Why Mel Tucker and CU, even at 3-2, aren’t “same old Buffs”

BOULDER — “Yeah, same old Buffs,” the neighbor grumbles in my ear. “Same old Buffs.”

Why do you say that?

“Did you see that defense?”

Sure did, muchacho. And did you see who was playing on it during the second half of CU’s 35-30 loss to Arizona?

“Yeah. So?”

A pair of freshmen on the defensive line (Austin Williams, Na’im Rodman), a true freshman at one cornerback slot (K.J. Trujillo) and, at least in the third quarter, a former quarterback at safety (Sam Noyer).

And yet, despite all those kids and misfit toys, the Wildcats ran for just 43 second-half yards on 12 carries, or 3.6 per attempt. Perspective: In the previous three meetings between CU and UA, the Wildcats had averaged 295 rushing yards on 47 carries, or 6.3 yards per tote.

“Yeah, well, two words: Khalil. Tate.”

OK, two more words: Eligibility. Exhausted. But point taken.

“Gonna get smoked in Eugene.”

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Granted, a short week doesn’t help, and neither does the possibility of the offense hitting Eugene without the services of Laviska Shenault (core muscle strain) and K.D. Nixon (undisclosed).

Then again, they were supposed to “get smoked” in Tempe, too.

“OK, find me three more wins.”

Dude, did you see UCLA on Saturday night?

“Fine. Find me two more.”

Washington State’s defenders can’t catch a cold right now.

“Two words: Khalil. Tate.”

OK, so they’re going to have to try to score 64 in Pullman. Hey, if Chip Kelly could do it…

“You’re reaching.”

Am I? The Pac-12 is mental. You think USC, after Notre Dame and Arizona, is going to come into Folsom on a Friday night firing on all cylinders? You don’t think Mel Tucker has had that bad boy circled for a while?

“Too many athletes.”

Those “athletes,” in two road games this season, are just 10 for 30 on third down and have a takeaway/giveaway ratio of minus-five — six turnovers committed, one turnover forced.

“Stanford’s got its mojo back.”

Yeah, but the Washington also hasn’t won down on the Farm since 2007. That mojo’s got a pretty low ceiling, especially on the road. Davis Mills ain’t Khalil Tate. And even if he is, he’s also rolling with a bum left knee right now.

“Next you’re going to tell me the Huskies can be had.”

Could be dicey, on paper. But Jacob Eason can’t beat you if he’s on the sidelines with a hat on. Or chucking the ball …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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