August 18, 2022

Why Colorado may be the best team in the Pac-12 South

Colorado wide receiver Kabion Ento joins teammates to sing the school song after an NCAA college football game against UCLA Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 38-16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Buffaloes beat rivals Colorado State and Nebraska, opened up conference play with a blowout win over UCLA and are 4-0 for the first time since 1998.

2017’s 5-7 campaign wasn’t the projected follow-up to the 10-win season Colorado had two years ago, but Head Coach Mike MacIntyre is enjoying his team’s success in 2018. The Buffaloes have shocked the College Football world with being the last undefeated team remaining in the Pac-12. The team will try to reach the Pac-12 title game for the second time in three years and will be the biggest challenge in the division to defending champs USC.

The offense has been impressive thus far and ranks second in the league in scoring and total offense, averaging nearly 490 yards and 40.3 points per game. The success the Buffaloes are having on offense can be credited to the play of senior signal-caller Steven Montez. After four games Montez has already passed for half the number of touchdowns he had all of last season. He also has the best completion percentage of any starting in the conference.

True sophomore wide receiver Laviska Shenault is having a monster year hauling in passes and leads the conference in receptions and yards and has four touchdowns. The Buffaloes are also a balanced bunch on offense and averages over 200 yards on the ground per game and third in the league with 11 rushing touchdowns.

Colorado’s defense is light years ahead of where the unit was last season. The Buffaloes are allowing just 17.8 points per game and the front seven has been wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks, with 13 sacks so far this year. Sophomore defensive end Mustafa Johnson has been a lion king along the defensive line with seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Sophomore linebacker Nate Landman has held down the middle and leads the team in tackles, averaging 10.5 stops per game.

The Buffaloes catapulted into the Associated Press Top-25 for the first time since 2016 after their conference win last Saturday. Colorado enters the month of October ranked No. 21, but the schedule gets tougher, starting with a home game against Arizona State and back-to-back road clashes at USC and Washington.

MacIntyre will have to do a great job keeping his players focused and not complacent now that the Buffaloes are no longer flying under the radar. The opportunity is there for the team to show it belongs with the upper echelon in the Pac-12. It’ll be interesting to see if Colorado can sustain its’ success for the rest of the season after the team raised some eyebrows with the impressive start. Now we’ll all get to see if the Buffaloes are legit or just another bunch of overachievers.