2-1 Colorado hosts Oregon Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Pacific, carried nationally on the PAC-12 Network.
The new and improved Buffaloes, 1-11 last season under Jon Embree, started 2-0 this year with wins over in-state rival Colorado State, 41-27, and FCS foe Central Arkansas, 38-24. After their week 3 game with Fresno State was cancelled due to heavy flooding in the Boulder area, they had a scheduled bye before a road trip to Corvallis. Sean Mannion skinned them, racking up 414 yards passing and a school record six tds as the Beavs flat-tailed to an easy 44-17 victory.
Brandin Cooks grabbed nine of those completions, for 168 yards and two scores. Oregon State only ran for 120 yards, but they haven't been able to run on anyone thus far.
For the Buffs, freshman running back Michael Adkins made his college debut, 14 carries for 98 yards, including a 33-yard run. The 5-10, 200-pounder is from Helix High, Reggie Bush's old school. Originally recruited by new Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre for San Jose State, he followed McIntyre to his new school. An all-CIF running back his senior year as a prep, Adkins rushed for 3,115 yards and 40 tds at Helix. He has decent speed, 10.8 in the 100 meters, and also posted a 4.5 G.P.A. in high school.
The 98-yard performance was a season high for the team. They rank 103rd in the country in rushing yards at just under 116 a game. Junior quarterback Connor Wood leads an improved passing attack. So far this season he's 70-116 for 887 yards and 8 touchdowns, a 60.3 completion rate. He's thrown four interceptions.
His leading target is dangerous. Fully recovered from a torn ACL that sidelined him all of last year, Paul Richardson has already grabbed 26 passes for 487 yards and 5 tds, including an 82-yarder against Colorado State in the season opener. He started his junior campaign with two 200-yard games, but was held to five catches, 70 yards and 1 td against the Beavers in a game played in miserable weather, swirling winds and rain.
Boulder burner: Richardson, 6-1, 170, is a legimate deep threat. Over his first two seasons his 11 td catches were for an average of 37.7 yards. He ran a 10.62 100 in high school at Serra High, where he was a teammate of Marqise Lee.
Defensively, Colorado is led by linebackers Addison Gillam and Derrick Webb, defensive backs Parker Orms, Jered Bell, and Kenneth Crawley. Between them those five missed just two snaps in Colorado's first two games, playing nearly every defensive down. After three games the unit ranks 91st in the country in scoring defense, allowing 31.7 points a game. The NCAA ranks them 63rd in total defense, allowing 391.7 yards a game and 4.98 yards per play.
A college football power through the '90s, the Boulder university claims the 1990 national championship and a Heisman Trophy winner in 1994, Rashaan Salaam. They hired MacIntyre from the Spartans in December of last year after letting Embree go after two seasons. 16-21 overall at SJS, MacIntyre coached that team to a 10-2 record in 2012, their first 10-win campaign in 25 years.
Off topic: Here is the latest on University of Texas and Mack Brown from my business partner who is a Longhorn and dialed in to what is happening. Mack Brown is almost certainly gone. They are going after David Shaw (Stanford), Nick Saban and willing to pay him $8-10M, Will Muschamp (Florida) and Charlie Strong (Louisville).
Current weather forecast at 56 degrees and no monsoon scheduled but rain on the Friday before. Should be perfect weather for Marcus Mariota to get in the groove prior to UW. I have not checked but assume they have artificial turf. Colorado used to be a force. Watching Colorado/Nebraska was always a good game.
@DrakeMallard In the same way my drives always go farther in Bend. Good detail, Drake. Wogan should launch some touchbacks. Wonder if Helf will let him try a 50-yard field goal.
Along those lines did anybody see the article that says chip Kelly is a leading candidate for USC job. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that is total garbage. I mean there's still a show cause on chipper, that would prevent him from coaching in college again for another year?
@SonomaDuck Wow. That's NFL money at the highest revenue school in the NCAA, with a 500-player in-state recruiting pool. Impressive list of targets. Muschamp is an ex-Texas guy, former defensive coordinator. Interesting the list doesn't include a run at Kevin Sumlin, among the best coaches in college football. Eat your enemies and steal their coaches.
@SonomaDuck It's a school with a storied football tradition and currently the worst facilities in the conference. Conditions should be more conducive for passing, and the duel between Richardson, T-Mitch and Ifo should be entertaining.
@Stevoduck The show-cause is for 18 months, and requires the school and Kelly to report to the NCAA every six months if he's hired at another member institution. If I understand it correctly any penalties applied at Oregon apply to Kelly at his new school for the duration of the show-cause. It makes it difficult but not impossible for him to take another college job until the show-cause is expired.
Kelly has a $32.5 million contract with the Eagles.