The Colorado football program has received numerous excuses this year.
First, the Buffaloes had suddenly left their head coach of just 14 months, Mel Tucker, in mid-February. That led to Karl Dorrell being hired as his replacement on February 23 – about two months after most teams filled vacancies.
Just a few weeks after Dorrell was hired, the coronavirus pandemic canceled spring practices and forced him to wait more than seven months to conduct his first official practice.
Keep in mind that the Buffs had almost no experience as a quarterback, lost their best player of 2019 to the NFL, and lost three consecutive losing seasons, and it was pretty easy for experts to predict a dismal season for CU.
All the while, Dorrell has refused to apologize, his players have bought into that approach and they are now 3-0 (2-0 in the Pac-12) with a chance to compete for the Southern Division title during the finale. two weeks of the shortened season, including Saturday in Arizona (5:00 p.m., TV: FS-1).
“It’s been a big part (of the success), there’s no question about that,” Dorrell said Monday as the Buffs began preparations for Arizona (0-3, 0-3). “This team felt that they were now able to win and succeed.
‘I didn’t want to make excuses early. We don’t make excuses. We are going to do our very best with what we have in our program and we feel we have very capable players, and they prove it. Everything is really focused on maximizing our potential with what we have here in this building, so that’s the mindset that the whole team understands and has bought. “
Senior quarterback Sam Noyer gives Dorrell credit for preaching a ‘no excuses’ attitude, and it’s made a difference in the year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen today, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 24 hours, 48 hours,” said Noyer. ‘It does not matter. … We just have to be prepared and we do an excellent job every week. It doesn’t matter who we play on every day and that’s why I think it’s important that our guys just stay prepared and prepared for any situation so we can’t make excuses. That’s something Coach Dorrell has been bothering about since he got here. I think it’s really important to guys and I think you see that. “
The lack of excuses has helped the Buffs achieve some success, and their confidence grows as they continue to gain.
“That’s what you want,” said Dorrell. “Usually when you succeed and win games, even if they weren’t perfect wins … there are standards we try to set in our playing style at every stage.
“Their self-confidence is improving, and rightly so. It should be. We are a good football team. We know we can get better. “
Star-backer Chris Miller has played in two of CU’s three games and left them both early due to shoulder injuries. Dorrell said Miller and the Buffs hope he can get back on the field.
“That’s something that will plague Chris for the rest of the season,” said Dorrell. “It’s one of those things he’s trying to manage, we’re trying to get him back on the field. It’s still kind of a week-to-week process working with him to see where his health is and what we can do with him. “
Nose tackle Jalen Sami only played 12 snaps against San Diego state on Saturday due to an ankle sprain. He played a total of 99 snaps in the first two games.
“He’s able to do anything from a productive standpoint, for whatever he has to do for his position,” said Dorrell, “but we didn’t want to impose too much on him because he’s still a little crazy. It could be better this week. where he gets more playing time. “
Report: Sun Bowl is being canceled
On Monday, there were reports that the Sun Bowl, with teams from the Pac-12 and ACC, will be canceled.
Scheduled for December 31, the Sun Bowl has been played every year since 1935 and is held in El Paso, Texas. It matched the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl as the second longest running bowls, behind the Rose Bowl, which has been played every year since 1916.
The Pac-12 has eight bowls tie-ins, three of which have been canceled: Holiday, Redbox and Sun.
Colorado’s Nate Landman was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Other Weekly Pac-12 Awards: Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson (offense) and Nathan Eldridge (offensive line); Stanford’s Thomas Booker (special teams); and Washington’s Zion Tupuola-Fetui (line of defense) and Dylan Morris (freshman).