Schedule and Odds
The good news for Colorado is that they return 15 starters from a year ago and brought in Jim Leavitt as its defensive coordinator, who comes over after a few years spent in the NFL with San Francisco (LBs coach). The bad news is that the Buffaloes finished 2014 at 2-10 without a Pac-12 win. They’ll get an extra chance to add on a win this year with 13 Games on the Schedule.
Colorado didn’t do many things well last year, but something that came close was the passing Game. Sefo Liufau is back for his junior season coming off a productive 28 TDs, 15 INTs and 65.3% completion rate. His favorite receiver Nelson Spruce (106 receptions, 1,198 yards, 12 TDs) is back and the two will be tough to stop, but the Buffs do lose a couple starting receivers. Shay Fields (50 receptions) has to build on his freshman campaign and Bryce Bobo will look to fill in at the other receiver spot.
One area the Buffs are looking to improve is the running Game where they didn’t have a rusher over the 500-yard mark a season ago. Christian Powell averaged 5.3 yards per carry, but Colorado spread the ball around with Four different backs getting at least 79 carries. Someone will have to step up for the group to improve, whether it’s Powell or Michael Adkins II. The offensive line loses two guards and the competition for those spots will probably go into the fall. If they get some cohesion along the line, they’ll have a better chance of improving the running Game.
Leavitt comes in to run a defense that allowed 39 points per Game and didn’t do anything good. They couldn’t pressure the QB and in turn didn’t force turnovers. With nine starters returning and lots of depth, this group should see a boost. Leavitt will incorporate some 3-4 as well, which he used with the 49ers.
The success of the defense will fall partly to linebacker Addison Gillam, who led the team in tackles as a freshman, but was in and out of the lineup a year ago due to various ailments. With experience returning along with a new coordinator, Colorado should at least be a bit more competitive this year.
At the least, the Buffaloes could get out to a 3-1 start with winnable non-Conference Games, but the one that really counts is against Colorado State. The teams have exchanged wins the last Four years, but the Rams won 31-17 last season. The opening to Colorado’s Conference Schedule won’t help matters though, but it should be noted that they didn’t really get blown out at home last year. If they can at least stay close to Oregon and Arizona in those home Games, that’d be an improvement. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy home Pac-12 Game all year with Stanford and USC remaining. The Buffaloes’ best chances of winning a Conference Game will probably come on the road at either Oregon State or Washington State.
The Buffaloes should be more competitive due to improvement on both sides of the ball, but that won’t stop them from finishing last in the conference. However, due to an easier non-Conference Schedule, Four or five wins could be expected.
2015 Colorado Football Schedule
Sept. 4 at Hawaii
Sept. 12 vs. UMass
Sept. 19 vs. Colorado State (Mile High)
Sept. 26 vs. Nicholls State
Oct. 3 vs. Oregon
Oct. 10 at Arizona State
Oct. 17 vs. Arizona
Oct. 24 at Oregon State
Oct. 31 at UCLA
Nov. 7 vs. Stanford
Nov. 13 vs. USC
Nov. 21 at Washington State
Nov. 28 at Utah