Colorado spring wrap

May, 14, 2012
5/14/12
10:00
AM ET
2011 overall record: 3-10
2011 conference record: 2-7 (T 5th, South)
Returning starters: Offense: 4; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners
OT David Bakhtiari, DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, LB Jon Major, LB Doug Rippy, S Ray Polk

Key Losses
QB Tyler Hansen, RB Rodney Stewart, WR Toney Clemons, WR Paul Richardson (injury), DE Josh Hartigan

2011 statistical leaders (*returner)

Rushing: Rodney Stewart (854 yards)
Passing: Tyler Hansen (2,883 yards)
Receiving: Toney Clemons (680 yards)
Tackles: Jon Major* 85
Sacks: Josh Hartigan (7)
Interceptions: Jason Espinoza (2)

Spring answers

1. Center of attention: No, not QB. Center! Gus Handler won the No. 1 spot at center, which allowed Daniel Munyer to move guard. The offensive line is promising.

2. Mi Kasa es su Kasa: Wow, that was bad. Apologies. There was a significant void at tight end entering spring, which surely chagrined a former CU TE, coach Jon Embree. But Nick Kasa emerged this spring as a guy who could be a solid offensive weapon. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound senior, a converted defensive end, is physical enough to help the running game but also should help the passing game.

3. Replacing Rodney: While RB Rodney Stewart wasn't big, he played a big role for the Buffaloes for four years. He was solid as a runner, receiver and blocker. So who steps in to replace him? That would be Tony Jones, who is firmly No. 1 on the depth chart after a strong spring when he showed he also could be a versatile weapon for the offense.

Fall questions

1. Who's the QB? Connor Wood was given a great opportunity to take hold of the starting QB job this spring but he wasn't consistent, which means things remain open. Nick Hirschman will be a contender in the fall after sitting out the spring with a foot injury. Or maybe incoming freshman Shane Dillon will jump to the fore. And perhaps Jordan Webb, a former Kansas starter, will complete his transfer to Boulder. Things are wide open.

2. Youngsters on D-ine: The spring verdict wasn't good on the D-line, at least other than end Chidera Uzo-Diribe and DT/DE Will Pericak. That means there will be plenty of opportunities for the eight incoming D-linemen to get into the rotation or even start.

3. Secondary concerns: The coaches like Ray Polk at safety. Parker Orms can help if he can stay healthy. Greg Henderson got a lot of experience starting as a true freshman at cornerback. But the secondary was a problem for the Buffs last year and could be again in 2012. That said, there are four incoming freshmen corners who could significantly bolster the athleticism in the back half, particularly highly rated Yuri Wright and Kenny Crawley.

Ted Miller | email

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PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Friday, 12/26
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