Colorado Football Predictions

Written by Vegas Top Cappers | July 31, 2013

2013 Colorado Football Predictions

At the risk of over-stating the obvious, Colorado’s first season in the PAC-12 wasn’t at all what was expected, and the program has a lot of work to do before being considered contenders. With a lone conference win and lopsided losses to Fresno State (by 55), Southern Cal (by 44) and Oregon (by 56), as well as an inexplicable home loss to Sacramento State, the Buffs overall W-L mark of 1-11 cost head coach Jon Embree his job. The new guy is Mike MacIntyre, who completely turned around the program at San Jose State in just three seasons. MacIntyre, a veteran assistant coach both in college (Georgia, Mississippi, Duke) and the NFL (Dallas, New York Jets), has made his name primarily with his defensive work, and that’s where his early Colorado teams will no doubt show the most improvement.

Following injuries, off-field issues and transfers, it appears that Colorado’s 2013 QB will be former Texas transfer Connor Wood, although his only experience came in mop-up duty for last season’s Buffaloes. The Buffs return their top wideouts, Nelson Spruce, Tyler McCulloch and Gerald Thomas, giving Colorado (and Wood) at least some hope for an aerial attack. Another returnee is Paul Richardson, a key contributor in 2011 who was sidelined with a knee injury in 2012.

The ground game also appears to be in decent shape, with sophomores Christian Powell, Donta Abron and junior Tony Jones all gaining valuable experience last season. The offensive weak link will probably be the O-line, which was beset by injuries last season and is pretty much wide-open in terms of personnel. All-PAC-12 OT David Bakhtiari’s decision to enter the NFL Draft leaves a gaping hole.

Allowing 46.0 points per game and 7.11 yards per play in 2012 (both worst in the FBS) pretty much reveals all that’s needed to know about Colorado’s defense last season. This is where MacIntyre will no doubt throw open all positions, since it surely couldn’t be any worse. An inability to slow down their opposition’s ground game or passing attack (39 TD passes allowed, only 3 INTs, including none over the final eight games), has to be addressed, and even though Colorado’s special teams certainly had plenty of opportunities to shine, they also were mediocre, with the possible exception of P Darragh O’Neill, who has punted 150 times in his two seasons as starter. DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe is the unquestioned star of the D-line with 7 sacks, while interior linemen Nate Bonsu and Josh Tupou had a few shining moments.

Top tackler Derrick Webb returns at a LB slot, while several other returnees will battle it out for the other spots. Nearly the entire secondary returns, but as the above numbers show, that’s not necessarily a plus.

It’s difficult to predict how well (or badly) MacIntyre’s first edition in Boulder will play out in 2013, but it’s almost impossible to believe that it could be worse than 2012. MacIntyre’s history suggests that significant overnight improvement won’t happen, but instead expect “baby steps” as he attempts to remake the program. Buffalo faithful should be ecstatic with 3-4 wins.

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