As, true freshman punter, Alex Kinney dropped the ball to his foot and a (completely unmarked) Hawaii rusher stretched out to block the boot with ease, every person who follows Colorado Football, quietly, had the same thought.
“Same old Buffs.”
At the time you probably kept the thought to yourself, you didn’t want to be the one who jumped off of the bandwagon too fast, but as the blunders built up and the scoreboard went the south, the feeling never changed.
It’s the reason as I sat on the BSN Denver Sports Desk yesterday and said: “There is absolutely no reason Colorado should lose this game, and I have absolutely no confidence that they will win it.”
This is not an attempt to toot my own horn, but more a way to show the feelings Colorado has instilled in the people that follow their program, and last night was just a re-affirmation of those feelings.
Same old Buffs?
Well, in many aspects, no. The defense looked much better, they created turnovers, and kept the team in the game, making stop after stop giving the offense a chance to get going countless times. They had some sweet new uniforms featuring awesome silver helmets. Some new players impressed, like Jase Franke and Diego Gonzalez. But that offense, often the strength of the Buffs last season was essentially non-existent, especially through the air. In many cases these Buffs were the opposite of the 2014 rendition.
Same old Buffs? Well, same old result.
One thing that definitely stayed constant for Colorado, is the string of bad luck they’ve had throughout the years. Bad calls, bad bounces, bad referee execution, you name it, the Buffs were up against it. At some point, though, you have to get to a point as a program where you can absorb those blows against a team like Hawaii. Colorado should have been in control of that game from the jump.
Same old Buffs? Well, same old excuses.
We heard all offseason about how this team was going to own the fourth quarter, how all the experience they earned in close losses last season was going to lead to better execution in those situations. Well, despite all the bad breaks, the poor offensive line play, the lack of separation from the receivers, and the poor punting, the Buffaloes found themselves with the ball and a chance to tie the game with more than two minutes on the clock. In their first chance at it this year, their sense of urgency left something to be desired, as did their clock management, as did the ultimate execution, or lack there of.
Same old Buffs? Well, same old finish.
There is no reason Colorado shouldn’t be an improved team this season, there’s no reason they should have lost to Hawaii, there is no reason this program shouldn’t be in a position to take a step forward this year. They have a wealth of talent at skill positions, they have an experienced team and they have good players in my leadership positions. There’s just one problem, they simply do not know how to win football games. When push comes to shove, when the rubber meets the road, they just cannot make the plays necessary to get victories.
Same old Buffs? Well, same old problem.
It was easy to buy in to what the Buffs were selling this offseason. They did hire a very solid defensive coordinator, they did get bigger faster and stronger, they were convincing with all their confidence and their fancy bowl flags, but when it comes down to it, there’s a reason the word “cautiously” always came before “optimistic” whenever anybody was talking about this football team, and it reared it’s ugly head last night.
Same old Buffs? Well, same old result, same old excuses, same old finish, same old problem… You tell me.