Headed into this weekend’s game we decided to get the inside scoop on Colorado football from Tony Cosolo over at Buffaloes Wire. We also answered a view of his Oregon State questions here. The Buffs fired their head coach after a rough start to the season, but got a huge win last weekend over Cal. What can Beaver fans expect this weekend?
1. How is this Colorado team doing health-wise? RB Deion Smith suffered a scary injury against Cal and while he is likely out vs Oregon State he appears okay. Alex Fontenot has been out for over a month. Starting QB Owen McCown was replaced by JT Shrout after taking a big hit. Any other injuries Beaver fans should be aware of?
Tony: The Buffaloes do still have some guys with injury designations going into game week, with Owen McCown being the headliner. JT Shrout did play well in relief on McCown, but CU fans will be much happier to see number 7 getting snaps come Saturday. The rest of the injuries live on the offensive side of the ball. WR Chase Sowell who did show some explosiveness in limited action is out for the season, with Fontenot and senior TE Brady Russell still carrying nagging injuries. Of note will be Deion Smith being marked as questionable as well. Most fans expected the worst when we saw him being stretchered off the field last week but tests and updates have been extremely positive with the slight chance, he could suit up against Oregon State.
2. What would you say is the biggest strength of this Colorado team? Any glaring weaknesses Oregon State’s coaching staff will look to exploit?
Tony: I honestly don’t know where Colorado stands right now. I thought the defense would be the main strength of the team, given that we had veterans and talent in our front seven. But through the first five weeks of the season, they couldn’t stop anyone. Then comes the coaching change and the Cal game and I feel like I am back at square one in believing in the defense again. Let’s put it this way, if the defense from the first five games of the season shows up in Corvallis, then Oregon State is going to go over its average scoring margin and the run game being the catalyst to that score. If the defense we saw during the Cal game makes an appearance, then the game is going to be much closer than the spread would indicate.
3. Colorado had over 50,000 fans in-house for the win over Cal! How are fans feeling after the mid-season firing of Karl Dorell and how is Colorado having sell-out crowds despite starting 0-5?
Tony: Buffaloes fans are feeling good. I know a lot of fans were dreading the thought of a potentially winless season. Our student section has been underrated, especially since the birth of the “C-Unit” moniker. Fans want to see winning football at Colorado and have spent too many years hoping it will come. They have shown that they will support a team through the highs and the lows but it is on the administration to make the right choice so the fans can start experiencing more highs.
4. What does a successful season look like for the Buffs in 2022?
Tony: As I said above, some fans believed CU was staring down the barrel of a winless season, especially since some betting sites had their adjusted win total at half a game. Some fans will be happy just to see a number in the win column but Colorado will need to show more improvement and try to steal a few more games this season. Players and coaches alike will need to show that this is not a one-game blip on the radar and that the improvements made against Cal, especially on the defensive side of the ball, are here to stay.
5. Prediction for Saturday?
Tony: Colorado will continue to show energy and a higher level of play, but I see Oregon State winning the game. The Buffaloes should be able to keep things interesting for a little while, but I see the Beavers pulling away late, 38-20.