Posted: 9:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, 2013
By Avinash Kunnath
1. All in all, Colorado did as well as they could against Oregon before folding. What really impressed you about the Buffs in defeat?
I was really impressed by the fact that Colorado took the punch to Oregon to start the game. As many teams have found out, if you allow Oregon to throw the first punch, the game will be over in the blink of an eye. But the Buffs came out with the onside kick, the double move to Paul Richardson, and the reverse pass to D.D. Goodson, and forced Oregon to take them seriously. I think it sends a great message to your players as a coach when you show them that even though they may be outmatched on the field, you are going to throw everything you have out there to give them a chance to win the game, and that's what MacIntyre did. It was impressive for the Buffs to show that they can play with Oregon, even if only for a little over a quarter and I think it was beneficial for the players to realize that.
2. Where does Colorado still need major improvement?
There are many areas that still need a lot of improvement, but I think the biggest area right now that needs improvement is at the quarterback position. It's funny because the last time we talked I think I mentioned Connor Wood as one of the pleasant surprises for the buffs through the first two games, but unfortunately for Colorado, Wood has come back down to earth. In the last two games Wood has gone 25-67 for just 351 yards and 4 interceptions with just two TD's. Sure there are many other places that the Buffs need to improve, but it's just simply impossible to win games with quarterbacking like that, especially when you haven't established much on the ground. If the Buffs are going to have any chance at getting to a bowl game, or even just winning a few more games, they are going to need Connor Wood to return to his form from the first two games of the season.
3. Recruiting-wise, what type of players should Colorado look to get to move themselves out of the Pac-12 cellar?
Simply put, in this conference, the Buffs need more speed. They need speed rushers, speedy linebackers, speed at the skill positions, speed everywhere. Of course everybody is going to look slow against Oregon, but even against Oregon State the Buffs seemed to be half a step behind most of the game. You see what a player with a bit of speed can do when you watch freshman middle linebacker Addison Gillam flying all over the field to make 18 tackles against Oregon, personally I believe he was the biggest difference between Oregon scoring 70 last year against 57 this year.
4. Which players have been the most pleasant surprises so far of this 2013 campaign?
Like I just said above freshman MLB Addison Gillam has been by far the most pleasant surprise for the Buffs this year. It's really hard to believe while watching him play that he is a true freshman, he is one of those linebackers that just seems to be in on every single play. The joke in the press box last weekend was that the PA system could just be a recording of
"Credit #44 Addison Gillam on the stop," whenever Colorado was on defense. Gillam is leading the conference by a huge margin in tackles per game, and has a great chance to be first team all Pac-12 in my opinion. His career is going to be a fun one to follow.
Greg Henderson has also been a nice surprise, he has always been a good corner, but this season he has taken the next step and become a playmaker, leading the conference in passes defended per game and interceptions.
5. What things are you looking for Colorado to do in the desert against ASU? How do they slow down the Sun Devil attack?
I think if you're a Colorado fan, you're looking for the Buffs to build on the improvements they showed against Oregon, ASU does a lot of the same things, so there may not have been a better way to prepare for this offense than going up against the best version in the nation. The words "moral victory" have come up a lot in Boulder this week, so I think you want to see the Buffs prove that they really did become a better team last week, despite losing by 41.
On the field I think you want to see Connor Wood get back on track and complete passes at a much higher rate than the last two weeks, you want to see running back Chirstian Powell build on what was his best performance of the year last week, and finally you want to see somebody besides defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe create pressure in the quarterback.
If those things happen, Colorado has a chance to be competitive in this game, which is really all Colorado fans should be hoping for in most games this season.