Know the Enemy Q&A: Run Ralphie

Getting to know the Buffs

Another week. Another Q&A. This time its Jack Barsch, from our former sibiling site in The Ralphie Report. Read all about the Buffs!

Last year, Jarek Broussard and Alex Fontenot both looked fantastic, with Broussard being awarded the Comeback Player of the Year award. How do you explain the step back in the Colorado run game this year?

The best, shortest and easiest way to explain the step back is to look at the offensive line. Despite having four returning starters, the OL has taken a gigantic step back this year. They haven’t gelled once this year, and they have done a relatively poor job of keeping the freshman QB clean. They have done an even poorer job of opening holes for Broussard, Fontenot and Ashaad Clayton. I don’t expect that to improve this year. 

What are the medium and long term expectations of this team and coaching staff? Anyone on the 3 deep that will be an impact guy in the future

*sigh* you are catching the CU fanbase at the lowest moment in the Karl Dorrell. The offense this year has been inexcusably bad and during the bye week, no heads were rolled. Yes, they came out after the bye week and laid a beatdown on Arizona, but the Wildcats hardly count as a team at this point. Yes, the Buffs scored 34 points, but they had two non-offensive touchdowns and were held to 6 points for a large portion of this game. The medium and long-term expectations of this coaching staff are low. Even if they do make an offensive change after the year, the fact that they decided no changes were necessary despite averaging single-digit points against FBS teams tells you everything you need to know. Combine the mediocrity (to be generous) on the field with the mediocrity (to be even more generous) on the recruiting trail and we are in a rough spot moving forward.

There are some young guns that are exciting. Tyrin Taylor at CB is already flashing as a true freshman. COVID freshman Brenden Rice is likely the team’s best WR and Trevor Woods is looking like a great safety moving forward.

Why is it that when Ralphie is running around on the field, her handlers will knock off their own cowboy hats?

The cowboy hats are actually warning buttons and the handlers get so scared every time that they mash that button until it comes off.

(this is obviously not true)

What's La'Vontae Shenault up to? Was he suspended?

He was suspended and will continue to be for the Cal game. The young WR has had plenty of tiny brushes with authority of all kinds since he came to Boulder.

Which player on offense should Cal fans know about?

I WISH I COULD SAY YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT ONE OF THEM. Jarek Broussard is still the name to know at RB, though he has been noticeably muted this year. He will make cuts that will make you scratch your head. Look for Rice on the outside as well.

Which player on defense should Cal fans know about?

Nate Landman is back for his millionth year at MLB and he is a legit all-conference player yet again. He is closing in on the all-time tackles record at Colorado, who has had its share of amazing MLBs. Landman will find his way into every play. Look for Mustafa Johnson at DE as well, he has played well since rejoining the team during the USC game. 

Who’s one under-the-radar or X-factor player who could swing this game for you?

If Brendon Lewis, the freshman QB, can flash some more of the talent we saw last week, that could swing the game towards CU’s favor. I don’t trust him to be consistent enough for it to matter, nor do I trust this staff to put him in consistent positions to succeed. But if that happens, look out. 

What does Colorado need to do to win the game?

Move the ball and score 20+ points. We’ve seen it done once against FBS opponents this year, and that opponent was Arizona. I’m not hopeful, but if that happens, CU just might win. 

What does Cal need to do to win the game?

Score a bit and speed the game up. If they can get CU’s defense tired and stop the Buffs a few times (not hard), Cal will win easily. 

How do you see the game going?

The line-setters in Vegas have Cal as an 8.5 point favorite, and that sounds correct to me. I think the offensive ineptitude continues for CU and Cal wins, 20-10.

Score predictions?

Shoot, I jumped the gun. 20-10.

Whom do you most want to punch in the face?

If I was making the trip out to Berkeley, it’s only a short ride to Facebook’s headquarters. It’d be nice to put a lick on Mark Zuckerberg to see if he’s really human.