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Realistically, what can we expect from the team in 2015?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by skinsfan55, May 4, 2015.

  1. skinsfan55

    skinsfan55 Club Member Club Member

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    I know that lots of things will shake out in the fall... but here's what we know:


    • The Buffs won two games in 2014
    • The Buffs produced no draftable players in the 2015 draft
    • Sports reference ranked CU at the 7th toughest Strength of Schedule in all of college football for 2014
    • The Buffs ranked 67th in points per game and 39th in yards per game on offense
    • The Buffs ranked 120th in points allowed.

    CU had one of the worst defenses in the country last year... and an offense that seemed bowl worthy. They have a lot of work to do in order to make it to a bowl. I think the Buffs were better than their record indicated, but they obviously have some massive holes.

    Quarterback
    I'm on record as saying I like Sefo a lot. He's a good leader, he says all the right things and no one wants to win more than him... unfortunately his desire to win isn't impacting his decision making because he has a knack for throwing the pick 6. I'm not calling for replacing him because I don't think there's another QB on the roster who comes close in terms of poise and ability. Montez should redshirt for a year, Gerke, Apsay and the walk-on crew should be just for drills, scout team and practice. Unless Sefo makes a big jump this offseason, we'll struggle a little, but the team can still go to, and win a bowl with him under center.

    Running Back/Fullback
    Powell is a decent rusher and this is his last season. I'm slightly concerned about his history of head injuries. Lindsay is quick and showed flashes of ability and Adkins had a sophomore slump last year. There's nothing really special about our RB stable, but Patrick Carr was one of our most highly touted recruits. I hope we have the luxury of redshirting him, but he may start due to injury or ineffectiveness. Our FBs are decent but unspectacular it seems like.
    Offensive Line
    The O-Line went from being a huge weakness a year or two ago to being a position of strength. Many have said that Nembot made great strides midseason last year... and it makes me wonder if he might be destined to move to LT. The coaches or staff haven't said anything though and it seems like a longshot. For now, he's entrenched at RT. Kelley started at C last season and seemed fine so I would assume he's got a solid hold on his position as well. Most of the time, having two departing senior starter and three returning lineman, one who was injured in spring would be cause for concern... but the Buffs should have a better overall line than last season. Between Lisella (coach's favorite from what I hear), Irwin, Kronshage, Kough, Weifels, Huckins, Callahan and possibly Middlemiss and Lynott (though I hope they're redshirted) the Buffaloes should be able to put together a decent line.

    Wide receiver/Tight end
    Spruce is coming back for 2015 and that is huge. He's a good route runner, has great hands, adjusts to the ball well and can be successful in this offense. It's true though, that he was shut down by Pac-12 corners when we got to league play. He's a draftable NFL prospect, so he should be able to adjust and have a stronger corps around him. Shay Fields looked great at times last year and could be a huge weapon for the Buffs, Ross, Lee, Walker, Bobo and Dunston all have a little experience as well. The story with the TEs is the same as always. Nothing special there. Keeney and Jones were injured for Spring and Irwin will be back.

    Defensive Line
    The staff recruited two defensive linemen from junior colleges (Blake Robbins and Jordan Carrell) to shore up this weak front 7. It'll be well into fall probably before we see what they bring to the table. Returning is last year's sack leader Derek McCartney along with Tupou, Solis, Kafovalu, Leo Jackson, Ty Henington, Jimmy Gilbert and others. I assume the D-line will be better this season because of the new additions and the maturing of the returning players... but who knows. Most of these guys are marked by their potential and not their actual contributions. Hopefully new DC Jim Leavitt can get the most out of this unit.

    Linebacker
    Just like offensive line was once a huge weakness for CU... I hope the huge weakness that is the LB corps becomes a strength sooner rather than later. Addison Gillam looked like a rising star in his freshman year but illness and head injuries kept him subdued last season. There was even a rumor that he considered quitting football because of his injuries but that seems premature. Jaleel Awini, former Air Force QB has switched to LB, Kenneth Olugbode seems serviceable and former 4 star Deaysean Rippy tops the pencil depth chart at OLB. HS star Grant Watanabe may finally be healthy enough to play in 2015... but just like with the D-line, these linebackers need to prove themselves and win a job.

    Defensive Backs
    This unit looks pretty good on paper. Kenny Crawley looks like a draftable NFL prospect. He's got size and speed and should be good for the Buffs. Tedric Thompson led the team in picks, Walker, Awuzie, Witherspoon, Moeller and White all look competent. Jared Bell got a 6th year approved and should be a standout in this defense, and as usual, highly touted prospect Yuri Wright is a wildcard. Will he ever put it together?

