Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Midseason review: Colorado
By ESPN.com staff
Record: 3-2 (0-1 Big 12)
Colorado has been resilient at home, erasing double-digit deficits to beat Georgia and Hawaii, but has been blown out by 26 and 45 on the road at Missouri and California. The Buffs raced to a 3-1 start, quieting some of the hot-seat talk surrounding coach Dan Hawkins, but the loss to Missouri last week proved that this team still has to get much better to get through conference play and finish as a bowl-eligible team. Quarterback Tyler Hansen was benched during the Missouri shutout in favor of Cody Hawkins, but the move was solely to find a spark and Hawkins maintains his son Cody will remain the backup. The offensive line looks much improved for Colorado after giving up a league-worst 43 sacks last year. They're still in the bottom half of the league, but that number has fallen to 14 through five games this season. The team's yards per carry in 2009 (2.78), also the worst in the Big 12, is up by almost a full yard. They'll need that to remain constant once conference play starts. Touted newcomer Toney Clemons has gotten off to a nice start for the Buffs as well, with 16 catches for 204 yards and a touchdown, both the second-highest marks on the team, behind senior Scotty McKnight.
Offensive MVP: RB Rodney Stewart. It's become very clear so far this season: When Colorado runs the ball well, it's a pretty good team. That starts on the offensive line, but when Speedy gets loose, that means good things for the Buffaloes. He carried the ball 19 times for 149 yards in Colorado's big win over Georgia, and topped 100 yards in the win over Hawaii, helping the team reach 200 yards in the back-to-back wins. His 491 yards rushing and three touchdowns rank sixth in the Big 12.
Defensive MVP: LB B.J. Beatty. Beatty might win this award based solely on the biggest play of Colorado's season, a forced fumble late against Georgia to end a drive in Buffaloes' territory that preserved a two-point win. He poked the ball out of Caleb King's hands and fellow linebacker Jon Major recovered it. Beatty also leads the team with 6.5 tackles for loss and has 14 total stops. He's also added 2.5 sacks.