OL/DL I bunched these two groups together because I think that they may be the biggest position group upgrades this season over last. I have not been impressed with the OL that CU is going to trot out on the field this year, but after seeing the starters in the RMS last year I have to say that the OL should be relatively much better in 2016. The only possible spot that 2015 might have been better than 2016 is at RT. 2015 ............. 2016LT Kronshage ...... Irwin LG Kough ............. Kough C Kelley .............. Kelley RG Huckins .......... Lynott RT Nembot ........... Kronshage The DL has the best player back after missing last year, Tupou, and returns all of the other significant players. There is a lack of depth, but the starters are legit P5/P12 players. This should be an improved group in 2016 over 2015. LB The good news is that it cannot be any worse than last year. I keyed on Olugbode most of the defensive snaps in the broadcast and cannot imagine a worse ILB. He is not an LB, he has a safety's body and plays as physical as a PAT holder. If a blocker gets just one hand on him he is out of the play. I watched Moeller move up into the box on a few plays and for the life of me cannot figure out why Moeller isn't starting at ILB over Olugbode. Moeller is a little bigger and plays physical football, he doesn't run away from contact or get blown up by every blocker on the field. The improved DL will help, but this is going to be a loooong season for ILB play unless Gillam plays like he did 3 seasons ago which at this point is too much to hope for. DB Thompson is a thumper, but he as to wrap up better. Awuzie is a joy to watch, a real top shelf college football player. Moeller is a reasonable play maker, fun to watch his physical style of play. I still think he would be better ILB than what we have now, but Moeller is a reasonable player at the P12 level. All things considered, this group could be better than last year, no worse for sure. QB Sigh. We've been over this a million times, but watching Liufau just reminded me of his limitations. He locks on to the primary receiver for as long as possible, if he doesn't make the throw to the primary he always runs to his right and more often than not he throws the ball away without ever looking for a secondary receiver. He has poor pocket awareness and an even worse sense of clock management. The end of the regulation was classic Liufau as he burned way too much time with his lock on/run right/throw away predictable play that even the meathead announcer from Notre Dame Aaron Somedouch was dogging him for it. He does have decent downfield accuracy, but his slow windup throwing motion and laser lock on the primary receiver is a recipe for disaster. I absolutely expect the same QB this year as we saw last year, especially given he was "knocking off the rust" during the first couple of weeks in fall camp. There is no upside here. RB Adkins was on the sideline in the 1st half, riding the bike, never to be seen again. Lindsay is a good back, but not a primary RB in a P5 conference. Hopefully Lee will be an upgrade over Powell, but with Lindgren calling the plays you can be sure that the strengths of each RB will be ignored. Lindgren calls his game regardless of the players on the field rather than tailor his calls to the talents of the players on the field. The lack of depth going into the game this year is disconcerting, but no worse than last years game. WR Missing Spruce is going to hurt. Ross made a nice TD catch in traffic, but dropped a must-make catch early. Fields has wheels, but he is so small. If he had Richardson type wheels than the lack of size wouldn't concern me. Not sure what to think about 2015 vs 2016 here, but I expect a drop off in play at least during the first game of the year. TE Ha ha ha. K/P/Teams It cannot get any worse. Period. Coaching I don't see any significant improvements/downgrades from last years RMS to this years game. Maybe some improvement from the defense playing better together having been in Leavitt's system for a full season. Since this is the opening game of the season, I'm not expecting the new OL/RB/WR coaches to have a significant upside impact, but possibly a downside impact. The upside could take place over the course of a season, but in the first game I don't see the coaches being a big improvement. I know we are expecting some new looks on offense, but Lindgren is still calling the plays and Liufau is still the QB; these guys are governors on the throttle. CSU I don't know much about them other than they are obviously a power running team. I think they will have success against CU in the run game again because CU isn't built to stop the power game, only Stanford runs it in the Pac-12 now. Unless the DL can really clog the line expect to see a lot of 5 -12 yard runs up the middle by CSU. The good news is that Hansley and Higgins are gone, no way CSU is better at WR this season. Conclusion ****, I don't know. Thanks to Gary Barnett and Bradlee Van Pelt, CSU is now CU's rival. Rivalry games are hard to predict. First games of the season are hard to predict. Mix the rivalry with the season opener and it is too hard to conclude that CU has any major upgrade in odds this season over last. One thing that I do know with absolute certainty, if CSU fires that ****ing cannon up Bobo's ass it wouldn't be a second too soon.