    -----

    All in all I'd say the Buffaloes should be much better on paper than in 2015 and their strength of schedule should be weaker. Their first 4 games are winnable (Hawaii, UMASS, CSU and Nicholls State) and they were within a TD of beating Cal, Oregon St., UCLA and Utah in 2014. What's a realistic projection? 5 games? 6? 7? A bowl?
     
  2. Bufffan68

    Bufffan68 Club Member Club Member

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    I expect a jump in performance in all position groups, particularly DL. If the D doesn't make a jump like the O did last year, it could be a long season.

    Sefo needs to make a jump this year...fewer INTs, hitting deep throws etc. The new RBs need to contribute right away as we only have one returning guy who isn't a bad hit away from a season or career ending injury. I'm concerned most about LB.

    I see 4-5 wins as a base (at least 3 OOC wins and winning 1 PAC12 game). 6 would be cool, 7 of course would be awesome, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. But who knows...Mac made a huge jump in this 3rd year at SJSU - whatever that's worth since the PAC12 is a little better conference than the MWC :lol:
     
  3. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    You could literally say that about any athlete. MacIntyre had better win more than 1 conference game, no excuses to not win at least 2.
     
  4. leftybuff

    leftybuff Iconoclast Club Member

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    Well, I would say the likelihood of a bowl is slim. I do not see seven wins on the schedule.

    The OOC could be swept, but Hawaii is a tougher game than most think as it is on the road. CSU is a wild card. Umass and Nicholls St. should be gimmes, but Umass was a lot closer than you would think last year, CU had to pull that one out of their ***.

    The P12 schedule features, as usual, teams that have a significant talent edge on the Buffs. I expect the team to be well coached and prepared for their opponent, but will get out athleted at some point in the game. Oftentimes that is the difference. Take UCLA last year for example, UCLA was, and probably is this year, a poorly coached team with penalties galore. They did everything they could to trip on their own feet, but when the game was on the line, athletes took over and CU lost.

    CU has a puncher's chance against WSU, UU and OSU, but all the rest, CU will be a pretty big underdog.
     
  5. skinsfan55

    skinsfan55 Club Member Club Member

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    I'd like to think 2015 is the year the Buffs finally break back into the spotlight a little bit. If they go to and win a bowl with a Junior QB and new uniforms it could open up recruiting for 2015 and beyond.
     
  6. Bufffan68

    Bufffan68 Club Member Club Member

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    I see your point, but I've been a Buff fan too long...I think 2 would be great though.
    download.jpg
     
  7. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    The thread title specifically states "Realistically". Realistically, we can expect 4-5 wins.
     
  8. J.R. Ewing

    J.R. Ewing Club Member Club Member

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    I expect the team to jump 25 spots in the F/+ rankings. How that translates into wins remains to be seen. Whoever put our PAC12 slate together is a diabolical, evil bastard.
     
  9. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Oregon, USC and Stanford all at home this year. Makes a tough home schedule. When you're rebuilding, you want a few easy-ish home games. The only home game I think we have a shot at winning is UA.

    Best case scenario is 4 conference wins and 4 OOC wins, and a bowl game win - 9 wins.
    Worst case scenario is zero conference wins and 2 OOC wins - 2 wins.

    Most likely scenario is somewhere in between.
     
  10. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Realistically, I see 5-7 wins.

    We SHOULD go 4-0 in OOC. Hawaii will be a challenge because it is in the islands, but they were bad last year. Really bad. We beat UMass on the road last year in one of our worst played games of the year. Should expect a win at home. CSU is a toss up. I don't think CSU will be as good this year as they ended up being last year, but rivalry games mean anything can happen. Nicholls state should absolutely be a win. No excuses on that one.

    UO, L (probably won't be the juggernaut they were with Marriotta, but still too good for us)

    ASU, L (didn't lose much besides Strong this off season, will still challenge for the south title)

    UofA, W (Home game, don't think Solomon is that good)

    OSU, T (Not sure what to think here. Conference road games are tough, Beav's are in their first year of a new system, lost a lot of talent)

    UCLA, L (Loss of Hundley will hurt, but think UCLA will challenge for the south title)

    Stanford, L (It is stanford, we don't have the big boys to keep up with them. McCaffery will destroy us)

    USC, L (USC is the favorite for the south title, no shot)

    WSU, W (Buffs have always had the pirates number. Not too scared of what they are doing up there in Pullman)

    UU, T (Not sure what to think of the utes. Wilson is a decent QB in that system, but has a bad injury history. He goes down and I am not how much the utes have left. Will be a close game like all of them have been so far)
     
  11. J.R. Ewing

    J.R. Ewing Club Member Club Member

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    ^ Oregon St and Wash St will have similar talent levels with CU, however those games are on the road. Utah was far better than us last year throughout the season, and they return most of their talent, and the game is on the road.
     
