on a group that includes Brown and Casey Roddick at guard, Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan at left tackle and Jake Wiley at right tackle. When healthy, freshman Van Wells has started at center, while Austin Johnson has filled in.

Throwing to Fillip?

A couple weeks ago, CU created a package for tackle Frank Fillip to line up at tight end. He’s played a few snaps at tight end in the recent games, and Brown said he’s lobbying for Fillip to get a pass in a game.

“Every single meeting, every time I see (offensive coordinator Clay) Patterson, or (interim head coach Mike) Sanford, it’s, ‘Let’s get Frank the ball,’” Brown said. “Since the idea got floated that Frank could be a tight end to Frank’s playing tight end, ‘OK, let’s get Frank the ball.’

“I knew Frank was going out on that route (Saturday at Washington) before the play. So I was blocking as hard as I can and I was hoping it would have got to him but there’s another opportunity in another game, so hopefully it comes.”


Quarterback JT Shrout was banged up in last week’s 54-7 loss to Washington, but Sanford said, “He’s good to go.” … CU is 74-56-2 all-time in regular season finales, but only 2-9 since joining the Pac-12 (including 2-8 against Utah). … Roddick has the longest current starting streak for the Buffs, at 21 consecutive games. Defensive lineman Jalen Sami is next, starting the last 18 games.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.