BOULDER - Shay Fields has garnered the nickname ‘Big Play Shay’ for a reason. Throughout his Colorado Buffaloes career, Fields has been the guy to make the play when the Buffs need it the most and has always had a knack for finding the end zone.
The 5-foot-11 wide receiver has had nine plays of 50 yards or more and seven of those were for at least 60 yards. So far this season, Fields has yet to haul in a catch of 50 yards or more, his longest just a 44-yard touchdown against Texas St.
Fields is currently averaging 4.6 receptions per game and if you combine that with the lack of big plays, it’s been a very disappointing senior season for the four-year starter.
“I’m not struggling to get open,” Fields said. “It’s just a matter of going through the reads and just getting the ball to who it needs to go to, that’s pretty much it.”
It’s not just Fields that has struggled; the entire passing offense has struggled to make big plays. They currently rank 10th in the Pac-12 in scoring offense and 6th in the Pac-12 in pass offense. Those are right around the same marks as last year, despite the nine returning starters on offense and a weaker schedule to start the season.
“We’re just not hitting,” Fields said. “It’s not one person, it’s a team thing. Whether one person misses a block and it turns into more or one person drops the ball and it turns into more. We just got to cut those down.”
With that talent Fields has, you would expect him to rank at the top of Pac-12 in terms of production. He currently sits outside the top 12 in both receptions per game and receiving yards per game.
“I mean, I can’t throw it to myself,” the California native said when asked how he can get the ball more. “It’s just a matter of going through his reads and if I’m open I’m open and if he throws it to me he throws it to me.”
Their attitude this week suggested the Arizona game was an important wake-up call to the receiving corps. Fields says they have spent even more time this week working with Montez trying to get their timing down.
“We’re still working on it in practice,” Fields said. “Only thing that you can really do is get back to work, get the chemistry again and hopefully we can hit it this week.”
The Buffaloes are going up against an Oregon State defense that ranks last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense and pass defense, so this as good of a week as any to finally hit it.