  12. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Agree, I think our best options for conference wins are OSU and WSU. Think UofA provides a decent shot for a home win. Utah is always close. Even in our worst year in program history, the game was in question late into the 4th quarter.
     
  13. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    Somewhere between 2 wins and 9 wins. Bold prediction there, Sack. :lol:

    - We have to have the expectation that this team is able to go no worse than 3-1 in OOC. A change in coaching staff and losing their QB/OL/RB, should make CSU a win but it's always a wild card as others have mentioned.
    - As far as the "winnable" P12 games: WSU, Utah and OSU are all on the road. I'll be optimistic and say they win 2 of those.
    - CU will be a significant underdog in the rest and may win 1 more, which I will say is AZ at home.

    My optimistic outlook is a 6-7 record with at least 2 Pac 12 wins.
     
  14. Buffskier

    Buffskier Club Member Club Member

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    Agree with much of what you wrote up there [MENTION=7823]skinsfan55[/MENTION] - here's my take on 2015 expectations.

    QB - Sefo is now an upperclassman and going into his 3rd year starting. If he takes the same jump from year 1 to 2 this year; we will be putting up lots of points. Obviously needs to eliminate those untimely picks. I think that our inability to stop anyone last season on defense impacted his decision making more than his "desire to win". He forced some balls into places that he shouldn't have because of the pressure to try to score every time we got the ball. Improvements on defense should help this mentality this season.

    RB - Powell scares me with his head injuries. I see our RB corps as Adkins and Lindsay with Powell as a 3rd down back. The influx of Carr, Baltazar, and Gordon will definitely boost us from bottom half of the PAC-12 into the middle. Here's to hoping that the incoming talent pushes the group. Can we get our first 1000 yard rusher since Speedy? I don't think this year, but we do have the OL talent and depth to potentially make it happen.

    OL - 3 of 5 returning starters including a potential high draft pick in the 2016 NFL draft in Nembot. The 2 positions that will be replaced will likely be close in terms of talent/production as those who left and should progress as the season goes along. Sefo should have much better protection this year than last and the RB's should have better run blocking than the last two or three seasons. I'm excited about this group, but hope that they can develop that nasty mentality and start taking the fight to the DL as opposed to just holding their own.

    WR/TE - Spruce and Fields. After that, it's a lot of unproven guys. I think that Bobo showed glimpses last year (UCLA - 4th down td). We need someone to replace DD's production in the slot. I keep hearing about Jay Mac, I think we'll see him a decent amount. Lee, Ross, and Walker need to show something. I think we can redshirt all of our incoming guys, which is great! In order for the offense to be successful, we need some additional output from these unproven guys. As you said about TE - we'll see what Keeney and Jones can bring to the passing game in the fall. Irwin is solid, but he's not likely to win any awards or give any DC's nightmares about matchups.

    DL - I'm very bullish on this group after last season. The influx of 3 JUCO guys, Kafovalu, and all of the returning bodies and RS-Freshman make this group deeper than any that we've had in a long long time. We should be able to cycle guys in and not lose a whole lot of production. Carrell, Kafovalu, Solis, Tupou, McCartney, Gilbert, Robbins, and Henington are the names that we know. I'm excited about Franke and Hasselbach as well. We've got a lot of size and decent speed and enough talent to compete with most teams now. It will be nice not throwing a bunch of true freshmen into the mix here. How will the switch to the 3-4 benefit these guys? Excited to see what Leavitt does with the defense.

    LB - Gillam and Olugbode. The strides that KO made last season were pretty impressive. He was completely lost early in the season, but started to make a lot of plays towards the end of the season. We need Addison to be back to 2013 form - hopefully he can get healthy, keep his weight up, and continue tearing up the record books. Rippy's light may have come on with the introduction of Leavitt - it would be nice if his 4* rating finally showed on the field. With the change in scheme - we now see former DE's lining up in LB. I think that Shaver will really thrive as that tweener that can fill against the run, blitz off the edge for the pass rush, but also cover TE's or drop into zone coverage. I think we get to be much more aggressive with our playcalling, which will lead to more pressure from the LB position on the QB.

    DB - Deepest group of DB's that we've seen in a while. Crawley should be drafted next Spring and if he puts in a solid season, it could be an early round. The other corner will likely come between Awuzie, Witherspoon, Yuri, Walker. Safety got a huge boost with the return of Bell. Tedric was a difference maker in the backfield last season, truly evident by what transpired when he was injured. We need more turnovers - only 3 picks in the PAC-12 is unacceptable. We need to get more pressure on the opposing qb and force some bad throws, which should result in some TO's. The talent is there, now it is just time to execute.

