Scouting UCLA football’s first opponent: Colorado – Press Enterprise

UCLA football will open the conference-only schedule Saturday, Nov. 7 against a Colorado program led by a familiar face.

Karl Dorrell had three different stints with the Bruins — as a wide receiver (1983-1986), a graduate assistant coach (1988) and as the first Black head coach for UCLA football (2003-07).

Dorrell left his job as an assistant coach with the Miami Dolphins to become the Buffaloes’  coach in February.

His arrival did not result in a major overhaul of the coaching staff. Darrin Chiaverini returns as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for his alma mater. The Corona High alumnus previously coached at UCLA before coaching at Mt. San Antonio College and Riverside City College.

Tyson Summers returns for his second season as defensive coordinator.

Colorado also returns several starters from the team that finished 5-7 last season. The program had seven games decided by a single score, including three losses.

Offense

Sam Noyer was named the starting quarterback for the Buffs on Friday.

Noyer will become just the third senior in the program’s history to make his debut as the starting quarterback. Noyer played safety and contributed on special teams last season.

The offense returns seven starters but took its biggest loss at wide receiver, losing leading receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (764 yards) and Tony Brown (team-high five touchdowns catches). K.D. Nixon (465 yards, 3 TDs) returns as the top receiver.

The Buffs also return their top two leading rushers — Alex Fontenot (874 yards, 5 TDs) and Jaren Mangham (441 yards, 3 TDs).

UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) escapes a tackle by Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Nate Landman (53) during the first half of a NCAA football game at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Saturday November 2, 2019. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer).

Defense

Linebacker Nate Landman and defensive end Mustafa Johnson lead a defense that returns eight starters.

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The Buffs allowed 31.8 points per game last season, but return enough pieces to possibly take a step forward and show improvement.

Landman led the team with 137 total tackles in 12 games played. Johnson had 34 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.