Opportunities to play on the defensive did not come often to Isaiah Lewis during his first three years with the Colorado Buffaloes.
Not only does Lewis play two games in his fourth season, but he is also arguably the top high school member for the Buffaloes (2-0), who will visit 19th-ranked Southern California (3-0) on Saturday. ).
“I’m following the model to just trust the journey and stay true to the process,” said Lewis. “I know some guys are right on the field and some guys have to make their way.”
A 6-foot, 205-pound safety from Granite Bay, California, Lewis redshirted in 2017 and made just five appearances in the 2018-19 defense, with a total of 29 snaps. He also played every game in special teams in 2019.
“I think it made a difference by staying loyal to special teams and making sure I stay on the script and integrate details,” he said. “Keeping up with details was what I stuck to and I think it worked out for the best.”
Lewis didn’t win a runway in the preseason camp, but played 41 snaps off the bench in the opener against UCLA. An injury to junior Chris Miller in that game opened the door even more. Lewis played all 79 defensive snaps against Stanford on November 14.
He has recorded seven tackles and a team-high five pass break-ups so far this season.
“Here’s a guy who’s been under the radar,” said head coach Karl Dorrell. “He has had a really good training camp for us and he plays a number of positions in our secondary, and in particular our safety position. When Chris went down, prior to the Stanford game, he had to show in that role that Chris was incapable. He played well, but that doesn’t surprise me. He had a very good camp. “
Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers has coached Lewis for two years and has seen a different player this year.
“He’s grown so much, and he’s so much more mature, a better player and with that comes confidence,” Summers said. “I think what you see a lot of guys doing is playing with a pretty high level of confidence in what we’re doing.”
Lewis is gaining confidence and the Buffs are gaining confidence in him.
“He’s been huge,” said senior security Derrion Rakestraw. One of the guys who probably had one of the best camps. He’s flying a little under the radar, but he’s a guy we know we can put him in any position and play it. He has experience, has been here for quite some time, so he knows the system. It’s just a matter of him just going out and doing it, and he’s doing that for us. “
On Sunday, it was announced that the game on USC will start at 1:30 pm MST (12:30 pm PST). It is broadcast nationally by ABC.
The Pac-12 also announced that Friday’s game between Washington and Washington State will not be played due to problems with COVID-19 at WSU. The Cougars also canceled their race at Stanford last weekend.
The Utah game at Arizona State will be moved to Sunday, with the start time being announced later. ASU has canceled two consecutive games, including last weekend at CU, due to COVID-19 issues in the schedule. Utah has also canceled two games.
Other matchups in the Pac-12 this week include Arizona at UCLA (6pm, Fox) on Saturday; and two matchups on Friday: Stanford, California (2:30 p.m., Fox); and Oregon, Oregon (5:00 p.m., ESPN).
Running Back Jarek Broussard has rushed for 187 and 121 yards in the Buffs’ first two games. He has joined Charlie Davis (1971) and Marcus Houston (2000) as the only players to rush in their first two games at CU 100 meters.
This week, Broussard will have the chance to join Davis with three consecutive 100-yard games to start a career.
“I’m not really focused on breaking records or anything,” he said. ‘I’m just trying to help the team win. If necessary, I will. “
Broussard has already carried the ball 58 times to get to 308 meters in two matches. He is not concerned about the heavy workload.
“I think I’m pretty good,” he said of his health. “I’m doing my recovery well considering I’ve had two knee surgeries, so I know what to do to stay level and stay on track.”
While this is a delayed and shortened season, it is only the second time since 1937 that CU has pushed an unbeaten record to Thanksgiving Day. The only other time it happened was 1989, when the Buffs were 11-0. … CU is 0-14 all time against USC, including 0-9 since joining the Pac-12. … The Buffs have lost their last nine trips to Los Angeles, tracing back to a 31-17 victory at UCLA on September 21, 2002.
CU opponent look
Opponent: No. 19 Southern California Trojans
Game time: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. MST at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Trainer: Clay Helton, 6th season (43-22)
Mention: 3-0, 3-0 Pac-12
Last week: Won in Utah, 33-17
Remarkable: USC took advantage of five turnovers Saturday night to knock out Utah and set up the battle for first place in the South division with the Buffs. … The Trojans have won six consecutive Pac-12 games and eight of their last nine. … Sophomore quarterback Kedon Slovis has completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 970 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. As a freshman last year, he was third in the country in completion rate (71.9), for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. … USC will play the rest of the regular season in Los Angeles, with two consecutive games at the Colosseum and a date with rival UCLA in town.