    ------

    The 2014 Buffs gave up almost 40 points per game in conference play.. Our defense needs to cut at least 7 points off that in order to have a shot at a bowl game. 13 weeks in a row without a break, we need to put away the teams that we should beat (nicholls st, UMass, Hawaii) early and let our starters get some rest early in the season. We SHOULD go 4-0 in the OOC; however I could see 3-1... anything less than that is completely unacceptable. We will win multiple PAC-12 games. I believe that 6 wins should be the baseline, but a bowl game is a realistic goal. This team needs to get an early taste of success and I think it will snowball into conference play. I see us knocking off a top third team in the PAC this season at home. My money is on USC.
     
  15. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    4-0 in the OOC and find at least a 3-6 in the Pac-12 to go bowling.
     
  16. onealcd

    onealcd Club Member Club Member

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    I think we will pull off an upset this year at home.
     
  17. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    I don't think CSU is a toss up. It's not the first game of the year and they have a new coach, new system, new QB, and are replacing a lot of key pieces. Higgins is about it, and we shut him down last year. There is a complete unknown in Bobo to. They'll get to a bowl game because of their schedule, but we'll be favored and should win by >10 points. I think we've gotten lots better since September 2014 and they've gotten worse since September 2014 with what they have had leave them.

    UH - W
    UMass - W
    CSU - W
    Nicholls St. - W

    UO - L
    ASU - L
    UA - W
    OSU - W
    UCLA - L
    Stanford - L
    USC - L
    WSU - W
    UU - L

    7-6
     
  18. Daaah

    Daaah Club Member Club Member

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    I think we'll be 6-6 fighting for a bowl game vs. Utah and will lose.
     
  19. Buffskier

    Buffskier Club Member Club Member

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    You're a sick bastard.... but i can see that happening... how heartbreaking would that be... ugh...
     
  20. 89BUFF89

    89BUFF89 Well-Known Member

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    I thought we could get up to 5 wins last season and if we had executed better down the stretch in some of the close games wee would have. However, bad teams/programs stuck in loserville fins ways to lose, and they did. Reaching 7 wins and a bowl THIS year would be so huge for the resurgence of the program, but the home PAC schedule is not kind. We will know early how they might do as they need to sweep or go 3-1 OOC worst-case to have any bowl shot imho.
     
  21. FlatironsBuff

    FlatironsBuff Club Member Club Member

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    I felt we had a great shot at 4 to 6 wins last year, and that was with a lackluster defense. We didn't lose anyone that will handicap us, the main players are all back, a year stronger, a year smarter, and that should help. Better D should help take pressure off Sefo to carry the team, and that should help his late game decision making process too. Unless Adkins comes back full force I think Carr will play for us, and be a game changer. Speed and quicks in the running game also free up the passing game. I hope that the WR core is more than one great guy, and one good, but really young and learning guy.

    Still, the whole season comes down to "How much of a difference with Jim Leavitt make?" With a competent coach actually coaching, will the kids respond? Will the LB core become a strength, instead of the sucking black hole it was last year?

    I take one thing back...kicking game is where the losses will be felt, unless the true freshman comes in and takes over both duties and is a star. I am worried about that.
     
  22. FlatironsBuff

    FlatironsBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Oh, and I will glady take 6-6 record going into the Utah game. Please let it be so. (Or better, but at LEAST that record)
     
  23. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    After watching that Northwestern QB get drafted with a passing stat line is 7TD's and 11 INT's, I am now a huge Sefo fan.
     
  24. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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  25. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    I expect to be entertained and would like to to be proud of the effort each and every game.

    I expect that MacIntyre will get to a bowl or go down trying.
     
  26. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Thought the same thing last year with their oline departure. will not take the lightly until cu proves otherwise
     
  27. ahoelsken

    ahoelsken Well-Known Member

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    Theres no reason to lose any of the 4 OOC games. Nicholls is FCS, and a bad FCS at that. UMass is here, and we probably played our worst game of the year in that one last year. Hawaii is in the islands, but they stunk last year. CSU will go bowling, but they won't sniff the rankings this year. I expect to beat the goats. I'm thinking 6-8 wins.....I think the difference maker will be Jim Leavitt.
     
  28. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    I definitely took CSU lightly last year due to the OL departure, as well. They've lost quite a bit more in even more important areas this time around, though, so I still have the same mindset as last year.

    Hopefully they don't fool me twice!
     
  29. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    My only comment. People need to stop thinking about Nembot to LT unless you really hate Sefo. Nembot improved and will probably keep improving but his weakness is pass blocking and he gets beat off the edge too much. The most important thing for a LT is pass blocking and not getting beat on the edge by the speed rushers.

    Moving Nembot to LT would be pitting him against guys who specialize in pass rushing...with our QB depth that would not be good.

    As far as expectations, we can only hope they will be better.
     
  30. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    I remember those same comments about Solder
     

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